Book 1 of the Etherea Cycle, a fusing of fantasy and science fiction

Book Cover: Trials of the Innermost
Part of the Etherea Cycle series:
ISBN: 9781956037111
ISBN: 9781956037203
ISBN: 9781956037197

About Trials of the Innermost

Could you defeat the darkness within? In a world that stopped spinning, six young people embark on a quest to preserve peace between their homelands and fulfill a prophecy that says they will save their world from being devoured.

A cataclysm in Etherea’s past stopped its rotation, leaving three distinct realms: one of light, one of dark, and one of twilight. Years of war between them followed. Until the establishment of the Trials of the Innermost.

A new set of Six Truthseekers are chosen for this quest of learning and cooperation. But the fragile peace created by the Trials is crumbling, even as they begin their first task. The group is composed of each realm’s best and brightest, and their talents range from magic channeled through music to explosive crystals. They will need all their unique abilities to survive the Trials, which take them through scorched wastes, a wall of storms, and the shadowed Fellwood.

Along their journey, a shared lost past is rediscovered that forces the Truthseekers to question all they once held to be true. Yet even as they grapple with their new reality, a deadly secret is unveiled. A fragment of an alien force called the Penumbra has possessed one of their own, granting him preternatural abilities.

One realm seeks to control the entity, but the Penumbra has other plans. If it can succeed in reuniting its broken pieces, it will gain the power to consume all of Etherea’s abundant life force. The Truthseekers must overcome their differences and work together to stop the malevolent entity before they lose their friend—and their world—to the Penumbra’s hunger.

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Publisher: Hansen House
Cover Artists:
Reviews:on Goodreads:

The worldbuilding in this book is detailed and complex, yet presented in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

The kind of book I accelerate through as the more I read, the more I wanted to read, and I'll be sure to keep an eye out for the second book in the series.

on Amazon:

I loved the writing style of this book as the characters developed through the story. It was a read I didn't put down until I finished.



Tropes and Elements

"Every character is a vibe [like] Avatar the Last Airbender"

  • Fantasy and science fiction
  • Multiple pov (points of view)
  • Swords and magic
  • Animal companions
  • Only one bed trope
  • Non-erotic mlm
  • The dog doesn’t die
  • LGBTQ+ characters
  • Enemies to lovers trope
  • Best friends
  • Reluctant hero
  • Chosen one trope
  • Strong females
  • Arranged marriage
  • Low spice/romance as sub plot
  • Gay, bi, ace representation



Moderate: Death, Animal Death, Sexism

Minor: Death of a parent (off page), Emotional abuse (off page), Torture (off page), Grief

StoryGraph | Goodreads