Blog Tour: THE WORLD MAKER PARABLE by Luke Tarzian

Out of This World SFF Reviews is extremely excited to be just one of the many blogs participating in the #StorytellersOnTour Blog Tour featuring self-published fantasy author Luke Tarzian and his novella THE WORLD MAKER PARABLE!  Today marks Day #5 of the tour and I am truly honored to be one of today's stops. I will be providing a brief synopsis of Luke's novella, reviewing it, and then giving you a sneak peek at an excerpt. So you are going to want to check that out for sure. If you are a blogger and would like to be part of Storytellers On Tour's top-notch tours, be sure to visit their website and sign up now to be a Roadie!  They are an amazing tour site and continue to grow bigger by the day.

Storytellers is currently also running an awesome giveaway in conjunction with this tour.  You can enter to win a paperback copy (adorned with Luke's resplendent artwork) of THE WORLD MAKER PARABLE!  To enter, just click this link. Only US entrants are eligible to win the prize and the giveaway ends this Sunday, May 3rd. So get those entries in now!

But without further delay, let's find out some more about author Luke Tarzian and the mesmerizing dark fantasy tour de force that encompasses his prequel novella, shall we?

Book Blurb:

Guilt will always call you back...

Rhona is a faithful servant of the country Jemoon and a woman in love. Everything changes when her beloved sets the ravenous Vulture goddess loose upon the land. Forced to execute the woman she loves for committing treason, Rhona discovers a profound correlation between morality and truth. A connection that might save her people or annihilate them all.

You are a lie...

Varesh Lum-tale is many things, most of all a genocidal liar. A falsity searching for the Phoenix goddess whom he believes can help him rectify his atrocities. Such an undertaking is an arduous one for a man with missing memories and a conscience set on rending him from inside out. A man whose journey leads to Hang-Dead Forest and a meeting with a Vulture goddess who is not entirely as she seems.

⚔     🛡    ⚔    🛡     ⚔    🛡     ⚔    🛡     ⚔

My Review:

Since THE WORLD MAKER PARABLE is a prequel novella to Luke Tarzian's full-length novel Vultures, I will refrain from giving away too much of the story to avoid potential spoilers. I will say that if you haven't read the first book in his Shadow Twins series, you really should. It's an amazing exercise in philosophical ideas set against the backdrop of hauntingly dark imagery. That book was one of my favorite reads of 2019 and to this day the book still stays with me, it's that thought-provoking and impactful.

THE WORLD MAKER PARABLE takes place before the events in Vultures. We begin the story in Hang-Dead Forest (what could be more ominous than that, right?) as Rhona is dragging her beloved Djen to the tree where she will be put to death.  Why is she being sentenced to this fate?  Only the gods and goddesses of the deeply complex world born of Luke Tarzian's imagination know.  Suffice it to say, the higher powers of this land don't take kindly to those who tamper with their edicts and rules.  And anyone who dares cross them, must meet a terrible fate.

Yet there are those who do not entirely trust some of these gods and goddesses, and are beginning to question whether they should be falling in line with the rigid rules that govern Jemoon and the surrounding territories.  As the story unfolds through alternating timelines of then and now, we get glimpses of the main characters and the actions that they took that have led us to this place.  And nobody is equipped to deliver these glimpses better than author Luke Tarzian.  

The one thing that I always emphasize with this series is that you really have to give the books your full attention or you will be utterly lost.  Luke doesn't info-dump and he doesn't lead you to the clues planted within his story easily.  He trusts his readers to have the acumen to figure it out on their own, which I absolutely love.  It's the very best reading experience that you can have in my opinion.

If you are looking for a dark fantasy read that is trippy beyond belief, is infused with a mind-bending philosophy that challenges you to think beyond your normal capacity, and delivers some of the most emotionally tortured characters who you can't help but connect with, then you should check out both Vultures and THE WORLD MAKER PARABLE.  Luke Tarzian is an author who is just beginning his ascent to the summit where the pantheon of the best fantasy authors reside.  Keep an eye on him, because he only gets better with each book.

My Rating: 9/10

You can purchase THE WORLD MAKER PARABLE by clicking here

And now for an extra-special treat......Thanks to Luke and Storytellers On Tour, I am pleased to be able to bring you this captivating excerpt from THE WORLD MAKER PARABLE!

