UPDATE the boy might have either been taken by or joined a military force when he leaves his village. during his time with this military force i believe he is captured and imprisoned.**

I believe the man might be able to read people's auras and this helps him seduce women as well as win all of the battles he has to fight in the arena against other humans with special power such as teleportation, pyrokenesis etc.

This story takes place in a world that has lost technology.

Update (Cover Art might have been a buff shirtless man) I vaguely remember trying to hide the cover from my wife because I was embarrassed of the cove art.

I listened to the audiobook roughly two years ago on youtube or hoopla.

I would say it was probably written between 2000 and 2019

The story starts off in a medieval type village.

The parts of the story I can remember are:

Towards the end of the story the man creates his own village with his children and they children create a fortress out of stones.

a boy finds out he has powers and is able to seduce the shopkeeper's wife in his village.

As he grows up, he eventually ends up being captured or something and forced to fight to the death against other beings with powers as a proxy for aliens, which I believe is found out later.

The next thing I can remember from the book is that the boy/man is saved by an alien in the woods who is a tree or something.

The boy also has a romantic interest in a girl from his original village, maybe she is married when he returns?

I can't remember if this was a trilogy or standalone novel.

Towards the end of the story I believe the man has children who also have special powers and fight off the aliens who had taken over Earth... maybe by causing a huge explosion or supervolcano or something.

There might also be a scene where he loses his virginity to the girl in his village, and afterwards she is raped or almost raped, and he maybe sends his dog to save her or something.

The alien creatures might have had humans fight as their champions because it was uncivilized or against the laws for the aliens to fight each other.

The humans who fought had different special abilities.

The main character might have had a slave woman or man take care of him while he was fighting in the arena. The slave woman or man might have been mute or a eunuch, I can't remember.

The aliens were earning the right to breed or evolve or something like that.

Edit: the boy/man might have also played the guitar

(This could have been a dystopian Earth the book takes place in.)

(It is not The Tripods or Childhood's End.)

I am going nuts not being able to remember the book's name!

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. When did you read this? Was it in English? Do you remember the cover art? How did he fight? (Mind powers, bare hand combat, power suits...)
    – DavidW
    Dec 28, 2021 at 4:15
  • I read this about 2 years ago and it was in english. I don't know about the cover because i listened to the audiobook version. I believe he fought with telekenesis and possibly some bare hand combat. If i remember correctly, he might have had the ability to mentally cause tremendous pain in others. additionally he might have had the power to sexually stimulate women with his mind. thanks david
    – bob
    Dec 28, 2021 at 4:29
  • You mention that it's not Childhood's End, yet I don't see anything in your question that sounds at all like Childhood's End. Is there something you are leaving out that is more like that book? More generally, you may find it helpful to have a look at the advice here about how to write good a identification question that people will be more likely to be able to answer: scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/q/9335/48874
    – Buzz
    Dec 28, 2021 at 5:09
  • 1
    @Buzz every search I have done over the past three days has suggested childhoods end, if i remembered more from the book I would be able to write a better identification question... I added this because it helps the process of elimination, glad you and I are both aware my question does not "sound at all like childhood's end"
    – bob
    Dec 28, 2021 at 17:22
  • Bits of it (boy and telepathic dog, love interest rape) remind me of A Boy and His Dog, but the rest definitely does not match.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Dec 28, 2021 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


The book is The Mountains Rise of the Embers of Illeniel series by Michael G Manning.

From the dark depths of the past, comes the tale of the first wizard of Illeniel. Daniel Tennick lived simply, a young shepherd with few troubles and little to occupy his mind, until the warden appeared. Daniel’s power awakens, and he finds himself hunted by the servants of the cruel and uncaring forest gods. Trapped by his gift, Daniel will uncover the secrets of the deep woods and those who live there, a civilization created from the grave of an older one. What he discovers will light a vengeful flame within him, consuming everything he touches.

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