Mars the Divine
Or: Secret of the Seven Lenses
Young monk Brother Farr of Mars is startled by a sneak visit into Graniston Domes by wild-eyed exile Shan the Heretic, who tells of the looming assassination of the Popess. Shan starts to reveal other heresies to Farr—for instance, that there really was once a home world, called Earth, which is more than a myth or a pious scripture paradise. Moments later, Shan is killed by temple police, and his secrets die with him. But the seeds of question, of rebellion, of searching for truth have been awakened in Brother Farr, and there is no turning back as he begins a journey beyond time and space on the Time Train system built by a mysterious, Long Ago Alien Race (LAAR).
Holy Mother Mars' climate is failing. Can young monk Farr save the world by finding the long-lost oceans of Mars? Wild-eyed heretic Shan's murder sends Farr on a voyage of discovery in the Temporale and distant time with military priestesses Trinity and Singularity. Evading cruel dukes and brutal soldiers, they meet H.G. Wells in Victorian London, on a Time Train system built by long-ago aliens.
On Holy Mother Mars, the climate is failing and humankind seem doomed. The mountain cities of Mars still teem with people, but the lakes and oases of the lowland deserts are drying up. Green Mars is increasingly becoming a red and desolate Mars. What about ancient legends that Mars was once a blue world with fresh, frothing seas before it became what it is in Farr's time? Where did the oceans go? Can they be retrieved?
An assassination of the Holy Mother—a murder of such magnitude will throw the entire world into turmoil unless the renegade Duke Balesso can be stopped. [NOTE: contact with Earth was lost ages ago, and the Mars humans believe they were brought to their holy planet by deities, among them the goddess Nasa.]
Farr begins an epic journey fraught with danger, intrigue, and ancient mysteries. His quest for the lost seas of Mars takes him through the valleys and kingdoms of Mars, and into a transit world (the Temporale) outside time and space. Farr is on a quest to learn the truth about Mars, himself, and the human race.
Besides Brother Farr, we meet his tragic childhood love Sudie; we meet a stern abbot hiding family secrets; we meet the military priestesses Trinity and Singularity; plus a doomed king, a pair of gloriously charismatic Martian lady popes, and a host of other originally crafted, breathing, and engaging characters.
Brother Farr travels to the past and future, meeting the historical H.G. Wells in Victorian Gaslamp London. Farr’s hopscotch journey takes him eons back in time to learn a fundamental secret about Mars that will change humankind forever. Along the way, he is tormented by the loss of his one, early love in life—and questioning of his vows.
In the far distant future, literally at the cosmopause (end of time due to a disastrous time war), he visits the City of En--whose agents are desperately tweaking and working the Temporale to save their city. Cosmopolis, or the City of the Universe as it is known among myriad other names, is in danger of disintegrating as time dissolves around it due to a long-ago temporal war. This epic struggle in the Temporale, spanning infinite spaces and eternal times, is the framework within which the Empire of Time series takes place. Ruthless, daring, and fiercely dedicated agents of the Temporale—often at deadly odds with each other—conspire to save the city at the end of time, no matter what it takes.
If Mars, the home of mankind, is to be saved, Brother Farr must unlock the secret of the Seven Lenses, in which the fate of Mars’ primordial oceans is inextricably bound. Epic in scope, breathtakingly bold in its concepts, this novel is a node in the Mid Time Sector of John Argo's Empire of Time series.
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