Saturday, January 28, 2012

'Exile' - by Van Pace


Exile is the second exiting short novel in the Theomachy series, which began with Heretic and the series continues with Enforcer.

Fourteen years ago, Brother Stefan made a terrible mistake. A single vengeful act, fuelled by grief and hatred and fear, in a lifetime of hard work and good intentions ... He has spent every waking moment since then serving the Beneficent Numina, and trying to make up for his error of judgement in the worst possible way – by eradicating himself and leaving an empty husk in place of his heart.
Stefan took shelter with the gods because they could forgive worse sinners than him. Seven centuries earlier, the Numina had forgiven the worst of the lot: Rory Kempe, first-and-only prophet to grace Xerxes – a planet forgotten by all others, and ruled over by a theocracy which had gladly turned its back on the Universe.
Then, through the machinations of Hathor – the Numina’s Primary Servant, and Xerxes’ ruling artificial intelligence – Stefan was sent off-world to retrieve Kempe’s own account of his conversion, known simply as the Book. Life beyond Xerxes proved to be more confusing and dangerous than he could have imagined.

Now Brother Stefan returns to Rock Point Abbey with two responsibilities: Kempe’s journal, stolen from his homeworld centuries before, and a four-year-old orphan called Yuki. He delivers the Book to his superiors at Rock Point Abbey with relief, hoping to be allowed to take up his old life of walking and preaching.
But life has other plans for him.
Stefan used to be a clever and compassionate man. A strong man who would fight for his friends; would shelter the unfortunate and protect the innocent. He was a deep and passionate lover – he was loyal and caring and brave. And if it were not for that one terrible mistake, made so long ago, he could be all those things again ...
Stefan has spent fourteen years denying his past. When he gets the chance to change his future, it will take courage to make the right choice.
How does a man regain his honour, once he loses it?

How does he reclaim the woman for whom his love has never wavered?

How does he make amends for the death of a true friend?

This time, Stefan is going to have to fight.

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