"Tragic Genius" is the fourth and penultimate book in "The Trial", a series beginning with "Shadow Honor". In this book, we follow the early days of the Demon War, and focus on the stories of Neredos and Veil predominantly, but with many other familiar faces as well. What does it take to make a leader, and how do the horrors of war twist a person's mind? How do we fight for good, life, and peace in a world full of evil, death, and pain? This is the heart of what The Trial means.
Arad Ansari is a homeless street slug in the Grey District A-5 colony. Work is hard to come by and he has to compete with the animal/human hybrids called DemiShou, forcing him to make his way in less than savory methods. Getting off-planet sounds like a godsend, but fate has a way of complicating the best opportunities of a man with little luck.
Raven is a thief, probably the best one. He is hired by mysterious clients to obtain a rather peculiar object -- a dark-green, oval-shaped rock. He is tempted to accept the offer even though the rock belongs to one of the most influential, powerful, and cruel men in the world.
I endured years of experiments at the hands of sadistic aliens. Barely eighteen, I've been rescued from the tiny cell and the years of enforced sensory deprivation. Lost, with no family or friends I can remember or would turn to if I could, I'm alone in the universe... except for the humans who saved me. The Captain. Zeke. Doc. A crew of misfit Rangers, a ragtag bunch operating just this side of legal--and often on the other side when circumstances are right--are not the kind to help someone “like me” recover. Captain wants to send me away, but I can't leave. No one else can touch me.
He's it for me, the strength I can't function without.
Henry Atwood is still in the sixth form of Medwardine school. He is intrigued by new arrival, Rudi Burlesdon, red-headed, sullen and alienated. Henry likes to help, but once again gets way out of his depth, for in Rothenia a new spirit is rising and Rudi is not the boy he appears to be.
Corruption from Hell seethes into the human realm, morphing and disfiguring animals and people alike, changing them in all manner of ways. Slowly, it spreads, feasting on the living as beasts devour the dead, surviving, fighting, slaughtering and consuming, a constant cycle with seemingly no end in sight as humanity continues to push on weakening with each passing day.
My issue though, isn't the corruption. Surprisingly it's my Father, the King who seems Hellbent on needlessly provoking the people into senseless violence and war right before my coronation.
Hiding part of what makes you who you are may sometimes seem necessary. And sometimes you may hide a part of yourself so well that you don't even realise that it exists. Danny Murphy seems to be living a charmed life, but he has a secret; one that he tries to keep so well hidden that he doesn't even want to admit it to himself. However, if he is hiding part of his real self, not just from others but also from himself, is his life really as charmed as it may seem?