Tempus Unbound by Janet & Chris Morris reviewed on Library of Erana

Review – Tempus Unbound #Fantasy – Janet Morris

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Review for Tempus Unbound

5 stars

This particular Tempus/Sacred Band book is a little different – for a start, it’s all from Tempus’ point of view, and we have only Tempus himself, Cime and Askelon from the former books. Don’t let this put you off, there’s a host of worthies – not least Mano the mercenary from the future and bad guys to rival anyone in Sanctuary.

Called to Lemuria, a strange citadel between the worlds, and times it’s a chance to right wrongs if only you can work out WHICH wrongs. Tempus is lonely, alone save for his petulant and truculent god. Who is who, and who needs whom? That’s one of the questions asked as Tempus fights an old enemy in a new and unfamiliar world. The future is dark, and war will out. Strife is all and king of all. And so it was in his own time, and in this possible future. We see our hero struggle with technology he can barely imagine and his friends see power and courage they can barely comprehend. Gods, magic and tech fight as Tempus tries to save his sister, and save the world from his deadly sister. Choices are made, and regrets are put aside in the names of love and courage. Ideals are questioned, and truth is harsh.

As usual, the characters are supremely crafted, with a richness that brings emotion and a real sense of reality. In Morris’s world, anything is possible, and the reader believes it.  These aren’t easy reads, they have a high level of violence, sex and themes that require the reader to engage their brain. But this, and the other Sacred Band/Tempus books are worth the time, and the brainpower. Rarely does a reader find a world so rich, or characters so enchanting, or writing so lyrical.  The tempo of the book is a call to war, a call to stand for what is good, and a call to give all.

Heartily recommend this – even if you’re unfamiliar with the characters, and setting Tempus Unbound takes the reader on a journey from ancient times, to a future and it’s a thrilling journey and is a great intro to Tempus and his worlds.

 

I, the Sun on History Rocks

see the original post on https://historyrocks.us/2017/02/19/i-the-sun/

I, the Sun

From the annals of the ancient Hittite king, Suppiluliumas, from the Amarna Letters of Egypt and the court records of a wealth of “lost” civilizations, comes this saga of kingship and greatness, love and death, politics and treachery in the second millennium, BCE. Beyond a few cursory references to the Hittites in the Bible, for thousands of years nothing has been known of this first mighty Indo-European culture. sun-cover

Now, based on translations of the ancient texts themselves, comes the story of Suppiluliumas, Great King, Favorite of the Storm God, King of Hatti, who by his own count fathered forty-four kings and conquered as many nations, who brought even mighty Egypt to her knees. Tutankhamen’s widow sent him an urgent letter begging for a son of his to make her husband. The earliest Hebrews knew him as their protector. The entire Mediterranean world revered and feared him.

But although he conquered armies, countries, and even foreign gods, he could not conquer his love for the one woman fate denied him, the Great Queen Khinti. With the exception of a single slave girl, every prince and general, mercenary and scribe, princess and potentate chronicled in these pages actually lived, loved and died nearly fourteen hundred years before Christ.

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Now they live again in I, the Sun.

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Download the audiobook here

Read the recent review of I, the Sun from Black Gate Magazine.

Get the book at these sites:

Amazon   B&N   iTunes   Google   WalMart

Meet the Author

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Morris

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A Week with the Dragon Eaters – Chris Morris

Chris Morris’ wonderful comments on Heroika 1: Dragon Eaters, orignally published at Library of Erana:  https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/a-week-with-the-dragon-eaters-chris-morris/

Today I welcome author, singer and songwriter Chris Morris and his character.

Character questions:

*I am Tarhunt the Storm God of the Hittites and the Hurri lands.

Why are you embarking on this quest? The dragon Illuyankas brought me battle and vanquished me, eating my heart and my eyes.  From that day on, I planned revenge, and now I will take it, using my own children, now grown, to triumph heroika revised 1over this dragon who eats the children of our country.thunderclapheroika perfect w c and j names

Where are you from? I live in the heavens, but my main temples are in Nerik and Hattusas

*Tell us about dragons in your world. This dragon Illuyankas demands human children for sacrifice.  He is a dragon of the sea, and sometimes he mates with human women.

Do you have a family? I begot upon the daughter of a poor man and a goddess  a  son named Sarruma, through whom I plot to avenge myself upon the dragon Illuyankas. And also I begat a daughter, to help me lay low this dragon and stop him and his family from eating Hattian children.

