When young Allesson follows his father to the time-wrecked country of Nymiria, ancient forces wrestle over the young man’s fortune and future.
Elsuon – The Stonecutter’s Son is the first novel in an epic high fantasy series now available on Amazon Kindle here.
Elsuon is a 10-book fantasy series with each book (250+ digital pages) being released every four months or so. The series will be available as 10 separate Books.
These 10 Books will be divided into 3 Volumes, and eventually 1 Master Edition upon completion.
The Ghosts of Saarke website is dedicated to the epic high fantasy series Elsuon, its sequels, and other collections now available.
Visit Ghosts of Saarke for further details and dates for the Elsuon Series.
By writing Elsuon, I wanted to present a richly textured, sophisticated, and stylish reading experience readers could enjoy not just once, but over and over and still discover new gems.
Point of View
All of Volume 1 (The Stonecutter’s Son, Came Synralia,
The Vantage of Danlayer) is written within a radius of Allesson or Third Person Limited Point of View. When Branadan travels to the west to inspect the bridge over the Ligarias, we do not follow that action because Allesson does not follow that action. All characters reveal and limit themselves within this radius — except one. Once they leave Allesson, they leave us as well. Volume 2 and Volume 3 are told in traditional Third Person Omniscient Point of View.
A Glossary has been provided in the back of the book to help with relevant details, explanations, and pronunciations.You
‘How is a country like a woman?’ Go ye to Nymiria, all ye mighty and unfallen! There the King’s Bride doth trim her wicks — Lost in time.
She Who Shakes the Arrows
The Knights of the West
In the western transept, the Knights of Sideleer had gathered. Known as the Knights of the West they were all in their plates except for their helmets and gauntlets, which they disregarded indoors for many reasons, but today more for a round of Crooks, also known as Six-Wickets. The game was known as croquet in Liorganda. Given their cross-blooded pedigree, varying by broad sweeps between the logic of men and the passions of their long-souled ancestors, each of the First Families of Nymiria integrated an ancestral tree into their motifs. For the Sideleers it was the Soft Maple, sometimes called the Shang Mapel or Blood Maple, whose bright red hue appeared in their flags, their murals, and field banners often bordered in black. In honoring their premier pact with those secretive burrowers, the Lowering Folk, and as a dividend of it, the Nymirians used a peculiar lacquer that gave anything treated with it the appearance of stone. Variations in the formula, called marlandring, along with coloring, created the many looks of rock: speckled, glazed, glinting, grained, glassy, streaked or whatever appearance one desired. It was favored in armor and shields and always fascinated guests who mistook most of the country’s military metalwork for stone. For the Sideleers their armor, their shields, and sometimes their weapons, were lacquered like black-flecked red marble, scarlet to cerise, complemented with scripted trim, tassels or hems, and discreetly flared to reflect the daggered leaves of the Shang Mapel.
A Lament for the Young
“You forget you’re old until something young and beautiful walks by you. Like the first flowers of spring: always faithful to their yearly appointments, but always in bloom before you expect them. This proves the fault lies with us. She smiles, if only because she is too young to know how unfortunate the days are. The young are decades from dread,” Suleon gave Allesson’s shoulder a parting squeeze, joking, “And you, young man, could be that dread.”
The Lowering Folk
“Giants: what a grand impression you have of yourself.” The Duke recalled, “The Lowering Folk, those grumpy old chiselers of the mountains, were said to be giants in high and far off times—the Towering Folk: the lake-striding Tiothanai, born of angels.” The Duke gestured to the many ivory blocks that decorated the room. At a glance, they appeared as giant cubes, three feet per side, and polished to a shine. They were, in fact, giant molars that had been hewn down to simpler purposes, such as chairs and end tables, enchased with elegant runes. “As penance for their pride they were reassessed, this time according to what they lacked—humility—and retrenched in proportion to their wisdom; scaled down to the small and irritable tunnelers they remain to this day,” the Duke remembered. “Chased into the depths by the ringing hours, when an iron star broke and turned the sky into a trumpet for a thousand years: ‘…angel-struck, did all the Yorm thence swoon.’”
The Blue Astor
Among all others I find no master:
Blackthorns alone may take me up—their Blue Astor.
