…well, to be precise, it’s an e-book and it’s going to be a segment of my second novel. But under the circumstances with everybody being essentially trapped at home for the next month or more, I figured it might be a good idea to publish Perdition: A Tale of Ardenia in sections as e-books so as to give folks an entertainment option once you’ve run out of things to watch on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
The first section is available for pre-order now, and it’ll be available for download to Kindle on April 13, the Monday after Easter. It’s just more than 200 pages, and it sells for just $2.99.
The plan is to publish Perdition in four sections every three weeks or so, and then, sometime this summer, publish the whole thing as an e-book, a paperback and an audiobook. Which means that if you’re looking for an entertainment project for the next couple of months, I can offer one to you.
First, you’re welcome to start with Animus, the first book in the Tales of Ardenia series. It’s available for Kindle download here – you can also get it in paperback, and any day now we expect Amazon to approve the audiobook version for sale (that’s a whole different post, as it’s been more than a month waiting on approval). By the time you’ve finished Animus, Perdition, Part One ought to be ready for download. And by the time you’re done with that Perdition, Part Two should be out, and then Part Three and Part Four in quick succession.
And yes, the image at the top of the cover of Perdition. David Caruso, of Agent C Advertising in New Orleans, knocked that one straight out of the park. David is the same guy who did the cover of Animus last fall; I’m a huge fan of his graphic design work.
So what are you getting yourself into if you start reading this series? Well, Animus is the introduction of a story about two countries which have lived side-by-side in mortal hatred of each other for centuries. Ardenia, the larger country to the north, is an early Industrial-age Western democracy; in Ardenia they’re in the process of invention which characterized the late 19th century and early 20th century in America and Europe, though not necessarily in the same order things happened in our experience.
Their southern neighbors the Udar are…less civilized. The Udar are a depraved, warlike people with customs and culture the Ardenians rightly regard as savage – Udar men are hunters and warriors and little else, leaving their women to handle all the other occupations, and the Udar don’t believe in representative government, private property or even the nuclear family. They exist mostly as a collection of mobile warrior villages, owing complete fealty to an absolute ruler who isn’t just the king but the high priest of their religion.
And for hundreds of years the Udar have raided into Ardenia, and for hundreds of years the Ardenians have held them off after taking losses. The Ardenians being general peaceful and industrious people, they’ve largely been content to play defense against their savage neighbors.
But as Animus opens, the Udar are coming across the border again, pillaging settlements and carting off Ardenian captives to be enslaved. One such raid sets in motion a rescue attempt which is the main story of the novel, but it’s only a small part of a massive invasion the villains have planned.
In Perdition, we see the full scope of the conflict – and how poorly prepared the Ardenians are for what’s to come.
There’s a lot of politics in it, some of which relates a little to current events, there’s espionage, there’s some fun experimentation with Industrial Age technology and the interplay between innovation and government, there’s a little romance, a good bit of military strategy and even some humor. There’s a reason 20 of the 22 Amazon reviews of Animus were 5-star reviews, and Perdition is a bigger, better book than Animus (though you should buy both books and immerse yourself in the whole story, because what else have you got to do amid a Stay At Home order?).