Telling it how it is – Azimuth

A marketer said I should be more explicit about the story of the Azimuth Trilogy. Here’s what I have written. It’s now on the site.
A royal historian, Kamil,  is called to the court of his emperor. He is commissioned to write the history of a famous man, a magus,  who lived many centuries before and whose thoughts and deeds influenced all the major religions and moral practices thereafter. The history is to help educate the willful teenage daughter of the emperor, Sabiya. He writes the history and proceeds to read it to her. As he does so he discovers that she is intelligent, provocative and manipulative. Not only that but she realises that this plump, middle aged man has a forensic brain and enlists his support in protecting her against her enemies, who would either kill her or find the means to disinherit her.
So Azimuth consists of two parallel stories like a double helix. The life adventures of the Magus represents one aspect of every chapter and the doings of the court and Kamil’s entwinement in the world of Sabiya, represents the other. The Magus’ story is told in separate adventures, chapter by chapter and each is prefigured in sequence by the esoteric major Arcana cards of the Tarot pack.  They, mysteriously, give some inkling of what is to follow but they are cryptic and obscure.  At the same time, wrapped round these adventures or tales, the story of the court with its intrigues, devilment, passions and bloody violence, maintains a tense narrative that frames the historian’s readings.
Book One: The First Journey, begins with the Magus’ extraordinary, almost magical, arrival in the world and follows his growing up and his discovery of his talents, his relationship with his ‘foster’ father and his questioning of everything around him including his heretical attitude to religions and their gods. Each of his 22 adventures is like a short story, yet is linked to the next. We see him grow, make mistakes, face great dangers, come upon worlds peopled by extraordinary three dimensional characters and display a maturity of thought far beyond his years. By the end of the book he is a powerful warrior of a man, a sage in the making and his impact upon the lives and cultures of those he has met is exceptional. Each story challenges the reader to think about aspects of life and death, of love and of belief but never intrusively.
While these stories unroll, Kamil gradually becomes embroiled in the machinations of the court and shows he is a dab hand at solving murder and unraveling a scheming plot against Princess Sabiya’s life. But will that be enough to save her?
Book Two: The Second Journey, has 22 more tales, headed by the same sequence of Tarot cards. This is the middle stage of the Magus’ life and encompasses what he became famed for. He is more of a sage, has crystallized some of his thinking about the nature of existence but is faced by the likelihood of a terrible war which will lay waste to the populations of east and west. His journey to resolve this awful, impending conflict is again broken into separate adventures, linked and then fused as the book reaches its tense conclusion. All the while the Tarot cards display more and more influence on events both within the tales and outside them. And Kamil’s readings of the tales help to influence Sabiya’s desperate fight to save her prospective empire.
As in Book One, Kamil’s life and power within the court slowly grows. Princess Sabiya is now a young woman. She is to become empress one day and is much sought after. There arrives in the court a strange, malevolent Rasputin of a creature called The Red Man who seems bent on the court’s destruction, as well as sullying Sabiya’s physical and emotional world. Kamil may be her only defence against the man’s hypnotic, rapacious powers. All the while, Kamil’s own life undergoes change, much of it orchestrated by Sabiya, herself, who has taken an interest in changing him from a ‘dry old historian’ into a social, attractive man of the court.
Finally we arrive at Book Three: The Final Journey. This is the final phase of the Magus’ life. He is recognized everywhere for his power and authority, his wisdom and central philosophy. He is now known as The Magus. There are 22 more chapters but the tales are now melded into a flowing narrative as the Magus journeys with a man of extreme evil to discover the secret of immortality. There are still tales within the overall tale, bloody adventures and disturbing conflicts, as good and evil edge towards a climactic and utterly unexpected conclusion. Who will be victor? Who will gain immortality?
This part of the history of the Magus is read by an older, wiser Kamil to Sabiya’s daughter, Shahrazad. Sabiya is now empress and commissions Kamil to write a third book about the Magus and to read it to her daughter.  Again, Kamil is faced with protecting a willful, manipulative late adolescent girl who is at least the equal of her powerful mother in bending fate to her will. But here, instead of threats to the court, he is drawn into the mystery of Shahrazad’s very being and her desire to discover her blood roots. Kamil and Shahrazad embark on adventures that vie with those of the Magus himself in their mysterious, almost magical nature and their chilling danger. Tarot cards occupy their lives even more, though their profound messages are often difficult to interpret until after events have taken place.
And thus The Azimuth Trilogy comes to a close, two narratives ending in the last chapter, each with a conclusion that is spellbinding and unforeseen.
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