THE ETERNAL DUNGEON: a Turn-of-the Century Toughs series ¶ By Dusk Peterson


In a cool, dark cavern, guarded by men and by oaths, lies a dungeon in which prisoners fearfully await the inevitable. The inevitable will be replaced by the unexpected.

The Eternal Dungeon is an award-winning speculative fiction series set in a nineteenth-century prison where the psychologists wield whips.

The series is part of the Turn-of-the-Century Toughs cycle.
 


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SERIES CONTENTS
 



The Eternal Dungeon: a Turn-of-the-Century Toughs omnibus of historical fantasy novels

Cover for The Eternal Dungeon

In the Queendom of Yclau lies an underground royal prison that embraces the worst of the past and the best of the future. The Eternal Dungeon is old-fashioned in its equipment and ahead of its time in its treatment of prisoners, seeking to put their best welfare above all else. Torture is part of the process of assisting the prisoners.

The High Seeker, Layle Smith, embodies this contradictory institution: a man of deadly impulses, the head torturer binds himself strictly by the dungeon's code of conduct. His efforts to maintain this delicate balance are altered, though, by the introduction into his life of Elsdon Taylor, a vulnerable prisoner who is coming to terms with his own darkness.

This omnibus contains the first four volumes and a novella ("The Unanswered Question") in the Eternal Dungeon series. Does not include Balladeer.

See awards for the honors this e-book has received.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF)  | Smashwords (multiformat) | Dusk Peterson's books at other stores
     ¶ Data: 440,000 words | $64.99 $47.99 (25% off the price of all the stories sold separately) | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews (may include spoilers): Goodreads | LGBT Fantasy Fans and Writers | Smashwords | Scorching Book Reviews.
     ¶ Bestseller status, past or present (Amazon Kindle paid books): Top 100 Gay Adventure.



Awards and Reviews

AWARDS

Honored in the Rainbow Awards 2011 in three categories, for the novel omnibus The Eternal Dungeon:
 

* Winner, Best Gay Fantasy.
* 2nd Place, Best Setting Development.
* Honorable Mention, Best Gay Novel/Book.


"A deeply moving philosophical work . . . The characterization is very good and even bold, and the world building, while narrow, is solid and hints at a vast and real world that exist beyond the confines of the story. The overarching plot development is excellent, and is an extensive metaphor for the major themes of the book. The writing is eminently readable, and the author's decision to intersperse in-story historical analysis alongside the events taking place works beautifully." —One of the Rainbow Awards judges.
 

REVIEWS

"It takes really hard subject matter, and a character that in most books would be the major villain, and makes you love every single word. . . . If you want oh my god world building, read this." —LGBT Fantasy Fans and Writers.

"This is the most engaging and absorbing [series] that I have read in a very long time. . . . Think detail and in-depth fantasy world creations of J. R. R. Tolkien novels, combine with the morality questions posed in the T.V. series Lost, sprinkle some good ole' fashioned medieval politics . . . and then add whips . . . and a rack." —Amazon UK (Ancient Galaxy).

"I can easily think of a dozen authors who would have taken this kind of premise and made it tasteless, tacky, over the top, offensive, and much worse. . . . These books are none of that. . . . I cannot fangirl enough all the little details and nuances that really make [this series], how it's not all sparkles and light and yet just when it seems like it can only go south, you find yourself smiling instead. " —Megan Derr.

"If you fear reading [these stories] because the physical manifestation of torture doesn't appeal, you'll miss a truly great read. The Eternal Dungeon is in essence the story of psychology. It's a story about the mind, not the body. It's a story about madness and sanity. It's the story about love given unreservedly to one who feels undeserving of that love. It's a story about sacrifice on every level." —Goodreads (A. B. Gayle).

"I've read The Eternal Dungeon twice, and both times, I finished with the feeling of having left a real world behind. It draws the reader from story to story, leading you on with deeper insights into its characters, and plot twists that take you completely by surprise." —Amazon (Catana).

"The reader is immersed seamlessly into another world filled with lush characters. The world building is intricately woven into the narrative, creating the framework of politics, religion, and culture that gives the story substance and the characters background." —Amazon (Caethes Faron).
 


Cover for 'Rebirth'

Rebirth (Volume 1 of The Eternal Dungeon)

Elsdon Taylor, a prisoner accused of committing a terrible murder. Layle Smith, a torturer with a terrible past. Their meeting in the Eternal Dungeon appears certain to bring out the worst in both men.

Yet neither man is quite what he appears. As the prisoner and his torturer begin to be drawn toward each other, the ripple effects of their meeting will have a powerful impact on other inhabitants of the Eternal Dungeon: Layle's faithful guard, struggling to contain his doubts. A younger guard determined to take any shortcuts necessary to ensure that his life follows the path he has already chosen. An old love from Layle's past, still sorrowing. And most of all, a prisoner who has not yet arrived at the Eternal Dungeon, but whose fate will depend on how Layle handles Elsdon Taylor . . . and on how Elsdon handles Layle Smith.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | For epub, mobi/Kindle, and doc formats, see The Eternal Dungeon: a Turn-of-the-Century Toughs omnibus of historical fantasy novels.
     ¶ Data: Thee novellas and three novelettes | $16.99 $13.99 (18% off the price of all the stories sold separately) | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews (may include spoilers): Goodreads | Hearts on Fire Reviews| Hearts on Fire Reviews interview (with major spoilers) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble.


