Author: J. Edward Ritchie
Genre: Epic fantasy
Book: Fall From Grace from the Fall From Grace Series
J. Edward Ritchie is a novelist/screenwriter specializing in world creation and action epics. A fan of all things genre from films to comics to video games, his work explores the intricate, primal balance between good and evil. He is dedicated to writing stories that embody the fantastical and uncompromising entertainment that has inspired his career.”
Heaven: a paradise of all that is pure in Creation. Led by brothers Michael and Satanail, the Angelic Host is a testament to cosmic harmony and love. When an unprecedented revelation threatens to uproot their peace, a schism splits the Host’s loyalties. Every angel has to make a choice: faith or freedom. Good or evil.
Salvation or damnation.
War consumes Heaven in the first and most destructive loss of life that Creation will ever know. As brother turns on brother, the fate of both Heaven and Earth rests in the hands of the Creator’s chosen son, Michael. How far will he go, what will he sacrifice in the name of their Father, to protect his family?
Witness the tragic downfall of a civilization as told from both sides of the bloody rebellion. More than myth, more than legend, Heaven’s war will forever stand as a harrowing warning that even the purest of souls can fall from grace.
“Vividly descriptive, Fall From Grace takes you directly into the depths of the greatest battle of all time. With gorgeously sculpted characters, J. Edwards Ritchie draws you into the heart of the conflict from the first page. His talented story-telling is strikingly expressive, allowing you to feel every emotion – whether it be joy or agony – as if you were living the story firsthand. I found Fall From Grace to be highly addictive, pleasantly eloquent, and terrifyingly descriptive in places (in a good way, though). His character work was so on-point that I could feel my heart break as the beautiful society began to unravel. With a fabulous use of adjectives and emotions, Ritchie was able to paint a picture of this stunning world- granting you the ability to envision it clearly in your mind. I was thoroughly blown away by the twists and turns taking place in the plot- you couldn’t truly hate any of the characters on either side of the war after being brought into their horrors, their pain, and their souls.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fantasy, sci-fi, or an ol’ fashioned good vs. evil story.”
From the author…
The following excerpt takes place when the forest region of Raqia, full of defenseless refugees, comes under siege by Satan’s legions. Alone, Michael has to confront the demons to provide the refugees an opportunity to escape. The passage highlights the intense action and poetic prose of Fall From Grace.
Michael wove between the trees at a breakneck pace, racing behind the flames burning towards the heart of the rainforest. Smoke obscured his vision, and one feather, one muscle, aimed in the wrong direction would propel him into a trunk. Feeling the heat intensify, he flattened his wings and barreled through a wall of fire into the refugee camp.
It was a massacre.
The invasion targeted Thrones, snagging the healers with propelled nets then scooping them from the battle. All other angels were killed. Demons above bombed the area while those on the ground hacked down trees. The toppled trunks crushed whole areas of refugee tents. Wooden Raqian homes intertwined with the branches splintered upon impact, strengthening the fire. Rope bridges snapped and slashed across the hysterical mob.
The oldest trees awoke to fight back against Satan’s legions. Pronged branches slapped the demons down to the detritus, and tangles of roots dragged them underground.
“It’s Michael!” A refugee called out from the mob.
The refugees had no weapons or means of defense. With the canopy ablaze, they fled on foot but trampled over each other in a mad dash for safety. The forest floor was a craggy terrain of broken bodies.
A demon heard the refugee and hurled a spear at his chest. Michael was too far away to intercept it…but Raphael emerged from behind the fiery blockade and caught the spear. He led a force of Thrones into the battle, each drenched in lake water to ward off the heat.
“Get back!” Michael shouted. “They want the Thrones.”
“We will not cower.” The hearth of Raphael’s spirit had been reignited. He lifted a tree limb pinning a trio of angels and slung them over his shoulders. “Thrones, secure the injured. Leave no one behind!”
The Thrones began a systematic evacuation of the wounded that allowed Michael to focus on the healthy refugees. Through the smoke, he spotted a thin section of trees not yet burning.
“Angels, stay behind me and move west to the forest’s edge! Link hands and flap your wings to part the flames. Do not stop!”
Michael’s clear instructions quelled the panic. He positioned himself between the refugees and the main force of demons. The selfish marauders could not resist such a precious trophy, and luring them to him would give the refugees a chance to escape.
“Murderers! Release your prisoners and flee…or forfeit your lives to the Creator’s wrath.” Michael shed any restraint, mercy, or empathy.
“Lord Satan is our only Creator,” a demon replied. “And his wrath isn’t aimed at us.”
“Is it not my life you desire?”
Michael spread his arms and wings, the muscles sweating from flames licking down the remaining upright trees. He valued every soul, but the demons responsible for Raqia’s downfall gave up their chance for redemption with the slaughter of helpless innocents.
“COME AND CLAIM IT!”
Thousands of demons converged upon Michael, fighting through each other in a demented competition to spill his blood. With only fists and courage, he met them head-on in a display of heroism that would become an everlasting measure of valor in the annals of Creation.
Time slowed to a fluid crawl for Michael as his power, skill, and passion to protect the innocent sustained him in the typhoon of violence. A storm of blades carved into him from all sides, but he stood his ground in the eye of the hurricane.
Every neuron in Michael’s brain activated, firing synapses that made it seem as if the demons were moving through liquid. His punches connected unhindered and sent ripples through their skin. Streams of blood floated in the air like ribbons. His heartbeat was a gradual bell of thunder that tolled for each fallen foe, but he did not fight with Satan’s egomaniacal rage. Michael fought for others using the serenity of his blessed union with the Creator. He fought for the refugees, for the Host, for Heaven, and for the very future of goodness. He fought to restore the balance of Creation.
When the normal flow of time resumed in Michael’s mind, demons were piled fifty-deep around him in a corpse circle as broad as a small village. He was doused head-to-toe, glistening in the flames like a ruby champion of the Creator. The air still festered with demons, but they kept at a distance. Their courage (what passed for it) was tamed.
“IS THAT ALL YOU HAVE?”
“They have me.” Azazel descended from the canopy, daggers dripping with angel blood.