I’ve been dropping it onto Amazon in segments all spring long, but this week the whole enchilada of Perdition, my second book, is now available to be eaten. The complete e-book is available now.
The paperback version of the book will be available on Friday.
Frequent readers of The Hayride have heard the elevator pitch about Perdition, and its predecessor Animus, before, but for the rest of you, here it is: Picture a continent in a world which is an awful lot like Earth but with a different map, and on this continent are two very different societies who really don’t get along.
The south side of the continent is occupied by the Udar, who present as primitive savages — but they’re more sophisticated than they first appear, much like a lot of societies in the real world not derived from the Greco-Roman/Judeo-Christian civilizational tree.
But while the Udar are squalid and backward and perverse and not particularly independent thinkers, the one thing they have going for them is their entire religion and social structure is built for violent conflict with their neighbors the Ardenians. And while they’re at a major technological disadvantage, they make up for that in sheer fanaticism and bloodlust.
The Ardenians, on the other hand, are a whole lot like a Gilded Age United States or Great Britain. Their side of the continent is vast, full of natural resources and well set up for commercial development with huge river valleys. As such, the Ardenians have developed a technological society with Industrial Age conveniences. They’ve got tractors on their farms, they have a relatively decent rail network, there are big cities, and they’ve developed a state religion which is similar in many respects to Christianity. Throughout history the Ardenians really only fought the Udar when they had to; they’ve always played defense against enemy raiders, pirates and so forth.
But a generation before the Tales of Ardenia series begins, there was a major war in which the Ardenians soundly defeated the Udar, and as a result they conquered a large swath of territory that had been something of a no-man’s-land. Over the 25 years that followed, the Ardenians settled that territory, built farms and ranches and a few towns, and established a series of forts along the area representing the new border.
The Ardenians, after having so severely thrashed the Udar and having been so far ahead technologically, decided the threat from the Udar was pretty much at an end. It was time for, in words from a different universe, a holiday from history. Ardenia decided on a peace dividend. A new political party, the Peace Party, took office with promises to invest the proceeds of the country’s newfound security in societal advances. But 10 years on, those promises are empty, and the Ardenians aren’t all that secure. Worse, a series of bad public policy decisions and an increasingly corrupt societal elite have left Ardenia a bit hollow — economically, culturally, and militarily.
It’s thus only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose and the Udar come screaming across the border with everything they have, leaving the good guys very unprepared for the war which follows. But the Ardenians rise to the occasion, and some tremendous heroes emerge to lead the fight to save civilization.
Animus, the first book in the Tales of Ardenia series, is really a rescue story arising from the Udar executing a diabolical plan to inflict a crushing blow on the good guys at the outset of the war. Perdition, the second novel, is a far larger tale — it covers the first stages of that war, from the first battles as the bad guys advance on and begin sacking towns and cities to the political implications in the Ardenian capital and the fast ramping-up of the Ardenian military effort. It also traces the lives of several heroic Ardenians who lead the fight for survival, and, they hope, ultimate victory.
I’m pretty proud of these things, frankly. It’s been a lot of fun writing them, I get to throw in a good bit of social commentary for free in them, and I get to tell a story the way I want it told — which, frankly, doesn’t seem to happen much watching TV and movies these days. I’m guessing you folks would agree, so Animus and Perdition might be for you.