VOLUME CONTENTS

Cover for 'The Breaking'

The Breaking. The prisoner knew that the Eternal Dungeon was a place where suspected criminals were broken by torture, and he was prepared to hold out against any methods used against him – except the method he could not anticipate.
 

     ¶ Download the FREE e-bookGumroad (multiformat) | All Romance eBooks (multiformat) | Smashwords(multiformat) | SmashwordsDusk Peterson's books at other stores
     ¶ Read the story onlineRead 'The Breaking' at AO3
     ¶ Data: 27,000 words | Free | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews (may include spoilers): Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Smashwords | Solace in Another World | All Romance eBooks.
     ¶ Bestseller status, past or present (Amazon Kindle free books): #1 Gay Adventure. Top 100 Gay & Lesbian Books. Top 100 Gay & Lesbian Short Stories. Top 100 Gay Fiction. Top 100 Gay Romance. Top 100 Gay Mystery. Top 100 Victorian Romance. Top 100 Historical Mystery. Top 100 Crime Adventure. Top 100 Crime Thrillers. Top 100 Murder Crime Fiction. Top 100 Historical Fantasy. Top 100 Historical Fiction Fantasy. Top 100 Alternative History.


Cover for 'Love and Betrayal'

Love and Betrayal. As a torturer learns the art of questioning prisoners, he discovers that the word "love" can have a darker meaning than he had supposed.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (multiformat) |All Romance eBooks (multiformat) | Smashwords(multiformat) | AmazonDusk Peterson's books at other stores
     ¶ Data: 36,000 words | $3.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews (may include spoilers): Amazon.
     ¶ Bestseller status, past or present (Amazon Kindle paid books): Top 100 Gay Adventure.


Cover for 'First Time'

First Time. One man seeks to heal from abuse. The other man dreams of abusing. Now they're in love.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (multiformat) |All Romance eBooks (multiformat) | Smashwords(multiformat) | AmazonDusk Peterson's books at other stores
     ¶ Data: 15,000 words | $2.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews (may include spoilers): Amazon.
     ¶ Bestseller status, past or present (Amazon Kindle paid books): Top 100 Gay Adventure.


Cover for 'In Training'

In Training. Unexpected danger reveals to a young torturer the dark mystery of his love-mate's past – as well as unpleasant revelations about himself.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (multiformat) |All Romance eBooks (multiformat) | Smashwords(multiformat) | AmazonDusk Peterson's books at other stores
     ¶ Data: 30,000 words | $3.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews: None yet. If you have thoughts about the story, why not share your perspective with other readers by writing a review at your favorite online bookstore, social network, blog, or website?
     ¶ Bestseller status, past or present (Amazon Kindle paid books): Top 100 Gay Adventure.


Cover for 'As a Seeker'

As a Seeker. If the head torturer wants something, no power in life or death will hold him from taking it. What he wants now has brought danger to the Eternal Dungeon.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (multiformat) |All Romance eBooks (multiformat) | Smashwords(multiformat) | AmazonDusk Peterson's books at other stores
     ¶ Data: 12,000 words | $2.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews: None yet. If you have thoughts about the story, why not share your perspective with other readers by writing a review at your favorite online bookstore, social network, blog, or website?
     ¶ Bestseller status, past or present (Amazon Kindle paid books): Top 100 Gay Adventure.


Cover for 'Tops and Sops'

Tops and Sops. The torturer was young, inexperienced, and lacking in knowledge of the world. The prisoner was tough, worldlywise, and had an infallible plan that would give him escape from this place. So why did the prisoner feel as though the torturer had the edge?
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | AmazonNook
     ¶ Data: 11,000 words | $2.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews (may include spoilers): Amazon.


Rebirth: Historical Note.
 

     ¶ Available in Rebirth.



Cover for 'Transformation'

Transformation (Volume 2 of The Eternal Dungeon)

The Eternal Dungeon, a royal prison where criminals are transformed, has lost its leadership. The duty of returning the dungeon to normal falls on two Seekers (torturers) who are already burdened with their own problems. One Seeker is struggling to understand why an old love affair continues to gnaw at him. The other Seeker is faced with his greatest challenge: whether to risk that which is most precious to him in order to save his own abuser.
 
     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) |Gumroad (PDF) | For epub, mobi/Kindle, and doc formats, see The Eternal Dungeon: a Turn-of-the-Century Toughs omnibus of historical fantasy novels.
     ¶ Data: Four novellas | $15.99 $12.99 (19% off the price of all the stories sold separately) | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews (may include spoilers): Goodreads.


