Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Other Side of the Gate

I would like to take some time now to write a bit about my novel, The Other Side of the Gate. There's already a description for the book on the back cover as well as the publisher's page (conveniently linked above), but one thing about having a forum like this is that it affords me the opportunity to expand on this synopsis. Given that this is a 700-page novel (an "epic", as it were), I personally relish the chance to offer a more detailed description of the book.

It is a fantasy/adventure story following a 14 year old boy who is inexplicably whisked away to a strange world, and who is determined to find out why. His name is Daniel Weaver, and he comes from our own contemporary world (he lived in Pennsylvania), but who, in the beginning of the story, wakes up to find himself drifting along in a tiny boat. He has no knowledge of how or why this is happening, only that he finds himself floating into this strange world called "The Realms".

The Realms is inhabited by numerous strange creatures, both great and small. It is also inhabited by human beings who have settled across this new world. Some, like Daniel, were taken without warning or it seems, evident purpose, to The Realms from the place we call Earth. Many of these people, called "newcomers", have lived in The Realms for years and even decades, but all were taken to this new world when they were in their teen years, just like Daniel. Yet nobody seems to know who brought them here, or for what purpose.

Youngsters from Earth have been ferried to The Realms for so long, that whole generations have been born and lived their lives in this world. In fact, most of the human population is made up of those called Realmsborn, who have lived in this land their entire lives, and no nothing of Earth (which they call "the Otherworld"), except what they hear from stories.

Over the centuries, many small pockets of human civilization have sprung up across this vast and often dangerous world. Humans marooned in The Realms, along with their antecedents, have survived and even flourished here, still without any understanding as to the purpose of their forced migration. Magic is also a force of nature in The Realms, and takes many guises. Some humans have even learned how to harness the magical forces of this world, making formidable individuals who ought not to be crossed.

The world is divided up into sixteen different enclosed regions, each connected to another in a successive string by a series of magical portals. Travel through each realm is difficult and often hazardous, especially to the young newcomers who arrive in the simple haven of the First Realm, but who choose to venture on into the rest of the world. The decision to pass through the First Realm's gate is not to be taken lightly, as once a person crosses through it, it is very difficult to return.

During his adventures in this First Realm, Daniel finds that he has an affinity for attracting trouble. He unwittingly makes himself many enemies in the entry town of Greetingsport, but he also makes many friends as well. Among them is Eleanor, a Realmsborn girl who is the daughter of the local town's bug catcher, but who dreams one day of becoming a healer. The stringent class rules of the town's society prevent her from moving beyond her station, however - something Eleanor has learned to accept, but which Daniel finds terribly unjust.

Eventually, Daniel is forced to move on from the relative safety of the First Realm and pass through the gate to seek the answers he is looking for. Harsh deserts, vast prairies, dark forests, and who-knows what else awaits him in his travels. He is given no quest, no task to perform or foe to defeat in order to fulfill his purpose in The Realms. Instead, he is left to struggle with the question of why he is here - why any of the humans are here. It is in this mission that he devotes himself and prepares to risk everything for the chance of finding his true purpose in this world. Sometimes, however, knowing the truth is harder than being left in the dark.

The Other Side of the Gate is currently available on Barnes & Noble and

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