Arek and his companions must escape Arcadia before the dark nephilim destroy it. Only two gates reach Edyn. One is controlled by the demon queen, Lady Lilyth, who has used it to transport her city – the Eternal Olympious – to Edyn in preparation for war.
The other is the East Gate of Winds situated on the war-torn fields of Harmagedon. The gate is controlled by the malevolent Celestial known as Lord Zafir, who will not allow himself to remain in Arcadia to die.
What can Arek offer Zafir to return to Edyn, and will he be able to accept the price of that choice?
Launch date31st December 2020
GenreEpic Dark Fantasy
Published ByNoble Sun Press
Queensmark Alion Deft winged low across a plateau, signaling her Furies to land. She followed them down, landing lightly as her membranous wings spread to catch air. As they folded on her back, she cleared a space and then withdrew a lens. Holding it up, she said, “Lady.”
The air in front of her shimmered and solidified as Lilyth’s face appeared, floating a few feet from Deft and her party. “How is your progress?” the image asked.
“We have tracked them to an island not too distant, my Lady,” answered Deft. She looked at her team and added, “We are ready.” Behind them orange clouds sat against a pink sky. If one did not know the nephilim were consuming the Way, it was hard to tell this world was dying.
Lilyth looked at something Deft could not see, then back at the undead magehunter and said, “I know this is hard, but I want you to hold your attack.”
Deft cocked a head but said nothing. Though her heart burned for vengeance, the Lady could not be disobeyed or ignored. Cursed to serve the Aeris queen, the knight once dedicated to exterminating every vestige of magic in the world now found herself the very master she once would have hunted down. The tale that brought her here was convoluted at best, so she did what every officer did and shut up, a mask betraying none of her inner turmoil.
“The final phase of the fall of Arcadia is at hand. Dawnlight has been brought by me to a location near Harmagedon . These dwarves are my gift to my Aeris. There should be hundreds, perhaps thousands for the taking. Possess them and the East Gate will allow you to join me in Edyn.” Dawnlight Mountain was one of the few places in the world that served as a nexus between planes. It could exist in Arcadia, Edyn, and perhaps a thousand other multiverses in between.
Deft nodded and asked, “These gifts are for every unbonded Aeris?”
Lilyth smiled, “Of course, and certainly for you and your Furies. Take them and join me. I will not stop you from facing Duncan but marooning him here is the same as death.”
“Perhaps,” answered Deft, “but less satisfying, my lady.”
Lilyth nodded, “You will gather Aeris from where my Eternal City once stood and meet with Zafir. Your goal will be to possess the builders and escape through the gate at Harmagedon.”
Deft’s eyes narrowed and she asked, “But you will not forbid me to exact my vengeance upon the red mage?”
Lilyth, seemingly happy to share her thoughts, said, “No, I will not. However, you may find more joy in possessing a builder and remaking yourself into whomever you wish.”
“It’s not the same,” snarled Deft. “The curse of rot he gifted upon me will not be cleansed.”
Lilyth raised a delicate eyebrow.
“No, it will not. However I have seen greed for revenge kill just as quickly as the quest for justice. Does it matter, if you can use the builder’s body to hold the rot at bay?”
“And Duncan?” Deft asked, emboldened by Lilyth’s answer. “What price will he pay for the centuries he’s tortured me?”
“Where will he go? He’ll die in Arcadia, eaten and possessed before the end by the nephilim his son unleashed. I cannot think of a more fitting end.” The queen of the Aeris paused, then said, “Do as you will. Zafir has agreed to let our forces pass through in return for his own share of builders to possess. Aid him however you see fit. You go with my banner behind you.”
Deft bowed once. “As you command, my Lady.”
Lilyth’s image vanished as Deft put away the lens. Then she turned to her men and said, “We will go to Olympious and gather the Aeris. From there, Harmagedon and revenge await us.” She vaulted into the sky, followed by ten dark arrow-like forms as they became an echelon, the point orienting itself directly for the last location of the Eternal City.
Soon, thought Deft, the red mage will know what pain really means.
Mythborn sucked me in right away with its intriguing fantasy setting and immediate martial arts action. Within two chapters the martial arts excitement and fantasy intrigue were matched by the hint of sci-fi and mystery that had me pouring over this book as quickly as I could. I am dying to read what happens next!
The promotional copy is entirely correct: This is not a carbon copy fantasy novel, and the characters are complex. I think I read to page three and had to put the book down to digest what had just happened. I’ll grant you that there are dwarves and elves, but they are not clones of anyone elses; they’re organic to this world. And every character is refreshingly complex; every character takes action based on their individual knowledge, motiviations and predjudices. The plot emerges from the actions & motivations of the characters and the situation, not the other way around. The characters are also sympathetic; I care about what happens to them. Some of them I don’t like, but I sympathize with them, and I care about what happens next.
UPDATE: I feel I should update my review. As I finished this review, I was reading several other books concurrently; I found I kept comparing the other authors characterization to Mr. Lakshman’s, and the other authors were suffering by comparison. I wound up abandoning one of the novels halfway through because it just didn’t measure up. I finished the other novel (by a well known author who has a dozen or so publications under his name), but I kept asking myself why the characters in that novel weren’t as finely detailed as Mythborn. I’m not sure how to explain the problem but the characters in the _other_ novel did what they did because the plot demanded it. In Mythborn, the characters do what they are motivated to do, and the plot emerges from the conflicts in their perceptions and agendas. Mythborn was by far the more satisfying read.