Rowida is a young woman with grand dreams, who ventures on a path that would change two worlds and span more than a hundred years.
Punished and Banished from her world to ours, Rowida kidnaps a child, bonds to a demonic being, and becomes one with the soul of a Dragon, just to get back at those who tormented her.
Once back, she raises an army the Inner Earth had never seen the likes of and starts the first global war. Thousands of lives are lost, nations and races cease to exist, yet Rowida has just begun a far longer story.
Now, the fate of two worlds rests on the shoulders of a few unsuspecting souls.
If you liked the Golden Compass, you will love Through The Storm.
Read the story of Rowida, one of the most powerful female leads in fantasy, TODAY.
Targeted Age Group:: Young Adults
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wanted to show the reader my vision of the world of Agartha, and how the politics of this world works, so, I had to tell the story of the war that shaped Agartha, and the woman who led it in Through The Storm.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Rowida, the main character is an example of an ambitious person who followed their ambition way too far. Let's just say that I met Rowida in real life at some stage of my life.
Chapter 1 Rowida
It couldn’t be as easy as this. Rowida turned the idea in her head several times, just a touch, and she could be the most powerful of the greens.
But what if they found out? She was not willing to face the Great Hall, they were merciless.
She laughed a short laugh, then stifled it as fast as she started it; it was ironic that she feared them, she was merciless too.
Rowida looked out from her hiding place. People were milling about, living their normal lives, content with what the fates granted them as their share in this world. Not Rowida, though, she hated she could never join the council, let alone be the ruler of the city.
Only the most powerful of the greens were accepted in the council, the responsibilities of keeping the city running was always decided by the ones with the most powerful Vrill, and they justified this rule of supremacy by stating that through their way, they could always pass understanding through their gift to the thousands of residents, and they also pushed the argument they were the most powerful, so, their confusion blast could be used to safe keep the city against all mal-intent.
Rowida didn’t care for the understanding part of her Vrill. Her innate powers granted through her green Aura, she didn’t want people to understand her, she felt even if she used her Vrill to this end, they would treat her as they would a pet, or a child.
Although it had its uses, mostly for others, she cared mostly for the ability to cause confusion. She always thought it was a formidable weapon if used to its potential.
She had grand dreams, and only recently, Rowida found the means to make them come true.
She could join the council, or better still, become the ruler of Zarzura. Her mind swam in the after-effects of her vision, and a smile drew itself on her delicate features. In her vision, she would not stop at being the ruler, for if she had the Vrill to back it, she would be the ruler of all Agartha, and maybe even the legendary upper world as well.
Until a week ago, her world was dreary, and her vision didn’t exist, for she was to accept the role given to her, a lowly water detector for hire. Or, as the council told her on arrival to the city from the school of Nafoura, “Your Vrill is weak, but fear not young lady, you have a place in the community. You will start as a water finder apprentice and serve your nation.”
She remembered the looks of pity on the council member’s faces as they passed their verdict, but what did they know of her powers to organize and lead? Nothing. They judged her Vrill and sealed her fate to a lowly job for the rest of her existence without a second thought.
Her head swam with memories, and how events of her past education molded and sculpted her dreams.
When she was studying in Nafoura, she was the best at sword fighting, the best at archery, and over her nine years at the school, she became a coveted member even by far senior team leaders in the quarterly games of the school.
By the time she became one of the senior students herself, she had become a team leader herself, one who others aspired to be like.
When she became a member of the house of The Falcons, the building reserved for the older students, she was the leader of one of the game teams of her house, maybe the best team, the Dragons, as she always won every game, she led her team in. But, this city killed her dreams, crushed her brilliant soul, they ignored her achievements at Nafoura, as her stature was too small and delicate to join the fighting force. Plus, the Greens depended even more on the power of their Vrill than on their skills at militant combat.
Rowida hated her life then, she even considered moving out after her apprenticeship finished, to one of the Green villages far away from Zarzura, the city which killed her every single day. She assumed that she might amount to something in one of those small villages, where most residents had a weaker Vrill than hers, at least she could become the leader of the guard of one of those backwater farmer havens.
She reasoned then, being somebody in a small village is far better than being nobody in the great city. But this all changed a week ago as if the fates knew of her real value and decided to lend a helping hand. She was sent to help a village establish a new well, using her Vrill to find water, and as the workers started digging, she felt the pull of a powerful Arcanos, one which the workers at the well dug out, thought that it was a petrified branch and just cast aside, clearing the earth for their work.
But she knew it was an Arcanos and she knew that it had great power.
Rowida secretly took the Arcanos later that day, washed it thoroughly, clearing the mud-encrusted solid shell over it; it took her hours of work, but finally, the prize laid in her hands, a glass staff with an orb at each end.
