This past week we gave the spotlight to Vultures, the first book in Luke Tarzian’s Dark Fantasy series, the Shadow Twins! Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with reviews and other posts. Now it’s time to bring the show to an end and it’s my pleasure to present you with the encore, including some extra content. Come and learn a bit more about the world of Vultures through Luke’s playlist!
Luke Tarzian was born in Bucharest, Romania until his parents made the extremely poor choice of adopting him less than six months into his life. As such, he’s resided primarily in the United States and currently lives in California with his wife and their infant daughters. Fascinated by psychology and the work of Edgar Allan Poe, and inspired by his own anxieties, his character-driven fiction functions as a meditation on emotion, most commonly grief. His debut novel, Vultures, introduced a surreal, demon-ridden world where dreams are sometimes more than dreams and magic, memories, and misery are heavily entwined. Vultures is the first book in the Shadow Twins trilogy.
Nothing is trickier than the truth.
An enemy slain is not a conflict won…
After decades of war the demon Te Mirkvahíl is dead. But its progeny endure, spilling from the Heart of Mirkúr, sowing death across the land of Ariath. If the people are to finally know peace, the Heart must be destroyed. Theailys An believes he can do just that with The Keepers’ Wrath, an infamous power focus wrought in Ariath’s yesteryears–but the weapon first must be reforged.
War spares no one…
Serece never intended to get involved in Ariath’s war. But history and demons have a way of pulling strings. When she learns Theailys An, a man whom she abhors, bears striking similarity to the first creator of The Keepers’ Wrath, Serece departs her mountain world for Ariath to ascertain the truth.
From patience, hope…
For millennia Behtréal has walked the world alone. Rewriting history to resurrect his people is easier said than done. But Ariath holds the key–soon The Keepers’ Wrath will be remade.
Truth from madness…
As paths converge and a shadow falls across Ariath, one thing becomes increasingly and horrifyingly clear–these events have played out many times before.
Click on the blog name to read their full review or other content!
FEBRUARY 7TH–THE WELCOMING
“I’m impatient, which is ironic because I love long car rides—journey before destination. I’m an impatient creator, and it took me a long time to realize a big part of that impatience was FOMO—fear of missing out. Self-publishing is not easy, it can be absolutely brutal some days, some weeks, some months—years, even. We as authors want people to be reading our books, to be talking about them; we want to be seen. I saw my peers pumping out books and it instilled in me an unhealthy sense of urgency—if I didn’t hurry up and put out something new every year, people would stop reading my work; they would forget about me. That sense of urgency poisoned me, it tainted my ability to enjoy writing—and wasn’t that why I started writing in the first place? Some days it was hard to remember that. “
The SwordSmith – review
“Perhaps one of the best aspects of the novel is how Luke explores the Human psyche. The POV characters feel genuine remorse for the people they have wronged and killed, they just cannot forgive themselves. This leads them both down a path of redemption that leads to the brink of insanity, it is this that makes Luke one of the best and most interesting writers at work today. You are never quite sure what has happened, where these acts committed by these characters, a dark force, a mental illness or is history simply repeating itself. The narrative twists and turns skillfully leading the reader to the answers that you will desperately seek.”
“What I haven’t forgotten, what I can’t forget, was how the book made me feel. Confused, sure, but also intrigued, chilled, hollow, turned inside-out, and reinvented as a different person than I was before I read the book. There’s a darkness and a complexity at the core of the human condition that is as ineffable as it is inescapable. Luke Tarzian does as good a job as anyone I’ve come across at capturing this vortex of uncertainty, passion, torment, light, and shadow.
Read this book. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Out of This World SFF Reviews – review
“Lastly I have to commend Luke Tarzian on his magical world-building. I’m at a loss to try and figure out how he came up with this astonishing setting in his head. It reminded me a little of Peter Newman’s Vagrant series but with a great deal more texture and complexity. I was stunned by the beauty of VULTURES and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a dark fantasy book that challenges you at every turn but also really entertains you at the same time. It’s also a book that you want to reread immediately after finishing it to see if you missed anything the first time around.”
@theenchantedshelf – IG spotlight
Kats Reading Room – spotlight
OllieSpot SFF Book Reviews – review
“What takes things over the edge as far as “normal” goes, is the crossing over to different realms from time to time. We see back to an earlier time and place, sometimes when things were better off, sometimes worse. Sometimes we meet one of the “face” of a superior being, one that is also trying to set things right. Honestly, it’s dark and surrealistic, existing as its own type of dark fantasy, with poetic writing and unique magic all spun up into a thought provoking payoff.”
darksidereads – review
“Luke is one of the top in atmosphere building I could feel the gravity of the situations as if I was there myself, I could feel the tension building every time Theailys came back to his his senses after his spirit Fero took over and ran amok. and made a mess of anyone that was around Theailys. It honestly made me cringe for him knowing that anyone who saw what happened only saw THeailys acting not the spirit that was in control of him.”
Fantasy Book Nerd – review
“Ultimately, I found Vultures to be a compelling read that I will need to revist at some point and get the full effect of Luke Tarzian’s dreamlike writing, and knowing that there is more to this story fills me with longing for the next one.”
Vultures by Asking Alexandria
This would be the obvious first song on the playlist for Vultures as it’s where the title of the novel originated. A huge theme in the novel is the weight of guilt and sorrow and pain, and I knew Vultures was the perfect title when I heard the lyrics “These vultures burn the life right out of me.”
Fatima Rusalka by Alesana
Alesana is my favorite band; I’ve been listening to them more or less since they released their first album way back in 2006. They’re music is melodic and emotional, and their last three albums formed a fictional story called the Annabel Trilogy. Fatima Rusalka bridges the gap between the second and third album and implies the existence of multiple realities and dreams being more than dreams through poetic lyrics and stage-setting strings. “It was never just a dream” is one of my favorite lyrics from the song—which is based on The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo—and serves as a strong them in Vuyand the Shadow Twins series as a whole.
Holding On For Life by Ellie Goulding
Emotional, atmospheric, and evoking a feeling of longing, Holding On by Ellie Goulding has been a favorite of mine for years. It’s always been a go-to when I’m trying to imagine an emotional scene
Madeline by Alesana
From the Lost Chapters EP by Alesana, and inspired by A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline is a hard hitting song that perfectly captures the madness of time travel and multiple realities, with twin intros and outros serving as the perfect bookends for a song that is literally the embodiment of chaos.
Heavy Hangs the Albatross by Alesana
Last but not least is Heavy Hangs the Albatross by Alesana, off The Emptiness, the first album in Annabel Trilogy and a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe. The Emptiness is the story of a sketch artist who wakes one night to discover his beloved Annabel is dead and that he is the culprit. What follows is a descent into madness and guilt, and in Heavy Hangs the Albatross we see the artist at his lowest, falling into madness and dreams of a dead girl returning to deliver penance for his sins.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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