What would it really be like to be immortal? And how important is the power of friendship and the need for communion with one’s fellow humans?
On Ziraf’s World, a planet in a universe far away from ours, an old priest named Gilzara decides to ask the Dreamers for the gift of immortality, and Krozem the Creator of Humankind grants his request, including giving him the power to make others immortal. However, things go tragically wrong; Gilzara’s dying wife refuses the gift, and Gilzara is left to live his immortal life alone.
The Troil, incorporeal spirit beings who also inhabit this world, take it upon themselves to save Gilzara from destroying the token that holds the key to his immortality, but he continues to see himself as a freak and an outcast, unable to relate to any mortal.
The Troil teach him the power of venwara – wizardry – and thus fortified, he returns to the human world, desperately searching for a connection. He finds it in Halrab, a young novice priest, and together they set out to climb the Starbell, the highest mountain in Ziraf’s World, the symbol of an unattainable goal.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be immortal? Would immortality be a gift or a curse? Speculative fiction author, Lorinda J. Taylor explores those questions in her recent release, “The Blessing of Krozem – A Tale of Ziraf’s World.”
On Ziraf’s World, a distant planet in the universe, the world is illuminated in various shades of the color blue. The planet has its own cosmology (the sun and moon rise in the west and set in the east, and the year is shorter than on Earth.
The author’s notes share:
“The culture is late Neolithic; metallurgy is unknown except for some gold-working. Obviously, the culture is on the cusp of technological development, but the path to that level will be different from Earth’s – based on spiritual and mental arts that can be called magic, for want of a better term. The gods (Ziraf’s Dreamers, the Seven Zem’l, whom Ziraf the High Dreamer appointed to engineer creation) are palpable in this world, as are a different kind of beings called Troil, who are pure spirit and are immortal.”
“Naturally, such a world will have its own languages, but in this tale we are concerned with only one race of humans, called the Kairam (the Slate People); there are in fact other races who would have languages of their own, but they figure only tangentially here.”
Taylor, Lorinda J. The Blessing of Krozem: A Tale of Ziraf’s World (p. 231). Kindle Edition.
The tale sets in motion when a man and his wife ask the old priest Gilzara a simple question. Why do the Troil live forever while humans are mortal?
Both elderly now, Gilzara and his wife, Javon, ponder the question. More than anything, Gilzara fears he already knows what the answer will be from Krozem, the Creator. But he can’t help wondering… what if Gilzara and Javon could live forever, healed and once again whole?
Krozem grants Gilzara’s request, including the additional power to make others immortal. The old priest hurries back to Javon to share this significant news. Javon refuses his gift of immortality and dies in his arms. Devastated, the priest realizes that he must live his immortal life alone. The ramifications of such an existence are staggering.
Gilzara is heartbroken over the loss of his wife, and he feels the weight from the gift of immortality like a noose hanging around his neck. Without Javon, life no longer holds any joy. He hides from other humans and even starves himself to near death, wishing for the sweet release death would bring to him.
When Thav, a cave Troi, stumbles across Gilzara’s almost frozen body, she knows the Troil must save Gilzara from destroying the token that holds the key to his immortality. Thav and the other Troil eventually teach Gilzara the power of venwara, a type of wizardry.
I’ve noticed “wounded male characters,” is Taylor’s speciality. She excels in her portrayal of the old priest as a deeply wounded soul finding redemption through a journey of love and acceptance. The prophetic magic of her words come together when Gilzara finally learns to live with his immortality.
Look for spectacular world building, rich characters and descriptions, and bits of spiritual wisdom that will resonate with your own belief systems. The personas of the Troil captivated me. These Yoda-like creatures remind me of benevolent nature spirits, always looking out for the good of the planet and the people who inhabit this strange land. In fact, some of Taylor’s descriptions of venwara magic are so breathtaking, I found them to be poetic.
“The Blessing of Krozem – A Tale of Ziraf’s World,” is a standalone novel. For your reading convenience, Taylor adds a detailed list of characters, a list of geographical names, and a Glossary of Terms at the end of the book.
I’m a tremendous fan of this author, and this recent addition to her repertoire has become an instant favorite of mine! Something tells me you will love this novel, as well. Enjoy!
*I follow the Amazon Rating System*
About the Author
I’m a retired librarian who worked in academic libraries as a cataloger, and I live in Colorado Springs, CO. Besides my MLS, I have a BA and an MA in English, and some work toward a Ph.D. As a child, I was always making up imaginary worlds, but I didn’t start writing fantasy until I read “Lord of the Rings” in 1969 and discovered that even serious scholars like J.R.R. Tolkien can continue to create such worlds far into their adult lives. I never was successful in getting published in those early days, however, and then family considerations forced me to take a hiatus from writing from 1983 until 2000. Since then, I’ve written a novella and several novels, and have begun to self-publish since I doubt that I can live long enough to go the old-fashioned route!
My interests include almost anything literary, scientific, or speculative — science fiction and fantasy, mythology, language (I write conlangs for my books), poetry, cosmology, astrophysics, anthropology, archaeology, entomology, ornithology …
Philosophically, I call myself a spiritual humanist.
Among my favorite authors are Ursula K. LeGuin, Tolkien (of course), Evangeline Walton, and many poets such as Robert Graves and Dylan Thomas.
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Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Poet who loves crafting paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre flash fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction.
Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.
Colleen's syllabic poetry has appeared in the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal, and in “Hedgerow, a journal of small poems.” She’s won numerous awards from participating in the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, a yearly flash fiction contest sponsored by carrotranch.com. In 2020, she won first place in the Carrot Ranch Folk Tale or Fable category, with her story called “Why Wolf Howls at the Moon.”
Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path through her writing. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.