Lodestone: Book One - The Sea of Storms
Publisher : virtualbookworm
Description
Kelanni - a planet tidally locked around a brown dwarf star. Ail-Kar - a white hole, a portal from another universe, rains meteoroids on to the surface of the planet Kelanni. But the so-called "lodestones" behave according to different physical laws, changing Kelanni`s society, its religion and its people. Now the land is ruled over by a mysterious Prophet. With the aid of the fearsome Keltar in their flying cloaks, he is forcing the Kelanni to mine lodestones, in order to build a machine whose terrible power can only be guessed at. Shann, an orphan, witnesses a battle between a Keltar and a stranger bearing a similar flying cloak. She sets out to track down the stranger, and is propelled into an extraordinary land of floating stones, strange communication devices and bizarre creatures.

Shann finds Lyall, a Kelanni driven by a past he will not discuss, to seek freedom for those suffering under the Prophet's heel. She learns of the technology behind the Keltars' power, and joins him on a mission to free the slaves and cut off the Prophet's supply of lodestones.

Meanwhile, Keris, a Keltar with impressive skills, is sent on a mission to track down the rebels. She is attacked by a flying creature and saved by the enigmatic Chandara. At their Great Tree, she receives a message transmitted by a woman from the past, who reveals the terrifying truth that the Prophet is out to destroy the Kelanni. Accompanied by Boxx, a Chandara who seems to speak only in riddles, Keris must travel to the other side of her world in order to retrieve a device that will enable her to disable the Prophets machine. She races to save the rebels from a trap set for them, joining the party

Together, they seek to cross the Great Barrier of Storms to the far side of the planet Kelanni, where none have ventured before. On their journey, they will traverse desert, prairie, high mountains and deep fire pits. They will come upon wondrous and terrifying beasts, meet peculiar characters and encounter advanced technology, left behind by a civilization from long ago. Ultimately they will face the Great Barrier itself and the unknown world that lies beyond, where they will find the answers each of them seeks. The key to both salvation and destruction that lies within the ultimate power of... "Lodestone".



The Story Behind This Book
Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms is the result of an idea that I had had for some time. Einsteins theory of Relativity predicts the existence of "Negative Matter" (NOT Antimatter - that's something else entirely), although no-one has ever found any. However, we know that it would have some pretty strange properties, due to the math involved (like negative inertia, for example). I started to think, "What would happen to a society where negative matter was available?" The Lodestone Series has been the result. The second book in the series, "The World of Ice and Stars" has now been accepted for publication and is due out around September 2010. The third instalment, "The Crucible of Dawn" is currently a work in progress. Here is a teaser from Book Two! (Excerpt) A low snarling sound. A pair of yellow eyes appeared in front of her; then another, and a third. Shapes moved in the darkness, jostling each other impatiently, regarding her with a malevolence colder even than the bitter air. The snarl grew into a chorus of deep throated growls from every side. Saccath's staff was already in her hands, her tendons stretched white against the darkwood. "Boxx, stay close," she commanded. Glancing beside her, she saw that the Chandara had transformed itself into a ball of chitin. You'll have to teach me that trick. Shann whirled around. The creatures were circling her, probing her defences, testing her resolve. She strained her eyes, but their forms were elusive, melting into the anonymity of the starlit night. If she were on her own, she would have flared her cloak and scanned for lodestone, so as to effect her escape, but there was no way she was going to leave Boxx at the mercy of these...things. She keened her Kelanni senses, bracing herself for the attack. It erupted in a flurry of fur and fang-of horn and claw. Shann was slicing, slashing and stabbing at anything that moved; her diamond blade flashing in the starlight as if the heavens were lending her their power. She brought her staff down on the head of one of the beasts and heard the crunch of bone; then pirouetted, cleaving phantoms and sundering shadows. Bass growling was now becoming interspersed with higher pitched yelping. The creatures backed off. Regrouping. Thinking. As she stood, breathing hard, braced for the next onslaught, Shann's mind went back to the battle with the sand scarags of the Great Southern Desert. The sand scarags were like automata. They had one tactic-swarm and overwhelm-which they pursued with a mindless compulsion. These creatures were different. There was a collective intelligence here-the cold unyielding logic of the implacable hunter. Shann felt a sudden sharp pressure in the small of her back. Before she could react, she was propelled forward and sent sprawling, face first onto the ground. She twisted on to her back. The stars were blotted out by a huge shape, looming over her. Xanthic eyes bore into her and hot, fetid breath washed over her face... (To be continued)


