Cam Rhys Lay
The Childless Ones
"...impressively creates two vivid worlds, each with its own history and compelling characters, while also offering a meditation on the relationship between creativity, fertility, and shared memory. A stunning fantasy debut." -- Kirkus Reviews
TWO WORLDS...TWO ALTERNATING NARRATIVES...
A REALIST RELATIONSHIP DRAMA...AN EPIC FANTASY...
In the “real world,” we open with aspiring fantasy writer, Jack, just leaving a prostitute when he receives a phone call that his wife Sarah has been attacked and possibly sexually assaulted. With this incident as a launching pad, the novel moves through both Jack and Sarah’s lives as they deal with past guilt and regrets as well as their ongoing struggles with relationships, infertility and parenthood.
At the same time, we’re introduced to a medieval fantasy world—ostensibly written by Jack—where an overly bureaucratic Empire rules with an iron, but not entirely malevolent, fist… where an ancient sect of sorcerers have extraordinary powers but are cursed with the inability to have children… and where a race of beings called the Mandrakhar live lives one quarter the length of normal people, but whose memories are passed on to future generations through the last of an ancient breed of tree. Along the way, we meet a large cast of characters including a crotchety governor who just wants to do right by his granddaughter, a hardboiled, lesbian, dwarf detective who just wants another drink, and a villainous sorcerer whose motives form one of the central mysteries of the book.
Throughout the book the two narratives echo off one another—often in surprising ways—ultimately commenting on the nature of storytelling itself.
Available online at Amazon, B&N, and most places books are sold online.
You can read reviews of the book here.
You can read about my decision to self-publish here.