Fantasy Illumination: Verin Empire – William Ray

In a colonial-esque world trying to shake off the shackles of it’s higher fantastical past, William Ray’s Verin series’ original take on the fantasy genre is refreshing. With inspirations as far ranging as Tolkien to Tolstoy and Conan Doyle, the author manages to combine seamlessly the regality of a lost past with the progression of a Victorian-like industry.

“Thanks to rifle and iron rail, humanity now flourishes after centuries of submission. With the oppressive power of the Elves ended at last, human nations have grown mighty, and the Verin Empire’s colonies spread civilization to the farthest corners of the world. But civilization has not taken root everywhere…”

Gedlund, William Ray

The two released books in the series are stories set in the same universe, yet are characterised by opposite ideas, Ray described the differences to Fantasy Scriptorium, saying: “Gedlund is a military story, mostly shown through the eyes of a historian, and so each chapter is headed by a historical tidbit, and the story focuses on the campaign he’s engaged in.  By contrast, The Great Restoration is more of a noir-detective story, it’s written in the style of a classic Victorian serial, and each chapter is headed by an excerpt of the news of the day.”

And although the Vernin Empire is a series, it isn’t a-typical in it’s chronology and structure: “Each book in my series is a single story in a shared setting.  Characters and events cross over, but I wanted each volume to have a single coherent storyline.”

Ray is currently working on the third book from his Tales of the Vernin Empire, describing it as: “A bit of a fantasy western, borrowing elements from the 19th century history in both the US and South Africa.”

The two books in the Verin Empire Series are available on Amazon.

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