Praise and Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Tale, May 30, 2010
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This review is from: Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms (Paperback)
I'm very selective in what I choose to read and am not really drawn to science fiction novels. The last science fiction I've read was decades ago in school when I had to read THE ILLUSTRATED MAN. Though I did enjoy it, it was required reading. LODESTONE BOOK ONE: THE SEA OF STORMS is the first science fiction I've ever read voluntarily and I really enjoyed it. It's written in a way that makes it very easy to visualize, the characters are very well developed, and I could hardly put it down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. It was a very enjoyable read. Very much looking forward to BOOK TWO.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whiteway is a master at description, May 15, 2010
This review is from: Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms (Paperback)
The Kelanni was enslaved by the Keltar working for the"prophet." The Kelanni was forced to pay tribute to the prophet through slaves and food. Lyall and Shann joined forces to stop the destruction of the Kelannni. Keris was sent to hunt down the rebels and bring them back dead or alive. On her quest, she was befriended by a chandara. The odd creature convinced her that the prophet was evil. Keris went against her mentor and all she was brought up to believe to help the rebels. Together they look for a way to neutralize the weapon that can destroy a civilization.

This is book one in The Sea of Storms series. Whiteway is a master at description. It was easy to envision the culture. The plot moves along at a good steady pace. It is well developed. The characters come to life on the pages of this book. They are unique but so well described that I could picture them. The characters all play well together. This is a science fiction that is sure to please the most discriminating fans.
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4.0 out of 5 stars G. Haughland highly recommends this one, May 11, 2010
This review is from: Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms (Paperback)
On some planet at some time the rebels are forming. Absolute authority over the Kelanni populace, dictated by a being known only as The Prophet, is the norm over this pastoral world. He extracts tribute in the form of food and slaves toward his own end. Aided by seemingly magical enforcers, the Keltar, the populace is subdued and downtrodden. However, a dissident appears. Lyall, a once Keltar apprentice, wants to change the course of history. With the aid of a small but talented girl, Shann, and his best friend Alondo, a musician with a talent for devices they stage a small rebellion. They are hunted down by one of the Keltar's best, a Prophet loyal woman named Keris. While in pursuit of the rebels, Keris is injured by a passing beast and rescued by a strange race of six-limbed creatures - the chandara. They have been appointed sentinels to the past Kelanni, and they convince her that The Prophet is out to destroy the Kelanni, not save them. With some misgivings she turns against her mentor and teachings, and with Boxx, the empath chandara, join the small band of rebels on a quest to save the slaves and their race from destruction.
From the very first pages on, Whiteway's crisp description of the Kelanni world is impressive. Neither verbose or lacking, only the details that need move the story forward are presented. His rich vision of the environment is filled with references to foreign creatures, artifacts and language, all of which are blended seamlessly into the work. The result is a chance for the reader to use one's imagination and create the world however it feels right. It's is an incredibly effective use of creativity and a method that I found only added to the fabric of the story. The pace of the work remains lively and never sags throughout Book One and leaves the reader ready for Book Two, and beyond.
For the fantasy fans out there, this is an excellent read. In the tradition of Lord of the Rings, Book One is the beginning of a quest. Don't be disappointed that it doesn't have the traditional dénouement to the story, or even resolves part of the big picture. One can only hope that the next books are as well written and captivating.

5.0 out of 5 starsLodestone, April 30, 2010
By  Tami Brady "Whole Health Therapist" (Calgary, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms (Paperback)
Things are not as they seem. The Prophet is not the benevolent leader that he portrays. In fact, he is not even Kelanni. He is merely using Tributes as slaves to collect lodestone for a weapon that will give him absolute control.

The only hope for the Kelanni is a small group of individuals with seemingly very little in common. Keris is a former Keltar. While on a mission, everything she holds dear is turned upside down when she is contacted by a woman from the distant past telling her the truth of the Prophet's intentions. Her helper is Boxx, the key, an ancient chandara who speaks in riddles and at times seems quite senile.

Keris joins forces with her former enemies, the people she was originally menat to investigate. Lyall is a freedom fighter looking to free tributes from Gort, the heart of the Prophet's lodestone operation. He brings with him, Alonda the musician and Shann, a young girl who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their task is to cross the Great Barrier of Storms and neutralize the weapon.

I very much enjoyed reading Lodestone. It was a solid read with good characters whose interaction gave greater depth to the story. I look forward to reading the next installment of this series.
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5.0 out of 5 starsGreat Read, April 24, 2010
This review is from: Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms (Paperback)
What a great journey for the reader. It's like being there--a new world, new people you like to be with, a few you want to avoid, new creatures that capture your imagination, and exciting situations to keep you alert. I'm not really a Sci-Fi fan, but made an exception in this case and do not regret that I did. Enjoy!




 
Mark Whiteway
Mark Whiteway (1959- ) lives in rural West Sussex, England, near the former home of H G Wells and is a lifelong devotee of H G Wells and Jules Verne. The Lodestone series of nove More...