What is the best way to kill a dragon? To kill such a dragon, even a god must go carefully.  I will smite him with my lightnings, and overcome him with my thunder. I will strike the sea, and it will arise to my purpose.  I will summon the storms, and they will come to aid me. When he is weak I will pierce his eyes with my trident. I will make the sea boil with my wrath, and the dragon will die of my rage.

Do you see yourself as a hero? What is a hero?

To be a god, one must be a hero.  One must heed the peoples of the lands and bring good things upon them.  I bring the thunder, the lightnings, the rain to nourish beasts and crops. I fight beside my people when they war, striking down their enemies and even their gods.  I summon the rain and the wind and all weather.  In the Hatti lands, where we have 1,000 gods, I rule them all. For the sake of my peoples, I call the other gods to aid me and together we fight great battles.

Author questions: I am Christopher Crosby Morris, writer, narrator, and musician. I have been a defense policy analyst and futurist.

How do you define a hero? A hero is one who serves a cause greater than the self.

Why did you choose this era to write in? This anthology needed to start with a dragon from earliest days of myth. I chose the Hittite and Hurrian Illuyankas myth because it may well be the earliest battle of god and dragon ever told.

Give us a couple of lines about your characters.The narrator of my story is Kella, the actual narrator of one of tablets that record a variant of the Illuyankas myth. In my story Kella, high priest of Nerik, in the north of Hatti, tells a first-hand account of the second battle between the dragon and the storm god.  The hero of this tale is the storm god himself, Tarhunt, who begets two children specifically to help him defeat the dragon who previously had eaten his heart and his eyes. There is another variant of this story, in which Tarhunt’s daughter and her human lover get the dragon drunk and tie him up so that the gods can come down and slay him, but that is not the variant we tell. In our story, although the storm god’s daughter has a role, he himself fights this rich and predatory dragon…  and if I tell you more, I’ll give away the story’s ending.

Heroika: The Dragon Eaters is a dark heroic fantasy – how do you define that genre? Dark heroic fantasy was once called simply heroic fiction or mythology – which is always dark, always allegorical, and usually carries a moral whose value is shown in the story. For me, heroic fiction is any tale in which a character strives to put aside his personal well-being in search of a solution to problems greater than his own.

How much research did you need for your story? My wife, Janet Morris, and I have spent many years reading and researching Ancient Near Eastern myth and legend, some of mankind’s earliest stories. But researching in detail the myth of Illuyankas required not only a deep familiarity with the various versions of the story, but enough command of the early texts to be able to create and dramatize a single version out of several.

Have you written for anthologies before? How does it differ from writing a novel? I have written for a number of shared universes, including Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell universe, Bob Asprin and Lynn Abbey’s Thieves’ world universe, C.J. Cherryh’s Merovingen Universe, and more.  I actually enjoy the challenges of working in a shared cosmos. I’ve also written stand-alone short stories, another different form. A novel allows you time to work with more layers of story than does a short story, in which space is very limited.  In a short story, you must know everything about the “past” of the characters but not tell all, only the climax. So compression of the most radical sort is needed for a short piece of fiction which must have a beginning, middle, and end in a confined space.

What other novels/short stories have you written? With Janet Morris, I have written a number of novels:  The Sacred Band is my favorite, with its grand canvas and heroic ethos. I have also co-written The Fish the Fighters and the Song-girl, Outpassage, The 40-Minute War, Threshold, Trust Territory, The Stalk, The Little Helliad, M.E.D.U.S.A, and other novels, including several by pseudonyms.

Tell us one unusual fact about yourself. Recently, I came to the craft of narration, and found that it allows me to mix my musical, technical, and prose skills in a new and most satisfying way.  I have  finished narrating The Sacred Band for Perseid Press, available on Audible.com, and am now in the final stages of producing I, the Sun for Perseid Press, which will be released on Audible.com for Perseid Press in June 2015.

Tidbit: My favorite recipe for dragon meat is simply to brush it with olive oil and vinegar and cook it over an open fire for about two hours, or until the skin is black and the scales fall off.

Author website/blog:  sacredbander.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.c.morris.7?fref=ts

Amazon page:  http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Morris/e/B008L41JNO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_2

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Library of Erana

Today I welcome author, singer and songwriter Chris Morris and his character.

Character questions:

*I am Tarhunt the Storm God of the Hittites and the Hurri lands.

