The Compass Rose universe -- an ancient milieu where places have no names, cities spring forth like bouquets in the desert, gods and dreams walk the scorching sands in the South, ice floats like mirror shards upon the Northern sea, islands that do not exist are found in the East, death chases a thief on the rooftops of a Western city, immortal love spans time, and directions are intertwined into one road we all travel....
You come to this place when you wonder, and sometimes, only when you dream.
What is the nature of evil?
When a young warrior of a dark race finds himself bound in servitude to a beautiful cruel princess, his loyalty becomes entwined with something more horrifying and mysterious than endless night falling over the ancient desert.
When a courageous young servant reveals her hidden wisdom to the madman conqueror of the world, her fate is joined to a nightmare suspended beyond death and outside the universe.
Two souls from different times -- their destinies connected through hundreds of other lives and generations, through soft whispers of the wind, through ancient truths that lie buried in an island between worlds.
Both souls enslaved through dream and desire in an endless conflict between truth and illusion.
They can only be set free by the wonder of the Compass Rose.
FROM THE AUTHOR
It is singularly appropriate that the word "Amarantea" and the image of a heart-wrenching island between worlds first came to me at the edge of dream. It haunted me immediately, and initiated a chemical reaction from the elements of my being. Fragments of intensity filled me--bits and pieces of unresolved curiosity, wonder, nostalgia for all things of the past, a garish swirl of mythos combining those parts of me that were steeped in ancient history of my native Armenia, Russia, and beloved Greece, the Far East. So many people, so many fates. Indeed, history spun in all directions--past, present, and future, and that uncharted realm of alternate possibilities, the fourth dimension, if you will--and I had no single term to sum it all up, no symbol that would convey everything except that of the old nautical wind rose, also known as the compass rose.
I began to write feverishly the very next day, still unsure of the directions. I was flailing with the need to convey what it was that I had seen in that one dream image. The result, so much later, fell together into a peculiar "collage" of fables that all work in tandem to illustrate the world as I see it, despite the trappings of myth. And now, I give you this story of interconnected lives, of many flavors of passion and illusion, and present it not so much as a novel as a philosophical puzzle. Find in it, if you can, a piece of yourself.
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About the Author
VERA NAZARIAN immigrated to the USA from the former USSR as a kid, sold her first story at the age of 17, and since then has published numerous works in anthologies and magazines, and has seen her fiction translated into eight languages.
She made her novelist debut with the critically acclaimed arabesque "collage" novel DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE (2002), followed by epic fantasy about a world without color, LORDS OF RAINBOW (2003). Her novella THE CLOCK KING AND THE QUEEN OF THE HOURGLASS from PS Publishing with an introduction by Charles de Lint made the Locus Recommended Reading List for 2005. Her debut short fiction collection SALT OF THE AIR, with an introduction by Gene Wolfe, contains the 2007 Nebula Award-nominated "The Story of Love."
Recent work includes the 2008 Nebula Award-nominated, self-illustrated baroque fantasy novella THE DUKE IN HIS CASTLE (2008), the hilarious and surprisingly romantic Jane Austen parodies MANSFIELD PARK AND MUMMIES (2009), NORTHANGER ABBEY AND ANGELS AND DRAGONS (2010), PRIDE AND PLATYPUS: Mr Darcy's Dreadful Secret (2012), science fiction collection AFTER THE SUNDIAL (2010), inspirational daily reader THE PERPETUAL CALENDAR OF INSPIRATION (2010), relationship and love advice parody VAMPIRES ARE FROM VENUS, WEREWOLVES ARE FROM MARS (2012), and the Renaissance epic fantasy COBWEB BRIDE Trilogy (2013).
She is working on a number of book-length projects including QUALIFY (The Atlantis Grail Trilogy, Book One), LADY OF MONOCHROME (a sequel to LORDS OF RAINBOW), a new Compass Rose milieu novel GODS OF THE COMPASS ROSE, and the AIREALM Trilogy.
After many years in Los Angeles, Vera lives in a small town in Vermont, and uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art.
In addition to being a writer and award-winning artist, she is also the publisher of Norilana Books.
Official website: www.veranazarian.com
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