Perennials is by far my largest body of work to date. At about a million words in five volumes, it by far overshadows all my other work. Over four years in the writing, I certainly hope its scope and breadth are enjoyable. I did my best to make a believable set of characters in a unique setting. It's not classic fantasy by any means, but rather a world filled with petty Gods, squabbling races, and various technologies that make The Broken Crown an interesting and yet dangerous place to live. Anthea, the main character, also marks a departure from my typical male-lead stories. She's my first female main character, and, while she has several companions, the story is ultimately about her. As you finish this pentalogy, you might notice that there are definite openings for a sequel series, and I will say that it is being considered. I already have notes written up on what I will do if and when there is a sequel, though I have at least two more projects ahead of it. Keep watching though!
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A girl with the druidic magic of her mother and her father's need for light to survive is lost in the comparably barbaric world below her peaceful mountain home. Her father is lost to her and possibly dead when they escape, leaving her in the care of her Ox-Man companion who cannot speak. As she makes her way through the land below, she meets a series of people who an enchantment leads her to. Each has unique abilities and arrive just in time to help her when she needs it most. The people searching for her won't give up easily though. She makes her way from island to island in the vast world of the Broken Crown, and she is engulfed by the differing cultures and the challenges of each new place. Yet her destination is always Aetheline, the city her father meant to escape with her to. Every new city seems to throw barriers between her and Aetheline, and those who hunt her are tireless. Her enemies have need of her for some dark purpose, but it seems certain that they want to exploit her unique nature. Only her companions stand between capture and freedom, but what price will they pay for interference? What role will she and her guardians play in the grand scope of a world in the midst of an irrevocable change? And, how will the many Gods of the various peoples react to all that is happening?
As the Saysuhn of White deepens, Anthea finds herself in Uleaut lands. A young hunter named Tuari tries to teach them their ways, so they might survive in their harsh, frozen land. This becomes the setting for trials and doubts. Each of them questions their purpose even as the Gods give them nudges in the direction they should go. Back in the Broken Crown, Corydon battles with madness and long lost spirits. His general, Illias, begins a campaign of destruction and terror meant to bring the Kerathi to their knees. Iago, the Grand Helion's chief advisor, sits like a spider in a web of spies, trying to broaden the scope of the conflict until it engulfs the entire world. And even the Ox-Men are not still. They labor at restoring Bedros, for he is key in their plans to reshape the world once more, and the cost might be beyond what anyone could imagine. So while the world slowly becomes embroiled in the growing conflict as the Saysuhns change, Anthea battles her personal demons and tries to hold her group together as they search for a way home, but only the magicks of the world and the Gods can accomplish that it seems. Even then, when they return, what state will the world be in, and what can they do to stop things before Corydon's ambitions ruin the world or his enemies do it for him?
Anthea returns to the Broken Crown with her companions, though Bedros must part to fulfill his own destiny. Her return spurs Corydon into new experiments, experiments he hopes will make a living compass to find Anthea with. Illias pushes Corydon's war ever further from the shores of Maethlin, even as Iago and the Elegian Empress Sanura begin to add their contributions to the conflict. With the looming threat of the Elegians joining the Kerathi side of the conflict, Corydon decides to make every citizen of Cenalium into one of his puppets to greater equip his war machine. Iago isn't ready to succumb to the poisons running through his body, which he battles with the help of his former Empress captive. He knows he needs greater power and influence if he is to remain a key player in the game of politics and war that is about. Anthea's group, aided by some surprising allies, tries to raise a force great enough to attack Maethlin, Cenalium, and Corydon at his very home. Rolf's head is filled with plans for great weapons, Makan's powers over the elements he loves grows, Nishan feels the stirrings of a God about to be born, Sagira's words have surprising influences over others, and Tuari is a shadow that moves with them, an observer to all that happens. Anthea feels more alone in their conflict than ever, and turns to the nurturing of the flowers that will guide her until the very end. Will flowers from the different lands of the Broken Crown be enough when her enemies are so insurmountable? When greater tests are given and the group splinters, each going their own ways, can they be joined again? Are the promises of the companions and the actions of the Gods enough to guide them through to the end?
Overshadowing all are the three great powers that pull the strings to this bloody dance: the Gods, the Lost Ones, and the spirit of the world that is embodied in the Ox-Men. A God walks the world in the flesh. The prophesized gather. Creations of dark magic and blood stalk those who would save the world. Those who were hidden are revealed, and the true state of the world is shown. Anthea emerges a changed being, and the whole Broken Crown goes to war behind her and her companions. As the game of tug-of-war for the world's fate enters its final stage, who will win and who will lose, and what will be the cost to the peoples of the Broken Crown?
Anthea must find a way back to the material world if she is to meet with the forces that gather on her behalf. Sagira and Makan have been busy trying to convince the Aynglicans to go to war, and Rolf and Nishan have secured her another army. The Elegians battle to keep the invaders away from their capitol, even as Corydon plans to take another Grancitta, which might give him enough soldiers to finish the war against the united peoples of the Broken Crown. Iago has risen to power, but he looks for a way to strike at Corydon, who remains unassailable in the city of Cenalium, where everything must end. Even Bedros knows he must go there, when he is the Sum of All Lands!
For fans of the series, this 16x20 color map of the Broken Crown is a great companion for the series. See where everything is happening and watch the war as it expands across Anthea's world. Get it now on Cafepress! If you're low on cash, there are always black and white versions available. Get the B&W Map of the Broken Crown here. You can also get a version marked up to show the paths each of the characters took during the series here.