Scions The Scribe Cycle #3 by James Wolanyk Genre: Dark Fantasy Pub Date: 4/9/19
Three years have passed since the devastation of Golyna. Anna, once the maker of immortals, continues to fight the evil she unwillingly created through her rune-carving magic. Secreted away in an isolated mountain monastery, she works as a teacher to young scribes, guiding them toward runes that foster peace rather than endless war. So when the tracker who murdered her brother comes to Anna’s redoubt, begging for his eternal runes to be undone, Anna agrees to grant his wish on one condition—that he aid her in rooting out the remnants of Volna, a genocidal regime bent on destruction. In this brave new world where old foes can become allies, so too can former friends sour into deadly enemies. With the tracker’s help, Anna is propelled into a confrontation with Ramyi, her former apprentice. Grown bitter and disillusioned, Ramyi now wants to lay waste to the world—but not before she completes an apocalyptic ritual that could have dire consequences for all of existence. To stop Ramyi from unleashing chaos, and restore peace to a broken world, Anna must be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo
Schisms The Scribe Cycle #2
Three long years have passed since Anna, First of Tomas, survived the purge in Malijad after being forced to use her scribe sigils to create an army of immortals. Safely ensconced in the shelter of the Nest, a sanctuary woven by one of her young allies, Anna spends her days tutoring the gifted yet traumatized scribe, Ramyi—and coming to terms with her growing attachment to an expatriate soldier in her company. Away from her refuge, war drums continue to beat. Thwarted in her efforts to locate the elusive tracker and bring him to justice, Anna turns to the state of Nahora and its network of spies for help. But Nahoran assistance comes with a price: Anna must agree to weaponize her magic for the all-out military confrontation to come. Dispatched to the front lines with Ramyi in tow, Anna will find her new alliances put to the test, her old tormentors lying in wait, and the fate of a city placed in her hands. To protect the innocent, she must be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. For even in this season of retribution, the gift of healing may be the most powerful weapon of all. Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo
Scribes The Scribe Cycle #1
Pawns in an endless war, scribes are feared and worshipped, valued and exploited, prized and hunted. But there is only one whose powers can determine the fate of the world . . . Born into the ruins of Rzolka’s brutal civil unrest, Anna has never known peace. Here, in her remote village—a wasteland smoldering in the shadows of outlying foreign armies—being imbued with the magic of the scribes has made her future all the more uncertain. Through intricate carvings of the flesh, scribes can grant temporary invulnerability against enemies to those seeking protection. In an embattled world where child scribes are sold and traded to corrupt leaders, Anna is invaluable. Her scars never fade. The immunity she grants lasts forever. Taken to a desert metropolis, Anna is promised a life of reverence, wealth, and fame—in exchange for her gifts. She believes she is helping to restore her homeland, creating gods and kings for an immortal army—until she witnesses the hordes slaughtering without reproach, sacking cities, and threatening everything she holds dear. Now, with the help of an enigmatic assassin, Anna must reclaim the power of her scars—before she becomes the unwitting architect of an apocalyptic war. Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo
James Wolanyk is the author of the Scribe Cycle and a teacher from Boston. He holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts, where his writing has appeared in its quarterly publication and The Electric Pulp. After studying fiction, he pursued educational work in the Czech Republic, Taiwan, and Latvia. Outside of writing, he enjoys history, philosophy, and boxing. His post-apocalyptic novel, Grid, was released in 2015. He currently resides in Riga, Latvia as an English teacher. Website * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads
Anna heard the old steward long before his lantern’s chalky orange bloom appeared. She’d first sensed
his presence from the whine of an oak door farther down the slope, its staccato creaks cutting through
the hush of the predawn drizzle, the twisting wail of mountain winds. She waited in stillness by the open
shutters, watching the fog shift and creep over blue-black rock, studying the ethereal glow as it grew
sharper and nearer. Her legs were still awash in the prickling numbness that accompanied rising from
Four hours since the midnight bell, seven since she’d snuffed out her chamber’s lone candle and sat to
follow her breath.
The razor-mind did not stir, did not blink, did not wander as the steward came to her door and rapped
on the bronze face. Instead, it curiously trailed the seed of a thought blossoming in absolute stillness:
“Knowing One,” the steward croaked in river-tongue, “have you risen from slumber?”
Anna lifted the latch and opened the door. Her steward’s wide-brimmed hat dripped incessantly,
flopping about with the breeze, but could not mask his concern. Every wrinkle and weathered fold on his
face bled a horrid truth. “What’s happened?”
“Nothing so severe, I imagine,” he replied, wringing his hands within twill sleeves. “Brother Konrad has
sent for you.”
“At this hour?”
“Yes,” the steward said. “Precisely now. Yet the reason for this summoning will not pass his lips,
Knowing One. Forgive me for my vague words.”
Nothing so severe. She met the steward’s blue-gray eyes, full of haunting curiosity, then gazed down at
the monastery’s craggy silhouette. Few truly understood the austerity of Anna’s practice, the
importance of cloistering herself for weeks on end. Even fewer knew better than to summon her during
the rituals of purification. She counted Konrad among those few.
As she followed the narrow, stone-lined path that carved across the slope, she took in the foggy sprawl
of the lowlands and the black clouds blotting eastern skies. It was dead now, free of the ravens and
hawks that often wheeled over the ridges, utterly silent aside from their boots crunching over gravel and
earth. The monastery was a dark mass, not yet roused for its morning rites. Not even the northern bell
tower, a black stripe looming against muddy slate above her, showed any sign of the watchman and his
Yet something had come.
Jutting out over the lowlands was the monastery’s setstone perch, which hadn’t seen a supply delivery
in close to three cycles. Only it was not empty, nor was it occupied by the violet nerashi that Golyna or
Kowak often sent. Anna glimpsed a sleek, battered nerash resting behind a sheen of mist, seated directly
above the iron struts that bolted the perch to an adjacent outcropping.
“What is that?” Anna asked the steward, clenching her hood against a howling gust.
“I know not.” His words were thick with unease.
In the main hall, a group of Halshaf sisters worked to light the candles lining the meditative circle. Each
new spark and flicker drove away another patch of blackness, revealing glimmering mosaics upon the
walls, banners emblazoned with Kojadi script, the reflective bronze bowls that hummed their celestial
song each morning. The sudden flurry of footsteps upon crimson carpeting did not interrupt their soft,
tireless chant in a dead tongue:
With this breath, I arise. With this breath, I pass away.