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Book blurbs and covers
Eclipse – The Lost Book of Ascension
What happens if after the winter solstice, the days keep getting shorter?
Until there is an eternal night?
What happens as the darkness grows?
And the creatures of dusk take control of the Mountain?
And the quest for the third Book is the only hope?
The Mountain is in its death throes as the Nazir send their wraiths to finish what the dusk-rats and grale had begun. Soon there will be no daylight to protect the Maelir and Faemir, and with each twilight there are fewer places to hide. Will the Mountain finally collapse under its own instability or will Atreu and Verlinden’s descent find the words of salvation in the Lost Book of Ascension?
Zenith – The First Book of Ascension
Can you see the story breathing?
A sun so powerful it drives you into madness if you look at it
An ascent so vital it determines the fate of the world
A summit so precious it holds the key to the divine
The world of the great Mountain is unstable. Giant pillars erupt from the surface and yawning chasms form unpredictably underfoot. Since the Maelir first stood on its slopes in the distant past, they have sought to still its anger and control its power. Each year, twin brothers are chosen to make a perilous journey to the summit. If they survive they will be witness to Zenith, and the secrets will be revealed to them.
When Atreu and Teyth embark on their Ascent, their Talismans lead them onto conflicting paths that will ultimately set brother against brother. And this time the Ascent itself is in peril as unknown forces that have long craved the power of Zenith will stop at nothing to make it their own even if it means destroying the very thing that sustains all life the Mountain itself.
Equinox – The Second Book of Ascension
The most beautiful city on the great Mountain
The pinnacle of Maelir culture
The home of the Inner Sanctum
The place where secrets hide
The fate of the Mountain hangs in balance at the time of Equinox, and even the Keep can no longer remain untouched. The Maelir are desperate to defend it, the Faemir to demolish it, the windriders to claim it. But unknown to them all, a dark force has already emerged from the chaos to seize power.
As Atreu and Verlinden strive to decipher the power of the Talisman that has defined Atreu’s Ascent, Teyth and Valkyra are locked in a desperate battle that neither of them can win. At a time when darkness and light are in perfect equilibrium, when Maelir and Faemir must find a way to break the deadlock and avoid annihilation, the world’s fate lies in the Book of Ascension.
Dirk Strasser Biographical Note
Dirk Strasser has written over 30 books for major publishers in Australia and is an Active Member of the SFWA. He has won multiple Australian Publisher Association Awards, a Ditmar for Best Professional Achievement, and has been short-listed for the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards a number of times. His short story, “The Doppelgänger Effect”, appeared in the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology, Dreaming Down Under. His acclaimed fantasy series The Books of Ascension – including Zenith and Equinox – was originally published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and by Heyne Verlag in Germany and has been re-published by the Macmillan Momentum imprint, this time including the “lost” third book. His fiction has been translated into a number of languages. His short stories include “The Jesus Particle“ in Cosmos magazine, “Stories of the Sand” in Realms of Fantasy, and “The Vigilant” in Fantasy magazine. His most recent sale was “The Mandelbrot Bet” to the 2014 Tor anthology Carbide Tipped Pens, edited by Ben Bova and Eric Choi. He founded the Aurealis Awards and has co-published and co-edited Aurealis magazine for over 20 years.
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The wind hit him like a wave of raw fear. Before him stood a pale man with shredded clothes flailing wildly behind him. The left side of his face had been clawed away. ‘Help me,’ the man cried in a voice that no human lungs could produce.
As the man reached out for him with knotted fingers, the shrieking filled Atreu’s head and he froze, unable to move even the smallest muscle. He felt himself being pulled back into the cabin, and before he knew it, he was lying on the floorboards and Verlinden had closed and bolted the cabin door again.
‘Did you see him?’ cried Atreu.
‘You’re still trying to tell me Riell was out there?’
‘No, the man with half a face.’
‘I saw nothing, Atreu. There was no one there.’
Atreu started trembling uncontrollably.
Verlinden led him back to the bunk and pulled the blanket over them.
Atreu immediately felt the pain in his head ease. ‘You didn’t see anyone, Verlinden?’
‘Then I am going mad.’
‘You can’t be if you think you are – hold on to that.’
Slowly, Atreu’s tremors subsided. ‘I’m sorry, Verlinden. How could I have endangered you like that?’
‘Don’t concern yourself, Atreu. Let’s just see if we can survive this.’
Atreu fought the painful shriek still keening inside his head. He closed his eyes and felt Verlinden pulling him closer so that her face touched his. He reached up to stroke her other cheek. With a shock he realised it had the pits and troughs of a furrowed field. He screamed and jumped back to see he had been embracing the half-faced man. He scrambled to the bunk on the other side of the cabin and felt someone jump on top of him with a blanket, pinning him to the bunk.
‘Atreu, stay calm. Just stay under the blanket.’ Verlinden’s voice cut through the maddening shriek.
Atreu’s breaths gradually eased. ‘Did you see him?’
‘No, there is no one here but the two of us.’
‘Can I see your face?’
‘Please, Atreu, I don’t want to lose you.’
Atreu tried to shake her off, but couldn’t. ‘I need to see your face.’
‘All right, Atreu. I have a blanket over me as well, so I’ll have to lift it off.
Let’s do this quickly.’
Atreu felt the weight shift from him, and he raised a corner of his blanket.
Verlinden’s eyes were wild and her expression grim, but it was her. As the shriek inside him started to grow again he pulled the blanket back over his head.
‘Verlinden, please keep talking to me. It helps,’ he said, taking comfort from the weight of her body on his.
There was no response.
‘Verlinden, did you hear me?’
Nothing – except she seemed to shift subtly.
‘Please …’ his plea trailed away as a chill shuddered through him.
When Verlinden finally spoke, he lost consciousness before she finished the last word.
‘Atreu, there’s someone on top of me.’
This is still a very difficult series to read. It is, at times, difficult to understand and at other times shows great truths. I read it and find myself wondering if I like it or not, which is a strange way to read a book...at least for me.
I recommend reading these books for yourself. I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds. It is well written and really makes you think for yourself.
This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.