Nation of the beasts (La nación de las bestias)

The lord of Sabbath / Legend of Fire and Lead / A Second Love

God created a marvelous creature. Then, He divided it into two.

In The Lord of the Sabbath, the first installment of this saga, we meet Elisse, a 17-year-old with androgynous features and a very peculiar gift. He cannot dream, but he is tormented by living and monstrous “nightmares” that only he can see while awake, transporting him to a shadowy world full of lurking creatures.

His father left him in the care of a Tibetan monk when he was just a baby, and after having spent almost his entire life in a refugee camp in India, Elisse decides to travel to New Orleans, his place of origin, in search of answers.

Upon arrival, Elisse takes refuge in a Buddhist center where he meets a group of strangers from different ethnicities, ages, and parts of the country, who call themselves the Bayou Commune. Elisse finds in them the family he had longed for and the answers to his questions.

Elisse is a “wanderer,” an ancient race with the ability to transform into animals due to the spirits residing within them. Throughout history, wanderers have influenced mythologies and religions around the world, shaping a hidden world of magic and mystery. They can also access a place called the “middle plane,” a spiritual realm between the world of the living and the dead.

But this revelation brings no relief, as dark forces begin to pursue Elisse, and the voodoo deities of New Orleans, better known as Loas, involve him in an epic battle full of magic and legends.

It’s all the fault of the Lord of the Sabbath, a Loa who has disrupted the world of the dead. The Lord of the Sabbath accuses Elisse of causing the chaos and blinds him, thereby preventing him from using his magic.

To recover, Elisse will rely on the help of Tared, a wanderer like him, and Detective Hoffman, a human who has been involved in the magical world for many years.

Finally, Elisse decides to fight against the Lord of the Sabbath, prove his innocence, and restore balance to the world of the dead. To do so, he must enter the spiritual realm. But before he does, Detective Hoffman reveals a terrifying secret about himself.

In Legend of Fire and Lead, Elisse is forced to leave his family behind, knowing that his destiny takes him far from them, and he doesn’t want to endanger those he loves, especially Tared. Thus begins his journey to the United States.

But the young, brooding-looking man doesn’t travel alone; the monster within him roars loudly, and as he ventures into the unforgiving desert of southern Utah, he encounters a tribe of desperate wanderers in need of his help.

Elisse tries to escape his demons and questions how much of his humanity is left and how long he can fight against the dark force consuming him.

In this new quest for truth, Elisse meets Adam and his enigmatic mother, who become his new family and, along with Tared and Detective Hoffman, help him in his internal struggle.

Elisse also discovers a magic as brutal as it is ancient: alchemy. And as he does, he learns that the most dangerous beings do not always come with magic.

In his fight against the darkness that surrounds him, Elisse experiences love, loyalty, and the bonds of brotherhood.

A Second Love is the prequel to the previous saga and takes place eight years before the events of The Lord of the Sabbath. Set in New Orleans, the story focuses on Salvador Hoffman, a Mexican detective known for his lack of empathy and affection for others, as well as his remarkable talent for solving crimes.

When a mysterious voodoo artifact appears at a crime scene involving the death of a young child, Hoffman and his assistant Malen Broussard embark on an investigation to unravel the connection between this object and the child’s death.

Hoffman then discovers the existence of voodoo bundles at crime scenes related to infanticides spanning several decades. To crack the case, Hoffman enlists the help of a new assistant, Tared Miller.

But Hoffman’s life takes a dramatic turn when Malen dies in a police raid due to a mistake by the detective himself. Suddenly, he finds himself as the sole guardian of Malen’s baby daughter, Olivia Broussard.

As Hoffman grows increasingly attached to the child and strives to be the father he never had, he receives one of the voodoo artifacts he has been investigating for months into his home, and suddenly Olivia’s health begins to deteriorate. Desperate, Hoffman turns to Adeline Davis, a voodoo priestess, who reveals that the artifact he received is infused with dark magic. Someone has exchanged Olivia’s soul to resurrect another child, and the only way to save her is to kill the person who made the deal.

This plunges him into a race against time to save the little girl and immerses him in a world where his logical and rational understanding of reality begins to crumble, revealing the existence of forces and gods beyond his comprehension, all willing to snatch away the only person he has ever loved in his life.


RELEVANT DETAILS: The Nation of Beasts is a saga that explores the world of dark forces, love, magic, and loyalty. It’s fascinating universe, full of unexpected twists and grounded and moving characters, reminds us of great successes like Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, or Wednesday.

Its author, Mariana Palova, also known as Mariana Paola Urzúa Pulido, is a talented writer and digital artist born in Jalisco, Mexico. Her visual work, which combines elements of occultism and mythology, has received recognition nationally and has been exhibited in more than fifty art exhibitions around the world.

Her first novel, The Nation of Beasts: The Lord of the Sabbath, initially self-published in Spanish, became a best-selling phenomenon thanks to its extraordinary originality. Subsequently, the novel was acquired by two publishing houses, one in Mexico and another in Los Angeles, for re-edition in both English and Spanish in 2018.

Palova was awarded the Best Fantasy Book of the Year Award by the prestigious Foreword Magazine in the United States. This recognition places Mariana Palova as one of the most prominent writers in the field of contemporary young adult literature in Latin America, with a unique and captivating focus that has won over readers from various parts of the world.


What they’ve said about the novel:

“It brims with action and mystery, providing a solid foundation for a series.” Kirkus Reviews.

“An enchanting, bold, and thrilling fantasy novel.” Foreword.

“When I first read The Nation of Beasts, I knew I had struck gold. A dark fantasy story with an incredible plot, endearing characters, and a breathtaking world, it needs more of this.” Goodreads.


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV Series, Miniseries, Film, TV Movie.


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