The Forest Kingdom of Drisnia is a highly marketable adult epic fantasy series, which chronicles the inter-generational saga of a royal family and its closest intimates.
A pervasively visceral tale, the novel is set in a hypothetical alternative history which introduces a large ensemble cast of characters, who, through their navigation of a series of internal and external conflicts evolve into heroic archetypes.
Highlighted by tragic losses and uneasy alliances, historically accurate incidences of martial arts in the western tradition move the novel foward to it's climaxes. Written in a style laced with alliterative prose and psychological nuance, it is designed to be reminiscent of such classics as Virgil’s Aeneid, and is strongly influenced by the poetry of W.B. Yeats.
"The Spell of Forgetting”, is the intial installment of the series, and is written in a style laced with alliterative prose and psychological nuance, that informs the timbre to in similarity to such genre classics as Mallory’s L’Morte D’Arthur and Tolkien’s Ring Trilogy. In this introduction, the primary journey belongs to that of the character of the Prince, in tandem with his intended bride-to-be; the Princess, who functions in the “fish out-of-water” observer role…although her actions foreshadow the importance that her character will play in future events and later outings of the series.
With their Kingdom beset by an amorphous being referred to only as “The Effluvium”, a form of amnesia is imparted to all those who come into peripheral contact with it. Symbolically representative of the denial psychology of the main character, it spurs the story into action by the destruction it causes.
Fixated on unresolved issues of his past; the Prince orders his guardsmen to violate the border of the nation to the immediate west - the Land of Doren, where the application of the magick or, “Alteration”, is commonplace, under the assumption that the Effluvium was created therein. Concurrently, the Prince holds a festering hatred for the leader of that nation…a “Wizard”, who he believes is responsible for the death of his mother.
With that premise, the ensemble moves through a series of harrowing adventures, historically accurate incidences of martial arts in the western tradition, tragic losses, uneasy alliances, and eventually come to the capitol of their ascribed enemy/ There the Prince finds that his assumedly deceased mother is actually alive and well, and bigamously married to the "evil" Wizard. Set on “rescuing” his errant mother and adopted step-sister, the ensemble confronts not only the master Alterer, but his son; the Prince’s sociopathilogical half-brother, as well as a captive mythic creature of terrifying proportions and destructive capabilities known as the Gémerka-Telazihal.
Based on the author’s strict adherence to a limited Nostratic theory of languages, and the mytho-folkloric Euhemeristic philosophy of history, The Spell of Forgetting is told in a restricted third person omniscient style of narration, and is presented as being ostensibly written by an association of scribes who have been employed to encapsulate the events therein in order to preserve their innate historicity for posterity.
Tangential asides fill the text, and the large ensemble offers the reader a window into a fascinating and complex reality populated by a dynamic assortment of personality types, but, in the end, it is, simply put; a human tale a young couple caught in a landslide of trials and hardships, as well as a web of deceptions.
Replete with medieval style illuminated manuscript section dividers and maps, the narrative portion of the novel is engendered by culture specific motifs which aid in the acute suspension of disbelief, and visually support the fictional reality presented within its pages.
The first companion novella in the Drisnia series: "The Song of Umeztad", is a narrative tale set after the conlusion of "The Spell of Forgetting", and chronicles the further exploits of the Umeztad character - a featured player in that manuscript. Equatable to "Gawain & The Green Knight's" relationship to the Arthurian tale, "Umeztad" is a romantic and poetic work mired in heroic iconography...setting the young protagonist to confront his inner demons in a foreign woodland inhabited only by a stoic forester, his lone prisoner: an alluring young woman...and a mysterious creature she lives in fear of.
Evolving from an appendix to a “stand-alone”, the manuscript is the first of six smaller works designed to accompany the corresponding number of full-length books of the series. Ripe with poetry, romance and mythological archetypes, the forty-seven-thousand word lyrical tale is bound together by the exploits and internal spiritual journey of a conflicted young man...one of the Prince and Princess of Drisnia’s most loyal followers; the youthful royal guardsman named Umeztad.
Stripped of the ensemble cast of the first novel, the novella maintains the same hypothetical alternative history, culture and timbre of the series, yet focuses on a singular personality who, through his navigation of a series of external conflicts is tested and eventually overcomes adversity and evolves into a true heroic archetype.
