The Trailokya Trilogy, Book 1: The Shadow Soul by K. Williams
Note that it appears K. Williams is also the only woman on the list! Take that Glass Ceiling!
Note that it appears K. Williams is also the only woman on the list! Take that Glass Ceiling!
The Trailokya Trilogy came to me in a dream. Actually, it’s come to me in a series of dreams over about 30-33 years or more. From recurring themes to continuing sagas, sleeping is quite the adventure. I guess I was always blessed with this imagination or a conduit into something like the greatest first person role play ever. (Yes, I used to game—until everything pretty much went online and this introvert backed out. Glad I did for not having to deal with trolls, but sad because there are awesome games out there I would really enjoy.)
Dare I mention that OP-DEC came in a dream too? That I was on a date with the perfect guy. Oh, yes, Carsten Reiniger is a perfect guy. We were seeing Star Wars—which is an obvious thing if you know me. Then the bead and the whole scene happened. I woke up to roll over but it continued and by then, I was being whisked away in a Junkers bomber with my aunt and mother. Upon really waking that morning, I decided I needed to write the book. So, too, Trailokya came to be Faith Fallen, a screenplay I penned back in 2006 and let lay fallow until five years later. It was going to be an enormous production to bring that into a novel, and I wasn’t prepared to do it at the time. I had a lot to learn about various subjects that were sure to crop up, and more things to dream.
The world of Trailokya comes as it is. It’s limitless in scope really, as any dreamscape is. However, it is attached to our universe, our Earth, and the spaces we occupy in waking life are limited by the rules of physics and other scientific concepts. Trailokya is a very specific term which describes the three worlds that interact heavily in the manuscript: Zion, Samsara and Jahannam. These words should be quite familiar to the average person. Zion is another word for heaven, but in the book it is the homeworld, where we all are created and visit Samsara, the universe in which Earth resides. Jahannam is an Islamic word for hell. This is the prison realm where those who have committed egregious crimes against Zion and the entities living there are put, to keep the rest of the universes safe from them. It is not fool-proof, like any other prison. It was not created by a god, but ordered into being and created by his emissaries. The myths of Judeo-Christian and Islamic faith have quite a showing in Trailokya, right beside Hindu (Lord Ganesha, overseer of the Great Council), Buddhist (Trailokya, Samsara) and the ancient faiths of the ancient world, such as Greco-Roman (Jahannam’s provinces, Duta leaders, Arcadia) and Egyptian (Order of Horus).
To keep my focus, I rely on the dreams I had. Believe it or not they started matching up after years of having them. The make sense to me, despite not always coming in linear episodes. On the side, I keep a list that applies to all three places, a quick reference, so I can remember the terminology I have applied. There is nothing like it which I have yet found, but yet it is so natural coming from my mind to the paper. I also kept a screensaver and music playlist full of inspirational art to spur me on and keep me excited. It showed throughout the process that was cataloged on Facebook 2011-2014.I’ve archived most of the process so that anyone interested could see how I made this happen. Questions come in, people want to interact. Other authors are looking for themselves in you, for that glimmer of hope they’re doing it right (yes, you are!), when there is really no one right way to do a book. The book will show you the path.
Writing Trailokya was a cathartic experience, but I don’t dare answer exactly why until Trailokya’s second installment is released. That would just be a spoiler. The music and the art and imagining something that was corked up inside my head and putting it on paper for others to see, that was therapy.
The characters of Trailokya are fleshed out in much the same way as the landscapes and concepts. A lot of them come from mythological or faith based lore: General Mikael and the other three commanders of the four legions of Zion. I’m sure you can name them without me listing them. Among them is Captain Maiel, of the Moon Order, a legion under General Mikael that is commanded by Artemis and her sister. She is sometimes mistaken for her commander, as she and her twin brother Joel look very much like Diana and Apollo. In the dreams, I am always Maiel. I feel her excitement at facing foes, her concern in missing her children and her love for those in her care. Jungian psychology would likely chalk this aberration up to desiring power in a world where women are powerless. Captain Maiel is a very strong female, who is equal with her male counterparts, in a world that doesn’t equate gender with ability.
There is also the mysterious Primus Gediel, Wolf Leader, Watcher. He is responsible for training the canine soldiers that serve in the legions. These packs are special and few. His second titles, Watcher, corresponds to the role of those angels who were charged by God with the oversight of humanity in the early days of civilization. They’re the spies and special forces of the legions. The mystery shrouding them is deepened by a conflict that happened at the outset of humanity’s occupation of earth, a very dark conflict that led to the prison of Jahannam. Gediel’s darkness is mostly made by his exile to the outskirts of Zion, but more so from his grandfather who fell to Jahannam in the conflict, and for who he is named.
