Book zero of the Forbidden Series is a novella that explores the story of Rondai’s father as its events happen seventeen years before the core novels
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About The Book
Like everyone in the faction of Kala, Rakamai spent his entire life studying gate magic, learning how to open each gate and draw their magical power to use for war.
Rakamai, however, wasn’t a fan of war. All he wanted was to spend more time with his family, especially after learning that the cost of using magic is time taken away from his life.
Once he became the leader of his faction, he began paving the way to transition his faction to a peaceful life. His last step was to convince his faction’s oldest enemy that they could live together in a world that could fit everyone, but they had other plans.
Would Rakamai reach that which he truly seeks or would his enemies bend him to their well?
Yamen is a tribe elder in the faction of Averett. Like his people, he had the power to capture and control the Majestic beasts that take home in the Fantastic forest.
Yamen Lost his children in the last war of the factions and could think about nothing other than avenging their death.
Blinded by his hatred, when Rakamai approached him with a peace offer, Yamen retaliated with actions that threw their both worlds off balance.
Standing face to face, each of their decisions would have reprecussions on the world.
Who would stand triumphant? Which path would each man chose? and more importantly, would their world survive intact?
I stumbled upon this book, and I’m so glad I did. The book starts out with a tense scene, and the action doesn’t stop there. From the very first words to the end of the book there is always something happening.
Mandie’s heart raced in rhythm with her feet as she soared across the open desert. Every exhale of breath grew louder with each sweeping stride she took as sweat mixed with the blood trailing down her cheek. She was the fastest among the Forbidden Warriors; only her shadow could keep up with her.
When she saw the Forbidden Palace in the distance, she pushed on the power of her legs with everything she had. Fatigue fought to take over her mind and force her to collapse, but Mandie refused to surrender to her physical limitations.
“Open the gate!” she shouted the moment her eyes could detail the iron port. “Open the gate!” she repeated, her voice struggling against a lack of oxygen to make itself heard.
The gate opened, its progression slow, but with a quick pivot, she slid through the small gap between the moving doors without hindering her pace.
The sound of her feet slapping against the stone passage leading to the main hall echoed through the quiet palace. When she reached the end of the passage, her destination met, she grabbed hold of the edge of a wall while taking consecutive deep breaths to regulate her heartbeat. With no time to spare, seconds later, she hurried toward the throne at the other end of the hall, her leg muscles weakening as each determined step became more of a limp.
“Why did you abandon your post?”
Mandie stopped the moment she heard the voice of her leader and lowered her head. “Forgive me, Kalita.” A tear escaped to slide down Mandie’s cheek but was quickly lost in her gathered sweat. “I know I have failed you.”
Takara, a royal guard, came from the western passage and rushed toward Mandie. The guard’s long golden hair flapped above her pale bare shoulders before swinging around her almond-shaped green eyes as she came to a halt.
“Don’t worry about that now.” Takara pulled a napkin out of her pocket and with a gentle hand, began to clean the mixture of sweat and blood from Mandie’s face. “Your wound isn’t serious. It will heal in no time, but you need to rest before your body fails you.”
Mandie lowered her gaze and nodded. “I need to tell you what happened first—”
“Don’t worry about it.” Takara brought her small nose and thin lips to Mandie’s ear and whispered, “Now that we’re both here, I can see what you want to say in my future. I know everything you want to say unless you forgot that this is my power?” She smiled and patted Mandie’s back. “Go now. I will speak to Kalita.”
Kalita tapped the edge of her throne with her short white fingers as she watched Mandie drag her feet from the room before turning her head toward Takara. “I didn’t want to embarrass you in front of her, but as a royal guard, you should know better than to send her away before answering my question.”
“The girl is exhausted. Her transportation pad malfunctioned, and she had to run all the way to the palace. Her brain doesn’t care about any of this.”
“I have no concern for what she cares or doesn’t care about.” Kalita lifted her sharp chin. “Next time, remember that I have warned you not to give orders on my behalf without my approval. I won’t do it again.”
Takara stared down at her feet. “I will, but first, you need to know what Mandie came to tell us.”
Kalita signaled Takara to move closer.
Takara raised her head and stared into Kalita’s wide eyes as she approached the throne. “Rakamai is preparing to fight an Averetti tribe.”
“On his own?” Kalita lifted her narrow brows.
“Yes.” Takara nodded. “He’s waiting for them outside The Fantastic Forest now.”
