Exile is the second novel in the series called The Kan Ingan Archives, Part 2 of the two-part futuristic family saga the Arcanian Chronicles.
This novel and the one preceding it have had a history.
In the 70’s I wrote what was intended to be a stand-alone novel called Blood Ties. About twenty years after I wrote the book, I got to thinking about the background to that story. I ended up writing of happened before Blood Ties place—about the crime committed, and the acts leading up to it that made my hero, Erik Brand, a fugitive. A prequel, if you will, that eventually became Book One,
That brought about some title-switching. Book One became Blood Ties and Book 2 (the original Blood Ties) became Blood Kin. After a little more consideration, I decided those titles didn’t exactly tell anything about the stories, so I again made a change. After some finagling and word-searching and plenty of head-scratching, Blood Ties became Sinner and Blood Kin was renamed Exile, both good, short one-word descriptions that definitely carried the gist of the plot.
Are you still with me? Confused? Read on, the confusion grows…
During all this switching and re-writing, I also decided to relate the stories to The Narrative of Riven the Heretic by having my hero (Erik Brand) be a direct descendent of the hero of The Narratives. That necessitated a change of name and spelling, so Erik became Aric kan Ingan. Since Riven was considered the ancestor of the ruling family in the Emeraunt Galaxy, Aric became the Crown Prince of the current branch.
The Narrative of Riven the Heretic became Part 1 of the Arcanian Archives, and the kan Ingan Archives became Part 2, and here we are!
So here’s the blurb
Aric kan Ingan is a Non-Person, an Exile, stripped of title and citizenship for treason against the Arcanian Empire, crimes of which he is innocent. Sentenced to banishment, he wanders the Emeraunt Galaxy a lonely decade while his uncle withholds clemency.
When his meager earnings are depleted and his addictions demand to be fed, he enlists as a guard for a Terran mining colony. Adjusting to life among Terrans is difficult, but Aric meets two people who change his life: Susan Moran, the company doctor, and Miles Sheffield, his former mistress’ younger brother.
With Miles and Susan, Aric suffers the joy of friendship, the passion of love, and the grief of sudden death, and eventually makes a decision that will change the destiny of the Arcanian Empire forever.
As he rounded a corner and dodged a brightly-robed Scyllan, he nearly collided with a short weasel of a man darting from a nearby doorway.
The little man brushed against him, backed away with a muttered apology, and sped on, only to be pulled off his feet as Aric wrapped his hand in the collar of his jacket.
“Hold it!” He hauled the little man backward, holding out his hand. “Give it back.”
“Give what back?” A face of total innocence, if a trifle ferret-like, looked up at him.
In answer, Aric snapped his fingers and thrust the hand at the little man again, palm up, shaking it impatiently.
Something about the gesture told the little thief not to argue. It frightened him and he didn’t know why. It wasn’t the stranger’s size. He’d seen bigger men. Nor was it the tiny jewel, set like a droplet of blood in his left earlobe, announcing that here was a warrior blooded in True Battle, just as the sign of Ildred, marking his forehead in indelible mourning-purple, likewise proclaimed him an Exile.
The little man shivered and the stranger smiled. At that moment, Fredi the Pick knew exactly what caused his fear.
Those eyes. Less than human. Like a bird of prey.
Digging into his pocket, he extracted a small leather pouch, hastily dropping it into the Arcanian’s hand.
“There.” Smiling a little weakly, he sidled away. “Now then, I’ll just be on my…”
“Not so fast.”
Before he knew it, he was pinned against the wall, lifted by the force of a hand against his chest. Struggling to keep both feet on the cobbles, he looked up into his captor’s face.
“I suppose you’re going to peach me?” What did he expect, picking someone like this as a mark? Stupid move, truly stupid.
“Hardly.” The Arcanian laughed but it was a grim, cold sound. “You know the Lawkeepers don’t come to the Quad.”
“I’d prefer the Keepers.” The little man looked chagrinned. “We’ve our own rules here, y’know, and the Primary One’s that one inhabitant of the Quad never steals from another.”
Aric nodded. He’d been in and out of enough places like this to understand the little thief’s nervousness. The rules in these areas of criminality were much more stringent than in the law-abiding cities surrounding them.
“…and what’s the punishment for breaking the Primary One?” he prompted.
“Banishment from the Quad.” The pickpocket swallowed loudly before he continued. “For a year.”
A year’s exile. Aric laughed. Hell, that’s nothing compared to the time I’ve wandered.
The little thief winced at the bitterness in the sound.
“No, my little friend, I won’t turn you in.” Aric released the little cutpurse, who staggered and regained his balance.
“Well, then…” Relief and confusion showed on the rat-like face. “I’ll just be go…”
Again, the large hand detained him.
Fredi looked up. “Was there something else?”
“Yes, I need some…things.”
“Oh?” The little man frowned, asking cautiously, “What kind of things?”
In spite of where they were, Aric hesitated. He wasn’t certain he could trust this little rodent. “Are you a procurer?”
“Oh.” The frown disappeared as Fredi relaxed, seeing an unexpected profit coming his way instead of cell-time. “Why didn’t you say so? I thought…you being an Exile and all… Did you break your vows? You want girls? How many?”
“No. Not girls.”
“I see.” The pickpocket’s expression didn’t change. “I don’t usually deal the other way but… Boys? I suppose I could find one or two…”
“No.” Aric’s denial was quick. “I want….” Glancing around to assure himself no passerby was paying them attention, he lowered his voice, struggling to keep the desperation out of it. “I need some drugs.”
“No problem.” The little man still showed no surprise. “What kind?”
Aric didn’t answer.
“Well?” Fredi prompted. “Name your poison…oops…sorry.” He snickered at his little joke.
“I need nicotine and caffeine.” Aric ignored that. “Can you get me some cigarettes and coffee?”
“Cigarettes?” The little man looked around quickly before continuing in a whisper, “You want cigarettes and coffee? Hell, man, those two are at the top of the Unlawful Substances List.”
“I’m well aware.” Aric’s answer held weariness. His eyes bore into Fredi’s shifty ones.
“Can you get them?”
Paperback available from the publisher’s website: http://classactbooks.com/component/virtuemart/science-fiction/exile-8782018-03-14-02-58-23-detail?Itemid=0
And e-Books and Kindle from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Exile-Arcanian-Chronicles-Part-2-ebook/dp/B07BGW7DQK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526499336&sr=8-1&keywords=Exile+by+Toni+V.+Sweeney