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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 04/2019
  • 9781732136113 1732136114
  • 282 pages
  • $11.95
Ebook Details
  • 04/2019
  • B07P7JMLDS
  • 282 pages
  • $3.99
Erik A. Otto
Author, Illustrator
A Tale of Infidels
Erik A. Otto, author
Matteo’s lands are steeped in theological doctrine. The prophesies speak of red rains and gargoyles and days where up is down and down is up, but only the most devout servants believe. The Truthseeker is an ambitious apprentice, eager to become a learned Sandalier. He unwittingly unearths a deadly secret that undermines his faith. He is cast out and Marked. The Traitor is a precocious princess, sent away as a political pawn to entreaty with their most vile historical enemy. But her heathen ways lead to betrayal, and she is also Marked. The Imbecile is the son of wealthy mining magnate, but also a half-wit. He dishonorably flees his regiment and defies the venerable monks, and is also Marked. The flight of these Infidels leads them to venture into sullied territories. Their voyage of discovery allows them to see what others cannot, to peer under the polished veneer of the theocracy. In so doing, they discover a hidden tapestry that underlies a great threat to their world; a threat of global proportions. The infidels have no choice but to band together, enlisting heathens and criminals to their aide in an attempt to stem the coming tide. Yet even as they engage in the near-impossible task of mustering support, they come to realize that another threat looms. The very ground they stand on is unstable, and it’s delicate construction could soon fail them all.
Reviews
BlueInk Review

A sense of impending doom undergirds the action in A Tale of Infidels, the first installment in Erik A. Otto’s sprawling and ambitious fantasy trilogy series of the same name.

Before introducing the main characters, the author offers an ominous countdown: “87 days until the Day of Ascendancy; 187 days until the Third Internecion,” proclaims the first chapter’s subtitle. “The Day of Ascendancy” is a prophesized cataclysm that will see the known world turn upside down, and the “Third Internecion” is the period of chaos, conflict and upheaval that will follow. Similar subtitles head every subsequent chapter.

The novel’s setting—the vast realm called Matteo’s Lands—includes a wide range of cultures, realms and kingdoms, but all boast shared religious roots. Three main characters (the titular infidels) face distinct challenges as the prophesized events near and an epic conflict looms.

Sebastian, “The Truthseeker,” is an acolyte intent on a path of quiet religious study in the monastic stronghold of the Old Keep; those plans are derailed after the discovery of ancient ruins, a living gargoyle and an archival copy of a religious text revealing disturbing truths about the fate of Matteo’s Lands. Hella, “The Traitor,” is a Pomerian princess who must reassess her own biases when she’s assigned duty as a diplomat to the faraway land of Jawhar, even as she struggles against sexism and cultural bigotry in a foreign setting. Darian, “The Imbecile,” is a recently conscripted soldier training to become a great warrior while seeking to properly understand a condition that gives him special powers to mimic and mirror others.

All of these characters face their own crises as the prophesized Day of Ascendancy approaches. The author juggles their separate stories well, creating a compelling, immersive narrative arc for each. Simultaneously, Otto delivers a vivid world filled with mystery, mysticism and monsters. Its very richness underscores one of novel’s few flaws: no glossary or index to spell out details of the imagined world; readers must glean the all-important sense of context as the action unrolls.

Happily, though, Otto is a strong enough writer to bridge those gaps fairly rapidly. Readers will quickly find themselves on board for the journey of these three-dimensional characters as they barrel toward a genuinely intriguing and exciting cliffhanger that paves a proper way for the next two books.

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 04/2019
  • 9781732136113 1732136114
  • 282 pages
  • $11.95
Ebook Details
  • 04/2019
  • B07P7JMLDS
  • 282 pages
  • $3.99

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