RAYNE, as leader of the Mantle on Valaris, wielder of the Maghdim Medaillon, is paramount to the entire LORE series. The Infinity Mantle begins with Rayne travelling to Farinwood. He is looking for the means to stop the witch Infinity’s campaign of revenge, and hopes to find his mentor Aven still alive in the town now overcome with unnatural mist.
The lore centres around Rayne. This man, however, was raised in a society that hates anything magical. That hatred extends to even an inspiring sunset and Valaris is therefore suppressed in its freedom, but for wielders of magic it is far worse. Even a rumour of power will see a man or woman hung from the nearest tree, and vigilantism flourishes despite calls from government to bring these ‘criminals’ to trial.
Rayne is unwilling in his power as a result, and yet the Mantle is about sorcery. Every time he ventures outside, he looks over his shoulder, he wonders when the rope will twist around his neck; is it any wonder he is unwilling? Upholding his cover as a binder of books is something he doesn’t always adhere to, because he is impatient with subterfuge.
But in Farinwood the Medaillon waits for him, and he is forced to use it. This device is old and has a history that will only become clearer later, and yet the Mantle knew enough about its power so that they understood they needed sorcerers available, in the event. Rayne, as a two year old, was brought into the Mantle, because magic wielders recognise it in others; Rayne, when he reached an age where he understood what was happening to him, also then discovered it was far too late to bow out.
He was abandoned, adopted, his father accuses him of being a dreamer, his mother is distant, and he rarely sees his sister because he needs to protect her from his truth. Gradually Rayne is gathered in until he is revealed as a powerful man with powerful ancestry. But he is angry. Where is his choice in this? He also dreams of a faraway world and cannot understand how it is possible. He dreams of a little girl there – My name is Mitrill! – and she calls to him for help. With those desperate dreams plaguing him and the needs of his world demanding action of him, while battling his past, Rayne is volatile and contradictory.
One of the most pertinent questions asked is, “Is he friend or foe?” And that answer will determine all.
Still, this is a man with depth, and he’s good to look at, too. His fair hair and grey eyes draw the eye, and his lean strength inspires confidence. Rayne is an enigma and in the fullness of the series he will call himself a prince among demons, and yet … all is not what it seems.
It’s here! It’s live!!! YAY!
Hello, everyone, Infinity’s audio book is now live! I just know you will love Thomas Bestwick’s voice and will really get into the story 🙂
For those of you new to Audible, use these links to download a copy:
If you already have an Audible subscription, click here: Audible UK
Or listen via Amazon: (listen to a sample!)
(Blue spoke to many Valarians in the week following the drowning and destruction of Galilan, Valaris’ capital city. After, when she collated her notes, she realised she had spoken to Rayne’s sister)
Blue: Hello! Forgive the interruption, but I’m moving from plot to plot informing people where to find food and fresh water. Have you been told?
Rees: You’re welcome. Come closer. We’re aware of the relief centres, yes, but I overheard others asking … you’d have to keep moving and keep asking.
Blue: I’ll do so. ‘We’? You have others with you? Are you coping?
Rees: A friend and her husband stay with me … my m-mother didn’t … we found her in the cellar with … sorry.
Blue: I’m sorry, too. What’s your name?
Rees: Rees … yes, after the priest.
Blue: Ha! Who named you? I’m guessing your father.
Rees: Yes! And my brother Rayne still teases me about it!
Blue: Where is he? Will he be joining you? Um, do you know if he …?
Rees: Rayne was here earlier, thank God. He’s fine, doing his thing. What’s your name?
Blue: Blue … but don’t ask me why! I’m only glad it isn’t ‘Green’ or ‘Pink’!
Rees: I’ll bet! And do you have somewhere to stay in all this?
Blue: I do, thank you … it will get better, I hope you know that. Sooner than we can believe right now.
Rees: I hope so. Thanks. I suppose you must be on your way. Good to meet you, and good luck.
Blue: Luck to you also.
(After checking her notes, Blue found a parallel in her interviews in Galilan. The place she interviewed Rees after annihilation was also the place she spoke briefly with an older woman before the destruction of the city and after the soltakin commenced the campaign of terror. She swiftly deduced she had had words with Rees and Rayne’s mother and was thus one of the last to have seen her alive)
Blue: My lady, you should be indoors. It isn’t safe.
Rayne’s mother: Can’t call anywhere safe, my dear. Walls and closed doors will not stop those fiends.
Blue: Lady, is there someone with you? Your children?
Rayne’s mother: Essie from next door. We keep each other company through everything good and bad. My children have their own lives … my daughter gallivants in the country as if she’s a spoilt rich girl and my son flits everywhere trying to be Valaris’ saviour … forgive me, I find I’m disappointed that they saw fit to … to …
Blue: Abandon you?
Rayne’s mother: Forgive me, no. Rees is a good girl and will be here as soon as she can. And Rayne … well, Rayne is what he is, isn’t he? How dare I deny that? How dare I deny our people his abilities?
Blue: My lady, where is Rayne now?
