The Shattered Moon
Many years in the making, the Shattered Moon series finally saw the light of day in February 2023, with Book Two following in August, and Book Three due next year.
And it won't end there…
A distant future. A world transformed.
Remnants of a shattered moon patrol the skies, memorials to an ancient and nearly-forgotten conflict. In an isolated northern land, civilisation's slow recovery is overseen by the reclusive, all-female, Guild of Dawnsingers, which holds a monopoly on advanced learning. Life seems peaceful and well-ordered, but are the Dawnsingers as benevolent as they seem? What secrets are they hiding? And what really lies beyond the mountains in the East?
Orphan Jerya finds a new home in the Dawnsingers' Guild, but her new life turns sour. Soon she finds herself struggling to reconcile the exhilaration of learning with growing doubts about the very basis of the Guild's rule. Ultimately she faces an agonising choice which could utterly change her life, and those of her two most trusted friends.
Award-winning outdoor writer Jon Sparks turns his talent and experience to speculative fiction in the first book of The Shattered Moon series.
To read a free short story set in the world of The Shattered Moon, click here. For more insights and news, along with other giveaways, please join my mailing list.
Volumes already complete or fully drafted span twenty years in the lives of the main characters and their world. Projected books will take us further, and see responsibility passing to a new generation.
Book 1: Three Kinds of North
A distant future. A world transformed.
Remnants of a shattered moon traverse the skies, memorials to an ancient and nearly-forgotten conflict. In an isolated northern land, society is overseen by the reclusive, all-female, Guild of Dawnsingers, which holds a monopoly on advanced learning. Life seems peaceful and well-ordered; but are the Dawnsingers as benevolent as they seem? What secrets are they hiding?
And what really lies beyond the mountains in the East?
Orphan Jerya unexpectedly finds a home in the Dawnsingers' Guild, but her new life turns sour. Soon she finds herself struggling to reconcile the exhilaration of learning with her growing doubts about the very basis of the Guild's rule. Ultimately she faces an agonising choice which could utterly change her life, and the lives of her two most trusted friends.
Award-winning outdoor writer Jon Sparks turns to speculative fiction in the first book of the genre-stretching Shattered Moon series.
Read the first chapter here.
Note: with the best will in the world, it's impossible to completely avoid spoilers, especially in the description of later volumes. I have concluded I overdid the giveaways in the first version of this page, so I've tried to rein it in, but still it might tell you more than you want to know. Read on, or not, accordingly!
Book Two: The Sundering Wall - Now Available!
A new journey of discovery begins.
Having finally broken with the Guild of Dawnsingers, Jerya and Railu are joined by Rodal as they strike out into the mountains. None of them have any idea what lies beyond the borders of the map, or if there are feasible passes through the high peaks.
Tensions mount under the strain of the hazardous journey, and thoughts return to their former lives and friends left behind, but Jerya’s determination drives them on. Each will be tested in different ways as they draw closer to unravelling the ultimate mystery of the Unsung Lands.
Book Three: The Second Crossing (provisional title)
To be published February 2024.
Nine years later, Jerya's circumstances have gradually changed, but now more drastic changes loom.
First, a new friendship seems set fair to develop into something deeper—but this new relationship could place her in a morally ambiguous position. Jerya needs to redefine how she navigates life in the slave society of the Five Principalities, and this uncertainty makes her hesitant to grasp what could be a real chance to find new purpose and happiness in her life.
Then she hears news that sends her thoughts back to the life she briefly knew as a Dawnsinger, and to places and people she still cares about in the Sung Lands. This new development could threaten the very basis of their existence… and who, apart from herself, can carry a warning? But if she does go back, how will she be received? It doesn't seem likely that the Guild of Dawnsingers will look kindly on a notorious Vow-breaker.
There are compelling arguments for going, and there are equally compelling arguments for staying put. Once again, Jerya must wrestle with her conscience and find her own path.
Book Four: The Skilthorn Congress (provisional title)
To be published August 2024.
As the events of Book Three continue to make their consequences felt, Jerya finds herself in a position she could never even have imagined as a girl in Delven or as a Novice Dawnsinger. New responsibilities threaten to overwhelm her, and she calls on her oldest friend Railu for advice and reassurance.
But Railu's own future is thrown into doubt. Now she's the one for whom a new relationship may be in prospect; but life in the Five Principalities has been bruising for her, and it soon looks as if this new promise may turn out to be a false dawn.
For Jerya's new young protegé, Mavrys, drastic measures seem to be the only way to avoid un unpalatable fate; but could the cure be worse than the disease? When her own well-intentioned impulsiveness lands her in the hands of a dangerously powerful man, it begins to seem so. Can Jerya do anything to save her, or is there too much at stake for her too?
Book Five: Title? To be published ???
Jerya makes one more, and potentially final, return trip to the Sung Lands. In prospect are meetings with old friends, but also another confrontation with her old adversary Perriad.
Accompanying her are Railu's step-daughter Sumyra and Jerya's former pupil Embrel. Both will make shocking, even shattering, discoveries about who they really are.
It could yet happen: watch this space, or better still subscribe to my mailing list.