Join Keftu, the Last Phylarch of Arras, as he journeys from primordial jungles to ocean-girding cities, from ancient ruins to orbiting palaces, battling beasts of fen and forest while picking a perilous way past the spent weapons and prostrate members of forces that fought before man was a dream!
Keftu's adventures began in Dragonfly and continue in The King of Nightspore's Crown, both published by Hythloday House and available at Amazon.com. No home library is complete without them!
Taking inspiration from the vintage paperbacks of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, both British high fantasy and the American pulps, with wrap-around cover images painted by the author, these volumes are aimed at readers looking for something substantial, fresh, strange, and different.
A Tale of the Counter-Earth at the Cosmic Antipodes
In the counter-earth of paleozoic darkness and daemonic sway, the people of Arras have dwindled, retreating from Urgit and Cormrum-by-the-Sea to clutches of domes in the desert. But still they walk the songlines of the seraphim, preserving their primeval lore.
When Keftu, the rightful-born young phylarch, returns from a journey to find his people poisoned, he sets out to discover the secret of immortality. He is drawn to Enoch, the rust-stained city of stone, mankind's omega. There his plans change as he falls under the power of an urban warlord and falls in love with a mysterious harlot.
Rising from slavery as a slayer in the pits, Keftu ascends on wings of resin and bone to trouble the world-city's oversoul. Will he succeed in scaling the sea-girt, stratospheric Tower of Bel and gaining the Hanging Gardens of Narva? Or will the city devour him before he can find his place in it?
Deinothax was white-hot and smoking in my hands. Jairus gave the signal, and his men charged.
It seemed at that moment that I had ages to wait until the tide of steel reached me. The light of the sinking sun shot slantwise down the street, and each cloud wisp, window, and mote stood out as something tragically and eternally beautiful.
The length of two buildings lay between me and the Misfit now. A new light flashed in Jairus' eyes. He slowed and stopped in the middle of an intersection. His men drew to a standstill behind him, bunched up and tense, watching him with confused eyes.
A slow and growing thunder was in the air. I looked at the sky, but the sky was clear. Then the quiet was cloven by the voice of a savage horn, awful and lonely, such as might have led the Wild Hunt through the moss-forests at the dawn of time. The street seemed to pulse and vibrate under my feet. I heard a sound that was something between a squeal and a roar, and wondered why it was so familiar.
A cry of panic went up among the men. They started to divide down the middle, on either side of the intersection. But it was too late.
The King of Nightspore's Crown
The Second Book in the Enoch Series
It has been one year since Keftu, the last phylarch of Arras, established a wandering society of misfits in the underworld of Enoch, the rust-stained city of stone, mankind's omega. The end of all change is at hand, hastened by the machinations of the veiled warlock Zilla.
What can one outcast warrior do to halt the slow slide into tepid chaos? Keftu is about to find out. His quest will take him from the crumbling tenements of Enoch to the black jungles of Ir. He will form alliances the like of which he would never have dreamed.
In the end, will he lose his soul to gain the king of Nightspore's crown?
A throw-stick flashed past my eyes. The lantern exploded in a shower of glittering shards. Cyrus took off at a run. I followed close behind. Shrill voices hooted and screamed all around us. I slipped in the mud and came down hard on the flagstones. Cyrus, wholly intent on self-preservation, vanished into the murk. By the time I regained my feet, he was out of earshot.
I hesitated, listening. All was quiet save the steady drip of the trees. The chase had passed me by, leaving me alone in the darkness. Though certain that the creatures sought me and me alone as their prize, I feared what they might do if they caught up with Cyrus or gained the Concubine. I continued forward cautiously, my face beaded with raindrops and sweat.
Without warning, the ground dropped away before me. I tumbled into a hollow. Swarms of huge black dobsonflies swirled up around me. Too late, I realized that I had taken a spurious side-path. I lay sprawled across the roots of a rotting scale-tree stump, its pithy, crannied mass overgrown with toadstools and swathed in spider silk.
I felt a rush of legs and a quick, pinching jab in the heel of my hand. Groaning with horror, I jerked back and scrambled away
Drums dinned in my ears, beginning lowly, mounting ever louder. My heart galloped in my chest. Curtains of coruscating colors descended over the dark forest, washing the scale-tree stems in waves. The agony of my soul found vent in one loud, long, and final scream of despair.
Dragonfly is available for purchase through the Hythloday House eStore and Amazon.com. It is available in a print edition and as an e-book, and is enrolled in the Kindle Matchbook program.
The King of Nightspore's Crown is available for purchase through the Hythloday House eStore and Amazon.com. It is available in a print edition and as an e-book, and is enrolled in the Kindle Matchbook program.
"Dragonfly is the first of a planned tetralogy. In this day of calculated, mass-marketed, trend-following books, here is a self-published adventure, practically handcrafted, with cover, map, and interior art all done by Ordoñez himself. It tells of a young prince let loose in a world of steam engines, complacent aristocrats, and tunnel-dwelling workers, and a social order on the verge of being overthrown. Ordoñez' style hearkens back to the likes of A. E. van Vogt and Jack Vance, as well as Edgar Rice Burroughs. [...]
"Every chapter, nearly every page, is filled with such wondrous images. Ordoñez may mock himself by naming his publishing company Hythloday (talker of nonsense) House, but if nonsense, it’s of a sort that will draw me back again and again. There’s a degree of creativity and depth of thoughtfulness present here that is absent in most run-of-the-mill fantasy.
"If you have any taste for fantasy that doesn’t simply mimic the fashions of the day you will find Dragonfly worth your attention. Fantasy gives the writer license to create things that do not just look like our world in fancy dress or with pointed ears. Ordoñez has embraced the opportunity to create a thrilling, mysterious adventure that stands out from the packs of grimdark books and Tolkien-clones.
"You should read it."
About the Author
The things Raphael most enjoys watching, reading, and thinking about include film noir, samurai movies, spaghetti westerns, sci-fi actioners from the eighties, Batman comics, Greek mythology, the Book of Genesis, paleontology, entomology, More's Utopia, Art Nouveau, Moby-Dick, fairy tales, medieval philosophy, modern geometry, Friedrich Nietzsche, St. John of the Cross, and various other things.
View Raphael's Amazon author page here. He is currently at work on several projects, including the third volume in the Enoch series: Ark of the Hexaemeron.