The Flame Cycle tells the story of the Flame—shape-shifting sexual mystics chosen by the goddess Pelin—throughout the history of Uos. The Flame have been, at times, advisors to royalty, sex slaves, and the targets of genocide. The lives of the Flame are woven through more than four thousand years of history on the world of Uos. The Flame reincarnate eternally, recovering the memories of all their past incarnations in each new life.
James L. Wolf creates a vivid portrait of the history of this world as seen through the eyes of the Flame. They’ve seen Uos in all its glory and shame, through conflicts between gods and kings, revolutions in politics, culture, and science, and the most intimate details of human lives.
- Chaining Flame by James L. Wolf
Ilamaych had once dreamed to become a Flame, to be able to change his body to be entirely female or male as he chose, instead of stuck shamefully between from birth. But that hope died when he was captured by slavers, and sold to a rough, lusty Ventris farmer named Earen whose commanding manner is at odds with his role as a serf to the local Matron. Earen is the first person Ilamaych has ever met who actually appreciates his unique body.
When Ficus—Flame to Earen’s Matron—discovers that Earen has been keeping Ilamaych prisoner on his farm, they are hauled in for punishment, and some very personal reconciliation.
But the world is bigger than one matron’s household, and the Ventris have been feuding with the lords of Tache for over three thousand years. Just when Ilamaych and Earen are finally finding their way with Ficus, things suddenly become much, much more complicated. (M/M, M/F, Other)
- The Artifact of Foex by James L. Wolf
When Chet, a graduate student of archaeology, is invited to show a gorgeous woman named Journey around their summer dig site, he has no idea what he’s in for. For one thing Journey isn’t a woman: she’s Flame, one of the reviled, shape shifting, gender-fluctuating people of Uos. Then Journey uncovers a deadly secret in the dust. Chet must run to keep up with spies, murder, long-lost magic, and a romantic dream embodied by a 332 year old man who holds the key to absolute power on the world of Uos. (Other, M/F, M/M)
- Edge of a Knife by James L. Wolf
Daniil LaChance grew up hard on the streets of the city-state of Allistair. A chance meeting with the shapeshifting Flame known as Knife changed that, though, when Knife took Daniil as her apprentice. The promise of initiation as one of the sexual mystics of the goddess Pelin turned Daniil’s life from one of poverty and desperation to one of magic and mystery—and made possible the renewal of a love affair that has lasted many lifetimes.
This opportunity has come in dark times. Mob violence and murder sparked by the resentment of an aggrieved merchant threaten to literally drown the Flame, extinguishing them from the face of Uos. The Emperor stands aside, allowing the killings to go on for his own political gain, leaving the few surviving Flame to provide for their own safety. Daniil and Knife stand alone in the face of a world incensed to genocidal violence, desperately seeking a way to insure the survival of their kind.
Knife has a plan, complex and risky, but there’s so much that she’s held back from her apprentice that Daniil doesn’t find it easy to trust his mentor. And so Daniil finds himself torn between initiation as Flame and risking horrible death at the hands of the mob, or hiding in miserable safety in an identity he has always known is not his true self. (M/M, F/F, M/F)