Why are you embarking on this quest? The dragon Illuyankas brought me battle and vanquished me, eating my heart and my eyes.  From that day on, I planned revenge, and now I will take it, using my own children, now grown,  to triumph over this dragon who eats the children of our country.

Where are you from? I live in the heavens, but my main temples is are in Nerik and Hattusas

*Tell us about dragons in your world. This dragon Illuyankas demands human children for sacrifice.  He is a dragon of the sea, and sometimes he mates with human women.

Do you have a family? I begot upon the daughter of a poor man and a goddess  a  son named Sarruma, through…

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I, the Sun by Janet Morris — The Black Gate review

Read on Black Gate: http://www.blackgate.com/2015/02/15/i-the-sun-by-janet-morris/

Sunday, February 15th, 2015 | Posted by Joe Bonadonna

I the Sun Janet Morris-smallI, The Sun
By Janet Morris
Perseid Press (534 pages, October 27, 2014, $26.95 in trade paperback)
Cover art: The Seal of Suppiluliumas

This masterpiece of historical fiction was based on the actual writings and historical records of Suppiluliumas I, the great Hittite king who dominated the Middle East around the 14thcentury, BC. He rebuilt the old capital of Hattusas, and from there exercised his Imperial Power over the Hittite heartland, controlling the lands between the Mediterranean and Euphrates. But he was not a king to sit back on his throne and pull the strings of his minions, advisors and subjects. No, he was hands-on, and long before he became king he made his way in the world, fighting and whoring and playing politics. His military career included dealing with the eastern kingdom of Mitanni, and regaining a solid grip on Syria.

I, The Sun was first published in 1983 by Dell Books, and with this classic story of Suppliluliumas I, author Janet Morris laid the groundwork for her most famous fictional character — Tempus the Black, whom she first introduced in the original Thieves’ Worldseries, and in her own, later novels such as Beyond Sanctuary, Beyond the Veil, Beyond Wizardwall, and The Sacred Band, written in collaboration with her husband, Chris Morris.

In I, The Sun, Janet Morris weaves a brilliant, sprawling tapestry of events in the life of this great king of the ancient world, whom we first meet when he is known by his birth-name, Tasmisarri. This historical novel, cleverly written in first-person to stand as the official autobiography of Tasmisarri/Suppiluliumas, begins with the death of his father, the Great King Arnuwandas. Since Tasmi cannot sit the throne until his majority, his uncle Tuthaliyas inherits the crown. But so much can happen until Tasmi comes of age, and so, to keep his own brothers from killing each other — and him, and thus seizing the throne, Tuthaliyas adopts Tasmi and makes him his heir.

From that moment on young Tasmi is surrounded by the political maneuverings and machinations of such players as another of his late-father’s brothers, Prince Kantuzilis, whose nature is far more malicious than princely. Even Asmunikal, Tasmi’s mother, has her own secret agenda, and very soon he is caught up in court intrigue, surrounded by enemies and sycophants, becomes embroiled in one military engagement after another, and grows to become a major player in the game of empires.

Beyond Sanctuary Thieves WorldTasmi first becomes a pupil to Kuwatna-ziti, a lord and warrior who is also a servant of the Sun Goddess of Arinna. Kuwatna-ziti recruits Tasmi for the Storm God Teshub of Hatti, husband to the Sun Goddess. And thus begins Tasmi’s education. He later meets Daduhepa, a lord’s spoiled brat serving at the temple to make her holy until she can be sold off in marriage. Tasmi falls for her and then, unable to control his needs and desire for her, rapes and takes her virginity. But she is of high birth, and so Kuwatna-ziti tries to mend things by saying it would do them all good if Tasmi married the girl. So Tasmi agrees to marry Daduhepa, and she becomes his first wife and the mother of first son, who he names Arnuwandas II, after his late father.

When Tasmi is sent to the garrison at Samuha, he learns that Daduhepa is again with child, his second son, named Piyassili. But she will not join her husband at that frontier garrison, and goes instead to Hattusas, the old capital city. In the meantime, Tasmi grows farther into manhood fighting the wild tribes of Gasga, and takes for himself a lawful concubine named Titai, much against the wishes of his friend and comrade, Kuwatna-ziti. (Please note: Titai is the only fictional character in this historical novel.)

After a nasty winter, Tasmi, Titai and Kuwatna-ziti travel to Hattusas, and from there Tasmi intends to return to Samuha with his wife and new-born son. But Uncle Tuthaliyas, the Great King, orders Tasmi to remain in Hattusas. Allegedly, and against Tasmi’s wishes, Titai works magic against the Great King, who grows increasingly ill. (And there is more to her story, to her relationship with Tasmi and her ultimate fate that I will not reveal here.) Soon Tasmi’s thoughts turn toward kingship and how it might best be administered by his own hand.

