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Into a world still recovering from catastrophe, Bengallen is born and raised to man. This traditional fantasy adventure follows the early adult life of Bengallen as he emerges from the ashes of a broken destiny and is thrust into an uncertain future. In many ways Bengallen wants to restore, reclaim, or revenge aspects of his old life, but he is presented with a place and people, living under the threat of an ancient evil, who are in desperate need of a hero. He will face difficult choices and be called upon to perform deeds that cause even the gods themselves to shudder. He will know pain. He will be cast down. The question before him is not whether to rise, but how. The narrative explores the burdens of a driven man, the adversity we all face in life, the personal faith which can inspire each of us to rise above, and the people that help and hinder us along the way. It is a story of synthesis, learning to incorporate what was, is, and could be into something that is useful and meaningful on its own. While the story takes place in a decidedly fantasy setting of medieval flavor, it is a human story based not only on the author's own personal struggles, but the struggles of many others to which he has humbly bore witness. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. The author is academically trained as a philosopher (BA) and minister (MDiv), and has also served as an Army infantryman and a special operations soldier, a chaplain to both current servicemembers and veterans (from WWII to Afghanistan), a church pastor and chaplain to civilians as well, and has formed intimate bonds of friendships with many others along the way. These experiences all inform the character drama that plays out over the course of this first novel as well as the others planned for the series. Personal identity formation is just the beginning; encounters with group dynamics, traumatic stress, recovery, morality, wisdom, destiny, faith, fear, emotional grief, physical pain, and all subjects between have been incorporated into how these characters think, feel, and act in their world.

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