The Zaar Chronicles

The Zaar Chronicles is a fantasy series set in a world named Kelinos. The first book follows two characters in very different locations and life circumstances, mired in their separate plots that seem to be entirely disconnected from one another until each face a moment entirely out of their normal realm of expectations.

The “back of the book” blurb:

In the desert mining city of Easthome, might equals right and power resides with whichever union won the latest territory war. For Zaar, born with a twisted spine and magical sensitivity he does not understand, the daily trials of surviving life in Easthome are battles he has no chance of winning; escape is the best he can hope for.

A chance encounter with an object of great power—and danger—could be the answer he needs to turn the odds in his favor. Zaar will discover that having something of value may not be an asset as he imagined, but only a liability that turns him into a target for others to exploit.

Half-a-world away, a Guardian of Haldaria known as Nehan is on the trail of a conspiracy that not only threatens the stability of the nation she is sworn to protect, but the very nature of life for the people of Kelinos, friend and foe alike. Acting without the approval of her superiors or the queen, Nehan is searching for who—or what—is behind the conspiracy, until it finds her first.

Binding it all together is the magical, unseen layer of existence called the Fabric. Some can affect it but not feel it; others can feel it, but not affect it. Those in control know that true power is not based in the magic, but in how they use their power to bend others to their will. 

At opposite ends of both the world and social hierarchy, Zaar and Nehan are linked by a common dilemma and must deal with power they do not fully comprehend, one from within and one from without, before those powers become too great to be stopped.

If that sounds appealing, a free preview ebook of the introductory chapters for both Zaar and Nehan is available below!

Zaar

The primary protagonist is Zaar, a young man who lives in an isolated desert city called Easthome, a mining colony that only exists because of a special resource found in large amounts in the rocky, barren cliffs and an underground water source that keeps the city viable. Zaar is without physical strength, any money to his name, or any family around that cares about him, but he appears to have inherited the magical ability known as the Feel, the ability to sense the world’s magic but not actually influence it himself. Stuck in a life of destitution, Zaar works a menial job on the mining sites while he scrapes together what resources he has to try and elevate his life somehow.

Nehan

Across the great ocean to the west is Nehan. A magic user of considerable skill, Nehan has the Grasp, the ability to use magic to affect the world around her, but not sense it. She works as a Guardian, an elite order of trained fighters, diplomats, and spies that serve the nation of Haldaria, a beautiful land of fertile hills, snow-capped mountains, and civilized societies capable of their own style of sophisticated war and violence. Nehan protects her nation with power both magical and political, but has just uncovered evidence of a conspiracy she alone will be powerless to stop.

The Fabric

The magical layer of existence that underlies Kelinos is known as the Fabric. Those who can sense it are known as Feelers. Those who can affect it are known as Graspers. Those who can dampen it are known as Binders. And, those who can pull magic from the Fabric and imbue it into objects are known as Weavers. While the common understanding of these labels appear distinct and neatly sorted, those with deep knowledge—academic or primal—know that the Fabric is not obligated to conform to our understanding of it, and like any art or science, the next discovery or breakthrough is only as far away as the next generation who asks a new set of questions.

Beyond the book

I plan to release each volume of the series as completed, full-length novels with audiobook versions available in parallel. Along with the main releases, I plan to include bonus short stories, interlude chapters that explore characters or plot points not in the main books, and graphic novel chapters that take a visual approach to the story to fill the gaps between major releases.

As a part of the writing process, I enlisted the help of an artist (who goes by @thenippaah) to create concept art and character designs, and I hope she will be able to continue as the graphic novel art director as well.

A note on the writing process

The entire series of the Zaar Chronicles is planned and has a definitive ending already outlined. The first book is completely planned and outlined, and the I am currently working through the manuscript and into the second act! It’s going to be a substantial book, I hope to deliver it at around 250,000 words (for comparison, each of the first Mistborn trilogy books are around that).

In an effort to maximize the time and resources I have available as a enduring day-jobber, the Zaar Chronicles follows a writing process I have modeled after mix of lean design thinking and agile software development. In the era of direct-to-consumer publishing and all the advantages that modern technology offers, I wanted to try and write this book in iterative loops of plan, write, edit, revise, edit a chapter at a time.

Before starting Zaar’s first book, I had already written one book the traditional “write the entire draft at once, go back and edit it later” way and found it to have just as many problems as old-fashioned software development processes do; bad, load-bearing bugs get entrenched, you are doing more whole-cloth refactors rather than iterative edits, mistakes in structure and story are ignored or missed until the entire thing is finished and the flaws become systemic.

I figured this book was a chance to try and modify the process to work with my time, energy, and work style. Many have disagreed with the process, but I will judge the process by the final result.

I plan to write about the process soon, if only to find other folks who believe there has to be a more efficient way to produce quality fiction rather than just the old model waterfall story development.

Get the preview chapters!

Zaar’s story will not disappoint. I am putting maximum effort into the story quality of this book and I plan to deliver something that has all the qualities you would expect from a mainstream, published author.

If you want to read a preview and be informed of the book’s final release and availability, sign up for email updates and you will receive a download link to a few early-access chapters, as well as the bonus gifts that will be coming once the book is ready for publication.