Technology is another aspect of Trailokya. The series is not merely a fantasy. It uses science and hammers back myths to show a more reasoned synthesis of how and why and where do we come from. The gates the characters use to travel back and forth beyond the vales (borders between universes) are energy based, Wi-Fi even, connections and keys. Tesla would be over the moon. The seals use coordinates, to dial in a location. For instance, the seal of Samsara looks like a compass, and it is, based on the constellations of that universe. It also happens to contain Metatron’s Cube, a theory from alchemist Solomon that continues to have great meaning today to the spiritual, drawing from science and the Kabbalah.
Other scientific theories in Trailokya will be familiar to those following physics. Zion is a forever expanding universe, but not quite like Samsara. A sun and moon phase around it. There are stars, but it is the only ‘planet’ in the space, and it’s growing larger to accommodate all those beings who remain, tempered by all those who ascend beyond to Nirvana. Are the stars potential other universes? Worlds being forged? I cannot tell you. It could be argued that Nirvana is our real home, Zion is just another stop on the way in the journey away from and back to it and the stars are Nirvana leaking through the barriers.
As for the other worlds, Jahannam is a dark mirror of Zion, bereft of sky and satellites, while Samsara is a shattered reflection, encompassing the wrecks of both worlds, touching into universes between: Astral, Avernus and Oblivion. Avernus is the undoing of all physical things, a world of entropy where barriers are broken down and everything laces into everything else; the last barrier keeping Zion and the upper realms safe from invasion. Astral is a theoretical playground where all things are possible, and yet bound by the player’s limitations; a dream world. Oblivion is utter destruction, the antithesis of Nirvana and creation; a nothing place where matter is destroyed.
In the coming installments, the technology becomes increasingly prominent, but again, spoilers. So, I will leave it there before I tell you everything and spoil the read.
Finally! What a ride this has been. I wrote the trilogy consecutively and have been working hard ever since through edits and preparations for its publication with Booktrope. The cover was created by Scott Deyett, as designer out of Central, New York and I have to say, he’s outdone himself. Our meetings were a lot of fun and in the middle of them I communicated clearly what I wanted–because he created exactly that.
The Shadow Soul is the first part of The Trailokya Trilogy, a fantasy series that follows the rise and fall of fabled races and souls at the junction of three worlds: Zion, Earth and Jahannam.
K. Williams weaves a tale that will leave you questioning long held convictions about the human legends of Heaven and Hell. Are you ready to enter the gates of Zion and learn the truth?
Captain Maiel is a duta warrior of Zion, a race of giant, winged guardians and chroniclers of the lesser souls. Maiel’s assurances are shaken when she nearly loses a young human girl to the dark forces of Jahannam, the prison realm where the lowest beings reside. To avoid answering to the leaders of her world, Maiel seeks refuge on Earth, but she is pursued by a baron of Jahannam intent on destroying her. Can she be saved before time runs out? Or will she be sacrificed to secure the borders of Zion and to hide the lie her journey uncovers?
With each step further into darkness, long held secrets are revealed and shadows rise from the past to challenge absolutes.
“Kelly Williams’s stunning novel, THE TRAILOKYA TRILOGY, BOOK ONE: THE SHADOW SOUL, is a fascinating page turner that brings to the table everything a reader would want: a strong and interesting cast of characters, a twisting and intriguing plot, and an elaborate fantasy world that is both mesmerizing and brutal. Williams draws us into the imaginative story from the first page, weaving a tale of rivalry, injustice, and love. The reader will be thrilled to encounter the many faces of good and evil and the fine line between the two. You’ll be dazzled by the elements of religion, science, mythology, alien life, and multi-dimensional travel, and surprised at her effortless skill in merging them.
It’s rare that you see such a blend of themes in one novel. As the story unfolds, the characters become richer and more complex, and we can’t help but enjoy watching them self-destruct, just as much as we love watching them evolve into powerful, awe inspiring forces. Readers will be struck by the admirable female lead and her strength to overcome adversity with all the cards stacked against her.
