They never asked to be plucked from their homes. But destiny was something they could not avoid. Somehow, they found each other. After that, it was all about building the team that would be competent enough to stand up to sorcery, deceit, pure brutality and worse.
From the small houses of the teenagers’ families, to the wild and untamed forests of Lasgalan, this team faced the worst obstacles they could ever imagine: despair, betrayal, physical pain, psychological breakdown, animalistic experiences, to name a few. Being kept together for a short while, only to be taken apart and put back together. This group learns the meaning of what they truly are, and whether they like it or not, they have to forget what they knew about themselves, to better Lasgalan. They must get to working together quickly, or else they face fates worse than death.
Brace yourselves. This is a journey you would not want to take. So begins the journey of these teenagers.
The author, Darius C. Modi, is (at the time of writing) a St. Xavier’s college student from Kolkata, India, who loves fiction and is an avid reader. The main inspiration for the series was The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. He grew up fascinated by European mythologies, particularly Greek, Roman, Norse and also liked Egyptian mythology.
He likes movies and is not afraid to push his writing to extreme measures, to see what it can develop into. He thinks of how the book has to start, where in the plot he wants it to end, and then fills in the middle. Plot twists and unexpected turns are what he enjoys and leaves things open to his readers to think about for themselves, rather than be too specific on descriptions. His motto for writing is: “DO NOT SHY AWAY FROM BEING OPEN ABOUT SOMETHING. WRITE WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT TO HAPPEN, NOT WHAT SOMEONE ELSE WANTS. YOU ARE WRITING THE BOOK, NOT SOMEONE ELSE.”
Darius writes while listening to a mixed bag of music, from Mozart and Beethoven, to Queen and Led Zeppelin, letting the ideas flow with ease. His imagination is all over the place, and he prefers to be at his books for a long time. His ideas are sometimes bounced around among friends, just to get a different perspective, and see how much of that can be incorporated into the story.
Murzban F. Shroff is a Mumbai-based writer. He has published his fiction with over 65 literary journals in the U.S. and UK. His stories have appeared in journals like The Gettysburg Review, The Minnesota Review, The Saturday Evening Post, Chicago Tribune, and World Literature Today. His non-fiction has appeared in India Abroad, The New Engagement, and The American Scholar. Shroff is the winner of the John Gilgun Fiction Award and has garnered six Pushcart Prize nominations, the highest award for the short story in the U.S. His short story collection, Breathless in Bombay, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in the best debut category from Europe and South Asia, and rated by the Guardian as among the ten best Mumbai books. The work was adopted as course material at the Simon Fraser University in Canada, along with the works of Virginia Woolf and Don DeLillo. His novel, Waiting for Jonathan Koshy, was a finalist for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize and has been published in India and China. His third book, Fasttrack Fiction, serves up a collection of literary nuggets for the digital reader. Shroff represented Mumbai at the London Short Story Festival (2015), the Irrawaddy Literary Festival in Myanmar (2017 and 2109), and the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai (2019). He was invited to speak about his work at the Gandhi Memorial Center in Bethesda, the University of California Los Angeles, California State University Monterey Bay, the Institute for South Asia Studies at UC Berkeley, and the Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism at the University of Southern California. Shroff’s fourth book, Third Eye Rising, will publish in January 2021 in the United States and Europe. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org