The Skywatchers Series is a sequence of five books, set in the world introduced in Brightly Shines the Darkness. Together, they follow the inhabitants of several communities who must, each in their own way, find their way through a time of transition.
For some years, Tarka, a country with an abundant supply of natural resources and a favourable climate, has been increasing its power over its neighbours, securing ever more advantageous trading agreements and fomenting discord between smaller states, until it has now built an empire that covers half the known world. The Tarkan religion is a particularly fiery form of sun worship, and it imposes this throughout its empire. Other countries, trying to protect their independence, often embrace this religion as part of an appeasement package, so that it becomes the third factor, with economic wealth and miltary might, in maintaining and extending Tarkan influence beyond the borders of the empire.
Orflag, a country adjacent to the empire, has been engaged in a delicate balancing act for some years: it dare not anger the far more powerful Tarka, and yet is determined to remain independent. Ever more stringent trade restrictions and religious clashes are undermining its efforts, and the steady influx of refugees fleeing Tarkan intolerance have reached a level that neither country can ignore.
Sheruflag is an island nation, north of the main continent, and somewhat isolated from wider political events. It has therefore enjoyed freedom from Tarkan influence far longer than closer countries. But now, as the empire turns its attention towards new horizons, Sheruflag must face the challenge of an empire already strong and confident.
At first sight, it seems that those whose religion is based around the moon are particularly at risk from Tarkan interference, for such practices are abhorrent to the empire. But Sheruflan sunservers face a more subtle, but no less deadly, threat, as the foreigners seek to impose their will and wrest power from the native priests.
Book Five: Strident Sings the Moon, due for publication November 2015
To download a free Glossary of the People and Places in the Skywatchers Series in pdf format, please click here