Synopses are the bane of a writer’s existence.

Elevator pitch, logline, plot summary—whatever you call it, boiling down hundreds of pages to a handful of sentences is tantamount to torture for most novelists. In fact, the only thing more difficult is choosing a title for your book.

It’s not that we don’t know what our books are about. The agony arises from having to reduce countless characters, storylines, and themes into something incredibly streamlined and simplistic. Whittling all of that down slices apart the very soul of story.

And yet every serious writer will have to engage in this masochistic activity at some point, if only to attract prospective agents, publishers, and readers. In fact, I recently endured the excruciating exercise of writing synopses for three books while conjuring up the back-cover text for The Renegade Chronicles.

To make a long story short (pun intended), here’s what I came up with:

Vol. 1: Rebels and Fools


The greatest peace treaty in Altaerran history is unraveling.

As civil war threatens the Continent United, two fallen Knights of Superius are forced to join the rebels they once condemned. Hounded by assassins and assailed by doubt, they flee to Capricon in search of answers—only to discover the island harbors dark secrets of its own.

Alongside a mostly reformed thief, a dethroned pirate king, a mysterious woman with a magical sword, and other would-be heroes, the fugitives encounter a sinister power that has taken root within the Alliance.

If the Renegades and Knighthood can’t rise above their bitter rivalry, both factions—and the realm itself—are doomed.

Vol. 2: Heroes and Liars


When civil war escalates into a full-scale invasion of Capricon, every citizen’s loyalty is tested.

Even as the Renegades and Knights at Fort Faith band together to oppose the foreign army, an unremarkable merchant from the capital gets caught up in a cryptic mission of great importance. Why his companions are so eager to reach a castle in the middle of nowhere is just one of many mysteries.

An old man with a twisted sense of honor, a strange girl with mismatched eyes, a highwayman who is less than he seems, and a Knight with incredible abilities—trusting the wrong person could be as fatal as a goblin’s spear.

But will the truth prove more dangerous than the deception?

Vol. 3: Martyrs and Monsters


The devastating conclusion of the war between Capricon’s defenders and the goblin invaders draws near.

Within besieged Fort Faith, the motley army of Knights, Renegades, and refugees prepare for the final battle and almost certain defeat. But even as the crusaders make peace with their gods, champions on both sides of the battlefield will decide whether victory is worth the steep price of damnation.

A ruthless general who craves revenge, a warrior cleric plagued by doubt, a shaman in search of an unholy relic, and former rebels fighting for redemption—no matter who triumphs, sacrifices must be made.

And whatever the outcome, the survivors—and the island itself—will never be the same.

Book covers of The Renegade Chronicles

The Renegade Chronicles will be available in paperback and digital editions on March 31, 2016.