#6 Soul of Skulls

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Cover design by Clarissa Yeo

Read the first chapter here.

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For fans of Robert E. Howard, David Gemmell, Robert Jordan, and Raymond E. Feist, the DEMONSOULED saga now continues in a sixth volume.

MAZAEL CRAVENLOCK is now the liege lord of the Grim Marches, fighting to defend his lands from the numberless hordes of undead. Yet old enemies plot his demise, and a cunning assassin lurks in the shadows, preparing a deadly trap.

HUGH CHALSAIN is the youngest son of the Prince of Barellion. When invaders from the sea conquer his land, Hugh must fight to save his home…or perish upon the blades of his foes.

MALARIC is the bastard son of the Prince of Barellion, despised and outcast. But with the stolen power of Mazael’s Demonsouled son, Malaric has the strength to claim what is his…and exact a horrible vengeance upon anyone who ever crossed him.

LUCAN MANDRAGON has returned from the dead, wielding dark magic beyond measure. Now nothing can stop him from fulfilling his righteous mission.

The utter destruction of the Demonsouled.

21 thoughts on “#6 Soul of Skulls

  1. I was hoping that the book would come out sooner. I really like the series and am looking forward to it. So please write it fast and write it good.

  2. I started the first book with moderate to low expectations to be honest. I was very wrong, and each book gets better than the last.

    I can not wait!

    1. Thanks for the kind words about the books! I’m glad you liked them, and that they changed your mind. ๐Ÿ™‚ If all goes well, I should have the next one out by the end of January.

      1. i have a Question. both my brother and i have started reading the books would like helps setteling a debt about the Malrags. i believe that the reason they fear blades like the one carried my Mazael is that it destroys their souls utterly. i was so certain gf this that i bet 5 bucks. but we found no mention of whether or not this was true. good sir for the sake of my manly pride and honor i would like you to tell me if i am correct. if i am not i shall simply burn all m y money and commit ritual suicide for i can not bear to see the dastardly things that shall befall my money once it is in the clutches of the foul feind known only as my brother.

        1. Hi Mackenzie,

          I have to admit, I have not given the matter any thought. Generally, when the Malrags are killed, their spirits eventually reincarnate the next time they are born within a Malrag Queen. I suspect Lion’s magic damages them badly, and makes it much harder for them to reincarnate, or causes them to reincarnate in a weaker form.

          So I haven’t decided on a definitive answer either way, and I fear I must disappoint both you and your brother. ๐Ÿ™‚

          -JM

    1. I’m planning seven. So, one more book after SOUL OF SKULLS.

      I might return to the world at some point. But a definite seven books total for the DEMONSOULED series.

  3. Wow! I was just looking around on your website this evening to find an update on the 6th book (I remember a blog-type page while I tried following updates on the 5th book) and was about to give up, but checked Amazon anyway and found Soul of Skulls. Halting progress on other books I have queued and will begin reading this one tonight! I also thought #6 was going to be the last one but in regards to the post above, I’m looking forward to a confirmed 7th as well. Love this series. I’m on #2 of the Ghosts series too. Its amazing to look back and remember how I picked up Demonsouled as a freebie when I first got my Nook and was looking for an ebook to read on vacation.

    1. Hi Joseph,

      I’m glad you found the book, and I hope you like it! If you want, you can sign up for my newsletter for immediate notification of new releases. I only use it when I have a new book out, so you’ll only get emails every two or three months or so. I also sometimes give away free short stories only to newsletter subscribers:

      http://www.jonathanmoeller.com/writer/?page_id=1854

      Concerning DEMONSOULED, the seventh book will be the final one. I had planned originally for six books. However, by the end of the fifth book, I quickly realized that this meant the sixth book would be this 350,000 word monster. So I split it into two, and even then, the seventh book is going to be quite long and a bit of a challenge to write. But the only way to grow as a writer (and, more importantly, to provide a satisfying ending for the reader) is to challenge oneself. ๐Ÿ™‚

      And I’m glad you’re liking THE GHOSTS. It’s a different style and genre than DEMONSOULED, so it’s always gratifying when people enjoy both.

