Read chapters 1-6 of The Zi'veyn, first of The Devoted trilogy, for free right here!
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Wednesday 14 August 2019

The World of The Devoted Trilogy

When the elves' faith in Vastal, the Goddess of Life, faded in their hubris, Zikhon, the God of Death, swept past Her failing defences and destroyed them overnight. But the faith the subjugated humans held in Vastal gave Her strength enough to fight Him back and save them alone, and to this day She holds the jealous god at bay. But should their faith wane in arrogance or neglect, the same fate will befall them.
As the Craitic Temple has taught for 700 years.

Magic found its way into the hands of the elves by Vastal. She grew so very fond of them that She gifted them each some small glimmer of Her power, perfectly shaping it to their physiology. They were grateful, and they used their magic with nobility, building homes for those unable and ever greater monuments to Her strength and beauty. But in time, as is inevitable of those with power, they grew selfish, concerned with permanence, status and possession, and they lost their way. They crafted for themselves opulent homes, ostentatious pass-times, and subjugated the humans they had once lived beside and watched grow.
Their priorities changed. Their culture changed. Their faith changed.
Then, one day, they were no more.

Humans rose in their stead, seizing the world they'd left behind without any question, the world they'd been forced to toil in for the benefit of another, and turned their skills to use. They quickly filled the elves' shoes and revived the lost faith.
But the magic had not been lost. It had found its way, through love or depravity, into human blood, though those few that bore it could scarcely use it. Only by concentration and utter focus of one's mind could it be utilised, and so the use of finger signs were born, aiding in the shaping of spells and intent and preventing the attention from wandering.

When the wounds of history had healed, the young, knowing nothing but ill tales of their past masters, turned to marvelling at the structures that surrounded them, the twisting towers and gilded archways, and when they began asking questions none alive could answer, the Historical Society was established. From here, humans began to learn of the elves and their lives before their magic, for some of their monuments and homes still stood, and a new understanding was formed. Greed was not born, but made, and the same would befall them should the extremity of their habits find its way into the human world.

But while lessons were to be learned of the past, new problems were born in their place. The age-old mistrust of their former masters hadn't died, and those that possessed magic were looked upon with increasing caution. As with anything that was not understood nor in the abilities of all, magic was feared, and the worry that mages might try to assert themselves as the rightful rulers drove some peoples and cultures to shun magic. Others, more trusting, allowed its wary practice, and others saw it purely as a means of protecting themselves from the magic of other nations.

And so the divides and borders grew wider across the lands than they had ever been under the rule of elves, and humans began to suspect one another. Wars broke out, monarchs kept secrets, and the division within their countries grew greater. The growing suspicion led to the need for spies, to watch and listen and discover their neighbour's plots - and even, in some cases, force their hand to lure them into a disadvantage. Politics blossomed alongside poverty, and the world became a darker place.

But the elves had left a reminder of their downfall. A reminder that now ravages the world regardless of a country's wealth, allegiance, perspective or prudence.

A reminder to be exploited by the desperate.

An introduction to the world of The Devoted trilogy.
Great Western Woods' podcast team recently hosted World Building Quest, where a daily prompt aided writers in the process of building a world for their fiction. Since I'm so deep into the world of The Devoted trilogy, I decided to use it as an opportunity to hone what I had as well as present the world itself to readers.

Thursday 1 August 2019

The Sah'niir - Release Day!

   One year to the day since The Zi'veyn's release comes the second in the trilogy, The Sah'niir!
   As I mentioned on my blog, I am a believer that if anything is important to the story, it won't be in the prologue or the epilogue. I like to use them as optional windows into an individual's life or situation - one you could politely opt to avoid. I don't really know why a reader would do that, personally I always read prologues and epilogues, but I do subscribe to the idea of important being contained within the chapters.
   That said, I am really rather pleased with the prologue for The Sah'niir.

   For the strange people who like to taste test a trilogy by reading a snippet of the second or third book of a trilogy, there is a free sample available of the prologue and first five chapters of The Sah'niir, so you can indulge your unnatural desires. You weirdos.
   For all other people, the first five chapters of The Zi'veyn are also available for free as a Kindle sample to read in your browser or Kindle device or app.

Monday 1 July 2019

The Sah'niir - Book Cover Reveal

After weeks of work, here's the official reveal of the book cover for The Sah'niir,
book two of The Devoted trilogy:

The Sah'niir will be available on August 1st on Kindle & paperback.
Click here to pre-order, or search 'The Sah'niir' on your preferred Amazon website!

