Created by Chantal Boudreau

Sleep Escapes Us

Based on the myths of Ancient Thrace, this dark fantasy/horror novel follows the tale of a kingdom where every five years a ritual sacrifice is made to Zalmoxis, God of Death, Immortality and the Soul. When a simple hunter, Zelmis, is chosen by lottery to serve as sacrifice, he cannot bear the thought of leaving his infant daughter, Adina, parentless, her mother having died from complications from childbirth. He accepts an offering of help from one of the mystical seers living in the chambers underground. In exchange for his services, she provides him with a means of slaying Zalmoxis when Zelmis is presented as sacrifice to the god who once was a mortal man. She warns him that if he insists on fighting fate, however, the price will be much worse than he could ever imagine, and gives him a scroll of prophecy that he is to present to Adina upon his deathbed. He follows through with his plan, slays Zalmoxis and returns to his Adina in secret. He does not realize just how foul things will turn as a result, as men die, but there is no longer anywhere for their souls to ascend to. They remain with their broken shells, cursed to inhabit their dead bodies, and rising as the undead to roam the lands, hungry for the living or a means of liberating their souls. The only ones capable of controlling these zombies are the necromancers, who keep the undead as thralls and amass great armies. They soon control the royalty of the land, abusing their power and influencing royal decree by offering the use of their sizeable armies against enemies of the kingdom, in exchange for great wealth and special opportunity. Years pass, with the kingdom in dire straits and trapped by the influence of the necromancers, and when Alina grows to be a young woman, Zelmis falls ill. He gives her the scroll and sends her back to the seers after convincing her to burn him - the only way to spare him from becoming a zombie himself when he dies. Alina finds that she must take it upon herself to right the situation her father had created, and with the help of three others, a seer, a prince and a lowly guard, she sets off on a quest to bring into existence a replacement for Zalmoxis. Her father slew him, and it is up to her to give him life again and restore things to the way they once were. It's a task much easier said than done, especially with the power of the necromancers and their terrible undead armies opposing their will, with a price most people wouldn't be willing to bear.