sunsuulyn academy

How the Labyrinth of Souls was made

When Padishah Dakhin Torokh commissioned the construction of Sunsuulyn Academy in 773 ME, Unen Anchin, the school's first Grandmaster, knew they needed a way to quickly discern the calling of the new students so imperial funds weren't wasted instructing in all twelve branches of magic until a student's natural talent and temperament revealed themselves.

Arriving on the Mount Atma, Unen discovered a Kitsune Fox Warren running between the Mt Atma and Mt Ulaan. He humbly invited the spirits of the Warren to aid in the task.

The Vazra agreed to help. They constructed a labyrinth infused with the essence of each of the aetheric arts. One by one, students would enter, and the labyrinth read their soul as they walked down the passage into the first room. It would then configure itself for each student with a series of tests designed to test their aptitude for the arts best suited to them.

It was a controversial decision to allow the Vazra to have so much influence over each new class, but in the debates between the original faculty, no valid reason was ever given for why they shouldn't take them up on their offer.

Twenty-four Vazra built the labyrinth in six days. The Grandmaster and the original faculty were the first to walk the labyrinth. Each completed in a different amount of time.

Only the Vazra know the mechanisms at work with the labyrinth, and continue to maintain it to this day.

Many have theorized about the true nature of the structure. Some believe it is a series of rooms, one for each student, that morph and change as the tests progress. Others believe it is a portal to construct in the netherworld where the tests are conducted. Various sages have attempted to test their theories, but none found evidence to prove or disprove their ideas.

The Labyrinth of Souls is one of the true marvels of the magical world, and regardless of how it was constructed or how it determines the tests, the resulting proficiency of the adepts who passed through it cannot be doubted.


Join Raih and Jodhaa on their journey through the Labyrinth of Souls as it tests a new class of Sunsuulyn students.


What mysteries await in the first novella in the World of the Ash Dancer?

Why I'm writing Labyrinth of Souls (LoS)

Labyrinth of Souls is one of those stories that you don't intend to write, and then you realize you are doing it.  

While I was working on the back stories for several characters and groups, I just started writing more and more about them and their back stories.  At a certain point, I realized, I was really making an outline for a series about them and their history.  It had all of the drama and twists and turns I like to put into a story, so I asked, why don't I just write this real quick?

It hasn't been easy to set Dragon in the Snow aside while I write this novella, but they will both benefit from the project.

With Labyrinth of Souls, I'm testing out a few new ideas about how to tell the story and especially how I want to get into the characters themselves.  The result has thrilled me, and I hope you enjoy it too.

Jodhaa is one of those characters who has wandered around in the back of my head for years. I've tried to find her story for all that time.  When I started work on Dragon in the Snow, I knew this was the story for her.

So Why write Labyrinth of Souls?

Raih and Jodhaa are such fresh characters for me.  They each have qualities I admire, and that scare me a little.  Most importantly, I haven't read anything with characters like them. They are more vulnerable than the typical fantasy character, and have such different personal histories. That makes them even more interesting together.

My biggest concern about writing this story is that I cannot stop comparing Sunsuulyn Academy to Hogwarts, and since I am making those connections, I know other people will too. Magic in Ash Dancer is so different from Harry Potter, as is the history of the world. That makes these two magic schools so different from one another. That comparison falls apart quickly.

The real reason I chose to write Labyrinth of Souls is that I love to write, and I want this world to be so much bigger than just a novel, or series of novels.  So many stories are swirling around in my head, and I want to tell them all.  That isn't realistic, but I want to tell as many as I can.

This world is so full of life, I only hope I can do it justice and bring it to life in a way that people will enjoy reading. Welcome to the world inside my head. Let's have some fun.

You can read Labyrinth of Souls as I write it on Wattpad.