The Shaman and the Rose

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Utilizing elements inherent to Dante's immortal Inferno and crafting Gustave Dore's drawings into language, Shaman brings the reader into worlds unparalleled before in fantasy. From the castle in Dudael to the grim forests of Chyialus, a sojourn will be engaged by wizards and angels to a land called Armageddon. Upon this desolate wasteland the silence of the apocalypse will be heard; its harsh breath will be felt as the final stand is taken and darkness looms like a vast shadow over all things.

This manuscript's plot and background has been adapted from fairly current religious dogma and debate. The notion of Satan driven from heaven and sent to Dudael to await his judgment played well in the book. That allowed for two key elements to unfold. One was to allow me to present Satan as a youngish charming man who tricks Nicole into freeing him in exchange for saving the life of her brother. The second key and one highly debated is that after 2000 years in Dudael, Satan would be freed for a brief time.

The idea that currently fuels the most vigorous arguments is on the devil. Many religious scholars now assert that the devil is one of the angels that followed Satan. In Shaman I name this angel as Semjaza and his desire to find his redemption brings him into direct conflict with Satan which added yet another interesting twist to the novel.

Author: William P. Haynes
Publisher: Outskirts Press
(December 2007)
Paperback: 424 pages
ISBN-10: 1432716727
ISBN-13: 978-1432716721
The Shaman and the Rose, by William P. Haynes, is the third story featuring the characters introduced in Mesphisto’s Seed. This dark fantasy has elements of heroic adventure, romance, mythology, strong religious overtones, and characters seeking redemption. The passion and danger are real. The author makes his readers feel these emotions.

Tight plotting keeps this crowded story on track, and strong character development keeps the reader glued to the book. The protagonists in this novel are passionate and good-hearted. We care about what happens to these people. The antagonists are thoroughly evil and manipulative. The author’s use of drama and character interactions makes us want them to fail.

Angels and gods rub shoulders with demons and humans, and even the great deceiver, Satan, has his part. As the characters battle vampires and demons they evolve into warriors seeking to protect their world from the evil that encroaches on it.

Satan has been freed from his prison and seeks to initiate Armageddon. A handful of humans work with a god; a fallen angel; a Native American shaman, Orenda; an elfin wizard and a werewolf to put a stop to his plans. Themes of redemption thread throughout the tale; the humans seek a fallen sister while the angel, Semjaza, seeks atonement and redemption. He suffers a crisis of faith and must overcome it to help his comrades.

Elliot, the main antagonist in Mesphisto’s Seed, seeks to be united with Sara, his love. He acts with ruthless disregard for the lives of those around him, attacking any he feels will interfere with his goal. Satan wants to capture the magical sword, Rutilus, and use it to destroy the world, and the heroes must stop him.

Part of the action takes place in the contemporary world, and part in mystic realms, and, eventually, in Hell itself. Mr. Haynes has built beautiful landscapes and terrible ones, with bloody seas, a ship of bones,. His worlds are filled with ruby-eyed demons and winged stallions.

Elliott gathers an army of demons, vampires, hellbeasts and dark creatures, seeking to bring about Armageddon, but the shaman stops him with a spell that creates a tornado. As his troops are destroyed, Elliott flees.

I think my favorite part was when one of the characters used a modern, non-magical weapon to take out a dragon.

There are sacrifices, and the hardships and dangers one would expect from a story like this. However, the sacrifices are handled with intelligence, avoiding the trap of becoming cliché. Dialog is sharp, internal logic is consistent, settings and action are colorful an the characters interact well with one another and grow from their experiences.

This is a very well-written book, and one I would recommend. William P Haynes has grown as an author. Be sure to read the first two novels, to get the full story. It’s quite an experience.


 The Shaman and the Rose was published by Outskirts Press in January of 2008. It is a book that I am especially proud of for a number of reasons. The first being that this is my best work ever and the second is I got to work in a fantasy setting while still exploring the lives of the many characters that I began writing with back in the early years. So if Josh and Peggy Riley's lives weren't complicated enough, they now have an elfin and his mate living with them, a wolf named Skool, a witch and a young wizard. Abbots' Lodge never seems to have normal guests and the latest entry in the series proves no exception. So if you enjoy wizards, dragons and magic, pull up a chair and discover what the Rileys have. The land the lodge is built on is Armageddon and the four horsemen of the apocalypse aren't far away. This will be the final war.

Below are the first two books in the Mesphisto Seed saga

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To leave a comment or read an excerpt please visit The Shaman's Lair.

It had grown dark on the road to Dudael. The angel had never witnessed blackness any greater than this. He unsheathed Igneus and the flaming sword became the only light in a gulf vast like the universe itself. They were on Aethra Mountain and beyond the trail rested all matters of heaven and earth. Abnoba reared up and crashed down. His hooves created rumbling that deafened Nicole on the red horse, Russus.
     "The Journey is long and the horses need rest," Ariel said,leading Abnoba off the way. They followed the seraph into a forest.The three horses had ridden like the ghosts of time itself beyond the cobbled villages of gypsies, beyond the stretching monoliths of current madmen, beyond the seas. The riders sought Dudael, always shielded from the prying eyes of men. None save Ariel knew the dangers ahead and none dared ask of such.Nicole  trailed her brother to a tree. He pressed his hand up against the twisted bark and cried.
     "James? What is it? What's wrong?" She questioned. Nicole watched the shadow of the angel moving closer.
     "Lifthrasir remembers,does he not?" Ariel said, placing his hand on the young man's shoulder.
     "This tree sprung from a seedling of Yaggrasil," James answered."This woodland is the child of the trees,the home of Valmorth and Kabbalah.The roots of all grow here among the world trees."
     "It is only from this place of life that we will draw the strength to enter Dudael," Ariel said with a sigh.


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Lee Pletzers is one of the finest horror writers today. Please visit his website for information on Lee and his books.