About Raythe Reign’s “The Dark Earth” Manga Series:
The Dark Earth is Raythe Reign’s high fantasy yaoi manga series. It is based on a high fantasy novel series that follows the same story, which is currently running in our serial online publication.
We’ve been feeling our way forward with this series, which is our first. Being an independent digital publisher is like settling in the Wild West! All we have to go on is our gut feeling (and what our budget will allow.) As a result, we have deviated from what others have traditionally done.
Though we are heavily influenced by Japanese manga — they brought us sweet, sweet yaoi! — we are American at the core of our action and plot-focused storytelling. The artwork is Japanese inspired, drawn by the amazingly talented T. Wolv, but the story is entirely Western.
You’ll find high fantasy staples such as elves and magic, enchanted swords, evil mages, and a “normal” young protagonist who soon finds out that he is anything but ordinary… plus the yaoi-tastic romance of the young protagonist and the exiled elven prince!
We also combine written stories with the artwork. Except for the first volume, which is a “double feature,” each Dark Earth volume is around 90 pages of artwork plus an additional short story. These stories have become essential to the storyline, since they often present alternate points of view and flesh out important events that happened in the characters’ pasts.
Our most recent divergence from traditional publishing has been what we call the “Sextra.” You can find out more about that below, but it’s basically erotic art that we commissioned as a side story to the main storyline.
Not just a labor of love.
From the beginning, we have said to ourselves, “Even if this doesn’t sell that many copies, we want to see it done, so we’ll continue to produce it.” We were prepared to just let The Dark Earth be a labor of love, but with each volume that has come out, we’ve gotten more and more sales. If there’s proof that our Japanese / Western hybrid works for manga readers, our growing number of buyers is it!
We’re heartened by all the readers who are taking a chance on such a long-running series (at least 26 volumes… probably more like 52 or beyond.) Proceeds from manga sales go directly to the development of the next volume. While we pay our artist a living rate for pages produced, we also distribute royalties. This is even more support and encouragement for all the hard work that goes into this series.
The World & Characters
Aidan’s adoptive mother, Anna, discovered him as a baby alone in the woods in Devil’s Ridge. He knows nothing of his birth family and doesn’t care to, because they abandoned him. But circumstances force them to move in with Anna’s father, Grandfather Patrick, on the Ridge, where he discovers that there is more to his world than meets the eye.
Asher is a Dark Prince of the Sidhe, an elven race that makes the Dark Earth their home. He recognizes Aidan as one of his people and is intent on bringing the youngling home. Though he tries to resist, Asher finds himself in love with Aidan and doing things that he should not to please the boy. One of those things in interfering in human activities to save Aidan’s adoptive family from the depredations of the cult known only as the Clan. These actions could lead to a terrible war.
Anna and Sarah are Aidan’s adoptive family. Anna, though only seventeen when she found baby Aidan, fiercely holds on to her son and defends him — as best she can — from her father when they are forced to live with him.
Sarah is too young to realize what’s happening, but devoted to “Aidey” and seems to have a mysterious sensitivity toward the events on Devil’s Ridge.
Grandfather Patrick is Anna’s father and the leader of the cult known only as the Clan who worships a dread goddess known as Cybella. He hates the Sidhe with an unquenchable passion. He recognizes Aidan as one of them and, despite his unnatural attraction to the boy, is determined to use Aidan to start a war between the Sidhe and the Clan. But then Asher Vane comes onto his land, intent on taking Aidan and the war he wants may be within reach.
The Art & Artist
T. Wolv is a traditionally-trained artist in both architecture and Japanese manga. She combines the expressive bishonen style with meticulous attention to detail and perspective, and the results speak for themselves.
While we are always anxious to get the next volume, the art is such good quality because it is not rushed! Unlike other manga publications, we are not tied to a weekly or monthly timeline, and the artist can devote as much time as necessary to getting each page just right.
Sometimes, we just want to have fun! The first 3 volumes of Dark Earth contain some sweet, chaste romance, but it’s slow to develop. The beginning of The Dark Earth is mostly fantasy adventure. Aidan and Asher don’t even hold hands in the first volume!
As romance is just as important as the adventure, Raythe got impatient… as did our readers. So, Raythe commissioned what we call the “Sextra” from T. Wolv. The artist delivered a stunning 40+ pages of erotic artwork in a short story that covers what is basically Asher’s fantasy. She even changed the look of Aidan slightly to match what Asher imagines… and there are several other notable details, as well.
There is no sample because it’s really NSFW, but you can buy it from us, as well all available volumes of The Dark Earth, here in our shop. (It’s called “Dream.”)
How To Buy
You can only get everything Dark Earth-related from us. We do sell on Amazon as well, but certain volumes, such as Dream, would be banned because of mature content. We expect that as more disturbing and mature content appears in the storyline, we’ll only be able to offer them here.
Digital versions are available in PDF, Epub, or Mobi formats. Epub is Nook, and Mobi is Kindle. You will have to download the files to your hard drive and load them separately onto your e-reader device. When in doubt, choose the PDF, and you’ll be able to read it right on your computer.
In case we haven’t updated this page for the most recent volumes, check our shop here for all Dark Earth related works.
You can also buy what’s available on Amazon. Just remember to check here for future volumes that we can’t sell anywhere else.