Author: D.M. Cain
“The new book in DM Cain’s epic Light and Shadow fantasy series certainly plunges us in at the deep end. The heart of this book—its true essence—is prejudice and love, persistence, and stubbornness.” Stewart Bint, author of In Shadows Waiting and Timeshaft.
A brutal war has raged for centuries. The Brotherhood of Shadow and The Children of Light each yearn to rule the planet and will stop at nothing to defeat the other. Now, from the deepest bowels of Hell, the Brotherhood has summoned demons to fight for them. The demons could end the war once and for all, if only the Brotherhood can keep them under control. Prophecy, destiny, honour, and glory: Chaos, a soldier in The Children of Light, fights in the name of all these things and could achieve them if he wasn’t so arrogant. He believes he is the best warrior in the land, until a fateful coincidence puts him at the mercy of the demon, Anathema. The two warriors, demon and human, strike up an intense rivalry, but their obsession to destroy one another only leads them closer together. When the forces of Heaven and Hell collide, where will their loyalties lie?
Today, he would deliver a message to the ruler of the Kingdom of Heaven, a message that would shock them into action and would once again reignite old battles. The wind blew through his wings, his feathers ruffled and his muscles strained. He swooped over the mountains and finally dropped into a run at the palace gates, great clouds of dust mushrooming at his feet. He threw himself into the arched doorway and thundered into the courtyard of the Temple of Nirvana. Marble pillars spread around the vast courtyard, encircling the open space. The messenger ran across the yard, heading directly for the silver temple ahead. He sprinted the thirty steps to the doorway at full pelt and then halted for a second to regain composure. With a deep breath in, he opened the heavy doors.
Inside, a hall of brilliant light blinded him. He paused and allowed the light to wash over him. He
The messenger had never seen an elder before, but their prestige was legendary across the Kingdom of Heaven. He dared not stare at them, unworthy to be in their presence, but he cast a quick glance around the room. Faith, Hope, Justice, Compassion. All of them were here. The ancestors of every angel in Heaven today. Were his forefathers in here somewhere?
With another deep breath, the messenger fixed his eyes on the grand throne at the head of the table. In a chair made of pure gold sat an awe-inspiring angel who held himself with nobility. Providence was the leader of the angels; his long, golden hair flowed down his back, parted by impressive wings of the whitest feathers.
The messenger opened his mouth to speak, but the words caught in his throat. Providence gave a smile.
“There is no need to feel afraid. Come, sit with us.” He gestured to an open throne.
The messenger took two rigid steps to the open seat and forced himself down. He was overcome by a tangible sense of calm and basked in the positivity that Providence exuded for a moment, then began to speak.
“Your Exalted Highness, I bring terrible news. The equilibrium in the Human Realm has shifted. A group of humans has allied with demons, and if we do not fight back soon, all will be lost!”
Providence tilted his head calmly to one side and examined the messenger.
“Do not worry, young angel. Humans are free beings, allowed to choose their allegiance as they wish. All we can do is to send them our influences, but in the end they will do as they please. The demons may send influence too, but they cannot hurt the humans. Nothing is lost.”
The messenger felt a wave of panic.
“No, Your Highness, it is not so! I wish the demons merely sent influence, but they have gone beyond that. The demons have sent a group of commanders to the Human Realm itself.”
Providence paused a moment, clearly taken aback.
“It cannot be so. For a demon to enter the Human Realm is simply impossible.”
“I know, Your Highness. I do not understand how they have passed beyond the seal, but I can assure you, the offspring of Wrath and Malice walk the planet.”
Darkness passed across Providence’s face, and his eyes flickered as comprehension dawned on him.
“But demons are tied to Hell. It is impossible for them to leave.”
The messenger’s chest tightened with anxiety again.
“Your Highness, I am sorry, but the Human Realm has been compromised.”
Providence closed his eyes for a moment as murmurs of disbelief and shock rose from his council. He opened his eyes and they shone with renewed clarity.
“My council, the time has come for us to once more guide the lives of those in the Human Realm.”
“We do not interfere with the disputes of humans!” The angel Faith rose from her seat. “We can only send strength to them, but their battles are their own.”
“Yes, Faith, but this is not an equal battle of humans. This is a fight the world will not win without our support. This messenger is correct. All will soon be lost if we allow demons access to the Human Realm. We must send our own commanders to the humans before the planet falls to evil.”
D.M. Cain is also a member of the International Thriller Writers and is one of the creators and administrators of the online author group #Awethors. Her short story ‘The End’ was published in Awethology Dark – an anthology by the #Awethors.
Cain lives in Leicestershire, UK, with her husband and young son, and spends her time reading, writing and reviewing books, playing RPGs and listening to symphonic metal.