While Princess Radia personifies innocence and empathy, Zaibos is her polar opposite, the very embodiment of evil and sadism.
Many believe he is a demon, spawned from the fiery depths of Aenya. His monstrous appearance throws adversaries into a panic, and his boundless cruelty serves to confirm the myth of his origins. No wonder Zaibos, born as a man, comes to be known as the Monster King and as Lord of Agonies.
He arrives in Tyrnael with his father, Anabis, from an unknown land, in answer to the summons of King Solon. To cure the princess, who is deathly ill, Anabis asks only that his son be adopted. Beset with grief and desperation, Solon acquiesces. During their briefly shared childhood, Zaibos and Radia play together, but Radia finds his utter lack of emotions disturbing. Even as a teen, he delights in the torment of small animals. Some say the boy’s lack of humanity stems from a lifetime of verbal and physical abuse, for Anabis is never seen to act kindly toward his son, and in his old age, the elder becomes increasingly strange and reclusive. By nineteen, Zaibos’s interests turn to the warlike history of the Zo, the ancient ancestors of the Tyrnaelean people, and he dedicates his every waking moment to the mastery of battle. After the untimely death of Solon, the boy seizes control of the army, and without Radia’s knowledge, engages in campaigns of aggression beyond the city’s mountain borders. Deep in the Eastern Hemisphere, he subdues the bogren armies, and upon donning a suit of spikes, poses as a fiery deity. With an army of subhumans now under his control, he turns south, besieging the city of Northendell, but falls at the hands of the Delian chief defender, Sif, Daughter of Thunder.
As time in Tyrnael flows more slowly, so does Zaibos age more rapidly in relation to his step-sister, so that upon returning from his military campaigns, he is grown into his thirties, while Radia remains a mere fifteen. Shortly after his arrival, with the full bent of the army behind him, he usurps the throne and Radia is forced to flee for her life. The days following her flight are marked with despair and dread the likes the kingdom has never seen, as torture and executions become commonplace and Zaibos’s true, sadistic nature is revealed to all.
Amazon readers have been raving over The Princess of Aenya It’s a solid . “Best fantasy I’ve read in ages.” “I can’t stop thinking about it.” “I found tears in my eyes at the end.” These are just some of the things people have been saying.
Special thanks to super fan David Pasco for his awesome custom Zaibos action figure.
Also don’t forget to check out Filip’s other nightmarish (but in a good way) pieces at Filip Bazarewski.