Why You Should Get the Maer Cycle Omnibus by Dan Fitzgerald

Please enjoy all three Maer Cycle novels in one ebook with more short stories and series art.

Hollow Road. Legends describe the Maer as savage man-beasts haunting the mountains, their bodies and faces covered with hair. Creatures of unimaginable strength, cunning, and cruelty. Bedtime stories to keep children indoors at night. Soldiers’ tales to frighten new recruits.
It is said the Maer once ruled the Silver Hills, but they have long since passed into oblivion.
This is the story of their return.
Carl, Sinnie, and Finn, companions since childhood, are tasked with bringing a friend’s body home for burial. Along the way, they find there is more to the stories than they ever imagined, and the mountains hold threats even darker than the Maer. What they discover on their journey will change the way they see the world forever.
Travel down Hollow Road to find out which legends are true, and which have been twisted.

The Archive. In Hollow Road three companions discovered the monsters of legend were all too real…Rumors among the Maer tell of an underground library called the Archive, which houses a wealth of knowledge and terrible magics that could be used to start the biggest war seen since the Great Betrayal. A mixed group of humans and Maer set off on an historic quest to find the Archive and protect it from those who would use it to destroy everything they hold dear. As the cold of winter bears down upon them, they trek through forbidding mountains beset by dangers they could have never imagined. They follow a set of ancient clues deep into the Silver Hills, forging surprising alliances and making new enemies.The humans and Maer are linked by more than their quest to find the Archive and stop an insidious war. A mystical surrogacy may bridge the gap between two peoples, and many hearts entwine as their adventure hurtles toward its bloody conclusion.

The Place Below. It’s been twenty-five years since the Battle for the Archive. Peace reigns over the Silver Hills, and humans and Maer are preparing to sign their first trade agreement. Even warring tribes of the Free Maer have set aside old quarrels. Sasha is a young scholar of mixed Maer and human parentage, traveling throughout the Maer lands collecting stories of the Ka-lar, the buried Forever Kings. She finds a reference in the Archive to a Ka-lar named Kuun, a scholar in life, who was laid down in an ancient brightstone mine, beneath a mountain said to be the home of the fabled Skin Maer. The lure of the tale is too strong to resist. Joined by some old friends, Sasha sets out to uncover secrets that have lain buried for over a thousand years. In The Place Below, the Maer Cycle comes to a close as the darkest mysteries of the Maer are at last brought into the light.

A while ago, I read a book called Hollow Road by Dan Fitzgerald. Holy crow! That book was the beginning of a fantastic journey into a new world peopled with incredibly complex characters. The Maer Cycle, of which Hollow Road is the first, is a perfect example of a series that transcends the expectations of its genre. Dan Fitzgerald is an extremely talented writer and, luckily for all readers, he has just rereleased the Maer Cycle in a new Omnibus! You can find my review of Hollow Road here. However, I strongly recommend reading what other bloggers have to say about the Maer Cycle since words sort of deserted me for this book.

Beneath a Thousand Skies sums Hollow Road up brilliantly.
Omnilegent: A Need to Read wrote a wonderful review of The Archive.
Jake is Reading described The Place Below perfectly.

If you’ve been curious about The Maer Cycle, now is the time to pick up the entire series. You can find the Omnibus on Amazon. Happy reading!

From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic – Magic in the Copper Circle

This week I’ve been fortunate to welcome many guest contributors on my blog to chat about magic systems in fantasy. I am privileged to have Dan Fitzgerald, author of the (fantastic) Maer Cycle and the upcoming Weirdwater Confluence. One thing I really enjoyed about the magic in the Maer Cycle was how the magic seemed to be connected to the character’s own energy. It was incredibly unique and led to interesting growth.

Instead of carrying on and possibly butchering any descriptions, Dan Fitzgerald will explain his magic system.


Dan Fitzgerald:

I’m thrilled to be invited by Jodie of the Witty and Sarcastic Book Club to discuss the magic system in my newly named Copper Circle, which includes the Maer Cycle trilogy, the upcoming Weirdwater Confluence duology, and the planned Time Before trilogy. There are several systems in the Maer Cycle, but I’m going to focus on the one that connects to the other series, which is inspired by yoga and meditation, with a little alchemy and artificing mixed in. 

In the Maer Cycle, we meet Finn, whose discipline is called Bodily Control. He uses a regimen of three-times daily yoga-like poses to focus his mental energy, which allows him to perform seemingly impossible physical feats like harden his skin to ward off blows, leap great distances, and eventually heal himself or others. As the series progresses, he learns to conserve his power, so each feat takes less out of him, and he recovers more quickly, in a way inspired by meditation. It involves silent concentration and poses, becoming aware of the body’s energy and bringing it to the center of his mind. In yoga and meditation, the idea of centering is essential, and my own practice has led me to think of magic in a similar way.  

Ujenn, the Maer sorceress in the trilogy, has powers of empathy, language, and communication, as well as a little fertility magic she uses in the mystical surrogacy in The Archive. The essence of her power is the ability to feel what others feel, through a combination of touch, ancient spells, and herbal concoctions. Perhaps the most interesting are the ancient copper circles she uses to communicate with Carl over great distances. This magic requires intense concentration, and though the connection is imperfect, they are able to communicate simple but important details over hundreds of miles.  