The tale begins with the protagonist travelling alone in a neighboring, yet alien, nation in search of his beloved’s hand in matrimony. Matters become complicated when he chooses to rest in a grove along the way, and is summarily informed by the woodsman whose task it is to insure the sanctity of the holy place, that his life is now forfeit in penalty of his trespass of the sanctified ground. Claiming his innocence due to his foreign origin, the woodsman allows Umeztad to recompense his infraction by performing a task rather than face death- that of slaying a “wily” creature that resides in the forest.
In the wood he meets a fellow captive named Maisan; a woman with whom he swiftly falls into a romantic relationship with. She encourages him to forgo his task and remain with her as a pair, yet his heart beckons him to complete his original journey, and thus he enters the warren of a dreadful creature that Maisan has pointed out to him and has begged him to avoid.
Severely injured, Umeztad interacts with a shadow of the creature, who appears to him as a young boy and guides him through the most harrowing incident of his childhood...the moment in which he became an orphan. In a manifestation of his own “inner child journey” the protagonist comes to grips with his own haunted psyche.
In the second "Drisnia" novel; “The Dowry Voyage”, the focus shifts from the heroic journey of the Prince and Umeztad to that of the Princess; who gains a mentor and takes a broad step on the road from fish-out-of-water passive heroine to a mature woman. Set at sea, it serves mainly as a "naval journey" tale and is strongly influenced by classics in that genre such as the works of E.M. Forester. As in most archetypal mythos, her mentor pre-deceases prior to the end of the novel, yet his influence guides her through the rest of her journey.
"The Dowry Voyage" follows immediately in the chronology of events within the series, and in this installment the primary heroic journey belongs to that of the character of the Princess. At the manuscript’s inception she is en route to her home country by sea in order to accept dowry gifts. Along with her consort and a detachment of guards, she quickly familiarizes herself with the master of her soon to adopted nations flagship; a near legendary commander named Cututhon.
Introduced as a mentor character within the Princess’ overall character arc, the shipmaster’s vivid reminiscences give form to opening chapters of the novel. Set almost entirely at sea, the novel details naval combat, ship jargon, and fills the context of the narrative with an acute suspension of disbelief.
From the back-story of a recently won victory at sea and foreshadowing of tales regarding a pirate of dreaded reputation, the vessel is confronted by a storm front of unimaginable proportions which batters the ship mercilessly. On top of this, just as they appear to have survived the harrowing traverse through the heart of the torrent, they are beset by a sizable opponent that damages them to the point that they must make port in order to effect repairs and continue onward.
Beached in the shoals of the mysterious Isle of Kipxhan; a former imperial possession, the crew and the main characters receive aid from Lethidna: the “Queen” of the indigenous tribes of the island, who is incidentally the grand-daughter of the warrior Queen Maz-Meghur; who all but single-handedly brought an end to colonial occupation of the isle.
Once underway, the ship comes under attack yet again, and is commandeered to the small island of Khamdinium; where the pirate overlord Tarussam is known to hold court. Discovering that he has stumbled onto the prize of captive royalty, the dreaded scourge of the sea decides that the remaining crew members of the Yuiquin be either slain or sold into chattel bondage for fodder in the gladiatorial arenas of the far distant Aerkasian Empire.
The Princess’ friend and mentor; Cututhon is slain by Tarussam, and the Princess faces the knave in single combat and is victorious. Afterward, the crew narrowly escapes and takes to sail yet again, albeit with a veritable fleet in pursuit.
In a race against time, the fleeing flagship must make it to the protection of her home nation’s territorial waters and naval forces before being overtaken by the dozens of ships trailing them. With the shores of a peripheral island in sight, but still too distant to assure security, the Princess and her comrades are once more aided by her new ally Lethidna.
The second companion novella in the Drisnia series: "The Polychronicon of the Eastern and Western Lands"- is an illustrated traveler's guide, or compendium, of the world that appears in the six narrative outings. The Polychronicon features a wide range of historical and sociological commentary, as well as maps, charts and other artwork.
Evolving over time from a mere back-matter appendix to “stand-alone” status, the manuscript of “The Polychronicon of the Eastern & Western Lands” is the second of six smaller accompanying works that are designed to be paired to the corresponding full-length installments of the “Forest Kingdom of Drisnia” series.
Set in sequence to follow the second novel: “The Dowry Voyage”; this illustrated companion is meant to appeal to an evolving fan-base that is interested not only in the narrative installments of the series, but also in the innumerable and hence unspoken details of the fictional reality that populates the back-drop of this epic fantasy’s alternative history.
Written and meticulously Illustrated by the author: Ira Aron Rosenblum, the Polychronicon is a presumed to be a scholarly travelogue that attempts to convey relevant information regarding the folkways of various peoples and their respective nations in a style that might be compared to a medieval-esqe Fodors or Rough Guide.
