Guest post by fantasy author Mark T. Barnes.
The Garden of Stones is an epic fantasy novel set in exotic Shrīan, a nation torn by political subterfuge, vengeance, and the maneuvering of the dominant factions of the government.
The people of Shrīan are mostly aligned behind two of the oldest and most influential Houses: the Näsarat and the Erebus, whose bloodlines date back to antiquity.
When the Näsarats first founded the Awakened Empire, the Erebus seemed happy to serve. But the seeds of envy had been sown, and while the Näsarat saw a future of racial harmony, shared knowledge and diplomacy, the Erebus were focused on the manifest destiny of their people--conquest. Future generations saw rivalries, wars, and a divided the nation.
Now the leader of the Erebus, Corajidin, wants to restore his House to the high throne. Driven by visions of his future, he's prepared to break laws and bend social mores to deliver what he sees is the best path for his country. With the knowledge of treasures hidden away in the ruins of forgotten civilizations, Corajidin sets out to raid the tombs of yesteryear to unearth powerful arcane artifacts, lost mystic knowledge, and devastating weapons that will give him the advantage in the conflict to come.
But it's Indris of the Näsarat—warrior-mage, historian and adventurer—who finds himself in the way of Corajidin’s plans. At the request of one of the government factions, Indris and his companions brave the dangers of the old world and the beings that now inhabit it. Travelling through the remnants of fallen empires, Indris must confront Corajidin and stop him from stealing from the past, to deliver a future that will change Shrīan forever, and more firmly entrench the feud between the Näsarat and the Erebus that Indris would just as soon see end.