The Gods Within

Map of the Clan Territories

The Gods Within is an epic fantasy series that takes place in the medieval world of the Shahot.

Long ago there were twelve tribes of the Shahot, each ruled by a clan of wizards and witches. Each clan was, in turn, ruled by a king, and among the twelve kings the gods consecrated one as Shahotma, the king of kings. But the seventh tribe, the Benesh'ere, the black tribe, betrayed the true Shahotma to the dark gods of the Nether Plane. They declared their own king a false Shahotma, and during the Great Clan Wars that ensued, four tribes were exterminated.

For their sins the gods struck the magic of the Benesh'ere from them, and they live now in exile, clanless and powerless. The seven Clans that remain are divided into the three Greater Clans and the four Lesser Clans. The Greater Clans have one king that rules them all, while the Lesser Clans are not allowed to crown kings.

To be a clansman or clanswomen, one must exhibit some facility in the powers of magic, even if only a little. And while birthright plays some role in the hierarchy of the Clans, the real hierarchy of the Clans is a hierarchy of power.

Child of the Sword (book 1)

cover art for Child of the Sword

When gods and wizards go to war . . . it's best to just find a good shadow and hide.

Rat is no ordinary thief. A feral, filthy and malnourished child; he haunts the streets of the medieval city Anistigh and survives on what he can steal. When he tries to steal a purse and bungles it, a mob wants to cut off his hand as punishment, so to save himself he slips into a convenient shadow to hide. Rat thinks it's just another warm and comfortable shadow cast by the sun, but a clan wizard sees him create the shadow with his magic, an instinctive act of which Rat is unaware. Rat's magic is subtle, but potentially quite powerful, so he is adopted into the greatest of the Lesser Clans, adopted into a family, and given the name Morgin.

Morgin quickly grows into manhood and the clan teaches him wizardry and sorcery and swordsmanship. Having survived the streets of Anistigh, Morgin is inclined to avoid conflict, would be content to remain on the sidelines in the ever present clan rivalries. But as a clansman he inherits the enemies of the clan, and his shadowmagic proves to be a powerful weapon. As the ancestral conflict between the Greater and Lesser Clans once again leads to war, not even the clans realize that their petty little war is spawned by the primeval battle between the righteous gods of the Celestial Plane and the fallen gods of the Nether Plane. For it is upon the Mortal Plane, with mortal lives, and mortal pain and suffering and death; it is upon the Mortal Plane that the gods meet and fight their wars.

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The SteelMaster of Indwallin (book 2)

cover art for The SteelMaster of Indwallin

Can one ever rule both the steel within, and the shadows without?

When Morgin's sword goes berserk and wants to butcher everyone at the annual meeting of the Lesser Council, he's barely able to control its rabid bloodlust. But the Lesser Council declares him an outlaw for bringing such a dangerous talisman onto the Mortal Plane. So with a price on his head he goes on the run, a wizard without power always just one step ahead of the next bounty hunter.

Morgin finds himself living two lives. When he goes to sleep at night he dreams of a life twelve hundred years in the past. But it's not like a dream, it's more like another life, for when he goes to sleep in that other life, he awakes again in this one, still a hunted man.

In the far past he's a mercenary Benesh'ere warrior hired out to one of the twelve Legions of Angels fighting in the Great Clan Wars. And there he fights alongside, and against, legendary figures from the far past of the Shahot. He gets to see firsthand the truth of the Wars, and the truth of, or rather the lies behind, the legends that every clansman has heard of since childhood. And the Benesh'ere warrior has his own memories of a peaceful childhood disrupted by the Wars, and centuries spent at the forges shaping the steel for a legendary blade, a blade without flaw, a self-forged blade.

Beware the power of the self-forged blade.

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The Heart of the Sands (book 3)

cover art for The Heart of the Sands

When the steel no longer rules, only then can the shadows within be mastered.

Now a Benesh'ere slave, every whiteface in the tribe hungers for Morgin's death. But he is Harriok's property, and while Harriok remains in a coma, a victim of the venom of the sand cat's sixth claw, the warriors wait and bide their time. As Morgin accompanies them on the March, an affinity for steel is slowly awakening within him, and he truly fears the truths his growing knowledge may reveal..

Rhianne, thinking Morgin is dead, leads a lonely life as a hedge witch in a small village near the Lake of Sorrows. But as she matures, her powers grow far beyond those of a mere village healer. She now has a personal connection to the deadly talismanic sword Morgin brought onto the Mortal Plane, and as she begins to glean its true nature, she fears the fate of all mankind.

As summer approaches and the heat of the sands of the Munjarro grows unbearable, the Benesh'ere are in the midst of their annual migration to the Lake of Sorrows. During the two days it takes to cross the Plains of Quam, their column is repeatedly attacked by companies of Kulls, a game of sport for the halfmen. Morgin fights beside the Benesh'ere to protect the column, and he reluctantly develops empathy for the whitefaces and their way of life.

Morgin knows he must overcome Jerst and Blesset's hatred of him, and he regrets the heated words he threw at them shortly before the battle at Csairne Glen. But his only recourse may be to fight them in individual, mortal combat. And as he tries to find a resolution to that situation, he has no idea that he must again face Salula.

For thrice and thrice must a blade be born.

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Comments (35)

Topic: The Gods Within
1 2 3 > Last
Derek (US)

Go to "home" and look at the first article. They're great and I'm looking forward to the rest of the book as well!

2nd August 2014 10:34am
Robyn (Australia)
Hey. Thought I'd come and look at the sample stuff for book 4 (yes I'm that desperate!) but I must be having a blonde moment - I cant find it :/ I need a fix of something good!
2nd August 2014 10:13am
JL Doty (Tucson)

Right now I'm targeting July or August.


13th May 2014 7:25am
Loved the first 3 and I can't wait for the next one. Any info on when book 4 comes out?
12th May 2014 7:09pm
Nick Moses (Lake Worth, US)
Just finished book 3 last night and loved it! Stayed up till 3am to finish. Cant wait for 4! Great job.
20th December 2013 9:13am
1 2 3 > Last
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