Told in a restricted third person omniscient style of narration, the text has been ostensibly executed by an association of scribes who have been employed for the purpose of its creation, and its breadth is illustrated with over a hundred color and black and white artworks. Created with traditional tools, as well as with computer graphic design programs, these diagrams, drawings and paintings attempt to capture the mood and sensibility of the preceding and forthcoming narrative manuscripts.
Split into two parts: a section of comparative “ethnography”, and another that focuses on each individual region referred to in the novels, the reader will become quickly familiar with the fauna, customs, dress, history, and languages of peoples and places that have in some cases have been only briefly alluded to at earlier points.
Maps chart the evolution of cultures and Kingdoms, placing the alternative history in its full context, and devotees of other science-fiction and fantasy outings that have presented similar fictional histories, such as, the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, as well as the “Star Trek” universe, are perceived to be a strong marketing block for this books potential readership in publication.
The third book in the Drisnia series: “The Lost Books” returns to the limited ensemble cast and is set shortly after the Prince and Princess’ marriage. Three intertwined heroic tales tell of the passage of the Princess, Prince and the Aldapian Guardsman Umeztad on separate missions charged by mysterious otherworldly beings to solve an ancient riddle of sacred geometry that will facilitate the alignment of the cosmos in accord with the best interests of both dimensions, and to likewise prepare for a forthcoming upheaval.
While the first three books in the series are more or less sequential, and closely so, the storyline of the fourth installment; “The Anointed” begins some seventeen years after the conclusion of the prior book.Familiar characters return, more seasoned and advanced in their careers and social setting. The focus shifts to that of the children of the main characters, in particular, the two children of the Prince and Princess…now King and Queen, the mature step-sister of the King nee Prince (Yentak) and the illegitimate son of Umeztad among others. With disaster at the gates, these characters rise to the occasion, and begin to fulfill their destinies as the leaders of a new generation.
Book five: “The Tagmazi Conundrum” explores the fragile peace that has taken root in the aftermath of the foiled three-front assault of the Gioruzhak partisans of Tagmazia, hauntingly reminiscent of the three individual tales of the third book in the series. Some months have since passed, and the lull in the conflict is in a state of tense attrition due mainly to the massing of forces on both sides and the onset of a bitter winter. Perhaps the most “talky” novel of the series, this installment contains little actual combat, and is more politically oriented with few overt incidences of the occult.
In the final outing of the series, “The Unified Lands”, the groundwork lain in the previous book bares fruit, and a series of both military and mystically oriented conflicts commence, drawing the main characters of the first three installments and their offspring into a web of variegated, often contradictory desires, motivations and principals of individual characters, which in turn leads in the end to a total restructuring of the world in which they live in and rule over.
In addition to the central manuscripts, there are six novella sized companions that may be issued separately or as back-matter appendixes.
The first companion: "The Song of Umeztad" is a narrative text sequentially set immediatedly after the conlusion of "The Spell of Forgetting" and chronicles the internal dilemma of a featured player in that manuscript. Related to the rest of the series in similar standing to Gawain & The Green Knight's relationship within the Arthurian family it is a romantic and poetic work mired in heroic iconography, as the young protagonist confronts his inner demons in a foreign woodland inhabited by a stoic forester, his lone prisoner: an alluring young woman, and a mysterious creature she lives in fear of.
The second companion: "The Polychronicon of the Eastern and Western Lands" is an illustrated compendium of the world that appears in the narrative and features a wide range of commentary regarding the minutae of the societies presented in the six novels, as well as maps, charts and other artwork.
The third companion: "The Ueauhium" is a lengthy epic-poem suggested and referred to in dialogue throughout the series. Set in far antiquity, the evocative verses capture a long removed age of heroes, revered for their valor and ideals.
Companion Book Four: is a tangential narrative entitled "Tales of the Gioruzhak Wars" and will feature previously unheard of, or mentioned characters caught in the bloody circumstances of the fourth book in the series.
The fifth companion is a parrallel to the "Polychronicon" in that it will present other "archival" material, but in this case mainly ancient documents. The collection features a Sistrilian religious ode known as the Laghkon and is titled "The Laghkon & Other Antiquities.
The final companion is pure cream for the most ardent readers and completists. "A Maisatic Lexicon and Primer" will lead the most dedicated through a dialectical disection of the languages and dialects found in the reality of the world of the Forest Kingdom and it's neighbors.