The Impiety of Urnloris
“Peace and rain aren’t worth praying for, boy,” Urnloris jeered. “Didn’t you know? The sky’s empty. There are no mansions behind the sun, no iron stars. Nobody is listening. And if they are, they’re as likely to throw lightning as sunshine. Plagues and firebolts, they are the currency of heaven. A Cloak of Tatters is better than all that, lest we eat bread by weight! Come to it: if you want to beg—beg to me. Pray to the Hiss of Witches!”
Skeptics of big bang creation cite a loophole in their attempts to avert a beginning for our universe and, hence, the implication of a causal agent. A new discovery on gamma-ray emissions from a supergiant galaxy stands to address the loophole from early in the universe’s history in an “era” (an extremely brief moment after the beginning) called quantum gravity.
Big Bang Wiggle Room?
As I describe in my book The Creator and the Cosmos, the last-ditch loophole to escape a cosmic beginning that implies the existence of a Causal Agent beyond space and time (the God of the Bible) is speculation about the quantum gravity era.1 “Era” is a misnomer. It refers to a time back in the history of the expanding universe when the universe was smaller than the diameter of a fundamental particle. In the context of the big bang creation model, it refers to when the universe was younger than 10-43 seconds old!
The quantum gravity era is that imperceptibly brief moment when:
- all four fundamental forces of physics (electromagnetism, weak nuclear force, strong nuclear force, and gravity) were unified into a single force,
- the effects of quantum mechanics in governing the dynamics of the universe and how those effects integrate with gravitational effects can no longer be ignored, and
- the energy density of the universe is so extreme that no conceivable instrument or experiment is capable of duplicating that energy density to determine what happens under those conditions.
The experimental limitation combined with the lack of a testable quantum gravity theory has motivated some theoretical physicists to speculate that perhaps the universe had no beginning and, hence, no need for a cosmic Beginner. In other words, these physicists take advantage of our ignorance about the quantum gravity era to speculate that perhaps some strange physics operated in the quantum gravity era that would permit a possible escape from a cosmic beginning. I will summarize some of the latest experimental results in the next several sections. Not every reader will need the technical details. If that’s you, feel free to jump ahead to “Creation Implications.”
Constraining the Unknown
There will always be something unknown about the universe. Thus, skeptics can speculate about strange physics that somehow undoes everything scientists understand about the known universe. Nevertheless, we can affirm what we do know and constrain speculations about what we do not know by pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. An analogy I offered in The Creator and the Cosmos would be for me to speculate that my wife of 41 years may not actually exist.2 Instead, I have been fooled all these years by some kind of very sophisticated three-dimensional hologram embedded with artificial intelligence. One way I can push farther back into the realm of incredulity would be for me to conduct more and a greater variety of experiments and observations on my wife.
In a recent issue of the Astrophysical Journal, a team of 228 astronomers reported on how observations they performed on gamma rays emitted from the blazar Mrk 501 (see figure 1) constrain those quantum gravity models that speculate Lorentz symmetry is broken during the quantum gravity era.3 Lorentz invariance or Lorentz symmetry is the proposition that the laws of physics are the same for different observers—for example, no matter what the observer’s position, velocity, or rotation. It is a foundational principle of special relativity.
A blazar is a supergiant galaxy where the supermassive black hole in its nucleus generates a powerful jet of radiation that is aimed toward Earth (see figure 2). These jets exhibit flares over the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The highest-energy gamma rays in these flares allow astronomers to investigate propagation effects that determine the degree to which Lorentz invariance holds.
Local Lorentz Invariance Affirmations
In the laboratory and within the solar system, Lorentz invariance has been affirmed to an exceptionally high degree. For example, a limit on the cyclotron frequency variation of the antiproton has been established at the level of 10-26.4 University of California, Davis physicist David Mattingly has written an excellent open-access review of laboratory experiments that yield high-degree affirmations of Lorentz invariance.5 In my December 18, 2017 blog I reported on how 48 years of data from lunar laser-ranging experiments had placed upper limits on possible violations of solar-system-scale Lorentz invariance that were 100–1,000 times superior to previous best measurements.6
Constraining Quantum Gravity Speculations
Several quantum gravity approaches require Lorentz symmetry to be broken at energy scales relevant to the quantum gravity era, otherwise known as the Planck scale or Planck energy, which = 1.22 x 1019 GeV (1.96 billion joules or 543 kilowatt hours).7 The Planck energy is equivalent to the chemical energy in 57.2 liters (15.1 gallons) of gasoline compressed into a single subatomic particle.
