The wait is over! Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell’s audiobook edition in now available! Theodric is narrated by Bradley Pittman and Cassia by Jaime Lee-Lewis. You can learn more about the voice talent here. You can purchase your copy on Audible, Amazon or iTunes! Listen to the sample of the first two chapters on SoundCloud. New Audible listeners can also take advantage of a free audiobook!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOUISVILLE, KY (July 11, 2017) • What would it feel like to be sacrificed to gods you didn’t believe in? Amber R. Duell may not know what lies beyond death, but she does explore a vivid mythological world engulfed in a modern war in her newly released young adult fantasy novel, Fragile Chaos.
Amber points to the story of a 500-year-old Incan girl found mummified on a volcano as inspiration for her story. “Did she think she would ascend to some special place?” Amber mused and gave birth to the story of Cassia Stavros and Theodoric trapped in a delicate balance between feuding immortals.
Fragile Chaos is a relentless tale of revenge, inner turmoil, and budding romance reminiscent of the legend of Persephone and Hades. Amber’s story sweeps across national borders and realms as the God of War and his sacrificial bride fight to end the mortal war.
Fragile Chaos is a “…great book for anybody who loves the myth of Cupid and Psyche…I loved the…mashup of modernity with the mythological,” Abby Reed explains, author of When Planets Fall.
About Amber R. Duell
Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s spent the last six years living in Germany and Maine as a military wife where the next step is always an adventure.
For more information, visit www.amberrduell.com.
About Radiant Crown Publishing
Established in 2016 Radiant Crown Publishing is an independent publisher of dark, diverse, and subversive speculative fiction. Antiheroes and characters whose stories are pushed to the margins are welcome here.
For more information, visit www.radiantcrownpublishing.com.
Meet the audiobook producers behind Amber R. Duell‘s Fragile Chaos!
“Jamie-Lee Lewis, aka Jaylew, hails from the island of Jamaica. Since a small child, she’s always had a hyper imagination. She enjoys writing and telling stories, singing and composing songs, entertaining and edifying, playing different characters as well as creating them through drawings, and finding the beauty and fun in everything she does. She is currently a professional and passionate Youtuber.”
“Bradley Pittman is a producer and freelance musician living and working in Atlanta. He received a bachelor’s degree in audio production from Georgia State University in 2016. Though he most commonly works on musical projects, he began self-producing audiobook chapters in 2015 as a way to unite his love of studio production with his love of literature. “
Gods of Old
Long before the world came into existence, there lived three Old Gods. But, as they began to fade, they regretted never having created anything worthwhile and feared being forgotten. With the last of themselves, they created a pantheon of six siblings that would do what they never had:
Ebris to guide the siblings.
Drea to create a world teaming with life.
Brisa to rule the unpredictable seas.
Leander to help souls find their place in the afterlife.
Astra to aid in matters of the heart.
Theodric to steer the living through their conflicts.
For thousands of years, the mortals worshiped their gods and goddesses, but with each generation, fewer believed in their existence. Ebris, like his creators, feared being forgotten, and pushed his siblings to do more for their worshipers. Drea, Brisa, Leander, Astra, and Theodric went along with their brother’s requests out of respect for him, but everything changed when Ebris ordered the continuation of the Ostran War.
Theodric began the conflict to reward the Ostran Emperor by extending his territory, but with every victory meant to end the war, Ebris forced Theodric to press forward until the entire east was embroiled in the bloody conflict. It wasn’t until the mortals assumed the war was a sign the gods had abandoned them that Ebris ordered its end.
Ebris ripped Theodric’s power away, calling him reckless and impulsive. None of the siblings dared stop Ebris for fear he would turn on them next. But, while no one crossed Ebris, the ordeal ruined their trust of one another. The gods and goddesses began to work as separate entities instead of one, and it wasn’t long until the disconnect caused mortals to turn away from their creators completely.
Realm of Theodric, God of War
A dirt path led away from the circular stone temple at the edge of Theodric’s realm, winding through a grassy field, and up a hill. A gray stone mansion at the top was surrounded by a circular wall. Passing under the entryway, the packed dirt gave way to fine black gravel that circled the interior courtyard. Turrets capped the corners of the twenty-eight room mansion.
Most of the rooms were covered in dust, and used for storage. Two bedrooms and a bathroom were used on the second floor by Theodric and his advisor, but the war room was occupied most frequently. High windows covered the back wall with seats beneath each. On either side of the doors hung an array of weapons—swords, guns, throwing knives—and, to the right, maps were tacked from the ceiling down. Books and scrolls lined shelves. The war table stood useless in the middle of the room. Theodric moved the colored glass pieces across the black base out of habit now instead of necessity.
