How did ancient Sumerians and Akkadians make sense of the incredible stories circulating about their gods, heroes, and rulers? How did they distinguish between truth and fiction? These questions inspired first-time novelist Claire Sulos in her new series of historical fantasy fiction books set in ancient Mesopotamia. With a mysterious plot involving stolen ceremonial art, and intriguing characters who challenge gender stereotypes, the trilogy offers an exciting escape into an imagined historical world, while engaging with philosophical issues relevant in our ‘post-truth’ era.
The Inanna’s Bargain Trilogy is a work of historical fantasy fiction set in the Akkadian Empire of ancient Mesopotamia during the reign of Sargon the Great, circa 2,284 BCE. The two protagonists are completely fictional: Samri is a priestess of Inanna, and Kianu is a gala priest and an acclaimed dancer. However, some of the other characters are based on historical and mythological figures. Sumerian and Akkadian deities play major roles, especially Inanna, goddess of love and war, who has made a special bargain with King Sharrukin (a.k.a. Sargon) to support his reign.
The story begins when the goddess Inanna sends Samri and Kianu on a mission to help King Sharrukin meet a dire threat from the north. The trilogy chronicles the journey of the half-siblings through alternating first-person accounts, as they leave their home city of Uruk and travel upriver with a small group of companions. In the first book of the series, Inanna’s Bargain, they journey to Nippur, the holy city of Enlil. In Akkadian Nights, they continue north to Kish, then travel overland to the capital city of Akkad. Finally, in Waters of Enki, they journey with an elite military unit to Mari and Ebla, in advance of the king’s army.
Over the course of their mission, the protagonists confront thieves and kidnappers, foil attacks by hybrid beasts and human assailants, and tackle a winged demon sent by evil gods trying to stop them. They come to know and understand one another better, and they meet others who spur conversations about life, death, and the making of legends. While Samri and Kianu develop close friendships with others during their journey, the story highlights their abiding love for one another, and the strength of family bonds.
INANNA’S BARGAIN IS ON SALE NOW!
INANNA’s BARGAIN – Release Date, November 21, 2020
AKKADIAN NIGHTS – Forthcoming
WATERS OF ENKI – Forthcoming