Please welcome this week’s guest, a writer of fantasy.
How now folks. I’m R.M. Garino, the author of the Chaos of Souls Series. Ever wish you could bring your D&D characters to life? Well, that’s exactly what we did. Although the overarching story of angels and demons is much older, our two main characters were fleshed out from a D&D game my wife and I played with friends ages ago. They’re introduced, along with their misfit squads, in The Gates of Golorath, and their adventures continue throughout the series. We’ve also released a standalone series, the Chaos of Souls Novellas, which capture separate side stories that enrich the main tale. Requiem’s Reach is the first volume, and we continue from there. If you’re looking for a thoughtful, somewhat irreverent fantasy that puts the stories and characters first, then come on over and give us a read.
R.M. Garino has been writing for most of his life. Since childhood, he has been fascinated with what The Story is, how it functions, its hidden depths, and the different masks it wears.
He is known for writing crisp, character driven fiction that reads like viewing a film. His world creation is vast and far reaching, yet his prose is organic and devoid of informational dumps. The characters are real, believable, and inspire both affection and compassion in the reader.
Garino has a Master’s in Literature and lives in the mountains of the east coast with his wife, three children, and all the characters still waiting their turn to speak. He is an avid brewer of beer and strong coffee, a voracious reader, an aficionado of fine cigars and single malt scotch, and is not nearly as obsessed with video games as his wife believes him to be.
Author’s Note about Chaos of Souls:
The Chaos of Souls Series started with a short story more than thirty years ago. Back then, I was in middle school and I had a dream; not some grand vision for the world, or my own personal future: rather it was an ordinary collection of images dredged up from my subconscious in the night. But it was cool, by any ten-year old’s standards. There were knights, angels, demons, swords, dragons and magic, all intertwined with stepping into another world.
My nocturnal musings fascinated me, especially since everyone assured me they were random nonsense. I knew better, of course. So I climbed out of bed and stepped over my siblings – we had a large family in a small house, so my bedroom was just that, a room full of beds; I had the privilege of having the top bunk. It was my own little space with a shelf full of knick-knacks and books. It was my own little space, but it did make getting to the bathroom in the middle of the night an acrobatic feat. After stepping on a few limbs, and heads I think, I made my way downstairs to the dining room table where all the school books were kept. I never made it back to sleep, and my parents woke to find me scribbling away in a loose leaf binder. I was on page thirteen when they sent me off to school, with a manuscript titled Journey to the Darkside stuffed in my bag.
What I wrote was tolerable, as far as dreams go. Hey, I was ten. It made sense in parts, and none in others, as dreams tend to do. What bothered me was how I told the story. It wasn’t right. It was nothing like the books I read under my desk in class; The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Treasure Island, The last of the Mohicans, The Lord of the Rings. So, I rewrote it, again and again. I tried to understand what was missing. I continued reading everything I got my hands on, especially those books I was told were too old for me.
It wasn’t long before I noticed the voices when I wasn’t reading. Not the scary kind that whisper sweet destruction and leave you medicated. These were the other kind, the ones who have a story to tell with their own unique inflections. They slipped into my normal narrative feed while I went through the day. Staring out the window of a New York City bus, I transitioned from my normal self-depreciating dialogue into some madman’s self-aggrandizing tale of murder. Like any good citizen overhearing a bloody confession, I wrote it down like the juicy bit of gossip it was. I didn’t pay attention to the process. I didn’t notice the empty dust jackets scattered about my room, or the paper cuts and calluses on my fingers. I didn’t have a problem. I could stop at any time. Before I knew it, the voices filled notebooks, and I found myself seeking them out. There were short stories, poems, snippets, and yes, I blush to confess, vignettes when that’s all I could get.
Years later, at some point in college, I came to a place where I had to admit the awful truth I had been running from. I was addicted. Hi, my name is R.M. Garino, and I am a recovering writer. I keep falling off the wagon.
I kept coming back to the original dream, though. It never left me, but it expanded. The short story became a novella, and grew into a novel. Through the years it evolved with me, but it was never right, never the book I always wanted to read. Something was still missing.
Then, I met my wife, Dorothy. At first, she did not like my writing. Not that she disliked what I wrote, but that I spent too much time with it, and not enough with her. One day while we were dating, I was stuck with a plot point and told her part of the story. She fixed it in about thirty seconds. Later, after we were married, I described the setting I had finished writing. Pink Floyd’s “Sorrow” played in the background, and the intro to the song carried her along the destroyed lands, and she saw it all.
That was it. That was all it took. She was hooked. The gateway was opened, and she stepped across into the world my ten-year old self discovered. She was my missing part. Since then, she has helped me craft it, fixing the plot holes and adding the voices that spoke in her head. Journey to the Darkside became The Chaos of Souls Series. The angels the Lethen’al, the demons became the Lo’ademn, and the knights became the Areth’kon Blades.