A major problem for observational and experimental constraints on quantum gravity speculations is that the highest-energy photons observed by astronomers top out at about 400 GeV8, and the highest particle accelerator energies at about 1,300 GeV.9 That is, direct observations and experiments fall a factor of ten quadrillion short of reaching the Planck energy. (To reach the Planck energy requires a particle accelerator 170 quadrillion miles, or 29,000 light-years, long!) However, violations of Lorentz invariance at the Planck energy level predict potentially observable consequences for the highest-energy particles and photons that traverse great distances of interstellar or intergalactic space. Such observations are known as time-of-flight measurements of high-energy neutrinos and photons from distant sources.
In the June 2019 issue of Journal of High Energy Astrophysics, a team of ten Chinese astronomers and physicists reported on their analysis of the 2018 detection of a high-energy (2.9 x 105 GeV) neutrino that was coincident with a flare from the blazar TXS 0506+056.9 This blazar is about 5.7 billion light-years from Earth. It is only the third astronomical object (the other two being the Sun and supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud 168,000 light-years away) from which physicists have detected neutrinos.
The team demonstrated that the association of the neutrino with the blazar flare placed limits on the energy scales of quantum gravity for both linear and quadratic violations of Lorentz invariance at greater than 3.2–37 x 1015 GeV and greater than 4.0–14 x 1010 GeV, respectively. While these limits fall 330 times short of the Planck scale, they represent a factor of a hundred thousand times improvement on previously established limits on linear Lorentz invariance violation energy scales in neutrino propagation.
In the September 2017 issue of Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, a team of 145 astronomers reported that they had found no variation in the arrival times with respect to energy levels for high-energy gamma rays emitted by the Crab Nebula pulsar. Consequently, they determined limits on the Lorentz invariance-violating energy scale greater than 5.5 x 1017GeV for a linear and greater than 5.9 x 1010 GeV for a quadratic scenario, respectively.10 Here, the established limit on the linear Lorentz invariance violation energy scale is only 22 times short of the Planck scale.
The team of 228 astronomers mentioned earlier has determined the best limit to date onLorentz invariance-violating energy scales. Their limit came from analyzing observations of 100+ GeV gamma rays with the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) phase II array of Cherenkov telescopes (see figure 3) during a bright flare of the Mrk 501 blazar on the night of June 23–24, 2014. For the linear scenario using a spectral approach on the observed gamma rays, the 228 astronomers established a limit of greater than 2.6 x 1019 GeV, and for the quadratic scenario, a limit of greater than 7.8 x 1011 GeV.11
For the first time, scientists have established a measured limit (of more than a factor of two) beyond the Planck scale. The lack of a positive signal of Lorentz violation in these new observations now requires cosmologists and theoretical physicists to restrict the classes of quantum gravity theories/space-time models that they should consider.
Scientific advance has constrained some of the nontheistic speculations about the quantum gravity era. The loophole now appears to be partially closed. This advance demonstrates that the farther we push back the frontiers of our scientific knowledge of the universe, the more strained it becomes to speculate a nontheistic explanation for the universe and the stronger the evidence becomes for the biblical cosmic creation model.12
This is an epic fantasy with a different, fresh prose. Unapologetic in his exercise of the English language (another reason to be thankful for the Kindle Dictionary) the author educates as he entertains. Regular readers will appreciate the sentence structure and word choices enhancing the story and a deeper immersion into this world. Unique and artistic would be a fair summary.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book though the end is unexpectedly abrupt — understanding the story is multiple volumes helps to both forgive, and generate anticipation for the next book!
Full disclosure: the author is an old, close friend who has honed his gift, weaving tales and illustrations both verbal and visual, since we were youngsters. I’m relieved David has finally “formalized his gifts” so to speak… we’ve begged him for years.
Discovering D&D, creating worlds and wonder (this book being a small fraction thereof) – the nostalgia of reading our adventures is heavy and sweet.
I’m giddy with anticipation for the unraveling tales of our youth and we are definitely out of the gate at a spirited pace! One request – we need a map of this world in a future book!
From Amazon buyer PraeValien
A great review from an old friend.