Storyteller and scroll-painter Fumito has been forced by his paranoid and homicidal uncle, daimyo Kotoheisei, to track down a young woman named Sakura who bears the destructive god of fire imprisoned in a tattoo on her back. Lord Kotoheisei gives Fumito the special ink that he used to etch the deity into Sakura’s skin, and which the young woman will recognize and inevitably be drawn to. To ensure Fumito’s cooperation, his uncle has taken his family captive with the promise that they will be brutally tortured and executed if the storyteller cannot capture the tattoo-bearer.

And yet when Fumito finally does find Sakura and her rescuer– the imposing but shy priestess Ikuko– he decides to help them escape rather than turn them over to his uncle who will use the fire god’s power for terror and slaughter. The fate of Fumito’s family is sealed, but that is a price he desperately hopes he can live with.

When an ancient artifact merges Sakura with the god, granting her control over fire and the magma that is the very lifeblood of the world, she resolves to repay Fumito’s sacrifice by saving his family and defeating his uncle. But Sakura does not realize the full extent of her power and her rescue mission may end up hurting more people than it saves. And eventually her actions will bring her, Fumito and their companions into a confrontation with the creatures of the underworld whose dark magic was responsible for Sakura’s transformation.


The world of Fumito, Sakura and Ikuko is very much like our own. It’s histories, cultures, languages, geography and evolution closely parallel that of our Earth. But this is also a world where legends are real, and humanity shares the land with beings of myth and folklore.

Beyond the mortal realms lies the Underworld, the place of the dead. This land too is made of many nations, most of them paralleling the cultures of the living.  For some, this is a place of ending. An eternal Paradise. Or an endless Hell.  And for others it is only a temporary waystation before they move on to their next life. Or to other realms entirely…

The Magma Sea Cycle focuses on those cultures that inhabit the edges of the Pacific Ocean, along the volcanic Ring of Fire created by the collision and subduction of the great tectonic plates.

While the first book in the series, At Yomi’s Gate, focuses on the islands of Japan, later books will explore the other cultures of the Pacific, including Hawai’i, Vietnam, Aeoteroa, the Aleutian archipelago, the Indonesian islands and more. Future stories will also travel into the continents, exploring the cultures of China and the indigenous nations of the Americas.

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