Book Spotlight & Excerpt: The Matriarch Matrix by Maxime Trencavel

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Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure

The Matriarch Matrix – A speculative fiction novel of origins, faith, passion, and the pursuit of peace.


It was always his destiny to save her. It was always her destiny to die. The fate of the world hangs on their choices… 


The past foretells her future…


What does it take to change a loving child of peace into an assassin for a dangerous and powerful oligarch? Zara Khatum knows. Once a fighter for her Kurdish people, the memory of the atrocities inflicted by her captors has Zara seeking one thing: vengeance. But the voices of the ancients call to Zara. In the past, in another life, she knew the secrets of the artifact…


Twelve thousand years ago…


She is Nanshe, revered matriarch of the family she led away from the monsters of the north. In the land that would one day mark the treacherous border between Turkey and Syria, she created the temples at Gobleki Tepe and founded a dynasty, heirs to a powerful object. For millennia, Nanshe’s descendants have passed down the legend of the artifact: “The object can save. But only a man and woman together can guide the salvation of others.”


Heirs to destiny…


By fate or destiny, Zara is thrown in with Peter Gollinger, a quirky Californian from the other side of the world and the other side of everything she believes. But he, too, is heeding the voices of his ancestors. Joined by Jean-Paul, a former Jesuit priest, these three people—from wildly different religions and cultures—must find a way to work together to solve a twelve thousand-year-old mystery of the powerful object that spawned a faith. The world teeters on the precipice of war. The outcome depends on them. And one of them is living a lie.


The Matriarch Matrix is a rich and deeply layered epic story – a spiritual odyssey with a heartbeat of an action adventure. It may make you think, ponder, reflect upon where we came from and where we are going. It blends our past with a speculative future of things that are not so far-fetched. It blends the drama, the comedy, the romance, the tragedy of three protagonists with different cultures, traditions, and beliefs – a Sufi woman, a Jesuit priest, and an alien origin believing atheist. Their journeys separately and together will be a test of their respective faiths and their inner search for personal and family redemption.


The Matriarch Matrix Book Excerpt

matriarch matrix book coverChapter 2

I talk all night long with a dream image. About the tales of my pain; Thus my sleeplessness comes from these tales.

—Amir Khusraw, thirteenth-century Sufi mystic and poet 9620 BCE


Northern shores of the Black Sea


The woods. The low-hanging fog. Or to these three hunters, the low-hanging cloud that makes finding their prey just that much more difficult. In the fog, they effectively only have ears to listen for their prey. In contrast, their prey has eyes, ears, noses, and animal ESP, which pierce through the fog, and so do those who hunt them.


It is Orzu’s birthday. Born on the seventh day of the sixth moon, he has seen seventeen cycles of the sun. In a few more sun cycles, it will be time for him to find a wife. His grandfather, Parcza, has taken him and his sister Illyana into the woods so Orzu can master the art of providing meat for his family. Parcza doubts whether Orzu will ever become a good provider for a new family, for Orzu has yet to kill during the hunt, any hunt.


Illyana, on the other hand, is a natural-born hunter. But Parcza knows that the young men of the village will not be selecting Illyana based on her hunting skills, for she has become a very handsome young woman, at fifteen cycles of the sun. Two sun cycles ago, her breast buds began to blossom and she begrudgingly had to alter her clothing to accommodate these changes, asking why she needed to dress differently than Orzu.


Orzu has taken point, softly and slowly moving forward in the dense undergrowth of the forest. They have gone farther north than normal as the lands near their village seem depleted of game. He peers back at Parcza to see if he is doing well in his grandfather’s eyes. Parcza has been a surrogate father for Orzu and his sister. Six sun cycles ago, the Reindeer People, the giants of the north, took their father as a slave; they took their mother and their grandmother, Parcza’s wife, too, for unspeakable reasons. Thus, Parcza has done his best to mother them as well as father them.


A shuffle of a leaf, and Orzu stops, holding his hand up. He moves his bow up and draws the arrow shaft back, just as Parcza coached him this morning. His arrow has a normal stone head for smaller game. He and his sister have a few special arrows for larger game, with a very shiny black stone that is extra hard and sharp. Parcza found these on the Reindeer People’s arrows and spears after they massacred a nearby village, and he kept a collection for their use. Parcza is holding a spear in case they are the hunted, as these woods have two types of animals—the ones much smaller than they, which can be killed by arrows, and the ones larger and sometimes hungrier than they, which may or may not be deterred by even their spears.


Orzu scours the forest for the source of the leaf sound, and he sighs in relief. It’s a rabbit. Unlikely to jump at them and rip their limbs off. He aims along the arrow shaft as he watches the rabbit nibble some leaves and wiggle its nose. Orzu finds it cute. He’d rather have it around the house than dead with an arrow through it. I cannot kill this animal, he thinks. It is not right.


Whoosh. His trance is broken as Illyana’s arrow splits apart the head holding the cute wiggling nose.



Author Bio

maximeMaxime has been scribbling stories since grade school from adventure epics to morality plays. Blessed with living in multicultural pluralistic settings and having earned degrees in science and marketing, Maxime has worked in business and sports, traveling to countries across five continents and learning about cultures, traditions, and the importance of tolerance and understanding. Maxime’s debut novel was written and edited in different locations in Belgium, including the Turkish and Kurdish neighborhoods of Brussels, in South America, and on the two coasts of the United States.






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