Love Bytes says hello and welcome to author E.E Montgomery 🙂
Building Thalazar – the Mafdeti
Warrior Pledge was released by Dreamspinner Press on 3 October. It’s the story of a race of shape-shifting people continuing their fight for recognition in their own land. It’s the story of myths and legends becoming reality, and a story of how one person—or four—can change the world.
For such lofty aims, I needed a planet and a people who could do all of those things. Enter the Mafdeti. This is the background of that proud race.
The Mafdeti are the original inhabitants of Thalazar. They are shapeshifters with three forms: human, big cat, and were (somewhere between the two). They live in a matriarchal society with an oral history. Their Seers are the protectors of their history and are made up of Mafdeti who have special abilities that connect them to their planet. Their Guard, the military, are the protectors of their people and society. They are made up of their strongest and bravest men. Women train with the military but aren’t expected to serve because they become the rulers.
The explorer Thalazar led an invasion against the Mafdeti and won. A treaty was signed and the Mafdeti confined to the mountains above the Analee Valley which was their traditional hunting grounds. The Mafdeti and the invaders, now called Descendants by the Mafdeti and Imperials by themselves, have lived in uneasy peace ever since. Now, the Seers believe there are signs that things are set to change.
The Royal house of the Mafdeti is not hereditary: the strongest woman is chosen as the matriarch during a tourney every thirty years. The Royal house has been led by the same family for the last five hundred years. They intentionally breed for strength to ensure their line is always the one chosen. The tourney has degenerated into a fair.
The current generation of the Royal house boasts a strong but rigid queen, two daughters who could take up the mantle of queen when the time comes, and a son who is shaping up to be the strongest Seer the Mafdeti have known in a millennium. Heath can feel the pieces of the planet. He can look at a waterfall and know exactly how many droplets of water fall over the lip every second. He can touch a rock and know exactly where to hit it to make it shatter. He’s an accomplished warrior. Heath is also a staunch believer in the original version of the Warrior Pledge, a prophecy of a time when the Mafdeti will reclaim their birthright.
The Guard have been building in strength over the last two generations. They, too, believe the legend of the Warrior Pledge and have been searching for the warriors needed to bring the Mafdeti back into their strength. The Guard, like the Seers, is staffed from the entire population, choice being made by strength. Because the nobility have greater access to training, the majority of the Guard are, nevertheless, noble. Checa is this generation’s exception.
Checa grew up in poverty. He was abandoned by his father, neglected by his mother and abused by the old man next door. As he grew older, he was given to understand that if he continued to submit to the old man’s abuse, Checa’s younger brother would be spared. When he was sixteen, Checa discovered the old man had lied. His younger brother had been abused since he was seven, the same age as Checa when the old man started with him. When he confronted the old man, the bastard killed Checa’s brother. In retaliation, Checa killed him.
It was the act of murder that brought Checa into the visible manifestation of his powers: his eyes turned silver. The Warrior Pledge called for a warrior with silver eyes to save the Mafdeti from eventual annihilation.
The Seers recognised they now had two of the four needed for the Warrior Pledge. The orbits of the world’s two moons were also on a course toward eclipse: another sign of the Warrior Pledge. All they needed to do was identify the other two Warriors of the Pledge, and the Mafdeti race would be set to rise in power and reclaim their land.
So now you have a brief history of the Mafdeti people. They value strength, but strength often comes in different forms. What do you consider strength in a person? I’ll choose one entry to respond to, with the person asking receiving an ebook of their choice from my backlist.
When the two moons of Thalazar cross orbits, the Warrior Pledge must be completed or the cat-shifting Mafdeti nation will face annihilation. There are four who can save the people and their land: the Silver Shining from Rock, the Great Heart Farseeing, the Changeling, and the Pure. They must find each other before time runs out.
Silver-eyed Checa is Captain of the Guard for the Mafdeti. Thanks to the friendship and loyalty of Heath, son of the Mafdeti Matriarch, Checa has survived and thrived after a childhood of horrific abuse. He knows Heath is his Bond-Mate but refuses to bond with the younger man because he feels he isn’t worthy. Nor does Heath’s mother approve of her son bonding with a lowborn warrior.
Together they face deadly wing-strikes from carnivorous birds, earthquake, betrayal, ambush, and an enemy invasion, only to be confronted with the possibility that the Warrior Pledge will bond Checa and Heath to others. If Checa is to complete the Warrior Pledge, he must overcome the belief that he doesn’t deserve Heath’s love, and fight for the one man who can make him whole.
E E Montgomery wants the world to be a better place, with equality and acceptance for all. Her philosophy is: We can’t change the world but we can change our small part of it and, in that way, influence the whole. Writing stories that show people finding their own ‘better place’ is part of E E Montgomery’s own small contribution.
Thankfully, there’s never a shortage of inspiration for stories that show people growing in their acceptance and love of themselves and others. A dedicated people-watcher, E E finds stories everywhere. In a cafe, a cemetery, a book on space exploration or on the news, there’ll be a story of personal growth, love, and unconditional acceptance there somewhere.
You can contact E E Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org; on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ewynelaine.montgomery; on Twitter: @EEMontgomery1; or at her web site: http://www.eemontgomery.com/ and blog: http://www.eemontgomery.com/blog.