Book Excerpt from The Books of Ascension

April 25, 2014 at 12:33 am Leave a comment


I’m sharing a snippet today from the second book in “The Books of Ascension” series. Enjoy the snippet!

Read an Excerpt

Equinox excerpt: Chapter One

The Keep was much higher than he anticipated, and the giant pillar seemed to widen as they ascended. Atreu’s flight was not as exhilarating as his first one. Riell’s strange silence made it seem like an eternity. At times the sporadic winds buffeted them so close to the smooth rock that Atreu was sure they would be crushed, but Riell’s skill was such that he managed to avoid any damage. Occasionally he would be so close to the wall that he had to kick off, but he did it with such precise timing that Atreu soon ceased worrying about it.

He watched the mists wrap their tendrils along his arms and legs, only to release their hold as the two flew higher. Now and then small particles of ice would prick his face and he would have to close his eyes, but he couldn’t keep them shut for long. He wanted to see all he could.

The ground had disappeared quickly in a swirl of white below them. Atreu looked up, trying to will the mists to part so that the top of the pillar would be revealed.

And Riell spoke not a word to him.

There was a wild rushing sound and Atreu was thrown left and then right as he gripped tightly the wooden bar in front of him. A million grains of ice stung his face, and suddenly the mists seemed to clear around him.

They had reached the top.

In front of him lay what looked like a vast flat plain ringed by a halo of white cloud. Although twilight was deepening, he could see a sprawling city in the middle of the plain. On the periphery were low single-storey buildings which seemed to crouch in darkness, standing silhouetted against the sun’s after-glow like an army of sentinels. And in the centre was a vast conglomeration of spiralling towers, turrets and flying buttresses. Tower after tower shone with the silvery sheen of the most exquisite gemstones, tapering into feather-like fineness as they reached for the sky.

Atreu gasped, unable to believe what he was seeing. ‘The silver spires,’ he whispered.

The Books

Zenith – The First Book of Ascension

MOM030_Zenith_AWCan you see the story breathing?


A mountain so great it takes a year to travel from base to summit

A sun so powerful it drives you into madness if you look at it

An ascent so vital it determines the fate of the world

A summit so precious it holds the key to the divine

The world of the great Mountain is unstable. Giant pillars erupt from the surface and yawning chasms form unpredictably underfoot. Since the Maelir first stood on its slopes in the distant past, they have sought to still its anger and control its power. Each year, twin brothers are chosen to make a perilous journey to the summit. If they survive they will be witness to Zenith, and the secrets will be revealed to them.

When Atreu and Teyth embark on their Ascent, their Talismans lead them onto conflicting paths that will ultimately set brother against brother. And this time the Ascent itself is in peril as unknown forces that have long craved the power of Zenith will stop at nothing to make it their own even if it means destroying the very thing that sustains all life the Mountain itself.

Equinox – The Second Book of Ascension

MOM030_Equinox_AWCan you see the story breathing?

The Keep

The most beautiful city on the great Mountain

The pinnacle of Maelir culture

The home of the Inner Sanctum

The place where secrets hide


The fate of the Mountain hangs in balance at the time of Equinox, and even the Keep can no longer remain untouched. The Maelir are desperate to defend it, the Faemir to demolish it, the windriders to claim it. But unknown to them all, a dark force has already emerged from the chaos to seize power.

As Atreu and Verlinden strive to decipher the power of the Talisman that has defined Atreu’s Ascent, Teyth and Valkyra are locked in a desperate battle that neither of them can win. At a time when darkness and light are in perfect equilibrium, when Maelir and Faemir must find a way to break the deadlock and avoid annihilation, the world’s fate lies in the Book of Ascension.

Eclipse – The Lost Book of Ascension

MOM030_Eclipse_AWCan you see the story breathing?

What happens if after the winter solstice, the days keep getting shorter?

And shorter?

Until there is an eternal night?

What happens as the darkness grows?

And the creatures of dusk take control of the Mountain?

And the quest for the third Book is the only hope?

The Mountain is in its death throes as the Nazir send their wraiths to finish what the dusk-rats and grale had begun. Soon there will be no daylight to protect the Maelir and Faemir, and with each twilight there are fewer places to hide. Will the Mountain finally collapse under its own instability or will Atreu and Verlinden’s descent find the words of salvation in the Lost Book of Ascension?

Author Bio

Dirk Strasser photo 2Dirk Strasser has written over 30 books for major publishers in Australia and is an Active Member of the SFWA. He has won multiple Australian Publisher Association Awards, a Ditmar for Best Professional Achievement, and has been short-listed for the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards a number of times. His short story, “The Doppelgänger Effect”, appeared in the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology, Dreaming Down Under. His acclaimed fantasy series The Books of Ascension – including Zenith and Equinox – was originally published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and by Heyne Verlag in Germany and has been re-published by the Macmillan Momentum imprint, this time including the “lost” third book. His fiction has been translated into a number of languages. His short stories include “The Jesus Particle“ in Cosmos magazine, “Stories of the Sand” in Realms of Fantasy, and “The Vigilant” in Fantasy magazine.  His most recent sale was “The Mandelbrot Bet” to the 2014 Tor anthology Carbide Tipped Pens, edited by Ben Bova and Eric Choi. He founded the Aurealis Awards and has co-published and co-edited Aurealis magazine for over 20 years.


The Books of Ascension trailer

World of Ascension

Twitter: @DirkStrasser

Dirk’s Blog

Dirk’s Facebook Page

Buy the books!

Buy Zenith:

Buy Equinox:

Buy Eclipse:


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