A young man obeys his father and vaults past the assumptions of his insular society in a bid for control of their people. Years later, his daughter does the same, but this time in an effort to escape her father’s inflexible, dangerous control.
Their choices resonate through the background of the Children of the Desert series and shape the world. Presented here are their stories, along with six other intersecting tales. Rogues and priests, monsters and saviors, all make their own path through a complex world, affecting far more lives than they ever realize.
Time travel, morality, ethics, and culture clashes are on offer, along with notes on this world’s religion, history, linguistics. and horses.
Power corrupts, people lie, rulers come and go. Nothing changes in the long run …
… or does it?
In the Children of the Desert series, the teyanain are a nearly xenophobic tribe that occupy a narrow stretch of land between two major political zones: the Northern Kingdom and the southern Families. The majority of the traffic through that stretch of land, known as the Horn, have no idea that they are being watched by dangerous men with a rigid agenda. The ignorant are allowed a great deal of leeway; those more informed must walk with exacting caution to avoid causing offense.
Throughout the series, the teyanain, and their leader, Lord Evkit, are a constant presence — sometimes overt, usually covert. Lord Evkit’s actual goals are deeply hidden behind layers of manipulation and misdirection, and the home life of his people is almost entirely invisible. Two of the stories in this collection bring the readers inside the world of the teyanain, revealing motivations never fully explained during the Children of the Desert series.
The Northern Church was long the dominant religious and political force in the king’s city of Bright Bay, until they fell prey to the dual trap of greed and a sociopathic southerner intent on gaining revenge for what he saw as his unjust expulsion and disgrace. Many good men were swiftly turned to a much harsher path, setting the kingdom onto a catastrophic journey called the Purge, which killed thousands and nearly started a war between the Northern Kingdom and the southern Families.
The titular story of this collection considers the aftermath of the Purge on the Northern Church, and the good men who weren’t twisted by greed and power. A longer story can be found in the separate side novella Salt City.
Water’s End, a southern city and theoretically neutral zone, became home to many refugees fleeing the Purge. One such refugee was a thief named Lamb, whose expertise keeps him alive and reasonably successful — until he takes on an assignment far more dangerous and complex than he intended, and is noticed by people in power. One of those people is the aforementioned sociopathic southerner, and Lamb is forced to ally himself with people who use him not only as a thief, but as a spy and a con man, in order to gain protection. His work with and for Allonin Aerthraim, another disgraced scion of a southern Family, links this story to events of the last book in the Children of the Desert, Servants of the Sands.
These and other stories interweave and accent events in the existing series and offer hints of what’s to come in the sequel series, Kingdom of Salt. The collection is intended to entice new readers, entertain existing fans, and raise interest in Lies of Stone, the first book in the Kingdom of Salt series.
Advance review copies of Nothing Changes are available now, in epub only. Projected publication date is August 31, 2023. Lies of Stone is due out in January 2024.
Special deals will be available to subscribers of The Irregular Update, a small press/self published book review newsletter that comes out at erratic intervals. A signup form for the Update is available both on this site and on Leona R Wisoker’s web site.
Cover art and new maps coming soon!