The first part of the story is The Gates of Golorath. Now, I’m not going to say I’m possessive and reluctant to let things go, but all it took was a groping brush with death to get me to share it with others. I hope you enjoy it.
And so, Gather the Blades!
Prologue to the series:
In the beginning, a faction of angels spurned the will of Heaven and sundered the Veil into creation. As punishment, their souls were shattered into millions of fragments, called si’ru. The moment they crossed over, their si’ru mixed with corporeal matter, and they were reformed into physical bodies. No longer were they Aesari. They became the E’ine, the First Ones. In time, these beings gave birth to children of their own, born from the flesh of their prisons. These were the Lethen’al, the Fallen.
Another faction tried to stop the exodus with malicious force. These were the Lo’ademn, and they too were punished, cast out into the Chora, the space between the spaces. By the grace of the Creator, they still retained their angelic abilities, but were condemned to wander until their brethren returned home.
The portion of creation where the Veil was breached was set aside and moved into the Chora, lest any of the Lethen’al attempted to return. This otherworld was named the Sur, for it a gateway to other realms.
An angel of tremendous power, an Aesari named Tarek was positioned there, a lone guardian protecting the paths to Heaven. It is believed he held his post for millennia, but grew weary of his role. It is said he learned to hate the E’ine and the Lethen’al, and blamed them for his exile instead of his own impulsive actions. Soon, he took a new name; The Apostate, and he vowed to destroy his fallen brethren.
His malice infected the Sur, and it became a place of darkness.
In the shattering of their si’ru, the E’ine forgot their past and who they once were. Gone was the purpose that led them through the Veil of Heaven, and the reason why they were here. They found clues to their truth, but answers eluded them. In the interim, they raised the humans to consciousness. But in time, the Lo’ademn learned that humans were easily corrupted, and their bodies effortless to steal. The Apostate walked the world in his borrowed skin, and with the monstrous hordes of his creation, the shrulks, he hunted the Lethen’al to near extinction. He was banished with the powerful magics of Thenaria Tu’renthien, the Matriarch, and the Lethen’al fled through the Gates of Golorath back to the Patresilen.
They locked the Gates behind them, and have not returned.
Seven thousand years have passed since the Apostate’s exile. The E’ine are all but gone, killed by the Apostate long ago. The Lethen’al remain ignorant to their true past, but they have evolved behind the Gates. They have mastered the arts of magic and of war, so they will never be victims again. Every Lethen’al must pass through the Areth’kon, their martial school, and become a Blade. At the completion of their training, they must serve a tour at The Gates of Golorath, where their future will be decided.
But the old ways have grown stale, and new blood will challenge its rule.
“This is a fast paced, wholly unique take on the fallen angel genre and the creation of man. The world building is incredible.” – JB
Arielle is exactly the kind of female character I want to read about. She’s strong and resilient and can hold her own against the boys. Angus, oh my sweet Angus, is sassy and witty with his banter and one liners. – Nicole
“The fight scenes were so rousing they had me cringing with imaginary pain.” Sabrina
“Readers will find The Gates of Golorath, Chaos of Souls has the intrigue of Lord of the Rings; the military challenge of Games of Thrones; and the charm and magic of Harry Potter.” – Bruce
“This is truly epic fantasy at its finest. I fell into the first book and the second kept its grip on me. I love Angus and Arielle’s story.” -S. Schnider
A Free Short Story Set In The World Of Chaos Of Souls: (Also available on Kobo and Google Play)
Link for Initiating Angels: A Chaos of Souls Short Story:https://www.amazon.com/Initiating-Angels-Chaos-Souls-Short-ebook/dp/B07XXGKJLF
Main Series: These are the old school, epic fantasy novels you can build biceps with. Over 600 pages of magic that will make you laugh, cry and really become invested in a crazy group of new friends.
Link for The Gates of Golorath: Book One of the Chaos of Souls Series: https://www.amazon.com/Gates-Golorath-Chaos-Souls-Book-ebook/dp/B01MYF2PY0
Link for Angels of Perdition: Book Two of the Chaos of Souls Series: https://www.amazon.com/Angels-Perdition-Chaos-Souls-Book-ebook/dp/B07L7CJ7WK
Novella Series: Even though these can be read on their own, they connect you to the Chaos of Souls main series. We explore the characters whose stories beg to be told. This series brings their side stories to life, at the same time deepening and enriching the main books. Each book tells a different and complete story that will make you want for more.
Link for Requiem’s Reach: Volume I of the Chaos of Souls Novella Series: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q4LSF2T
Link for The Gate of Fang and Thorn: Volume II of the Chaos of Souls Novella Series: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W7D6B1X
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/R.M.-Garino/e/B01MYFS8RX
My thanks to this weeks guest for a great post. I hope you all enjoyed it.
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