During Tuthaliyas’ illness, his brother Kantuzilis — Tasmi’s other uncle — assumes the throne and plots to rid himself of Tasmi by sending him and his men to war against the Arzawaens, the Gasgaeans, and the other tribes of the lower country. Suspicious of the machinations of both is uncles, and uncertain of even his own mother’s loyalty, Tasmisarri confers with Kuwatna-ziti and his most trusted men. But at this point they have no choice other than to march off to war — securing all, conquering all in the name and for the glory of his uncle, the Great King Tuthaliyas. But Tasmi’s suspicions and fears ride with him, and he begins making plans of his own.

Upon their triumphant return to Hattusas, where they are to be honored, Tasmisarri and his men find that the Great King Tuthaliyas has fallen even more ill, and is now half-mad. The Great King denounces Tasmi and his heroes, and right then and there Tasmi realizes that he must now follow through with his plans. He in turn confronts and denounces Tuthaliyas: swords are drawn, blood is spilled, and uncles are slain. Tasmi, victorious, is now proclaimed “Tabarna, my lord, Great King and all other appellations…” When Tasmi’s mother Asmunikal denounces and turns her back on him, he exiles her to the isle of Alashiya. Now Tasmi begins to round up the families of those lords who opposed him — to be executed or sent into exile. Tasmi then renounces the name Tasmisarri, the name his mother gave him, and declares himself Suppiluliumas, meaning “Pure Spring.”

There is so much more to this grand historical novel that for me to keep relating events in this review would be an exercise in exhaustion. Suffice to say that Morris’ characters live and breathe and bleed, driving the story forward, providing all the drama and intrigue one expects from any novel, fictional or factual, that deals with kings, queens, and dynasties. This novel is textured, layered, and rich in intrigue, action, and complex characters that stand at the center of this “autobiographical” novel. Suppiluliumas is no two-dimensional character by any means: he is truly one of the most engaging, interesting, and perplexing characters I’ve encountered in a long time. Cruel, vengeful, even blood-thirsty at times — he is not unkind, not without heart. And because Morris used his own writings to add depth and texture to this novel, she has given us greater insight to his thoughts and feeling. Here he speaks of what it is like to be king:

It is a lonely thing to be a king unloved by his land. It is anguish deep beyond measuring, to be a general separate from his armies. Power’s curse comes in an ache behind the eyes from reading and folds around the belly a snakelike girdle of fat from sitting.

Or here, in this passage, where he broods about war:

Never again have I felt such loathing for war and death. Some say it is a thing of youth; personally, I think every man whose word sends others to their deaths must experience it, or become like the stone god Ullikummis; with no heart in him to speak like a mortal man’s.

I the Sun Dell-smallIndeed.

A little research will reveal to you the accomplishments of this ancient king, whose name was unfamiliar to me until I first heard of this novel.

Although established in the Bronze Age, the Hittites were forerunners of the Iron Age, developing the manufacture of iron artifacts from as early as the 14th century BC. The Hittites were also famous for their skill in building and using chariots, a skill which gave them a military advantage. Janet Morris truly nails their time and their place in history; the settings, traditions and customs of the various people in this part of the ancient world, the very grandeur of their era ring true with the vivid poetry of her writing. This is a well-executed and thought-provoking historical novel, filled with character drama, romance, tragedy, action, plot and counter-plot. There is a certain power that comes through while reading this novel, a power derived from knowing that this is real life as it was lived nearly 2000 years before Christ, told to us by a master of storytelling and history.

Janet Morris paints a solid portrait of Tasmisarri, Prince of the Realm — wild, reckless, a rebel, who later in life becomes Suppiluliumas, the Great King, the “Pure Spring.” At first, in his youth, Tasmi comes across as arrogant and even heartless, but beneath all that we can see the makings of a brilliant leader, a ruler who cares about his people and his empire. Just thinking about the amount of research Morris did in preparation to writing this epic, the note-taking, the outlining, the planning, staggers my mind. These ancient dynasties were complex and convoluted, and keeping names, dates and events straight alone are worthy of praise. Janet Morris is, besides being a wonderfully gifted writer and storyteller, a devoted scholar of history, and this novel was truly a labor of love for her.

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