Even in times of peace, Theodric was preparing for the moment that harmony shattered, but without his full power, he was no longer able to see things like he needed to. Hundreds of spies were scattered across the world to keep him updated. Three hundred male sacrifices were left living inside the outer wall. A sacrificial bride had never made it out of the main chamber of the temple.
Behind the mansion stretched a wide forest. Animals were no longer present, but a small brook laced through trees. Upstream, a waterfall spilled over the edge of rocky cliffs, filling a pool and feeding the brook. A mountain range began at the edge of the tree line, and didn’t stop until it reached the Between—a dark abyss holding the six god and goddess realms together. The threat of being banished into the nothingness was usually more than enough for Ebris to keep everyone in line.
Realm of Astra, Goddess of Love
White and gray columns held up a balcony that ran the entire length of Astra’s two-story square palace. A frosted pink and white skylight shone down on the double staircase in the foyer. Crystal chandeliers hung in each of the two-hundred rooms, and someone was always playing a musical instrument. It could be heard almost anywhere with sheer curtains billowing from glassless windows.
Despite the lack of belief, Astra would visit the mortals on a regular basis. Her walled-in temple was surrounded by six sets of four pillars. The five alcoves belonging to her siblings were each set at the top of a separate staircase inside. An infinity symbol carved from marble served as her altar before the pit with a wide, single-wick candle at its center. A river flowed near the entrance with paddleboats waiting by the dock. Flowering trees grew across the hilly landscape. A stone path lined with always-blooming cherry blossoms could be followed throughout the realm.
Most residents preferred to spend time in the common areas: pillows covering the flat roof to enjoy the stars at night or the atrium that opened to the entire first floor with a deep-set pool at its center. With seventy-five servants remaining along with seven husbands, there was always company to be found in either place. While Astra loved each of her sacrifices equally, she hadn’t truly accepted any husbands in the last nine hundred years. If the men chose to stay, she honored their sacrifice and encouraged them to find love elsewhere in the household.
eBook (ePub Edition)
BN ID: 2940157306519
Release Date: July/August 2017 (July 11th, 2017)
A GOD OF WAR SEEKING RESTORATION.
AN UNWILLING SACRIFICIAL BRIDE.
BETRAYAL THAT COULD DESTROY THEM BOTH.
“[E]very fiber of my being is woven from the rage of mortals.”
Theodric, the young God of War, has a talent for inciting conflict and bloodshed. After being stripped of his powers by his older brother, King of Gods, he sets out to instigate a mortal war to prove himself worthy of being restored to power.
“I loved Kisk once; it was my home… But that was before. This is now.”
Sixteen-year-old Cassia, like many in the modern era, believes gods and goddesses to be just a myth. Enemy to her country and an orphan of the war, she has no time for fairy tales. That’s until religious zealots from Theo’s sect offer her up as a sacrifice.
Can Cassia and Theo end the mortal war and return balance to the earth and heavens? Or, will their game of fate lead down a path of destruction, betrayal, and romance neither of them saw coming?
“You’re the only war I can’t win. The only war I don’t want to.”
Fragile Chaos is Amber R. Duell’s debut novel invoking the myth of Cupid and Psyche, and Persephone and Hades, with a modern mythological twist.
“It feels as if my soul has detached, soaring away from my body toward his.”
