Revised eBook, published 2018 on Kindle.
Sometimes, going home is the most dangerous adventure of all!
The Return of Innocence blends humor and romance with exciting fantasy action. Visit Theln, a planet of magic, dragons, nobility, and heroes. Sasha Varov was born into a noble home in the Thelni kingdom of Jaan, but Sasha’s father dared to oppose the king’s sorcerer, Wuhrlock. Sasha and her family became exiles on a desolate island.
At sixteen, Sasha left her island home to buy seeds in Jaan. She stumbled into a series of misadventures that ended with the death of Wuhrlock and made Sasha a legend, known as “Innocence.” Never mind that the legend barely resembled the truth, or that Sasha caught Wuhrlock in an unguarded moment. When Sasha returned for more seeds, the people of Jaan expected her to defeat a much more ruthless and powerful sorcerer.
I wrote the short story “The Return of Innocence” in 1983. With contributions by Toni Davis, I later developed it into a novel. As with all of my books, it includes gays and people of color.
Disclaimer: Admittedly, some of the readers who like my other works have no comment about this one, and one critic really tore apart the first edition. Still, I wanted to create a light-hearted and fun novel, and I enjoyed the adventure. Some reactions follow.
“This was a really fun fantasy book. I loved the world Simolke created, because it has the traditional ‘medieval’ sort of feel what with how it took place in villages where people bartered and traded, but it had many modern elements that I appreciated.” –Shawn C. Sproatt, author of The Misfit of Supernatural High (Supernatural High Series)
“As an avid Simolke reader, one way I judge a book is that I want to know more about the characters that are introduced to me. ‘The Return of Innocence’ is one of those books. (Duane, take the hint.)” –Joe Wright, for StoneWall Society
“In 'The Return of Innocence', Duane Simolke once again proves his writing mastery.” –Mark Kendrick, author of Stealing Some Time
“Not your typical swashbuckler.” –Bob Medak, for Allbooks Reviews
“An engrossingly successful story-teller.” –William Maltese, author of Beyond Machu