How far will the bonds of brotherhood stretch when honor and duty, betrayal and death make love seem an unaffordable luxury? The royal brothers of House Aravon, Veran, Traven and Alarion, never questioned their loyalty to each other, never imagined it could be challenged. Until the gods of Ariel began to meddle in their lives for purposes of their own. And with a thousand gods...and One...all at cross purposes, and their followers as eager for power as they, what chance has a single House to stand against them all?

On the former Earth colony planet Ariel, nothing is simple—not for mortals, not for the deities who somehow have survived the antipathy of the populace toward all things religious. This six-book series sweeps reader into a sprawling epic rooted in the very bedrock of an alien planet and the strange, sleeping power that manifests so oddly and so unexpectedly that even gods walk warily.

Ariel, founded as an agricultural coloney, was cut off from the galaxy at large some 500 years ago when religious zealots called the Hadí descended from the stars. Their simple and ruthless ideology became something else the moment they set foot on Ariel. On this planet, their god actually manifested in the form of strange powers exhibited by its priests. A century of bloody rebellion ended with the Hadí overthrown and the general populace sick of gods and priests, unwilling to restore the old religions kept in secret from Hadí enforcers. Believers fled to the southern wastelands and split into tribes governed by sect; in the north, those who remained shunned the practice of religion...until one by one, a thousand new gods appeared, a powerful puzzle in a land where believer is still an epithet. The pantheon has real power, though they know themselves to be artificial, and they are prone to both human emotion and human ambition. For 300 years they have existed on the crumbs of worship, until one day the god of earthquakes grows tired of being but one among a thousand, and begins to intrigue with mortals to raise himself to supremacy.

But the goddess Fate has other ideas. Her chosen weapon is a young man named Alarion Aravon, youngest son of Sevakand's ruling House. Though Fate loves him, she owes Death a favor, and on Alarion's seventeenth nameday, she can put off the future no longer.


Map of Ariel
Map of the Citadel
History of Ariel
Character portraits


The Mask of God by S. A. Bolich

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The Mark of God by S. A. Bolich

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The Heart of God by S. A. Bolich

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