After about a year of constant work, engaging this trilogy in one way or another every day of my life since it began, this project is at last complete.

There’s so much to be said, but so little of it is necessary by this point.  As always, I want to first and foremost thank my editor LaTreace Giles for her tireless efforts in making this project leaps and bounds better than it would have otherwise been.  And, of course, a warm thank you to everyone who has supported me in various ways through this past year or so, whether it was through encouragement, direct critique of my ideas, or the subtlest of well wishes.  Thank you, all of you.

This is the third and final installment in the Espatier trilogy, which not only marks the completion of my first trilogy, but the beginning of what I hope to make an even more vibrant and successful career.  Though this project is finished, I will continue on.  Even so, I hope this book in particular is to your liking; I hope this book does for you what a good book should do.

To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;

To forgive wrongs darker than Death or Night;

To defy Power, which seems Omnipotent;

To love, and bear; to hope, till Hope creates

From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;

Neither to change nor falter nor repent;

This, like thy glory, Titan! is to be

Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;

This is alone Life; Joy, Empire, and Victory!

— Percy Shelley

Prometheus Unbound (1820)

Act IV, closing lines


“The soul is the perceiver and revealer of truth. We know the truth when we see it, let skeptic and scoffer say what they choose. ... That which we are, we shall teach, not voluntarily, but involuntarily. Thoughts come into our minds by avenues which we never left open, and thoughts go out of our minds through avenues which we never voluntarily opened.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The Over-Soul" (1841)


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it."

— Thomas Jefferson

a letter to Archibald Stuart

23 December 1791

Copyright © 2016 Nathan Smith

ISBN-13: 978-1-945563-91-1

All rights reserved.

Cover by Marina Hunt