"Life is transformation; you change or you die."

Ashamed of his past and overwhelmed by his future, Ronoah Genoveffa Elizzi-denna Pilanovani feels too small for his own name. After a graceless exit from his homeland in the Acharrioni desert, his anxiety has sabotaged every attempt at redemption. Asides from a fiery devotion to his godling, the one piece of home he brought with him, he has nothing.

That is, until he meets Reilin. Beguiling, bewildering Reilin, who whisks Ronoah up into a cross-continental pilgrimage to the most sacred place on the planet. The people they encounter on the way—children of the sea, a priestess and her band of storytellers, the lonely ghosts of monsters—are grim and whimsical in equal measure. And each has their part to play in rewriting Ronoah’s personal narrative.

One part fantasy travelogue, one part emotional underworld journey, The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming is a sumptuous, slow-burning story about stories and the way they shape our lives.

Click here to download a free PDF excerpt.


“Compelling and complicated in all the right ways. . . . beautifully written, not just in mythos but also in its treatments of its characters. Tristen writes on these emotions in a way that is rich with understanding and empathy.”-Reader Views

“This novel is about awe. Hope. Regaining spirit, driving forward your dreams, fighting anxiety, and finding wonder. . . . Never mind that some themes might have been explored in older fantasy novels. The author’s take on these themes is superior. Courageous. Delightful.”-Bradley Horner, author of Darkside Earther

“It is rare that I finish a book and immediately want to flip it over and start it again – and that’s exactly what happened with Heretic’s Guide.”-Natalie Lythe, Editor for Penrose Press

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Here on Shale, we pride ourselves in exploring art through many different mediums. With that being said, we are proud to present the first track of The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming‘s soundtrack: Firewalker.

Guitar, Production, & Mixing by Sophia Carreras
Zither & Violin by Irene Zhong