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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, May 8, 2017

war, death, and love - Drakon series by C.A. Caskabel

"This is a haunting, captivating book that immerses you in its lyricism only to drown you in its barbarism a couple of pages later. It exerts a brute force onto your mind and soul and claims a piece of 'you' by digging deep into the essence of human nature. [...] Lastly, it is of course a book about love: earthly love; first love; risky love that makes no sense; love that is desperate; love that does not conquer all; love that lives on against all odds. I couldn't stop reading it. Highly recommended! " - Natasa Stag, Goodreads

Description:

“The Sieve” is Book I of the epic fantasy novel Drakon. 

“I am here to redeem the lives of my wife and daughter. I’ve brought the offering.” 

Da-Ren, an infidel barbarian, arrives at the Castlemonastery, his only offering a jar of honey. Baagh, the Cross Sorcerer, follows him there under orders of the Emperor, demanding from the monks to transcribe the warrior’s story. 

Book I chronicles Da-Ren’s early years, growing up in a tribe of archer riders and pagan witches, camped north of the Blackvein River. He enters the Sieve, the forty-day initiation trial that determines the fate of every boy and girl. Many of his comrades will fall, the strong will join the warriors, and an elite few will be marked for leadership. Da-Ren learns to endure the elements, to obey the Truths, to keep standing when all hope is lost. He swallows the legends of the OunaMa witches, learns to hate all other tribes, and conquers fear. 

And yet there is one trial that will bring him to his knees. The Goddess’s favorite daughter. “Brown-haired, brown-eyed. Brown was the first color of the day.” The journey begins for the man who will become the First Blade of the Devil. A brutal, poetic, first-person narrative of war, death, and love. Book II 

“Uncarved” is Book II of the epic fantasy novel Drakon. 

“How do the Uncarved die? 
They bleed to death. Always.” Fourteen-winter-old Da-Ren joins the Uncarved, the chosen few destined to lead the Tribe. 
More than forty children train and compete for the next five springs; only one will become Khun and fulfill the Tribe’s destiny. 

Da-Ren’s ambition and strength will keep him alive but can he overcome his most powerful and cunning adversary, the one favored by witches and men? The Goddess and the Ouna-Mas will try to nest in his heart, but is he prepared for the one woman he is brought up to hate? 

As war and hunger strangle the Tribe, the stakes of love, duty, and betrayal are higher than ever. A young man’s first kill. A young man’s first kiss. A coming-of-age tale with non-stop action.

"Very nicely done! This book is very compelling in the way it mixes love/hate, war, politics, different ethnic backgrounds and cultures...all most current meanings and problems in our world today. Great book to immerse yourself in a different world [...]. Very much recommend!!!" - Filip, Goodreads

EXCERPT
Drakon Book II: Uncarved - FROM CHAPTER “STAKE AND LARD”
….
I have a strong preference of stopping this Story here. I did so, the first and the second winter we came upon the events of that night. But Eusebius would always ask me every time that we’d reach that point: “But, what happened to Olian and Alian?”

The monks of the Cross have a craving for such tales of torture and death. They blend well with their delusions of divine salvation of the weak and the innocent. “I’ll tell you, Eusebius. It’s not hard to bring back the images. The sounds…well, that’s much tougher.” But the ink is silent, and we are thankful for it.

The four of Keral’s warriors who had been captured alive were impaled outside of the new Khun’s temporary tent. And so was Olian the Uncarved boy. Their screams, the stink of shit, mixed with the lard slathered on the sharp, long stakes and the blood coming out of their assholes, reminded us for the three days it took them to die that we had a new Khun.

I found Alian looking up at the screaming stakes and the trembling faces of unending pain on the second morning.

“He still doesn’t die,” he said, staring at Olian, who would only mumble, pleading for death with the last of his strength.

“No, you see, they don’t pierce the guts, the pointy wood just passes next to the spine and out the shoulder. Skewered. It will take another couple of days.”

“Damn! Stupid choice,” he said looking straight at his brother’s body faintly twitching on the stake.
“Let’s go, Alian, you don’t have to see and hear this anymore. He was your brother.”
“He still is. One of my brothers. So are you.”

Alian had already turned his back on the identical twin whom he had just called stupid for the last time.

C.A. Caskabel started writing Drakon in 2013 and completed the 350,000-word epic series in 2016. He plans to release the books gradually in 2016 and 2017 while he researches and writes his next series. He also works with a passionate small team that publishes primarily children’s fiction and fantasy fiction.
Prior to 2013, Chris was a serial technology entrepreneur. He has founded and led a number of start-ups in businesses such as digital marketing and renewable energy. He has led creative departments, marketing, and software product organizations in New York, San Francisco, London, and Athens.
He holds a BSc and a BA from Brown University and a PhD in Engineering from Boston University.

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