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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dark Innocence by Rahima Warren - Review, Guest post AND giveaways!

Dark Innocence
by Rahima Warren
Published by: Rose Press
Length: 400 pages
Editions: paperback, e-book

A_TiffyFit's Review:
I rarely, if ever, put my review before the information about the book. But the information on this book is so dense with information that I wanted to tell you about my thoughts on this book first.

I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads and it deserves every single one of them. While this is a fantasy book, it is also so much more. On the surface, this is a fast-paced read in a realm where evil has taken over and there are small pockets of rebellion fighting for their  right to live freely, for things such as the air and sun and earth and water, they are fighting to bring back love and life, to unite the Goddess with their realm once more.

The savior of this book is Kyr, a sex slave with direct access to the monstrous ruler, the Soul-Drinker. Working towards the freedom of the kingdom is The Circle, led by Rajani, a Warrior-Mage oath-bound to ensure that the Star-Seer's Prophecy is fulfilled. The Prophecy foretells that the only one who can destroy the Soul-Drinker, bring back the Goddess, and restore the sacred balance of the earthly and divine realms is the "twin-souled dark innocent."

This book tells you about the prophecy, the sacrifices made from Circle members, what they "had to do" to ensure the Prophecy comes about, and then...Kyr's journey of self-forgiveness and discovery.

I could not stop reading this book. Not only was the story fantastic, but you could see each little step of self-healing, discovery, acceptance, etc. It made you think about all of the stories you hear about on the news, all of the children who have horrific childhoods and how they, too, need this journey to be able to live fulfilling lives as adults later on. It's beautiful and sad and hopeful and inspiring. Can you imagine a world where we face our fears, take responsibility, and forgive not only ourselves but one another? 


The Star-Seer’s Prophecy is an epic fantasy trilogy like The Lord of the Rings, but what the hero has to throw into the Fire is himself.

For anyone who loves the power of myth and a deep, riveting story well told... who yearns for a better world through the difficult, rewarding work of inner transformation... who has known suffering and darkness, and seeks to live in the light-this deeply affecting fantasy novel will be an intimate companion on the journey to wholeness, a guide to healing seemingly unforgivable transgressions. 

Delving into the deep mysteries within, Rahima Warren has retrieved many gems of wisdom and healing. Through an unexpected alchemy, these inner gems have been distilled into an enthralling, and sensuous adventure of the soul, DARK INNOCENCE: BOOK ONE OF THE STAR-SEER'S PROPHECY.

DARK INNOCENCE is the story of the slave Kyr's arduous journey of healing and transformation from the evil and pain of the Soul-Drinker’s hell to redemption and love. It is a gripping, intense and yet inspiring story of mystery and intrigue, inner courage and endurance, secrets and forbidden love, set in an ancient world of blood sorcery and ritual magic.

Kyr,however, is not the usual intrepid, dragon-slaying hero of many fantasy stories. His is the hard path of the inner journey toward wholeness. Manipulated by enemy and friend alike, he struggles to recover his true essence from the darkest of ordeals, to retrieve the light of his soul from the depths of remorse, and to discover the truth of Love, as he is propelled toward his destiny by the predictions of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy.

Drawing from her extensive experience as a psychotherapist and spiritual seeker, Rahima writes with a depth of wisdom, compassion and emotional and spiritual authenticity of the inner hero in all of us.

Star-cursed, twin-souled, knowing only evil, pain and ice, the dark innocent is our salvation. -From the Star-Seer's Prophecy

Long ago an ancient, peaceful land was blessed and guided by the Goddess. Then, an all-powerful sorcerer called the Soul-Drinker conquered the land, banished the Goddess, and turned Her sacred Temple into a dark maze of suffering and evil. Keeping himself alive for six generations through orgies of human sacrifice, the Soul-Drinker has cowed the people, and is draining the very essence of life and spirit from the land.

The Circle, a dedicated group working covertly to end his horrific reign, is led by Rajani, a Warrior-Mage oath-bound to ensure that the Star-Seer's Prophecy is fulfilled. The Prophecy foretells that the only one who can destroy the Soul-Drinker, bring back the Goddess, and restore the sacred balance of the earthly and divine realms is the "twin-souled dark innocent." 

But that dark innocent is an unlikely savior: Kyr, a youth born and raised as a slave of the Soul-Drinker, who blindly carries out the sorcerer's brutal commands. How can an abject slave overcome the Soul-Drinker's unbreachable sorcerous defenses? Even more impossible, how can he overcome his vicious upbringing, and become a man of courage and compassion who is willing to fulfill the demands of the Prophecy? In Book One of this trilogy: Dark Innocence, Kyr begins an astonishing and arduous journey beyond the darkness that is all he has ever known. 