This is a world you’ll be hard pressed to leave, a world that is so detailed and intricately woven that you’ll yearn to return to it after reading the final paragraph. With its unforgettable images and breathtaking originality, THE SHADOW SOUL will keep you up all night and dreaming of the characters afterwards. Fans will be happy to know that this is just the beginning of a remarkable, spine tingling series.” — Kara Storti, author of Indigo in D-Town
“Usually I’m not one to read anything with fantasy involved. It’s rare to see such a blend of fantasy and science fiction together with religion and philosophy. But The Shadow Soul was a wonderful exception. It’s characters, such as the amazing Captain Maiel, are of such complexity that you would think they were real and you can’t help but fall in love with them. You’ll find yourself becoming drawn into the plot as Maiel is chased across Europe by the forces of darkness as her family works to find and help her.
The dynamic journey of the soul, as developed by Kelly Williams, opens up a startling possibility for reality. This world is a journey of self discovery, treacherous and challenging. Thankfully, we’ve got such powerful guardians watching over us.” — Robert Elliott, student, University of New England
“The Shadow Soul, book one of the forthcoming Trailokya Series, by author Ms. Kelly Williams, is as an enjoyable, and thought-provoking page-turner of a fantasy novel as one could ever surely hope to read this summer.
Themes of mythology, individual courage and spirituality of self, theology, and the classic struggle of good versus evil, are but a few of the many strings which firmly pull at one’s heart and soul, as the reader follows the harrowing ordeals of the unforgettable female warrior god, Captain Maiel.
Maiel is an amazing character compilation, it seemed to this reader, of the very essence of what it means to be a warrior spirit, embodying the strengths of goodness and tenacity, in the face of unspeakable horror, and a dread evil which seems to know no sense of limit. Facing such a foe, the reader learns, requires perhaps something more important than god-like abilities, and a supernatural strength…. it requires the power to believe, to REALLY believe, in one’s own self. And that is perhaps the most potent weapon of them all.
Williams’ skill at crafting dialogue, a so-real-you-can-almost-see-it vivid brushstrokes of setting and surroundings, and her very insight as a terrestrial human being to deep, universal truths, tell us that this is no writer of ordinary talent. Rather, this is a speaker, and thinker, with something to SAY. And, whilst were swept away in a world of fantastical imaginings, thrilling adventure, and epic struggle…we, at the end, are left with something far more than the joy of having read a ripping good yarn….. We’re left with a little bit of Captain Maiel herself, in ourselves.
You owe it to yourself to read this book, in short. You’ll be so very glad you did. And, be forewarned, you’ll be very much looking forward to what comes next from Ms. Williams.” – Joseph Wilson, Joseph Wilson, marketing professional, freelance artist/writer living in suburban Philadelphia. He holds a baccalaureate degree in journalism, and a master’s in publishing technology.
“and love. The reader will be thrilled to encounter the …THE TRAILOKYA TRILOGY, BOOK ONE: THE SHADOW SOUL, is a fascinating page turner that brings to the table everything a reader would want: a strong and interesting cast of characters, a twisting and intriguing plot, and an elaborate fantasy world that is both mesmerizing and brutal. Williams draws us into the imaginative story from the first page, weaving a tale of rivalry, injustice, and love. The reader will be thrilled to encounter the many faces of good and evil and the fine line between the two. You’ll be dazzled by the elements of religion, science, mythology, alien life, and multi-dimensional travel, and surprised at her effortless skill in merging them.It’s rare that you see such a blend of themes in one novel. As the story unfolds, the characters become richer and more complex, and we can’t help but enjoy watching them self-destruct, just as much as we love watching them evolve into powerful, awe inspiring forces. Readers will be struck by the admirable female lead and her strength to overcome adversity with all the cards stacked against her.This is a world you’ll be hard pressed to leave, a world that is so detailed and intricately woven that you’ll yearn to return to it after reading the final paragraph. With its unforgettable images and breathtaking originality, THE SHADOW SOUL will keep you up all night and dreaming of the characters afterwards. Fans will be happy to know that this is just the beginning of a remarkable, spine tingling series.” — by Amber on July 17, 2015
“Williams has a knack for creating intriguing dialogue and such vivid descriptions that the readers can easy visualize everything. Williams takes many different elements from science, mythology, religion, alien life, even time travel, but it all perfectly flows together. Nothing felt out of place in the world Williams created for us. Readers are left feeling completely satisfied and eager for the next installment of the series.
I absolutely loved reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy, mythology, suspenseful stories, or simply just a good novel to read on a rainy day. I give The Shadow Soul 4 out of 4 because it held my attention throughout the novel. Also because it felt like a unique story the whole time I was reading it.” – LiteraryCat, OnlineBookClub.org
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