The Reaping (The Pious Insurrection, #1)by
Date Published: July 1, 2018
Publisher: Lulu Publishing
A grim, sword & sorcery tale with monsters, magic, religion, and war.
This is how the world ends:
The innocent kill. Those killers lead. That is the nature of war, which ravages the province of Evigönda.
For a breath, there is peace, but the gods' demands pull at thestrings. Amos is a mystic who guards Bo, a seer who sacrificed herphysical sight to see spirits. Together, they must use her judgment toharvest souls for the Reaping, a sacred mission and necessary evil tomaintain the safety of their homeland.
Every move they make throws the world into further chaos, and when a scarred veteran makes it his mission to stop the Reaping so he can save his own struggling nation, the body count rises.
Shady allies and passionate enemies challenge the morals of piety and righteousness in this gripping fantasy tale.
Unlike fantasy epics that bring all new races such as orcs, elves, and dwarves in the style of Tolkien, or Paolini's Inheritance Cycle, The Reaping is dark fantasy that brings as much diversity from its all-human cast. From the Ashborn--the technologically-savvy steampunk mountain rangers of Borensati--to the Templars, disciplined, systematic warrior women who harvest the powers of the Sun and the earth to turn their weapons into medieval lightsabers, the cast of The Reaping pulls readers into a warbound, thought-provoking fantasy adventure.
“Don’t open your eyes,” Harken coughed. “Play dead. Lie there. Please.”
Lancaster couldn’t obey. He opened his eyes and stared as Harken struggled to his feet. He barely recognized his brother: blood poured from his shoulder, where a large bolt had found its mark. A blow Harken had taken to the face left him with a shattered cheek, and blood matted his hair. Stumbling, Harken sank to his knees next to Lancaster.
Lancaster tried to hide, but his own injuries restricted him. His left arm was bent in a way it shouldn’t be. His shattered knee throbbed, and blood trickled from his numb right wrist. He couldn’t move at all, especially when Harken heaved the corpse of their fallen fellow Nazarian onto him.
Footfalls approached, and as shadows flickered, Harken reached for his broken lance. He propped himself up on it and peered into the faces of the approaching figures.
“Commander, another survivor. This one has enough strength to stand,” a Seladorian woman announced, sword drawn. She pointed her blade at Harken’s throat.
Harken didn’t budge.
Another woman approached. Blood leaked down into Lancaster’s eyes, but he could see her legs. Padded black cloth covered her lower body—a far cry from the heavy metal armor most Seladorian warriors wore.
“You…” Harken started. “You’re not with the Templars. You must be the Hand.”
“That is correct, young man. While the Templars meet danger where danger presents itself, the Sisters of the Hand strike danger where it is vulnerable, and I—the Hand of the Goddess—have found the weakest link in Nazarelle’s armor.” Her voice was honeyed, not the tone one would expect from a vicious killer.
Harken coughed, blood seeping from his mouth. “Ambush from the mountains… smart.”
“If you knew anything of battlefield tactics, you would have seen this coming,” the Hand retorted.
Harken shook his head. “I’m just a soldier with a team of trainees. We weren’t meant for this. We shouldn’t die like this.”
“So it is mercy you want?” The Hand circled Harken for a moment, prodding the body that covered Lancaster with her foot.
Lancaster held his breath, eyes squeezed shut as his heart raced.
“I never asked for this. We’re just conscripts,” Harken pleaded.
“And yet… this is a battle your king chose. Your army attacked ours, and because of this, two thousand of my sisters have fallen in the past centenox. I would spare you no mercy, nor would I spare you any pity, because they all would still live”—the Hand grabbed Harken by his throat—“if not for the greed of your king.”
Harken dropped the lance as he pulled against her tight grip, but his wounds were too great. He didn’t have the strength to break free.
Eyes still closed, Lancaster listened to his brother die. As his body hit the ground with a loud thud, the door opened.
About the Author
Dexter Morgenstern is a Southern-born Seattle author and model. Homeschooled after a diagnosis of mild Asperger's, he learned to play to his strengths as an energetic, creative artist. He began writing at the age of fifteen, and published his first novel two years later. Outside of art, Dexter spends his time gaming, studying, and socializing with other ambitious minds. As an army brat, he attained a pragmatic sense of discipline that he uses to balance his artistic endeavors with his academic ones. Dexter's ultimate goal is to contribute to the subjugation of humanity by artificial intelligence.