If you’ve been following us on Twitter or Instagram (mainly Twitter), you have seen us promoting and continuously circulating posts about The Visionary Chronicles. Currently, the series has 2 books out, but we plan to publish the third, and last book of this series this Summer. The books that are currently out are:
Dreams of Akasha: The Visionary Chronicles
Dreams of the Fearless: The Visionary Chronicles II
This is the debut series that was written by Khàli LaBré and originally published back in July and November of 2018, respectively, when Lemons & Gold was simply a brand name for her author platform.
What makes this series so great is that it follows a warrior queen, Queen Akasha (nothing to do with Aaliyah and Queen of the Damned, Khàli just liked the name), who is neurodivergent, on her journey to help her cousin, Queen Binamu, who is also the queen of Akasha’s sister city, to defeat a vengefully evil queen in the southern city of their country, the city of Mayaba. The story is set faaaaar into the future, in the year 5130 C.E. after the Day of Settlement (after the apocalypse) and the people are rebuilding the world, including the discovery of different types of technology of past millennia.
Akasha and company make unlikely friends along the way as she and her mighty army march, ride, and fly to the south, including a giant color-changing serpent named Nyoka, who happens to be thousands of years old but is quick-witted and funny, as well as obstacles designed to discourage Akasha from achieving her mission, such as the sudden appearance of the queendom of the mysterious city of Caeruleum where the Emperess attempts to freeze Akasha in her tracks, to play with her mind. Being that Akasha has disabilities, she is constantly being questioned about the madness of her methods and abilities by her husband, King Dakarai, citizens of the city, and her army. However, she is a queen who has great faith that Adonai (a god-like character) will help her accomplish her mission.
As you get into the second book in the series, Dreams of the Fearless, Akasha’s army gets bigger as the word goes out across the country about the war. Here, we follow one of the other characters, Midas, who happens to be best friends with Jahpheth. There is a moment in the story where we flashback to Midas and Jahpheth as children. Jahpheth was severely bullied as a kid for being gay. After one brutal attack, Midas stepped in and defeated Jahpheth’s attackers and vowed to watch after Jahpheth as his big brother. After the flashback, we find Midas going to Jahpheth’s house and surprising him and his partner, Shaaid. Midas is there to help Queen Akasha by getting more powerful weapons to defeat the Queen of Mayaba.
Then we get into the stories of Taurrus (a really cool guy), and the love story between Zaza and Malcolm, who is trapped in the porcelain white castle as a servant for the faceless Queen of Mayaba. The most excitement is with Kazi, Queen Binamu’s youngest daughter, who suddenly takes the place of Chief Commander Kamaja at 11 years old! There are so many mini character arcs and mini-story arcs throughout the series, they could become stories on their own!
The third book in the series is slated to be released this Summer to celebrate Lemons & Gold’s 4th year as a brand, as well as the 4th anniversary of The Visionary Chronicles. Dreams of Redemption: The Visionary Chronicles III, picks up from book 2 where the identity of the Queen of Mayaba will be revealed, and Akasha must prove herself truthful and worthy to her own queendom! Drama, drama, drama!
What Inspired This Story?
Khàli was a student at the time she wrote these novels and was going through a few major life changes and challenges. She was overcoming trauma in her past and finding ways to better deal with her mental illness. The story was cathartic for her as she includes some things that happened to her in real life, into the story. Instead of writing an autobiography, she threw her experiences into works of fiction because she felt no one would believe any of these things happened to her in real life.
Khàli felt the need to just purge her emotions and memories into these books as a means of shadow work and getting to know herself better and gain a more positive perspective of her path and the world. She refers to herself as a Queen of the Underdogs, and although this series was a project for her to rebuild herself, her purpose in publishing the story was to uplift anyone who read the books and to help others to find the courage to achieve their dreams no matter what anyone has to say about it. She believes that if you believe in yourself, everything will work out in your favor, even during times when it doesn’t seem like it, your job is to always “Just Believe”.
How is this Series Different?
Khàli did a lot of experimenting with this series. There’s a lot of role reversal, a lot of magical realism, even down to the colors of what the characters are wearing (see if you can figure that one out!) The cities are all queendoms, and the characters are all Black-diasporic. At the time, before J.K. Rowling became so problematic, Khàli wanted to create an all-Black version of Harry Potter. Now, she just wants you to know she created a magical land of Black people.
Sound like something you can get into? Find our books at these retailers:
Also Published On (Subscriptions & Libraries):
Baker & Taylor