Hang-Dead Forest north of Banerowos was aptly named. Rhona had lost count of the corpses half a mile back. She towed her prisoner on a length of cord. Thus far she had ignored Djen's every word, half because she was tired of listening to the woman spit hatred, and half because Rhona wasn't entirely sure how to respond. Leading the woman you loved to the tree from which she was sentenced to hang had that effect.
     "I do as the Raven wills," Rhona said.  Djen spat. "Fuck Alerion. Fuck you and your reflexive bullshit." They ducked beneath a trio of low-hanging corpses. The dark bones were long picked dry. Only tatters of clothing remained. "It's the truth," said Rhona. "Alerion's words are so ingrained into your skull they may as well be his hand shoved up your ass and moving your mouth." She heaved a sigh. "Never in all my years would I have thought you'd be the one to dance on strings. I suppose I never really knew you at all, Rhona."
     Rhona halted. She had tried these last hours, these last days, to ignore the bitterness Djen spat her way. Some of it was rightly earned-Rhona didn't deny that. She just wished Djen could understand why she had done what she had done. "I suppose if I had," Djen continued, "I would have foreseen you betraying me to Alerion." "How could I not?" Rhona asked. "You unleashed the Vulture from her cage." 

     "I had to, you idiot," Djen snarled. "You and Alerion all but doomed us when you imprisoned Luminil. What I did was for the future of our home. For the survival of this country and its people. If you would open your eyes--if you would all open your eyes--you would see how absolutely wrong you were to have kept such power in chains."
     Rhona yanked the cord and they continued on the way. She focused on the forest; she had always found peace here among the dead. For that, some called her mad, but what did she care? She inhaled deeply. The trees smelled of death and fear, if fear could be said to smell like anything at all. To Rhona, fear smelled like a foul breath clouding in the night, and that too was a very particular scent. In Hang-Dead Forest a foul breath was defined as an odor of iron and rain--magic. Mirkur.
     They marched on through gnarled and twisted trees. Guilt nipped at Rhona's heels like a hungry dog and her heart stung. It wasn't supposed to have come to this. She loved Djen for all her flaws, for the gravity of her sin--could she really string her up to rot amongst the dead? Could she really watch Djen join the countless corpses in their pendulum dance? 

     "You'll have to whether you like it or not," her conscience said. It called itself Fiel. "Country over person--it is the Raven's way. Alerion's will is our command." it sighed. "How could we have ever loved such a thing as Djen Shy'eth?" 
     Rhona frowned. Ever the formal voice of woe, she thought. Fiel--the vocal trauma to her silent grief. Loving Djen had come easily to Rhona. In fact, it had been the easiest thing she had ever done, which made it all the more nauseating how quickly she had turned Djen over to Alerion. Had Rhona always been so fickle?
     "No," Fiel said. "You are doing what you know is right. Country over person. If minds like those of Djen Shy'eth and Sonja Lum-tale can be so easily swayed by the darkness of the Vulture Liminil then what reason do you have to believe a word they say? The Vulture is the personification of entropy--Luminil had to be contained."

     They came to a small clearing in the depths of the forest. At the center was a tree unique from all the others: white of bark and black of leaves. For that Rhona called it the Lost Tree; it seemed so out of place in a wooded world of death and fog. 
     Yet by branches have so many lives been claimed, she thought. From the branches of the Lost Tree she would hang her beloved Djen; to its roots Rhona would give her own blood in reverence. Blood paid was a debt owed and it was best to curry favor where you could, especially in times like this where uncertainty was king.
     "If you would stop taking sips from the wine Alerion serves," Djen said, "you would know how absolutely wrong he was, how wrong you are. You would understand the severity of what you did to Luminil." She sighed as they stopped at the base of the Lost Tree. "You will..."

     Rhona turned to look at Djen. It was the first time she had done so since leaving Banerowos. For a moment she allowed herself to get lost in Djen's full-moon eyes, to imagine the taste of her lips and the gentle warmth of her breath.
     "Keep your tongue," said Djen. "You have that look, but your words mean nothing."

     Rhona flinched and it pulled her from her dream. She dropped Djen to her knees and drew a dagger from her cloak. "I wish things could be different."
     Djen smirked, "No you don't--but you will. Get on with it."
     "Alf elo nor" Rhona chanted. "Nor elo alf!"
     She punched the blade into Djen.
Then she did the same to herself.

Author bio
Luke Tarzian was born in Bucharest, Romania until his parents made the extremely poor choice of adopting him less than six months into his life. As such, he's resided primarily in the United States and currently lives in California with his wife and their infant daughters. Fascinated by psychology and the work of Edgar Allen Poe, and inspired by his own anxieties, his character-driven fiction functions as a meditation on emotion, most commonly grief. His debut novel, Vultures, introduced a surreal, demon-ridden world where dreams are sometimes more than dreams and magic, memories, and misery are heavily entwined. Vultures is the first book in the Shadow Twins trilogy with a prequel novella entitled The World Maker Parable due out April 2020.

You can connect with Luke on these social media platforms:

I want to thank both Storytellers On Tour and author Luke Tarzian for allowing me to take part in this fantastic Blog Tour.  I also want to extend a special thank you to all of you who have stopped by and checked out my post.  I'm always incredibly appreciative of the support and it means a lot.  For those who would like to follow along with the tour and check out some of the other tremendous blogs participating, below is a full tour schedule.

Thanks again, and HAPPY READING!