[I don’t know any authors who enjoy writing their book descriptions; if there’s anything that feels like the opposite of telling a novel-length story, it’s trying to entice people to read the thing using only a few hundred words and, if possible, no spoilders. But after a few tries, I have something I rather like, and I wanted to share it with you. You can pre-order the new book, “I HATE Your Prophecy“, by using this handy link.]
The Dark Lord Alice would be much happier if she’d gone mad.
It’s not that lunacy is pleasant for someone who enjoys control, but it’s not exactly unprecedented among sorcerers of a certain puissance. There are so many ways it can happen: attempt a spell more complex than you can handle; summon something whose Will turns out to be far greater than your own; learn certain kinds of knowledge which most humans were not meant to know and find out, too late, that you don’t sufficient understanding of the Cosmos to keep your mind from snapping, and you reached too far, too fast…
None of these are exactly enjoyable; but at least there’s a certain wild joy in going off your damn rocker and spending your nights howling imprecations at the Moon.
Unfortunately for Alice, that’s not her life. As far as she can tell, she’s still a rational being—as rational as any Human, at any rate—but the damn World has clearly, unabashedly gone completely damn bonkers.
Based on everything she can see and scry and learn, based on the tale of every Bard who passes through and every delegation of peasants seeking assistance, there can be little doubt that insanity has spread, like far-flung ash from a particularly large and angry volcano, all throughout civilized lands.
(That’s assuming that any of them were particularly civilized to begin with…but at least, in the past, they weren’t actively destroying each other, and themselves, as if they were out to win a prize for Best Self-Immolation Of The Year.)
It gets worse, of course.
All this would be alarming to even the most aloof of beings, even if they left her out of it. But the White Wizards were doing just the opposite. As experts in discovering reasons to be terrified—sorry, we meant, as experts in identifying sheer evil—they’d decided Alice was one of the great enemies of Humankind. And now they’re sending a human puppy mill of Chosen Ones to slay her.
Something’s got to give. Alice doesn’t know what it is, but even if she survives all of her adolescent attackers (each one convinced that it’s their Destiny to destroy the Dark Lord)—there’s not a lot any individual being can do if everything else is swept up in a tidal wave of Madness. No Sorcerer, no ten Sorcerers, could survive the onslaught of a planet gone nuts. So Alice has to do something about it.
While not getting killed.
And despite being seen as a nemesis of Mankind.
…which isn’t exactly untrue…
And as we enter the tale of the Dark Lord.
Things are about to get weird, dark, sorcerous, and very complicated, and all we have is a sense of humor, a strange plot, and unlikely assortment of oddly-recruited Chosen Ones…
So now, Alice, with the aid of a handful of former Chosen Ones (oh, it started out as quite a lot of former Chosen Ones, but most of them didn’t survive Alice’s testing process. No-one ever said that The Dark Lord was nice)—
…Alice and a few of her onetime would-be assassins need to figure out what the Hell to do when all the other sentients on their planet seem bound and determined to transform the place into one giant cinder.
As far as Alice can see, there’s only one thing they can do:
The White Wizards are fighting hard to save Humankind by destroying it. This makes perfect sense, if you’re certain that Humans are so flawed and broken that there’s no way to save them.
The good news is, The Dark Lord has a clever plan…
… and the bad news is, that’s totally a lie.
The Dark Lord has been a solitary creature all her life; but she knows that she doesn’t have an answer. So she’s decided to train some of her ex-murderers in the Arts of Magic, and hopefully, between the four of them, they’ll come up with something.
Each of them was Prophesied as the one who’d wipe out the Dark Lord. The Prophecy lied. And if Destiny doesn’t control their lives, then they do. They have the chance to save themselves, and maybe some of the World, as well.
Granted, it seems a whole lot more likely that they’ll just be char-broiled when the mobs finally come to tear down the Dark Keep.
But we’ll see. If Destiny’s not running the show, then anything could happen….
My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities, put on events, and make stories come into being. Go ahead, pre-order “I HATE Your Prophecy“. It may make you into a bad person, but I can live with that.