(The woman unfortunately returned indoors then, perhaps realising she had revealed too much. Blue has not discovered her name, and there is no image on record of Rayne’s mother)
For readers new to the LORE series, here’s the low down 🙂
There are 3 distinct series – Lore of Arcana / Lore of Reaume / Lore of Sanctum – and each set tells the tale in a different time. Yes, this is, in fact, one series (therefore LORE) and yet each set of 4 books tells a separate story. You can pick up volume 1 of any of the three and start reading from there, but if you desire the greater tale, the grand design, I do suggest starting with Lore of Arcana and journeying through to the end of Lore of Sanctum.
Let’s begin with Arcana’s four:
The Infinity Mantle
There is a darkness coming …
This is the ‘meet and greet’ beginning of it all. In this book you meet the main characters as well as a few extraordinary beings, and adventure with them as their mission begins.
The main setting is the world Valaris, with visits to worlds beyond a Rift.
The Kinfire Tree
Kin is everything
The main character Rayne becomes someone unexpected, and it is soon apparent that his story drives the greater tale as well. Prepare for something new!
Again, Valaris is the place of conflict.
The Drowned Throne
Throne of the Valleur
This is the book of battles! Everything ramps up, and the fighting is intense. Here the mighty Valleur Throne is unveiled, to disastrous consequences.
Look to Aqua Island on Valaris for an epic confrontation!
The Dragon Circle
Of Flame and Fire
The final Arcana book is about loss, betrayal and ultimate change. Here Torrullin stands forth, and prepares for the worlds of hurt awaiting him in Lore of Reaume, and yet there is an ending. The Dragon Circle doesn’t leave you wondering!
While the main tale takes place on Valaris, you will visit both Ardosia and Pendulim as well.
Even as the author, I cried. I cried while writing this particular book and when I read it later as a reader 🙂
Links to all four books are in the sidebar. Happy reading!!
Lore of Reaume’s reading order follows this post.
After Reaume, make a note of Lore of Sanctum’s reading order too 😉
History tells the tale too
Hello, reader and friend! If you are about to read The Infinity Mantle, the first book in this epic series, you will be crossing time and space, and delving into unseen realms as well, and this means it’s a BIG story.
Why am I telling you this? Because some reviewers have stated there is too much backstory (although that was before a major streamlining!), and I would like to clear that up for you before you begin this epic journey with me. Yes, there is some backstory, but all is imperative in aiding understanding. I have read Fantasy epics all my reading life, and I know the situation behind the scenes forms part of the milieu. The ‘history’ aids understanding, or the tale ends up shallow, without the layering a good story peels away.
You will begin this read by meeting Rayne, McSee, Aven and Averroes, and also briefly the clans in the north, as well as Infinity, the dara-witch, but there is more. Another thread follows Kylan and Kisha through the Great Forest, and soon you will meet the Guardians of the Dome (and you simply must know who and what they are). The back and forth between what is happening in the Dome and the discoveries Kisha and Kylan make in the Great Forest, will, if you’re anything like me when it comes to reading, cause you to wonder when you will return to the main story-line! As mentioned, this is the beginning of an EPIC tale, and these inserts promote the grander weave. Read carefully; all comes into play as the story unfolds.
You will also wonder if a game is enough reason to die for (and read on for), until you comprehend this ‘game’ is but one move on a board such as only imagination can wholly grasp. The stakes are immense … but I’ll let you discover this nuance yourself!
And then, lo, we go somewhere else entirely! Beyond a Rift between realms, to encounter another civilisation. What happens there is SUPER important; this has impact throughout the four Lore of Arcana books. It sets the stage for everything. Then, just when you think you’re safe, just when you believe you know the main enemy, I present to you someone far worse. This guy will turn the entire story on its head!
By Chapter 12 you are back on Valaris where you met Rayne, and the gathering is about to commence and soon all threads are wound together, and the great tale unfolds for you. I know you will, with hindsight, appreciate this introduction. I know you will thank me for instilling within you, perseverance. And, hopefully, I have set in motion shivers of anticipation, thrills of expectation, and a gleeful desire to immerse yourself in The Infinity Mantle.
Elaina J. Davidson
You will meet Aven in The Infinity Mantle. The token wizard, you ask? The older man who swoops in to save the day?
While Aven is a mentor to Rayne, he is more a father figure, and they fight as father and son would … in fact, they really clash heads!
There is no wizard to save the day when all else fails in the Lore series. The characters have to sort their issues out themselves. You will love Aven, though; he takes no nonsense!
Yes, it is true many fantasy series include an orphan who becomes something or someone greater than the circumstances of his or her life determines at the point the tale begins.
Or the ‘chosen one’ may be from a family in dire need. Perhaps someone is whisked away into another realm and has to stand up in order to return home.
Many will say the above is ‘cliche’ , while others will talk about ‘heroic fiction’. It depends entirely on the readers viewpoint. From a writer’s POV, it either works or it doesn’t.
There is an orphan within the pages of ARCANA (there’s the ‘cliche’) but you will meet her as an adult. While she certainly has a mighty role, she may be someone other than the ‘chosen’.
If you read between these cliche lines, there is, point of fact, someone else you need to focus on – Rayne. Rayne chooses himself, in fact, and is a flawed individual. Love or hate him (an emotional conundrum the orphan struggles with), he is the glue.
When you have met Rayne, do let us know whether you love or hate him!