Book 1 of the Avatars of Ruin series
“Everyone from Jalard knew what a bloodoath was. Legendary characters in the tales people told to their children often made such pacts with the gods. By drawing one’s own blood whilst speaking a vow, people became ‘Bloodsworn’.
And in every tale where the oath was broken, the ending was always the same. The Bloodsworn died.”
It has been twelve years since The War of Ashes, but animosity still lingers between the nations of Sharma and Gavendara, and only a few souls have dared to cross the border between them.
The villagers of Jalard live a bucolic existence, nestled within the hills of western Sharma and far away from the boundary which was once a warzone. To them, tales of bloodshed seem no more than distant fables. They have little contact with the outside world, apart from once a year when they are visited by representatives from the Academy who choose two of them to be taken away to their institute in the capital. To be Chosen is considered a great honour… of which most of Jalard’s children dream.
But this year the Academy representatives make an announcement which is so shocking it causes friction between the villagers, and some of them begin to suspect that all is not what it seems. Just where are they taking the Chosen, and why? Some of them intend to find out, but what they discover will change their lives forever and set them on a long and bloody path to seek vengeance…
Book 2 of the Avatars of Ruin series
The ragtag group from Jalard have finally reached Shemet, Sharma’s capital city. Scarred and bereft, they bring with them the grim tale of what happened to their village, and a warning about the ancient powers that have been awakened and now threaten all humanity.
Despite this, some of them still hope that reaching sanctuary within the Synod will mean an end to their hardships, but these hopes are soon dashed. Sharma’s ruling class are caught within their own inner turmoil. When Jaedin senses that there are moles within their ranks, not only does his call to crisis fall mostly on deaf ears, but some who do hear seek to thwart him when he tries to hunt these infiltrators down.
Meanwhile, across the Valantian Mountains, Gavendara is beginning to muster its forces. Using ritualistic means to augment their soldiers, their mutant army is like nothing the world has ever seen before.
The Zakaras are coming. And Sharma’s only hope of stopping them is if it can unite its people in time.
The Janus Cycle
The Janus Cycle can best be described as gritty and surreal urban fantasy.
Janus is a nightclub. But it’s not merely a location, it’s virtually a character in its own right. On the surface it appears to be a subcultural hub where the strange and disillusioned, who feel alienated and oppressed by society, can escape to be free from convention. Underneath that façade is a surreal space in time where the very foundations of reality can be twisted and distorted. But the special, unique, vibe of Janus is hijacked by a bandwagon of people who choose to conform to alternative lifestyles simply because it has become fashionable to be ‘different’ and this causes many of its original occupants to feel lost and disenchanted.
The story unfolds through the eyes of eight narrators, each with their own perspective and their own personal journey. A story in which the nightclub itself goes on a journey. But throughout, one strange girl briefly appears and reappears, warning the narrators that their individual journeys are going to collide in a cataclysmic event. Is she just another one of the nightclub’s denizens, a cynical mischief-maker out to create havoc or a time-traveller trying to prevent an impending disaster?
Set in the same urban landscape as Tej’s debut novel The Janus Cycle, and featuring some of the same characters along with new voices, Dinnusos Rises is both a sequel and standalone novel.
The vibe has soured somewhat after a violent clash in the Janus nightclub a few months ago, and since then Neal has opened a new establishment called ‘Dinnusos’.
Located on a derelict and forgotten side of town, it is not the sort of place you stumble upon by accident, but over time it enchants people, and soon becomes a nucleus for urban bohemians and a refuge for the city’s lost souls. Rumour has it that it was once a grand hotel, many years ago, but no one is quite sure. Whilst mingling in the bar downstairs you might find yourself in the company of poets, dreamers, outsiders, and all manner of misfits and rebels. And if you’re daring enough to explore its ghostly halls, there’s a whole labyrinth of rooms on the upper floors to get lost in…
Now it seems that not just Neal’s clientele, but the entire population of the city, begin to go crazy when beings, once thought mythological, enter the mortal realm to stir chaos as they sow the seeds of militancy.
Eight characters. Most of them friends, some of them strangers. Each with their own story to tell. All of them destined to cross paths in a surreal sequence of events which will change them forever.