Sooo I'm writing up summaries for Don't Lose Hope, to show how all the books are supposed to flow together.
I'm only about halfway done, but have been on it for about 2 hours, so I'm gonna stop it there for now. Will edit this post and reblog it again once I finish! I've added up to book 12.5, and only have 6 more summaries to go!
There's going to be 2 reading orders for the series; main series order, and chronological order. Main series order skips all the middle books (x.5) and focuses on major plot points, while chronological order includes a book between every other book that are not needed to understand what's going on, but will provide more content, character backstories, and less-plot related events.
2,400 words / cw for dark themes
Book 1 - Ka’harja’s Journey
The introduction to the series. Follows Ka’harja as he travels Carra’Jor and focuses on introducing most of the basic concepts for the series, including Heck’ne and how it’s perceived by the rest of the Sentient cultures, and also shows much of the life of everyday people. Introduces the main series villain, Kay’oten, who dies near the start. But it also introduces the concept of spirits coming back from the dead to cause havoc, and gives information on a new emerging cult that is causing issues across the explored territories.
Book 1.5 - The Runaways
Sister book to the 1st book; from Stars’ perspective. Happens along the same time-line as book 1 but gives a different perspective to similar concepts.
Book 2 - The Self-Feeders
Ka’harja, now living with his grandparents, finds out he is royalty. This book puts Distro in the position of heir to the throne, which leads onto future books. It also shows the difference between the “everyday” life of Sentients, and the life of royalty. Introduces a few more basic concepts that were missed in book 1, including old gods and illnesses. It also shows something is up with a newly-emerged cult group, and how severe their attacks on the world are becoming.
Book 2.5 - Untitled
Focuses mainly on Ta’lak and Timamisa, and how they met and decided to find Stars. It shows as the nurlak are recovering from the effects of the self-feeding sickness. You also find out Cor’Bala almost died during the outbreak.
Book 3 - Prince Nigelle
Ka’harja is now the heir of the Canis throne, after his heroics in book 2. Though it’s mainly character-based it introduces a few final base world concepts and starts the study of soulstone. Reveals Kay’oten as the leader of the terror cult as Lah’kort comes back from the dead and murders Ka’harja and his grandfather, starting a war between Canis and Sapious.
Book 3.5 - Untitled
From the POV of a Sapious human who worked in the king’s palace when Lah’kort took over. Detailing the horrible things that happen at the castle that lead the king to abandoning it after Ka’harja’s murder.
Book 4 - Stars of Self-Discovery
Distro learns about her father and son’s deaths, and is the heir by default after her mother’s suicide. In grief, Distro steals the old god’s fallen stars and flees into the Canis wilderness, intending to use the stars to contact Ka’harja. She’s followed by Stars, however, who keeps her from secluding herself completely and eventually convinces her to go to Lah’kort’s castle and defeat the spirit.
Book 4.5 - The Harpy Bride
A prequel book to book 5 that shows how Toro met his wife and started his family. If read chronologically, it’s intention is to make us question our perceptions of the Har’py culture, and we learn alongside the characters about the past corruption that Heck’ne has been through. If read after reading book 5, it gives more information on the morals we’re made to question in that book.
Book 5 - The Canis Guard
A few hundred years after Distro is crowned queen, book 5 follows the life of one of her personal guards, Toro. The main focus of this book is to show the changes to the world due to the constant state of war, and also throw away our previous understanding of the Heck’ne and Har’py culture and force us to reconsider our initial misconceptions of there being an inherently “evil” race by showing the issues presented in the previous books were not the norm of the culture but a few specific people leaning into the racist propaganda against the Heck’ne to get away with vile behaviour. Distro makes an alliance with Heck’ne’s Prophet. This book also shows Kay’oten is still recruiting people to try and fight Distro. Ends with Toro being captured as a prisoner of war.
Book 5.5 - Untitled
This book is about Toro’s family as they get older and recover from the loss of their father/husband/friend. The main focus is Coski meeting Apple’Cloud and it is supposed to be a funner book, but it also covers some of the issues that come up with Krish and his grief.