Rowida felt the potential of the staff and knew it was the means of getting out of her dreary life, whether by using it for whatever use it held or at selling it to have enough wealth to go up the ladder of society. She reasoned through selling the staff, she could at least start a trade or own a farm or something. Anything was better than a water finder for hire, traveling the forests of Agartha in search of work.
She spent every spare moment of her time, any moment she could escape her lousy apprenticeship in the library, searching among the history of every major Arcana, going through the histories of the land, even reading poems, lore and half-truths, which might include some mention of certain Major and Minor Arcana. And she was finally rewarded by her meticulous search, the staff was described in great detail in the ballad of the Black Empress. It was mentioned in one part of the long poem, as the Reaper of souls, and in another as the Staff of Death.
What she had in her hand was an Arcanos so unique, no one ever knew of its likeness.
According to the poem, it was used to harvest the Aura of others, and deposit it as a supplement to the wielder of the staff, a sure way to double the power of her Vrill, maybe even triple, or even make it infinitely stronger, making her a Goddess among Ants.
A plan started to form in Rowida’s mind, a plan to become a Goddess.
She had been coming to this spot for the last week, waiting for a chance to use the staff, and all she had to do was find someone gullible enough for her to let the staff touch both their foreheads, and she would steal their Soul, or Aura, or whatever —she didn’t really care as long as it doubled her Vrill.
And she believed she found her perfect victim, the son of one of the merchants who took a liking to her, one who she has been watching vigilantly through the past two days.
She learned from the surveillance of the young man he had to go to the warehouse to replenish wares he and his father sold, at least twice a day, and he spent around an hour away each time. Rowida even followed him one time to the warehouse, where the young man stood long to get a chew of dogrot before he collected the wares and went on his way.
Dogrot was known to cause a daze, and even to put some people to sleep if they abused it. In fact, she heard in one of the villages about a woman who died from swallowing the stuff, as people usually chewed on it then spit it out when its juices were consumed.
It was her best opportunity thus far, and she decided to act on it today.
Just as the young man left his father’s stand, she followed, and as they went through the marble-covered streets of Zarzura. Excitement filled Rowida’s heart and made her almost on the verge of laughing with giddiness.
When the young man arrived at his destination, he looked down and up the street of the warehouse to ensure there was nobody to see him, as the habit of using dogrot was frowned upon by most inhabitants of the city, then he brought out a pack of the greenish-brown plant and pushed a bit in his mouth.
When he was already showing signs of relaxing, and his shoulders slumped over from the effects of the plant, Rowida came out of her hiding spot and approached him. “Hello Mathias,” she said as she walked slowly towards him, deliberately pushing her heels in every step, making her look as if she was swaying towards him.
Rowida watched Mathias gulp the dogrot immediately. Its sweet incense-like smell was quite recognizable, something Rowida was thankful for.
“What brings you here?” His whole body shivered a bit.
“I followed you here.” Rowida was panting from the excitement as she spoke, then she came very near to Mathias. “I have been waiting for a moment like this for days.”
“Really?” Mathias swallowed hard.
He moved from one foot to the other, leaned on the door frame of the warehouse, and said, “You were waiting for us to be alone?”
“Oh, yes.” Rowida was almost touching the young man with her body as she spoke. “I had something which I wanted to share with you, only you.”
Mathias smiled a large smile and said, “Would you like some dogrot?” He fumbled in his pocket and produced the small pack. “I have enough for both of us.”
“Maybe you should chew on some.” Rowida passed her fingers softly on his face and rested on his chin. “What I have will bring immense pleasure, it is a rare Arcanos, and it will make you a different man after using it.”
“Then bring it out,” Mathias said as he pushed another bite of dogrot in his mouth. “Let’s enjoy life for as long as we can.”
“My thoughts exactly,” Rowida said and giggled, then she said, “Kneel down.”
Mathias eagerly kneeled and looked to Rowida, who followed suit and kneeled facing him. Then she got the staff she had hidden in her skirt and touched it to Mathias’s forehead and hers. Soon, the staff started to glow, and the glow started to get stronger. Mathias screamed, “I don’t feel like it is bringing any pleasure, I feel that my soul is sucked out of my body, stop it, Rowida.”
She pushed him back against the door frame and said firmly, “Be still, you will feel the pleasure soon.”
The staff glowed so brightly Rowida feared it would alert people around, but at that very moment, the glow changed to green and became a dim throb.
Then the staff stopped glowing completely.
Rowida stood up drunkenly and balanced from one foot to the other till she finally stood straight.
She looked at Mathias’s fainted form and kneeled down on him. She opened his mouth, pushed the dogrot down his throat, then as an afterthought, covered his mouth and nose with both of her hands.
Mathias jerked violently for a minute or so, then he completely relaxed and stopped breathing.
Rowida stood up with a big smile on her face, she felt her new Aura, and it was strong.
She hid the staff in her skirt and walked away.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy Through The Storm Print Edition at Amazon
Have you read this book? Tell us in the comments how you liked it!