Friday 21 June 2019


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
   A shaking, mournful howl rolled hollow through the night.
   The forest blanched. The undergrowth quaked and cowered.
   The groan of the wind bellowed like the cries of the ghostly moon, hunting and hounding ceaselessly through the trees. Branches shook, leaves trembled, and the clouds above dashed and darted in panic; the moonlight flickered into the dense forest like a frozen, silver fire.

   The girl ran as fast as she could. Her dress billowed around her, snagging on clawing branches while roots rose up to catch her nimble feet. Alarm swelled in her throat, but her eyes were fixed intently forwards.
   The moon was full that night, and the power within its light was potent. One brush over bare skin, one look in the eye from the moon-beast itself, and she would lose her mind. And here she ran with no cloak to cover her arms, no hood to shade her face, no shoes to cover her feet, while the silver pools shifted and writhed at random all around her. And home...home was yet so far away.
   She dashed from shadow to shadow, holding her breath with each frantic movement, slipping down into the towering rock maze when the trees bent too far. Her heart hammered. She could feel it in her ears.
   She ran when the moon was hidden, taking advantage of the passing cloud, but it leapt out again all too soon, casting its maddening glare. She could feel its eye, wide and unblinking, relentlessly seeking her out. The hairs along her neck stood up, reaching up towards it as if lured by its perilous charm.
   But she was not so fooled.
   The tree trunks were thick; pressing herself against them, the glance passed over her and across the sheltering leaves, then she darted swiftly across to the next, the wind all the while tugging at her curls and casting leaves into her rosy face.
   It was only when she reached the edge of the thick boughs' protection, her breath burning in her chest, that her feet finally stumbled to a stop.
   A break in the trees.
   Her heart sank as her eyes passed helplessly over the broad, forest clearing.
   Quickly, she bowed her head, hiding her face behind her curls, avoiding the lock of the silver gaze, and watched the light blazing across the grass ahead of her. She steeled, and waited.
   Slowly, it dimmed. Then it vanished altogether.
   She broke away like a bull out of a pen.
   Her bare feet stampeded across the ground, scarcely avoiding the breaching, knotted roots, and dove without a glance around her into the safety of an elm. No sooner had she crashed into its trunk than the moonlight ignited the clearing once again.
   There was no time to waste in relief.
   She pushed off immediately, surging onwards through the shadows and battling once more against the flickering assault. She barely flinched against the blood-curdling yowl of a distant fox, nor glanced around at the hoot of a high-perched owl. Neither creature were prone to the madness of the moonlight; they did not share her trial, and neither could they help her.
   The girl hurtled on through the forest, and down into the maze again when the clouds became much too thin. When she came across another break in the trees, identical to the last, she didn't hesitate at the darkness. It was behind her in moments, with a heartbeat to spare, and this time no knotted roots betrayed her path.
   Her success only hastened the backlash.
   Fatigue soon set in; her movements became slower, duller, clumsier. By a single misjudgement, her bare foot glanced a silver pool.
   Her heart collapsed into her stomach. There was nothing to feel - no ice, no weight, no numbness - nothing at all to confirm it. But she knew it had happened.
   She ran on frantically anyway, hoping she was mistaken, but wondering all the while and with every frantic step just how it would happen if she wasn't, wondering if she would feel it, wondering how quickly her mind would be burned away by the moon.
   She heard again the cry of foxes. She spun this time, wondering as she stared through the flashing darkness if they were even real. Then she was suddenly upon a clearing. But she didn't stop to calculate.
   Despite the snaking roots, it was her own feet that finally tripped her.
She crashed, winded, to the ground, the heels of her hands digging into the earth, grazing across thinly buried stones. Her skin was unbroken, but blood didn't matter.
   Moonlight poured down upon her like a silent blanket of frost.

   She lay, unmoving.
   Her tongue lolled out from the side of her mouth.

   Slowly, a shadow fell over her still form, and a face appeared before her eyes, darkened by the haloing light of the moon. "Moonstruck yet?" It asked conversationally.
   But the girl neither moved nor blinked.
   The face waited patiently.
   "I can't talk," she finally said, quite without moving her lips, "I'm mad."
   "Mad," it agreed, "not dead." The face withdrew, then a great hand closed around a single dainty wrist and she was dragged easily back up to her feet. "Up you get, little one. You've been running circles around the house for twenty minutes. Dinner's ready."
   At the mention of food, life returned to the little girl's eyes, and she dashed off towards the irregular stone house that stood all alone in the forest, giggling maniacally into the night.
   Rathen shook his head to himself and followed along with a helpless smile. "I'm quite sure you've been mad for years already..."
 Words & illustration copyright © Kim Wedlock
No part is to be reproduced without my permission.