Book 6 - A Necklace and a Lullaby
This book follows Toro’s young daughter, Lua’ana, after Ell’ian is murdered by a group of Distro’s guards on her way home from work. Lua’ana is saved by a group of teenage thieves who are in the middle of a large score and take cover in an old house. Overnight, Lua’ana’s memories are stolen by Kay’oten, who starts to groom her into being one of her cult members and filling her head with hate for Distro. As this happens Lua’ana, now Luana, becomes a member of the group of thieves and makes a rivalry with the dassen girl Marias. Ell’ian is haunting her daughter the entire time and trying to guide her away from Kay’oten’s manipulation.
Book 6.5 - Untitled
Luana growing up, bonding with Mairas, and constantly being on the cusp of finding her family but never quite getting there. Focuses on introducing a few of the Sentient races that haven’t been introduced yet, and showing pieces of their culture. Shows that she’s susceptible to Kay’oten’s manipulation and has started to commit crimes against Distro.
Book 7 - The Thief and the Witch
Focuses on Luana as a young adult. Kay’oten’s manipulation is getting worse and has stuck with Luana, and there is a plan to murder Distro. This plan goes wrong when Ell’ian stops Luana. Kay’oten turns her anger on the thieves and attempts to kill Luana and all of her friends. Only a few of them survive, and flee to the streets. Eventually they are taken in by the Taruntan family, who are later revealed to be close with Queen Distro and accidentally reintroduce Luana and the queen. After some misunderstanding, Distro takes Luana on as a guard trainee and the two learn to trust each other.
Book 7.5 - Homeland, Not Home
Ell’ian’s book, Homeland not Home. It carries on directly from the end of the previous book, when Luana and Brandon start to read the book. Includes her poetry, and is a rather unconventional book in the series.
Book 8 - Untitled
Luana has risen through the ranks of Distro’s guard and become the highest ranking officer in Distro’s army. She takes on an old girlfriend as a trainee and, without realising it, is also given command over her nephew. This book focuses more on the war than previous books, and starts to lead onto the war’s resolution. However, Luana goes off on her own and is captured by the human king. As the book ends she’s set to be tortured for information. It’s also revealed what happened to Toro.
Book 8.5 - Untitled
About one of the guards Luana met when captured. She told him to find Mairas and ask for shelter, and he takes his family and tries to find safety. He misses Mairas but finds a different general, who brings him to Canis and helps him and his children be safe.
Book 9 - Lost and Found
This book focuses on Mairas, after Luana’s been lost in the war. The first part focuses on Mairas using her grief for Luana as her drive for continuing to fight, and once Luana is returned the book slows down in pace and the girls leave the army to aid Luana’s recovery. Many issues from previous books begin to resolve at this point, such as Luana being reunited with her family and finding out about her past. Both Luana and Mairas have children near the end of the book, both under less-than-ideal circumstances. After their birth Mairas rejoins the army and fights in the war again.
Book 9.5 - Untitled
This book takes place during the time skip between book 9 and 10. It’s about Mairas’ children, Linzor and Keeyata, and their childhood. Mairas is pretty absent as she’s constantly going back and forth between her children and the war. It shows the abuse Keeyata goes through from her father and Linzor, and how much trouble her mother is having protecting her. It also introduces soulbinding and shows the relationships between Mairas and Luana’s children.
Book 10 - Untitled
Mostly about Mairas’ return to the army to fight in the war. Showcases Mairas and Luana’s children as young adults, and starts the setup for the focus to shift onto them. The Canis is making progress on winning the war with Sapious. However, news comes that there are issues arising within the Heck’ne. The alliance that Distro and the old Prophet made is broken when it’s found Heck’ne has started kidnapping people. They don’t have too much time to address this though, as Mairas is given the opportunity to take down the Sapious royal family. She kills the king, but can’t bring herself to kill his (too-young) wife and infant son (Jared) and instead rescues them and brings them back to Canis. The king’s wife gives up Jared, who Elli adopts as her own, and returns to her family. A plan is made among Canis and the allied kingdoms to return Sapious’ land to Jared once he is of age, if he proves he can be a good and moral leader. There is a celebration of the end of the war, and Mairas is asked to be a speaker. During this celebration she feels ill, and Linzor takes her away from the crowds. She’s set on edge by Linzor’s behaviour in the last scene, but the reader is not shown the resolution.
