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Illicitum Series

Book 1: Twelve JAckals

Book Description

In a divided land where rival factions struggle to gain control using the unique talents of their respective realms, Rakamai and people of Kala curb their use of magic, because to do otherwise steals years from their lives. But when a new alliance turns into a bloody betrayal and threatens open war, Rakamai vows to get revenge and secure the future of his people. To do so, he’ll need to fully embrace the magic of his people and bring his own considerable powers to bear. After all, a short future is better than no future at all.

Perfect for fans of Will Wight’s Cradle, Sanderson-like worlds, and heavy magic systems.

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My Journey to Twelve Jackals

It has been six years since I first had the idea for the world of Mastoperia, and it all started with a simple concept; an isolated continent of a newborn world with four groups that live side by side and have so much in common but focus on the one thing that separates them from one another. To me, this was the ultimate translation to how I felt about the world. As an Egyptian, I come from a country that have been occupied by nearly every civilization yet managed to keep its identity intact, taking from its invaders only what it found suitable. And as I studied the history of ancient Egypt, I became fascinated by the idea of identity. That fascination grew as I started to work in tourism, then through my travels, and finally after settling in France, a country that is also proud of its identity. Yet both cultures, France and Egypt, were so different from one another despite being only a sea away.

Since I love fantasy more than anything in the world, the thing that separated the groups apart became their magic. But to have four culture-defining magic systems that are completely different, yet logical within a single race, I had to first understand the origin of all things. And so, I found myself with the four siblings who started the new world.

Averett (Eldest of the siblings): Born only two years after the death of the old world, Averett remembered his father’s stories about how beautiful the old world used to be, and his mother’s tales about the dragon that broke the land into pieces. Worried about his world and its future, Averett vowed to hunt the beast and bring it down, but what awaited him was far beyond his imagination. His final showdown with the dragon ended with the two merging before Averett finally broke the beast’s power into pieces, dividing its magic between the animals of the Fantastic Forest. His actions created a breed of Majestic animals that can merge with and accompany his descendants. (Averett represents the early tribes of our world and their connection with nature)

Delphia (Second born and eldest of the twins): As the only girl in an empty continent, Delphia was closest to her mother and a fan of her stories about the Mecha robots she used to fight the dragons. After the death of her parents, Delphia travelled to the ruins of her mother’s kingdom to learn more about the machines but trying to manipulate science she didn’t understand left her with the ability to see her own future, an unstable power that she passed to her descendants. (Delphia represents south east Asia, a world where myth and Science collide, each with its own spirit and both highly appreciated.)

Candiran (Third born and youngest of the twins): Like his sister, Candiran was a fan of science but he saw the old civilization as a dead end. To him, the world brought its destruction upon itself, and so, his journey was to discover what’s next and how he could build a better future. In his travels, he built a cult of followers who believed in his ideals and looked toward applicable science for answers. Candiran didn’t leave his people with a special power, but two centuries later his teachings led his cult into figuring out how to manipulate their bodies with science. They genetically modified themselves by adding seeds on their skin, which enabled them to control every organ, bringing forth physical functions that were never possible before. (Candiran represents first world countries and their quick technological advancements.)

Katin (The last born): After Katin’s mother died during his birth, his siblings made sure that he always remembered he was unwelcomed in the world. Therefore, when his father died, Katin decided to go as far away from his siblings as possible, which left him at the heart of the western desert where he came across the gods of the old world. The gods taught him how to access their power and pull their magic from the holy dimension, a power that he will teach only to a select few, building a tribe of powerful but highly secretive individuals. (Katin represents Africa, an underrated continent with so many secrets.)

Within Months, I had pages and pages of a timeline that spanned over a thousand years, detailing every conflict, development, and the cheer number of characters bringing the world of Mastoperia to life. A thousand years of history later, I finally had my story. Four factions governed by a body of elite warriors with a single job, to keep the continent alive and prevent the factions from annihilating one another. The elite warriors are known as the Illicitums and they possess even more special powers, but their magic must be passed on to a new generation every 250 years, and it is now the time for a new generation to man the flame and carry the burden. And so, I wrote Book 1 (Previously known as the Forbidden Warriors).

However, as a new author who is making his way through self-publishing, I decided to write a prequel as an introduction to my world and my writing, a novella that I published under the title War Remnants. Its story explores the life of the parents of an Illicitum prospect. But novellas are small, and my world is rich. As a result, I currently feel that I didn’t do my world and its characters real justice. And even though the Novella is currently sitting at a 4.42/5 rating, I wanted to give it the respect it deserves, especially since the events of this story set everything in motion. That’s why I rewrote the novella as a full novel. I didn’t take away from the original story but added to it a lot more that it doubled in size.

And that’s how I got to Twelve Jackals, a story about a father who tries to build the best world possible for his son, and he does it with what he deems correct based on the knowledge he has, but sometimes what we believe to be the right way, might be the contrary.

Twelve Jackals was once a Novella and book 0 to the series, but now it’s a full novel and is the beginning of everything. To me, this is a proof that books are not just objects that we write, but spirits that we capture, and each with its own destiny.