I'm a bit (well, actually very) late in posting this preview, but better late than never, right?
Coming next week - January 3rd - is the sixth book in my Dairuno Toa series, The Minister of Destruction. It is the last book in the flashback trilogy, and focuses on the origin of the Toa-Kal, who starred in the first trilogy, and their first mission. It also focuses on two races new to my series, called the Vespirn and the Ophinam, who live on an island called Tonryak, a part of the archipelago which we've heard a bit about in past books.
In the past, the Vespirn hunted the Ophinam for sport, but that all changed when their newest queen, Trezia, came into power. She decided to outlaw the hunting of Ophinam, and disbanded the Vespirn military, declaring that as long as she lived, the Vespirn would be a peaceful and enlightened people. This did not sit well with Ukkaf, a military commander who was out of a job. He believed that the ancient custom of hunting Ophinam had not just been pointless savagery, but was instead because the Ophinam were evil. He was widely ridiculed for this view at first, but then word began to spread of a gang of Ophinam led by a mysterious figure named Murkti raiding Vespirn villages and killing villagers who attempted to stand in their way. Suddenly, Ukkaf found himself leading his own gang, composed of old soldiers and proactive civilians alike, tracking the movements of Murkti's gang and defending the Vespirn villages. Both gangs operated under Trezia's nose, but what was obvious to her - and everyone - was that this was certainly not shaping up to be the age of peace and enlightenment that she had intended it to be.
This is the state that the Toa of Ayomeii find themselves in when they arrive on Tonryak. But the Vespirn and the Ophinam are not why they are there. They came tracking an enemy of theirs named Rakdan. Rakdan, the titular Minister of Destruction, attracted their attention when he loaded the island of Batarknokk with explosives and detonated it, killing a small group of Matoran stranded there - of which Guutana, Roqini, and Krakana were survivors. Now Rakdan seems to have set his sights on Tonryak, and the Toa of Ayomeii will not allow history to repeat itself.
A brief excerpt from Chapter Two:
"Did you get your Toa stone from the captain?" Guutana asked.
Krakana's posture changed from arrogant to alarmed and he raised an eyebrow. "You're the first person to ask me that."
"Yeah, the Toa came around only a few minutes before you got here and handed out Toa stones." Guutana showed Krakana his. Krakana immediately snatched it from Guutana's hand and turned the smooth stone over in his hands. Then he handed it back to Guutana.
"How many people got these?"
"Three. It was the same three of us that were up on the volcano yesterday."
"You, me, and Roqini?" he asked.
"Right," confirmed Guutana. "And since you weren't around when they were here, they gave the captain your Toa stone and told him to hold it until you got back. I guess in the excitement of your reappearance, he forgot to give it to you."
"Come on, then," Krakana said. "Let's go."
"Why do I have to come?" muttered Guutana.
"You and I both got Toa stones," said Krakana with a little chuckle. "That means that whenever we use these, you and I will be part of the same Toa team. We're brothers now. We'll only split up when we're in the middle of a dangerous situation. You'll be like, 'Alright, guys, let's split up! Krakana, you hold off those minions! Roqini, you evacuate the villagers! And I'll take on the bad guy!' Actually, come to think of it, I can't see you as much of a leader."
"I guess you're right," agreed Guutana, unable to restrain a smile as his mind was filled with fantasies of the glory of being a Toa. Maybe it won't be so bad after all. "I think you'd make a better leader."
"Really? Me?" Krakana asked, as the two left the tent to go find the captain.
Guutana nodded. "Well, Roqini couldn't do it. And anyway, you're the fearless, impulsive type. Perfect for a leader. I'm more of the quiet and analytical type. I'll be the one who regulates you when you're pushing the team beyond their limits or sending us into a dangerous situation without a plan."
"Yeah," Krakana replied. "It's gonna be so great."