Kalita closed her eyes and stroked her chin. “Maybe it’s for the best,” she said in a near whisper before opening her eyes again. “With him out of the picture, it will be easier to end the war.”
“It’s sad to say this about Rakamai, but I agree with you.” Takara sighed. “If he dies, there will be no one left to hold a grudge, and with the rest of the Kalangous’ council dead, we can restore the peace without delay. However, I fear that his defeat is not yet certain.”
Kalita’s eyes bulged. “Are you saying he has a chance to win against an entire tribe?”
“Yes. There’s a chance, but it will depend on his decisions. For now, I can see both scenarios play out in my mind, but if you want, we can make sure either possibility happens. All we need to do is give whomever we want to win a little nudge.”
Kalita rested her chin on her hand. “I would like to see if Rakamai has enough power to defeat an entire tribe. But if he succeeds, we should kill him ourselves.”
“Wouldn’t that be against our protocol?” Takara asked. “Technically, he isn’t the one who started the war.”
“Yes, it would be, but we need a win right now.” Kalita brought her hand to her necklace and fidgeted with the lotus-shaped pendant. “It took years to end the last war, and we lost a lot of support as a result. If we don’t end this one quickly, they might question our ability to keep the peace.”
Takara took a step closer to Kalita. “Don’t be hard on yourself. That war involved all four factions. Yet, we did end it. They know where true power lies.” The royal guard looked into her leader’s eyes. “I know you’re afraid they would find unity in pain and decide they no longer need us, but what Rakamai is doing, and the Averettis did before him, proves that these factions will forever be enemies to one another.”
“I disagree.” That declaration came from Radaman, who came into the hall with a steady stride. He rubbed his bald head with his large hand. “We have to prepare for every scenario. The four factions may be enemies today, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be friends tomorrow. However, if they unite against us, we will die.”
Takara turned her body toward him. “You keep forgetting we are the peacekeepers. They don’t see us as a threat, but as a necessity.”
“They will see us as such only for as long as they have to follow our rules.” Radaman crossed his arms over his bare, onyx-colored chest. “No matter what our cause, they will always see us as a form of power that limits their freedom. They need to be reminded of what we can do, all the Kalangous, especially, not just their leader Rakamai. What he’s doing now and what the Kalangous’ council did before him, proves they don’t fear us anymore. We have to teach them a lesson.”
Takara narrowed her eyes. “Let me guess. You want to be the one who teaches them that lesson?”
“Do you have a problem with that?” Radaman asked as he pushed back his wide shoulders and jutted out his muscled chest.
“I do,” Takara spit out as she took a step toward him. “Kala is your old faction, and Rakamai is part of your bloodline. I find it hard to believe you would effectively punish the Kalangous.”
“I left my faction over two centuries ago. I’m a royal guard of the Forbidden Warriors. This palace is my home now,” Radaman replied, his voice raised.
“Enough!” Kalita shouted before focusing on Takara. “Radaman will go to the fight. If Rakamai succeeds, my royal guard will kill him. You, Takara, will stay here to narrate the fight for me. I want to know everything as it happens.”
“How can I narrate the fight? You know I can only see what is in my own future. If I know I’m not going there then it’s no longer my future.”
Kalita squinted as her black eyes met Takara’s. “We have been together for a long time. I know what goes on in your head before you think it. I said Radaman will go, and he will go alone. I won’t change my decision. As for your power, we both know you can deceive your brain and tell it that you’re going to see what will happen. Now, stop your games and follow my orders, both of you.”
Kalita and Radaman bowed before the latter left The Forbidden Palace to fulfill his mission.
This story can be read as an intro to the series, as a stand alone or at anytime during the series.
A warning; This Novella, like the series is written from an omniscient point of view that sees all and knows all including the feelings of each character. For some readers, this is confusing – nothing is wrong with that, and only you know what you like. Read the first chapter and decide if the story was for you or not.
I LOVE THIS BOOK! Everything about this is so original and different.
Samar on Goodreads
A great introduction to a world that is looks to be expansive in all aspects. Moud has created one of the most complex magic systems I've come across. The idea that different communities can manifest different types of magic is fascinating to explore.
Sabetha on Goodreads
Not just five but a million stars... That's how beautiful this book is.
Shruti on Goodreads
15th of January
The third side novella and the fourth publication in the series. The book of Salinda unfolds the story of Cilia and Salvanra, and what happened to them inside their prison dimension