This is just a quick heads-up post, to draw attention to a 2013 novel that has caught my eye: Zachary Jernigan’s No Return, which will be published by Night Shade Books in March 2013. Here’s the synopsis:
On Jeroun, there is no question as to whether God exists – only what his intentions are.
Under the looming judgment of Adrash and his ultimate weapon – a string of spinning spheres beside the moon known as The Needle – warring factions of white and black suits prove their opposition to the orbiting god with the great fighting tournament of Danoor, on the far side of Jeroun’s only inhabitable continent.
From the Thirteenth Order of Black Suits comes Vedas, a young master of martial arts, laden with guilt over the death of one of his students. Traveling with him are Churls, a warrior woman and mercenary haunted by the ghost of her daughter, and Berun, a constructed man made of modular spheres possessed by the foul spirit of his creator. Together they must brave their own demons, as well as thieves, mages, beasts, dearth, and hardship on the perilous road to Danoor, and the bloody sectarian battle that is sure to follow.
On the other side of the world, unbeknownst to the travelers, Ebn and Pol of the Royal Outbound Mages (astronauts using Alchemical magic to achieve space flight) have formed a plan to appease Adrash and bring peace to the planet. But Ebn and Pol each have their own clandestine agendas – which may call down the wrath of the very god they hope to woo.
Who may know the mind of God? And who in their right mind would seek to defy him?
The first in a series, this novel has been described as “Gritty, erotic, and fast-paced”, and set in “a world at the knife-edge of salvation and destruction.” David Anthony Durham, the author of the Acacia trilogy, has described No Return as “visionary, violent, sexually charged, [and] mystical”.