People of the Manatii is a planned trilogy, with the first book being set on a pre-Columbian island in what is now the West Indies, where a very fictional society that call themselves the Nephtii have formed a rather unusual, very strict matriarchal society, where men are either kept as labourers, or as breeding stock.
Fear not, gentleman — this is not a misandric diatribe, I assure you.
Actually, it is many things, but certainly not a man-hating soapbox statement.
First and foremost, it is a horror story — well, a strange story with some pretty horrific elements. Second, it is an examination of storytelling and fundamental beliefs, and how, over time, what we believe can replace what actually happened. Truth becomes lost to time.
The protagonists – Krii – a young man who lives in the stable as a shiivahu – a male breeder.
Uvii – a young woman who also lives in the stable, but as a handmaiden — part of a sisterhood that attends to the men and the shiivu – the young women who come to be impregnated.
The women of the Sisterhood are not only the facilitators of procreation on the island, keeping the Stable and all that goes on inside it, but they are also the religious authority in this society, and the keepers of the stories, the secrets, the old ways.
The question is – how did this society come to be like this? What caused the strange arrangement?
In book two, we find out what the Nephtii believe, and what actually happened, going back a thousand years. What are the Manatii- the strange gods that the Nephtii fear and worship?
I’m not telling you what book three is about. Spoilers.
Some things you should know: I have created certain new terms, which I’m confident you’ll be able to understand from context. Eventually, I’ll provide a short glossary — I’m not going crazy like Frank Herbert in Dune and creating an entire dictionary.
Anywhere you see a double ‘i’, as in Manatii — this is pronounced like an ee sound.. as in Manatee. Yes, the noble sea cow. Often mistaken by sailors as mermaids. But there are no mermaids in this story — or, at least no mermaids like that Disney redhead or, indeed, like anything you’ve ever encountered, I promise you.
If you are tired of reading the same old thing over and over again, then you’ve come to the right place. I blend tried and true plot devices (yup, there’s a doomed romance) with elements of mythology, adventure, horror, and mystery. There are no vampires, sparkly or otherwise, and the word dystopian will not be uttered in my presence. But if strange cults, human sacrifice, ghosts, demons, Lovecraftian-style sea creatures and a doomed love story sound like something that you’d be interested in reading more about, then People of the Manatii is for you.