This is one of my current epic fantasy projects. The world is one I've been writing in for more than eight years now. These books are actually set in our future, in a world that has reverted (in some places) to a low level of technology.
Our main characters live in an empire surrounded by supposedly impassable mountains. Emperor Darien Warrick has created the barrier preventing people from leaving, or so everyone thinks. The rest of the world is a mystery, but one that will be unraveled as the series goes on.
The primary focus of the series is on four characters who will play a key role in the world-spanning events to come. First, there is Nadia, the daughter of a regional High Lord in Emperor Warrick's regime. Her mother, convicted of treason, faces execution at the beginning of the story, and this drives Nadia to avenge her.
Markis is a woodsman just reaching adulthood, at which time he has to become an Imperial Guard because of a deal his uncle made when he was a young child. Much of Markis's past is a mystery, and his uncle gets evasive whenever the subject comes up.
Berig is a trying-to-reform thief who lives on the other side of the empire. But he's found himself in a situation where he must flee everything he's ever known. Through it all, though, his biggest hurdle is his ability to blame himself for everything that goes wrong around him.
Tylen is a noble under Warrick's regime. People only become nobles through supporting the emperor. Though Tylen holds no particular feelings about Warrick's regime, he supports it because that's what's most convenient for him. And that's what matters to Tylen: keeping himself alive and in the best position possible.
For these characters, the story is a quest, both internal and external. None of them begin as heroes. Where they end up isn't so clear either.
At an early estimate, I expect the series to be somewhere around ten books (long, I know). I don't intend for these books to ramble on about insignificant things, though. I've read too much epic fantasy where a good story gets lost in a sea of food and clothing descriptions, among other things. For me, it's about the story and the characters. The world is support for the story, not the story itself.
Book 1: Empire of Chains
Four years ago, Nadia watched as Imperial Guards executed her mother for treason. Since then, Nadia has dedicated her life to revenge. She's learned swordplay, archery, and the art of staying alive--all so that she can kill the man responsible for her mother's death: Emperor Darien Warrick.
If only Warrick weren't immortal, and invincible.
But Nadia knows of an ancient spell that can kill him. All she has to do is find it. She'll have the help of young woodman Markis, who will do anything to avoid his future as an Imperial Guard. He'll even join Nadia on her suicide mission.
For Nadia, who's always treated love as something she can never have, Markis's presence is both a blessing and a curse. As they journey together through the harshest locations imaginable, they grow closer to each other. But Nadia doesn't need that. It's an unnecessary complication. She had always accepted that she would die in her mission. Now she's not so sure.