“[A] great book for anybody who loves the myth of Cupid and Psyche…I loved the…mashup of modernity with the mythological” – Abby Reed, Author of When Planets Fall (Soul Mate Publishing)
“Loved Theo’s complex character… Cassia was a really brave and sassy character who always had her head firmly on her shoulders…” – Kariny, kariny’s book frenzy
“…[T]his book was absolutely amazing…!” – Words I Write Crazy
“Amazing, thrilling and unique…” – Booklove
“This mash[-]up of modern times and mythology combines elements of Beauty & the Beast and Hades & Persephone to create a totally original retelling” – Kati, To Be Read
“If you love…myths and retellings than this mash-up is one you shouldn’t miss… Action, Adventure, Fate[,] and D[e]struction are all tied up in this [wondrous] novel that I just couldn[‘t] put down!” – Crossroad Reviews
“A story full of romance, betrayal, and chaos is sure to attract those teens that enjoyed Percy Jackson but are ready for something more mature” – Jenny, Goodreads Reviewer
“The slow smoldering romance that Theo and Cassia can’t deny greatly pushes each page with anticipation” – Tawney, Twinning for Books
“Filled with folklore, violence, epic battles, and tons of drama, Fragile Chaos is a gripping thrill ride” – Jordan, YA Book Madness
“Fragile Chaos is a great story of the follies of pride, the consequences of abusing power, and the power of love to heal all wounds” – Liza, Quite the Novel Idea
“If you love a good young adult romance, mythology, and a story with high[-]stakes then you definitely need to read Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell” – Olivia Chanel, Galaxy of Books
“This author[‘]s first novel is an extreme display of promise” – Rachel, Rachel’s Book Reviews
Realm of Leander, God of Death
A muted sun shone down on the white, rocky landscape of the Netherworld. Opaque peaks protruded from the ground, casting shimmering blue and yellow shadows over the ground. The air felt frozen with the lack of life—still and unforgiving. Few sacrifices made it longer than a week before asking to move on.
The front side of the largest mountain was a castle made entirely of opal. With delicate carvings and pointed towers, it was something one would expect from a storybook. Inside, were sweeping staircases, detailed ceilings, and elegant archways. While no decorations hung on the glimmering walls, each room was covered in rich area rugs and comfortable furniture. A warm, green fire burned without kindling in Leander’s private fireplaces. Living alone, he never bothered to light the others.
The backside of the mountain held a more ominous purpose. A wide, black river cut Leander’s realm in half, keeping the waiting souls on their side of the realm. Leander was able to walk across the surface untouched to reach the dead, but if one of the crystalline souls tried to cross, they would be forever trapped beneath the swirling water with all of Drea’s failed, monstrous creations.
On the opposite shore, onyx pillars stretched up between two mountains on the other side, showing the souls what they most wanted to see. While they were usually calm while waiting, albeit confused, a riot sometimes broke out if the shore became overcrowded. Leander did his best to usher the souls through the looming archway to the afterlife in an orderly fashion, but it was particularly difficult in times of war.
Realm of Brisa, Goddess of the Sea
Against every myth ever told about Brisa’s queendom, it was not at the bottom of the sea. The stories, however, were right about it being a palace of glass. The exterior was made of a million panes held together with bronzed metal. A fountain at its front fed a lake around the building. The water filled the inside of the glass enclosure, mirroring the walls and ceiling. Interior walls offered privacy and kept out unwanted moisture. Bright white pillars held the solid structure up at its center. Hallways branched off the circular common room, providing rooms to Brisa and her household—now less than fifty men and women.
A rectangular slate temple with a curved roof stood nearby. Cattails sprung up along the white pebbles scatted around the perimeter. Inside, gleaming blue tile scrolled across the walls, forming wave after wave. A banner of pearls and shells covered the altar across from the sacrificial pit. Two semicircle railings stood on either side of the pit, leaving a straight line of site through to the glass entryway.
Most of Brisa’s queendom was covered in sprawling fields and gentle, rocky hills. Small ponds dotted the land, but a single river flowed through the property. The riverbed spilt in two; one branch of the river fed the Black River in Death’s kingdom, and the other dropped off into a waterfall at the edge of the War God’s kingdom.
Realm of Drea, Goddess of Life
The realm of the Goddess of Life was home to all manner of living things. Insects hummed over flowers surrounding a large stone cabin, and birds sang in the sweeping trees. Thin vines crept along the mortar, turning the exterior walls into a maze of gray and green. Lily pads floated above fish and frogs in clear pools. Further from the house, the neatly designed gardens gave way to a sea of trees where rabbits and deer roamed freely along with other herbivores.
With only fifteen rooms in the cabin, Drea’s one hundred sacrifices lived in a row of smaller stone houses behind the main garden. There, the women kept a vegetable garden and small orchards for their personal use. Domesticated animals were also permitted as long they hurt nothing and no one. Sacrificial husbands stayed in the main house, but the last one asked to pass on years ago. A new husband hadn’t been offered in decades.
The round temple hadn’t been used for more than Drea’s passing to the mortal realm or visiting her siblings for almost thirty years. Behind the stained glass door, ferns spread along the walls. Climbing flowers curled along the floral designs carved into green granite walls. Her altar was hidden beneath the overgrown roots of the tree planted behind. Mice now nested in the flower boxes hanging outside the windows, and birds in the eaves. With the lack of prayer, Drea had no intention of destroying thriving life to honor her connection to the mortals.