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  • Writer's pictureVoraka Magazine



Article Published on 22nd November 2023 by Gabriel Valor |

Redemption is honest in its title, above all else, the novel is about the theme of redemption, strength, empowerment, and hope – things the world needs more of. As for the details of the story, most of the Redemption takes place in a real-world representation of the United States in the modern era.

The premise is that there is a hidden society of ‘magi’, humans who descend from ancestor angels, the Alvish, who themselves descend from the Anhelesh, ancient angels. It is through their blood connection to the divine that the magi can wield the power of magic, and spells are the incarnations of sacred syllables in the divine languages. It is an important thing that the magi have magic, as it is the only thing that allows the magi to protect the world from the cosmic demons, led by the Noc’raakan beings of God-like strength and dread.

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The war between light and darkness is the backdrop, but the story is told through the lens of the perspective of Aylene Candent, a seventeen-year-old young woman who is a first-year student at the Academy, a military university for magi who will become elite in the Arcane Guard, the United Magisterium’s magi army. For the same reason that her father was executed, Aylene is an outcast at the university, and the story slowly weaves into the reader an understanding of the darkness that has defined Aylene’s childhood.

It is this same darkness and dread that gives way to the exploration of somnumes and umbrumes, magical universes inside of books that can be entered, and shared dreams that can be explored by friends in the pursuit of knowledge and experience. But not all knowledge is worth knowing, and some forms of darkness are better left undisturbed. Knock on Hell’s door, and ye shall be answered, it is through haphazard transgressions that Aylene ultimately enters a new, spiritual phase of her life, and it is in this new phase of her life that Aylene finally leaves her mark on the Magi people. If you want to feel strength empowerment, and hope, and if you can descend to the bottom of darkness with faith that the story will carry you through to the other side – Redemption is a book you will never forget, and will change you.

"Redemption" by Peter Pietri is a masterpiece that seamlessly weaves together elements of fantasy, adventure, and self-discovery. The narrative, propelled by Aylene Candent's relentless mission of redemption, unfolds in a world where the mystical and the tangible converge. Aylene's transformative journey resonates with readers on an intense level, making "Redemption" a must-read for those seeking an escape into a magical world.


Peter Pietri is an author from North Carolina in the United States who has written three novels, Redemption, the sequel Ascension which is being published, and 2100 Dreams which is currently being considered for publication. Peter’s first fantasy novel Redemption was worked on for five years, four of which were during his studies as an undergraduate student studying media and communication. Redemption was finished during COVID-19, and the chaos and heartache of COVID-19 was the emotional charge that helped  Peter finish the story.


There are many influences that contributed to the story’s development and they are listed in no particular order: the Japanese RPG Golden Sun, Activision-Blizzard’s highly popular World of Warcraft, Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series, and literary influences include the Mahabharata, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens as well as the work of the esteemed Vladimir Nabakov. Redemption borrows and synthesizes these influences and creates something unique – a fantasy world with science-based magic, an eloquent and moving writing style, an ambitious world with details ranging from some of the history to the economy and the capital city, and so much more. Redemption is not your stereotypical behemoth of a fantasy book, but rather, it has a fantasy backdrop accompanied by action-adventure pacing that keeps the story flowing quickly, and the numerous surprises and plot twists along the way keep the reader consistently guessing, incorrectly, as to what happens next.

Peter’s style, particularly his emphasis on emotional balance and hitting all of the chords of the human condition, is significantly influenced by his challenges with mental health. Like so many artists and writers, Peter has learned to cope with the challenge of this disability and as a writer, this illness has manifested as extreme high points and low points in the story. Redemption, and all of Pietri’s work, takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster with moments of blissful love, fierce combat and fighting, manic joy and humor, cosmic dread and paranoia, and so much more. In 2024 or early 2025, the sequel to Redemption, Ascension, shall be released, and you can also look forward to the dystopian science-fiction novel, 2100 Dreams, which captures a projection of America in the year 2100 on our plain old, real-life Earth.


What inspired "Redemption," especially considering the impact of challenges like COVID-19 during its creation?

Redemption was thematically inspired by a recurring archetype within my life, that is, periods of significant rises followed by periods of significant falls. Being laid off during COVID-19 and dealing with that worldwide catastrophe was one such period of fall. The emotional charge of COVID-19 was, unfortunately, instrumental in writing Redemption. I understood the projections and how bad COVID would get when people in my family didn’t understand at all. Exponential growth is terrifying, and so I saw the writing on the wall, and the rage and sorrow fueled the ending of the book.

How did influences like Golden Sun and World of Warcraft shape the unique world of "Redemption"?

Golden Sun is a Japanese game from the early 2000s with a truly fantastical world and a variety of elemental magic. Golden Sun was more of a subtle influence as it shaped my taste in games and stories, but World of Warcraft as an MMORPG with a robust magic system greatly inspired concepts in the book such as "mana efficiency" and specific varieties of spells. There’s even a capital city, Lunaris, inspired by World of Warcraft’s Dalaran, yet I took it to the next level with regard to imagery and mysticism.

During your media and communication studies, how did your academic background influence your approach to crafting "Redemption"?

To continue reading the full interview, click here to download the November 2023 Literature special issue XI.


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