Tainted Truth (The Wolf Riders of Keldarra Book 1) by Nathalie M.L. Römer ~ Genre: Epic Fantasy
Begin your journey in the land of Keldarra…
It’s a land on the brink of war. Who wins it depends on which side is stronger: truth or the lies of thousands of years of deception and manipulation. But whose truth? What lies? That’s for you to find out in the first book of this nine-book series!
When truth and lies have been used as a weapon. When you fight an enemy from the past using lies, and truth becomes the weapon with which you fight that enemy.
The story takes you to an ancient land under siege. The history of Keldarra is long but forgotten. A distant past when someone knew the Wolf Riders would rise. They also knew they would come to an end.
The Truth: Words spoken.
Still spoken to speak a lie.
Each individual has a reason for wanting change. But can the reasons co-exist without clashing? Can truth prevail when each of them exists because of lies? When they discover similarity it reveals a hidden past, a past that means so much more than either knew.
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Nathalie is a published author, based in Sweden, and born and bred in the Netherlands, with roots squarely planted culturally in Britain and Curaçao. She primarily writes epic fantasy, futuristic science fiction, mysteries, romance with a twist, and is now venturing into fairytale retellings, dystopian stories and much more (just keep visiting to see where stories take you and the author alike). And Nathalie describes her style of writing as unapologetically wordy, because she has discovered that the best part of writing is weaving a world that’s interesting to explore, to discover its back story, to meet its people, and find out what makes them tick. Nathalie weaves each world with her own experiences into the stories, and will touch on various causes and situations that speak to her…
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Books, Writing and More
I guess you’re curious about the books I write so I decided to include an essay about my books, and more specifically TAINTED TRUTH which are featured on blogs participating in the book tour from Silver Dagger Book Tours.
The direct inspiration for writing a “hero’s journey” style of series comes from my gaming background. Before embarking on creating the world you’ll discover with the pages of the books in this series I played (and still play) World of Warcraft (as well as occasionally dabbling in other MMOs). I began playing at the end of 2006 as a direct result of the “lore” of the game, then as I became more familiar it created a sense of urgency to turn an idea of a hero’s journey I had on my mind for over a decade into a story of some sort. Late in November 2014 I sat down and longhand wrote a story that’s now part of Chapter 67 of TAINTED TRUTH. The poem called “The Truth” that you’ll encounter as you read the book evolved a few weeks later. There came a day when I thought, “I can create a big world too.”
Like in the story of the game I wanted a conflicted world with opposite factions, but never wanted an exact copy of the game. The story takes in account the complexity we find in our own twisted world. The question of things being “morally grey” is explored through the reactions from the characters to the world Keldarra they live in. My view is as follows in terms of who I write about – the good guys will have a few bad guys among them as no one is always perfectly good, and the people perceived as the bad guys (in this series it’s the Wolf Riders) will have people in their midst who don’t like what fate threw at them. Not wanting to go political, but to me there’s irony in such words as “There are good guys on both sides” when I wrote about such things long before they were uttered at the media. My world is a reflection of our world; I write about the good things from our world and I write about the bad things. A world such as Keldarra will be as complex as our own, so the people you meet as you read the story is a fraction of who lives in Keldarra, but they reflect the people you never see or meet. Though, on this latter, I have plans for stories beyond The Wolf Riders of Keldarra that will flesh out some of these “other people.”
The two most prominent characters you’ll meet is Marrida and Alagur. Marrida is an Acolyte at the Temple of Ruh’nar under the governance of Elder Sharriba, its leader. When the story begins you’re immediately in the middle of an attack by the Wolf Riders. One Wolf Rider is Alagur, who is wounded and Marrida gives him shelter. When Marrida needs to enlist her uncle’s help in getting Alagur safely from the city she opens a can of worms about who she is, why she goes to the Temple of Ruh’nar and then is entrusted by family secrets her uncle and Elder Sharriba kept from her. She’s thrown in at the deep end when they send her on an errand’s run with Alagur in tow. Initially both Marrida and Alagur believe their just searching for a few answers, but it becomes clear quickly there’s so much more going on, and as their journey progresses the mysteries also deepen. They discover some disturbing realities that causes a turmoil to Marrida’s longheld beliefs about the Order of Truth, and they discover a plot…
And as Dr River Song of Dr Who would say: “Spoilers…” so that’s all you get of the story of the series…
The title TAINTED TRUTH is directly linked to the story in the book, and an explanation will be shown during the story’s evolution. Something tainted is something spoiled, broken, not pure, etc. That’s what the first book begins exploring when Marrida asks: “Why?”
And this question also is one I always ask as an author, “Why should I write it this way?,” “How can I tell the story in the best way?” and “What words describe the scene the best way?” Then I land on trying to imagine the person, and that’s how I end up scouring IMDB at actors and actresses for appearances and such so I have an idea how to describe people.
So yes, if I could choose who should play Marrida, I’d select Shira Haas whose performance in series Unorthodox reminds me of how imagine Marrida as a person. Marrida is a slender person with hair that’s similar to how I’ve seen this actress in the media… except Marrida has distinct blue eyes which is the first thing that Alagur notices when he dreams of an unknown woman. I guess my search goes on…
As for Alagur, they can dye Sam Heughan’s hair a few shades darker but he’s spot on in appearance for Alagur (right eye colour!), right height, and the right physique… Yes, a big fan girling here as I love him in Outlander.
If I could spend time with any character in TAINTED TRUTH I’d love to sit down with Joharan (Marrida’s uncle) who I kind of modelled on my late paternal grandfather who, in life, was someone who was always advising me, guiding me, comforting me. My grandfather could be stern too, but when he was in a good mood he was mellow and loving. If you want to meet my grandfather this is the person to pay attention to…
Right now, I’m closing on on finishing the editing/proofreading process of Book 2 STOLEN TRUTH that’s on pre-order on Amazon, and then will begin the work on Book 3 (that’s also on Amazon but not officially announced – announcement goes out at the end of the book tour). And at the end of June 2020 I completed the first draft of Book 4. There are five further books in the series The Wolf Riders of Keldarra.
A sneak peak spoiler only available to the readers of the blogs this essays appears on: when this series is over (at Book 9) it will not be the end of your journey through this world. I have a few spin series AND standalone books planned… (now the Dr River Song spoiler warning is in effect once more!).
Fun Fact : The wolf of Alagur, called Yalla, is entirely based on a German Shepherd I owned years ago, complete with the personality quirks, so if you see the wolf misbehave remember there was once a dog called Charlie who’d act out similarly.