Tag Archives: arabian fantasy

Free this week: Raziel’s Shadow (epic fantasy)

For the next five days (September 26 to 30), you can get my epic fantasy novel Raziel’s Shadow free on Amazon Kindle. [ Get it now! ]

About the book: As the long-lost prince of a country conquered by demons, Zerai Djonn has known only hardship, fear, and death all his life. But the legends of the great magi warriors tempt him to travel east in the hopes of gaining divine powers so he might return to free his people and reclaim his grandfather’s throne. But upon returning home, Zerai is reduced to a mere guide, helping a band of powerful magi to cross a land infested with ghuls, ifrits, marids, and djinn in search of a way to undo the madness that was unleashed when the angel Raziel was murdered.

It’s dark (and sexy), and delves into the lives of “average” people who have to live through apocalyptic times, suffering loss and loneliness, and madness. But it ends on a bright and optimistic note, though the journey to get there may surprise you.

Why are you still here? Go get Raziel’s Shadow now!

Raziel’s Shadow: Arabian mythology and fantasy

Raziel's ShadowI’ve written a lot of books with strong mythological bones in them. Greek, Norse, Russian, Aztec, Spanish, Indian. Much like Pokemon, I intend to explore them all, sooner or later. And for my new book Raziel’s Shadow, I have journeyed into Arabian myth and legend.

[ Note: I am aware that, like many cultures today, Arabian culture is vast and complex, and while some modern Arabs may see their own ancient stories as mythological or folkloric, others may see them as living aspects of their beliefs and world-views. My use of these ideas, images, and stories is not meant to belittle or appropriate them, but to explore and perhaps introduce them to readers in an engaging manner. I certainly hope I succeeded. ]

The advent of Islam in Arabia, much like the advent of Christianity in Europe, involved the incorporation of “pagan” or other external concepts of the divine or supernatural world into the new religious framework. This included two very important classes of beings: angels and djinn.

Angels

Angels are fairly familiar to us westerners. They tend to have wings (often more than two), and sometimes have strange numbers of feet, hands, eyes, and tongues. Sometimes they carry flaming swords or trumpets or books. And they all have jobs, though few have names. Officially, only a few angels are named: Gabriel (Jibril), Michael (Mikail), Raphael (Israfil), and Azrael among them.

Angels, of course, serve God in countless functions to make the universe work and carry out special tasks, ranging from teaching people to destroying cities. In the Arabian interpretation, angels are beings of light, lacking in free will, and serving both cosmic and personal functions.

Djinn

Djinn (or jinn) are a bit more complicated. Djinn are beings of smokeless fire (and humans are beings of clay), but djinn have more in common with humans than angels. Djinn have free will, they live in societies, worship God (or not), and generally act like people. Key differences usually relate to the djinn’s supernatural abilities, such as invisibility, shape-shifting, and traveling at great speed. In this tradition, Satan (Shaytan) was a djinn, not an angel.

But beyond this notion of djinn as merely “invisible and somewhat magical people”, they also existed in several classes of monstrous creatures, which you may recognize from various fantasy games and movies. Ifrits are powerful creatures of fire, marids are enormous creatures of the sea, ghuls are bestial eaters of the dead, and Shaytan (aka Iblis) had no power at all except the ability to lead others into evil.

And I thought that was all fertile ground to explore in my new book, a classic quest through demon-infested lands to save a kingdom (and the world!).

[ Learn more about Raziel’s Shadow ]

New release: Raziel’s Shadow

Raziel's ShadowToday it is my great pleasure to announce the release of my newest epic fantasy novel, Raziel’s Shadow.

[ Cover art by the very talented Laura Sava ]

This is a classic adventure quest, a band of heroes on an arduous journey to save the world from great evil. But it’s also full of twists and anti-tropes, which I’ll talk about more later this week. Raziel’s Shadow combines the djinn, angels, and demons of Arabian mythology with the history of the Aksum Empire, which ruled over ancient Ethiopia and Eritrea for centuries. Intrigued?

From the back cover:

As the long-lost prince of a country conquered by demons, Zerai Djonn has known only hardship, fear, and death all his life. But the legends of the great magi warriors tempt him to travel east in the hopes of gaining divine powers so he might return to free his people and reclaim his grandfather’s throne.

But nothing goes according to plan. Upon returning home, Zerai is reduced to a mere guide, helping a band of powerful magi to cross a land infested with ghuls, ifrits, marids, and djinn in search of a way to undo the madness that was unleashed when the angel Raziel was murdered.

For a time, Zerai finds solace in the arms of a magi archer, but even this joy is short-lived when they discover two women from the distant south who are hiding a terrible secret that could either heal the world or usher it into a new age of darkness.

Links: Amazon | Kobo | Smashwords

Raziel’s Shadow – coming in 3 days!

Raziel's Shadow

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

“Wait, please. I’m not here to rest or eat.” Zerai waved Leun back. “You need to understand. Tigara was invaded by two armies. The first came from Lashad under the command of Ras Moro Hanadin. But he never could have conquered Azumar alone. He brought a second army from even farther south. From the land of Rumaya. From the city of Naj Kuvari.”

A soft gasp traveled across the crowd. Salloran’s already troubled visage grew darker still, gathering deeper lines across his brow. The queen said, “But the borders of Rumaya were sealed by our clerics centuries ago to contain the creatures that dwell there.”

“The seal was broken somehow,” Zerai said. “The soldiers from Lashad brought the demon hordes of Naj Kuvari to Azumar, led by Ras Moro under the flag of Naj Kuvari, the flag of the war-queen Jidira. There were thousands of them, men and beasts. Today, Moro’s soldiers control every town and his demons roam freely across the countryside, killing whatever they find. The rumors from the south are even worse. They say that all of Hamara is overrun with demons and no people have survived at all. And now Ras Moro sits on the golden throne of Azumar, protected by these djinn-beasts from the south.”

Salloran sank one of his mighty hands into the thick folds of his beard.

“Before you say anything, great Negus, I want to say that I’m not here to ask you for your armies, or your wealth, or even a single plate of food,” Zerai said, sinking down on one knee. His back and arms ached, his feet throbbed, and his head began to swim with a fresh dizziness. “As a child I heard the stories about the great magi of Shivala. I know that beyond this city there are holy mountains where four of God’s angels still live and teach your people the magi arts. I have seen the beauty of your great city, and I’ve seen your gray warriors who carry no weapons at all, so I know the old stories are true. And that’s why I’m here. My lord, I’ve come to study alongside your warriors at the feet of the angels, to learn the magi arts, so one day I can return to my homeland and free my people from the demons.”

Zerai bowed his head and swallowed.

There. I did it. I said it. And now I can start to gain the power to fulfill my destiny and take my rightful place in

“No.”

Zerai looked up and blinked. The queen had answered him as her husband sat stroking his beard in silent contemplation. “No? My lady?”

“We cannot allow you to journey to the holy mountains or study before the living angels,” Makeda said. “Such a request is impossible for us to grant.”

“But…” Zerai blinked as the sunlight steaming in through the tall windows began to blur into a bright white haze across his eyes. “I…”

He slipped sideways and fell to the floor, and the last thing he heard was the scream of his white falcon.

Continued in Raziel’s Shadow