In the Weirdwater Confluence, which will be independent of the trilogy but with some underlying connections, followers of the Endulian tradition use meditation and mindfulness-based practices to enhance their awareness of their bodies, their minds, and the minds of those around them. It allows them to share each other’s thoughts and feelings, usually in combination with alchemical tinctures, though there are some whose power is great enough they do not require tinctures. The Living Waters includes a number of scenes of such mind-sharing, which leads to some very interesting discoveries between characters and factors into an unusual romance subplot.  

Copper circles similar to the ones in the trilogy are seen in The Isle of a Thousand Worlds as elements of the mystical social media-like platform known as the Caravan, which allows communication over great distances. It requires extensive meditation training, specially designed ‘cradles,’ and highly refined alchemical tinctures, and the book features an alchemist MC whose search for the Universal Tincture may turn the entire system on its head.  

The copper circles themselves are all ancient, and the planned Time Before trilogy will take readers into the distant past, 2,000 years before, when the magical tech they represent was at its apogee. I can’t say too much about that, as it’s not even written yet, but it will involve the origins not only of the circles themselves, but also the philosophical traditions underlying the magic system described above. Finn’s bodily control magic, Ujenn’s communication powers, the Endulian meditation practice, and the Caravan all have their origins in the events of the Time Before, which is planned for release from Shadow Spark Publishing in 2023. 

  The Maer Cycle trilogy is available now in various formats at https://shadowsparkpub.com/dan-fitzgerald. The The Living Waters (October 15) and The Isle of a Thousand Worlds (January 15 2022) will be available via the same link. You can read more about my books at www.danfitzwrites.com

For more from this series:
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Wheel of Time
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- The Coldfire Trilogy

About the author:

Dan Fitzgerald is the fantasy author of the Maer Cycle trilogy (character-driven low-magic fantasy) and the upcoming Weirdwater Confluence duology (sword-free fantasy with unusual love stories). He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats. When not writing he might be found doing yoga, gardening, cooking, or listening to French music. 

Buy my books in any format: Dan Fitzgerald — Shadow Spark Publishing 

Twitter: Dan Fitzgerald (@DanFitzWrites) / Twitter (writing and bookish stuff—this is my home)

Instagram: Dan Fitzgerald (@danfitzwrites) • Instagram photos and videos (nature photography and bookish posts—this is my playground)Website: Dan Fitzgerald (danfitzwrites.com) (Find out more about my books, plus there’s a blog, and some bookish extras like maps, art, short stories, etc)

The Archive (Maer Cycle Book 2) by Dan Fitzgerald

In Hollow Road three companions discovered the monsters of legend were all too real…Rumors among the Maer tell of an underground library called the Archive, which houses a wealth of knowledge and terrible magics that could be used to start the biggest war seen since the Great Betrayal. A mixed group of humans and Maer set off on an historic quest to find the Archive and protect it from those who would use it to destroy everything they hold dear. As the cold of winter bears down upon them, they trek through forbidding mountains beset by dangers they could have never imagined. They follow a set of ancient clues deep into the Silver Hills, forging surprising alliances and making new enemies.The humans and Maer are linked by more than their quest to find the Archive and stop an insidious war. A mystical surrogacy may bridge the gap between two peoples, and many hearts entwine as their adventure hurtles toward its bloody conclusion. (taken from Amazon)

The Archive is a book like no other. Full of incredibly nuanced characters, it is both fascinating and thought provoking. After reading and loving Hollow Road (review here), I was excited to continue on in the Maer Cycle. The Archive takes the series to a whole new level, one that had me utterly engrossed.

After the events of Hollow Road, we find an uneasy peace between the Maer and the humans, uneasy being the operative word. Is either “side” completely trustworthy? Is this peace sincere, or just a ploy? Adding to this dynamic is a faction of the Maer that do not trust the humans as far as they can throw them, instead wanting to launch an attack. This situation adds to the tense atmosphere found throughout the story.

An odd team made of both humans and Maer go in search of the Archive, a “maybe it exists” trove that is rumored to contain something of great importance, although no one is certain of what that is. Whether it helps the Maer or leads to their destruction rests on the shoulders of whomever gets to it first. I love a good quest!

Hollow Road focused a lot on the character development of a few characters, both within themselves and with relation to others. That continues on here, with the characters becoming astonishingly well-developed. Seeing more of the world, and learning more about the customs of its inhabitants was truly fascinating. The characters did not exist in a small vacuum: rather, the reader got to see how they grew and evolved based on their experiences, personalities, backgrounds, and relationships.

What got me, though, was author Dan Fitzgerald’s ability to take a fantasy book and use it as a mirror to show truths about humanity as a whole. It was beautiful, sad, sometimes uncomfortable, and incredibly, incredibly well written. There were even a few parts that had me tearing up. It is rare for me to have such a visceral reaction to a fantasy book.

Hollow Road was a fantastic book. The Archive is incredible. I cannot recommend this series enough.