Dark Innocence can take its place amongst Tolkien and the best of science fiction writers such as Ursula LeGuin. It is a well-sustained, exciting and suspenseful narrative written in a lucid and powerful style ... most people will find in the story a journey towards redemption which will touch on their own. Review by Harris Smart, author, editor, producer, published July 2012 in the e-zine Contents. 

Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy on Amazon:
Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy on Barnes & Noble:

About the Author
Rahima Warren is the author of Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy, a deep, rich novel of the healing journey; an expressive artist; and an eclectic mystic. With Master’s degrees in Clinical and Transpersonal Psychology, she was in private practice as a licensed psychotherapist for over 20 years. In 2006, Rahima retired to focus on her expressive painting, creative writing, and spiritual studies.

In her work with clients recovering from abuse, she was awed by the human capacity to heal, and to reach new levels of forgiveness, wholeness and happiness. She also learned to trust the psyche’s own process. This enabled her to allow a dark and mysterious story, now a trilogy titled The Star-Seer’s Prophecy, to flood forth unhindered. Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy is her first published novel.

Rahima is a third-generation native of California and resides with her husband in Northern California, where she periodically chases squirrels off the wild bird feeders, and deer away from her roses. Her life-long love of fantasy is her parents’ fault: they left sci-fi & fantasy magazines with fascinating cover art lying around the house, and they were the first thing she picked up to read.

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Guest Post on Writing Fantasy

Writing my fantasy trilogy, The Star-Seer’s Prophecy, was the juiciest fun I’ve ever had! For three years, I snuck off to write every chance I got, neglecting the housework and even the publicity for my career as a psychotherapist. I was going with the flow of a torrent of passionate creativity, with no idea where it was going. So I had to keep writing to find out what happened next. Besides, I confess, I was having a secret, literary affair with the protagonist, Kyr.
To write Kyr’s story, I had to write with no holds barred, because his story starts out in the dark labyrinth of the Soul-Drinker, an utterly evil sorcerer-king. Kyr is born and raised as a slave to serve his Master, the Soul-Drinker. For complex reasons, he gets rescued by kind strangers. Then his difficulties really begin! Having known only evil and obedience, Kyr begins a painful but ultimately rewarding journey of healing, recovery and redemption, which is the main thread of the first book, Dark Innocence.
I absolutely loved writing about how Kyr warily begins to emerge from the Soul-Drinker’s nightmare, and to learn that there is kindness, friendship and love in the world. Imagining how he would feel and react to each new revelation, I drew on all I know of the healing journey from my work with my clients, and from my own journey. One revelation was so shattering to Kyr that it sent him spiraling into deep remorse, and on a path to penance.
“There is love in the world?” Kyr was stunned. “My whole life… I never knew… How could I? There was no love in the Master’s world, not for us Slaves or the drudges or the sacrifices.” His blood suddenly ran cold and he fell silent. Rather than the pale ilys flower, love now seemed more like the maroon woodrose, its sharp thorns pricking his melting heart.
“What is it, Kyr?” asked Dekani.
“Merciless gods, the sacrifices,” Kyr whispered.
“What about them?”
“The sacrifices….” He choked back darker tears. “They were people, like Tenaiya, like Rajani. Someone loved them?”
“Yes, most likely.”
“That is why Tenaiya cried about her brother and sister being taken by the Master? She loved them? They loved her?” 
“Yes,” Dekani whispered in dawning dismay.
The woodrose’s thorny vines tightened around Kyr’s newly softened heart, piercing him with an agony for which he had no name. “Oh gods, what have I done?”
Another theme that I loved writing into the story is the beauty and healing power of Nature, particularly the Great Tree called the Heart of the Forest. It is a vast and ancient oak which has become semi-sentient, and works with the Tree Warden, Svahar, to do healings.
Kyr stumbled after Svahar, bracing himself against the walls of the steep, narrow staircase. Svahar led him through an arch into a room at the center of the Tree. The arch shut with a ponderous wooden thud.
…The air became heavy with the Presence of the Great Tree. Kyr felt it pressing in on him. …All over his back, a strange prickling sensation began, not painful but alarming.
…He gazed into the green depths of Svahar’s eyes. They drew him in until it seemed he was floating through an endless, eternal forest, breathing with Svahar, breathing with the drumming, breathing and drumming, breathing and drumming. They breathed together, slow and deep, slower and deeper. Now they were breathing with something vast and ancient, breathing with the primordial rhythm of the Heart of the Forest, in whose heart they were cradled.
And then there was writing about the complex, beautiful, doomed relationship between Kyr and the Kailithana, a Priestess-Healer named Jolanya… But to find out more about that, you might just have to read the book. (I know, I’m a terrible tease!)

What elements of writing your stories are the most rewarding for you?


Please visit the main tour page to visit the other tour hosts for more chances to win a copy of DARK INNOCENCE.
  • A signed copy of Dark Innocence
  • A Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with Rahima Warren’s Fan Art of Your Choice
  • 2 T-Shirts with Fan Art

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