Book 10.5 - A Dassen in the Heck’ne
One of the darker-themed books in the series, this book focuses on a new character, Scaychie, and her strong determination to see the best in people. It opens in a dassen settlement with Scaychie and her husband Taldurl relaxing and excited about having their second child. There is mention of a storm being an omen, and a close friend of theirs passing away and leaving her daughter orphaned. As they talk their settlement is attacked by a group of harpies and Scaychie and her husband are separated as Taldurl takes their firstborn to safety and Scaychie fights off the attackers. She’s captured by the harpies and forced across the ocean to the Heck’ne where she meets the Prophet Ali’ka, who gives her to Linzor as a wife. It is now the full extent of Linzor’s actions comes to light. Throughout this book we learn that Keeyata, Ali’ka, Ali’ka’s son Tru’man, and several other characters are all being manipulated by Linzor on behalf of Kay’oten. Scaychie, though physically powerless against Linzor, is able to become respected among the Har’py people and struggles to protect herself, her friends, and the innocent Heck’nerians that are threatened by Linzor’s lust for power. She even seems to help guide the paranoid Ali’ka into being a better ruler, before the Prophet dies in an almost-accident that gives Linzor almost complete power of the Heck’ne through the kind-hearted but gullible Tru’man. We also learn that Linzor murdered his mother and has plans to murder Distro.
Book 11 - Political Engagement
This book takes us to Luana’s daughter, Elli, during a messy breakup with her boyfriend (and heir to the Canis throne) Ykelt. We learn that Mairas has died, as she was poisoned at the dinner celebrating the end of the war, but nobody knows who did it. Then, Elli is in an near-fatal accident where she meets Ka’harja’s spirit. Ka’harja tries to tell her of Kay’oten’s plans but is cut off as Elli is revived. All Elli knows is that Kay’oten is planning on causing a war between the allied countries and the wolven kingdom Konde. Elli tells Distro of this plan, and Distro seeks to create alliance with Konde to prevent the war. Elli offers herself up as a bride to one of the Konde princes, to help make the alliance appear more credible to other kingdoms. There is a lot of personal drama in this book, such as Elli having an affair with her sister’s husband, but a lot less action than the previous books. This book will feel very different depending on if it is read in series order or chronological order. If read chronologically, Linzor’s actions and manipulations are more obvious. If read in series order, he comes off as an unpleasant creep whose wife hates him, but the full extend of his dangerous actions remains unknown.
Book 11.5 - Untitled
A fun book of Jared’s travels throughout the world. Introduces species and cultures that haven’t been featured very heavily.
Book 12 - Two Years
Focusing on Linzor’s young son, Centela, this book shows series-order readers just how terrible Linzor is, and cements Linzor’s actions for those reading chronologically. Centela and Elli’s daughter Mingan are being encouraged to becomes friends, with the plan of having them marry in the future. This is done under the guise of creating an alliance between Heck’ne and Konde, but a few select characters know that Linzor’s intentions are far more sinister. It goes back and forth between Heck’ne and Konde from the perspective of a child who thinks of Heck’ne as his home, and of Konde as a terrifying new and different land. Centela’s sibling-relationships with Prophet Tru’man’s children are shown, and we learn a lot more about Heck’ne culture and honour. In the end Centela and Mingan agree to marry, and Linzor leaves Centela to be raised in Konde under Elli’s care.
Book 12.5 - Glow-Glow
This book follows the perspective of a character only mentioned in previous books, Linyata (nicknamed Glow-Glow). Linyata is a dassen/seces girl who grew up alongside Scaychie’s firstborn daughter, Jolanti, after Scaychie was taken to Heck’ne. Linyata’s horns have started to grow in, and so in dassen tradition she leaves her home settlement. She decides to look for her biological father, and after a series of events manages to find him. Her father introduces her to a valenor, who helps her contact her late mother’s spirit. Alongside her father and the valenor she meets a felinic man and his adopted son, Hiroson— Who she discovers was Scaychie’s second born, saved from Heck’ne by the felinic and raised on stories of his mother’s strength. Linyata takes Hiroson to meet his biological father. Upon returning to her home settlement, Linyata is greeted by a tearful Jolanti, who admits her romantic feelings for her friend and begs her not to leave again.
*places this update down gently so y'all*This is my baby, they're almost 6 years old so please be ni...