Humanity hangs in the balance. War and enslavement. Freedom and magic. Two elven families fight to control humans, whose magic is stronger than theirs. "Are we pushed and controlled because we're stupid, or are we stupid because we're pushed and controlled? Do we even deserve magic?" One man believes he does deserve it. "It was taken away from me and I want it back. I want to know." "What is it that you want to know?" "Everything." The elf Andor Tol-Tolin reigns with a fire fist. "There is no better means to achieve social reconditioning than by war." Ivy Del-Gesius counters, "You have selected slavery. We choose to explore a partnership." This is little help for Bodie Challuk, leader of the rebellion sitting in chains, who finds the strength to proclaim, "Andor will never be safe, because we only have to be lucky once, but he has to be careful for the next thousand years." Across the land and over the sea, Estus Arrenkyle claws his way out of the choking theocracy of the elves, claims his secret magical heritage, and lays his hand upon the troubled land. The sea captain, the secret wizards of the theater troupe, the angry fighter, the elf, and the quiet carpenter come together to reopen the world's eyes to the magic that waits within us all.
We live in a world undergoing dramatic changes in religious belief that leaves many of us struggling to understand ancient practices within the context of our modern world. So it is in Carpenter's Mark, where elves who are long-lived but weaker in magic have created a religion to control humanity. Written to appeal to skeptics and religious free-thought readers of the fantasy genre, this novel shows Estus Arrenkyle's intimate struggle with his beliefs that leads him to the source of his own magic. The premise of the novel is that each of us can break away from the powers that desire to control us, and when we look inward we will find the magic of our own abilities. The cast of characters explores these themes as they deal with both personal and epic trials in a land scarred by war and hunger and the darkness of the religion of light.