Distant my Companions, the second book in the Skywatchers series, follows the fortunes of members of the small rural community torn apart by the calamitous events described in Brightly Shines the Darkness.
Those who are exiled or shunned for their part in these events must find a new way of life, far from their friends and neighbours. Some of them settle in the city of Levrik, where they try to forge new careers. They must constantly guard against revealing their previous association with moon-worship, and the shadow of the past taints their lives and haunts their dreams.
Others journey far across the sea, seeking an opportunity to atone for their mistakes, or to find new meaning for their lives. They stumble across another community riven by religious intolerance, and hope that their previous experiences will enable them to help find a peaceful resolution.
Those who stay in the village have also had their lives turned upside down, and the elders have new challenges to face and obstacles to surmount.
Most are too busy dealing with the immediate aftermath of the upheaval to make long-term plans. But a young apprentice and a retired bard may hold the key to beginning a process that could ease the world out of turmoil and into a more enlightened age.
Distant my Companions continues the metaphor for intolerance and prejudice that resonates so clearly with our own world, and holds out the hope that there may be a better way, and that it may be almost within our grasp, if only we know how to take it.
Also available for Kindle here.