Black Sun Rising Author:C.S. Friedman Black Sun Rising takes place on the fictional planet of Erna, following the perspective of Damien Vryce, a priest of the Church of Human Unification on Erna. The tale begins with him entering the great city of Jaggonath, a mimicry of modern-day Jerusalem, as the pagan religions that advocate the worship of personal gods and the church of the One... more » God share the city. He has come to assist the Patriarch of his Church with a new, somewhat controversial mission: teaching initiates of his Order the rudiments of sorcery with the energy force known as the Fae (detailed further in Coldfire Trilogy section). As the Church primarily resists human reliance on the Fae, the classes are opposed by the Patriarch, though held with high regard by the Matriarch whom Damien serves.
While in the city, Damien Vryce enters the shop of a beautiful Adept (individuals with the ability to sense the Fae on a level akin to a sixth sense) named Ciani, with whom he begins a light-hearted courtship. Their fledgling love is abruptly put on hold, however, when Ciani's shop explodes in a Fae-related accident. Damien presumes she is dead, but her assistant, Senzei "Zen" Reese, informs him otherwise. Ciani was alive, but mortally wounded, not physically but mentally and spiritually. She had been assaulted by a gang of unknown creatures that stole from her her memories, and her skills as an Adept. This has left her bereft of a will to live; an Adept sees the Fae every waking moment, giving their vision a "life" to it that regular humans could not comprehend. Without her skill however, all she can see is a dead world. Senzei had set off the store as a Sacrifice, so as to hide the fact that Ciani was still alive.
Damien vows to help Ciani, and prepares to set off after the mysterious thieves. The Patriarch does not fully approve, but offers his blessing, and the aid of the Church's most valued relic: a vial of pure, liquified Solar Fae, the sacred Fire of the Church. Together with Ciani and Senzei, the trio leaves Jaggonath, tailing the sadistic creatures.« less