      -JM

      1. Yep, last night I discovered the newsletter option and signed up ๐Ÿ™‚ That is quite the challenge. Two things I appreciate about your stories are the length, and the frequency. I was shocked when I found out about THE GHOSTS being another (very interesting) series, with the same frequency. Seeing the amount of series’ you have going on now is amazing and I hope to be able to try them all someday.

        It will be sad to see DEMONSOULED end, as I love Mazael’s character, his relationship with Romaria, and his growing relationship with Molly. It was disappointing to read of the path Lucan went down but it was set up well and I’m looking forward to finding out how that part will end.

        1. “Two things I appreciate about your stories are the length, and the frequency. I was shocked when I found out about THE GHOSTS being another (very interesting) series, with the same frequency. Seeing the amount of seriesโ€™ you have going on now is amazing and I hope to be able to try them all someday.”

          Thanks! I’m glad you liked them.

          “It will be sad to see DEMONSOULED end, as I love Mazaelโ€™s character, his relationship with Romaria, and his growing relationship with Molly. It was disappointing to read of the path Lucan went down but it was set up well and Iโ€™m looking forward to finding out how that part will end.”

          I will be sad to see it end, then. I suppose the temptation would be to continue the series indefinitely, but as Sherlock Holmes said, the supreme gift of the artist is to know when to stop.

          I was also surprised at the direction Lucan wound up taking. But I suppose it was logical in consequence. Mazael kept resisting his dark side, but Lucan was always willing to go just a little further when he felt it necessary, and that finally caught up to him.

    1. Glad you liked the books!

      “Next book,” he remarked offhandedly, “I’ll throw in a few different dialog tags.”

  4. I do have to say that I got into this series not really knowing what to expect. I am definitely hooked now. I love your characters and the development of them. Mazael is a lot of fun, the twists and turns he has endured have been fantastic. And Lucan makes for a great anti hero, one can only hope he sees the error of his ways at the end….
    Couple of questions about a few characters who you have dropped or killed off and I missed it. What happened to Wesson, Gerald’s squire and Sir Nathan?

    I can not wait for the final book. You have me hook line and sinker. Well done and a great read.

    1. Glad you liked the books!

      Concerning Sir Nathan, he did indeed sort of drop off the map. Officially, he died in his sleep between SOUL OF DRAGONS and SOUL OF SORCERY. Originally, in the outline for SOUL OF SORCERY, I had Adalar Greatheart come back as a point-of-view character to come home and bury his father, then get caught up in the Tervingi invasion and the Great Rising, and fall in love with Molly Cravenlock. However, that didn’t work for several reasons, mostly because upon consideration neither Molly nor Adalar would like each other very much, and it added another POV character to what was already a very complex book. So I decided to consolidate a bit. Originally, the Guardian of the Tervingi was a old man, and his apprentice was a young woman. So I flipped the roles, and made the Guardian into an old woman (Aegidia) and her apprentice into a young man (Riothamus), which then let Riothamus be Molly’s love interest. Unfortunately, in the process I never got around to addressing Sir Nathan.

      As for Wesson, he became a knight in Lord Malden’s service, and won some lands in Mastaria for himself. He and Adalar are still friends.

      I think at some point I might do a short story where Adalar and Wesson come back to the Grim Marches to bury Sir Nathan and put his affairs in order.

      -JM

  5. I must say that I was disappointed in Soul of Skulls. Ones get the impression that your publishing house forced you stretch out this saga. There are so many flaws or inconsistencies in this book. The Guardian, who stood up against Lucan has difficulty dealing with the snake priest, the mistgates that took so much power to open can now be opened with the gift of a ring? There are so many more things that makes this book a huge disappointment…the strength of your saga started to become watered down with the book prior to this one and this one makes it almost laughable to see how you have tried to stretch out the saga into as many profitable books as possible….please do not do this again.

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