VOLUME CONTENTS

Cover for 'Deception'

Deception. He thought she had come to change his workplace. He found she was there to change his life.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | AmazonNook
     ¶ Data: 23,000 words | $3.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews: None yet. If you have thoughts about the story, why not share your perspective with other readers by writing a review at your favorite online bookstore, social network, blog, or website?


Cover for 'Twists and Turns'

Twists and Turns. Only the loyal presence of one man has kept him alive. Now that man's loyalty is about to be tested.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | AmazonNook
     ¶ Data: 25,000 words | $3.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews: None yet. If you have thoughts about the story, why not share your perspective with other readers by writing a review at your favorite online bookstore, social network, blog, or website?


Cover for 'A Prisoner Has Need'

A Prisoner Has Need. A cold-hearted murderer has been brought to the Eternal Dungeon, one who must be dealt with through firmness and perhaps harshness. Too bad he's twelve.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | AmazonNook
     ¶ Data: 28,000 words | $3.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews: None yet. If you have thoughts about the story, why not share your perspective with other readers by writing a review at your favorite online bookstore, social network, blog, or website?


Cover for 'The Consultation'

The Consultation. He has come from the Eternal Dungeon to offer his services to another prison's head torturer. The only trouble is that the head torturer likes him too much.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | AmazonNook
     ¶ Data: 34,000 words | $3.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews (may include spoilers): Amazon.


Transformation: Historical Note.
 

     ¶ Available in Transformation.



Cover for 'The Balance'

The Balance (Volume 3 of The Eternal Dungeon)

The Seekers (torturers) in the Eternal Dungeon have always expressed contempt toward the Hidden Dungeon in the neighboring kingdom of Vovim, whose torturers abuse prisoners without restraint. But the balance between mercy and hell is not so clear as might be thought in either dungeon, and now that balance is about to tip. Only the strength of love and integrity will determine the paths of two Seekers whose fortunes are bound together.
 
     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | For epub, mobi/Kindle, and doc formats, see The Eternal Dungeon: a Turn-of-the-Century Toughs omnibus of historical fantasy novels.
     ¶ Data: Three novellas, one novelette, and one short story | $15.99 $12.99 (19% off the price of all the stories sold separately) | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews: None yet. If you have thoughts about the story, why not share your perspective with other readers by writing a review at your favorite online bookstore, social network, blog, or website?


VOLUME CONTENTS

Cover for 'Truth and Lies'

Truth and Lies. When you're a prisoner, having a torturer who's mad can be an advantage. Or maybe not.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | AmazonNook
     ¶ Data: 26,000 words | $3.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews: None yet. If you have thoughts about the story, why not share your perspective with other readers by writing a review at your favorite online bookstore, social network, blog, or website?


Cover for 'Barbarians'

Barbarians. Vovim was renowned for its strong monarchy, for its love of the theater, and for its skill in the art of torture. In other words, it had all the qualities needed to become a civilized nation. But would anyone be willing to defy Vovim's tyrannical king? And if they did, would they survive?
 

    ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | AmazonNook
     ¶ Data: 23,000 words | $3.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews (may include spoilers): Amazon.
     ¶ Bestseller status, past or present (Amazon Kindle paid books): Top 100 Gay Adventure.


Cover for 'Hidden'

Hidden. He had been given the kindest, gentlest torturer in the dungeon. The prisoner was left with only one hope: that he could teach his torturer how to be cruel.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | AmazonNook
     ¶ Data: 5,000 words | 99c | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews (may include spoilers):Amazon.
     ¶ Bestseller status, past or present (Amazon Kindle paid books): Top 100 Gay Adventure.
     ¶ Bestseller status, past or present (Amazon Kindle paid books): Top 100 Gay Adventure.


Cover for 'Death Watch'

Death Watch. Death lurks everywhere in the Eternal Dungeon . . . even in a torturer's bedroom.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | AmazonNook
     ¶ Data: 15,000 words | $2.99 |Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews (may include spoilers): Amazon.


Cover for 'Balladeer'

Balladeer. Sometimes it takes an outsider to point out the obvious.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | AmazonNook
     ¶ Data: 18,000 words | $3.99 |Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews: None yet. If you have thoughts about the story, why not share your perspective with other readers by writing a review at your favorite online bookstore, social network, blog, or website?


The Balance: Historical Note.

             ¶ Available in The Balance.
 


On Guard (Volume 4 of The Eternal Dungeon)

The ties forged between the noble-minded Eternal Dungeon and the abusive Hidden Dungeon have set off an unpredictable chain of horrific events, in which the love between two Seekers (torturers) will be tested to the straining point. Caught in the middle of the struggle are Barrett Boyd and Seward Sobel, two loyal guards who will find themselves questioning their most fundamental beliefs about the Eternal Dungeon's ideals.
 
     ¶ Buy or sample the e-book: On Guard is available in The Eternal Dungeon: a Turn-of-the-Century Toughs omnibus of historical fantasy novels.
     ¶ Data: 90,000 words | Publication history.


VOLUME CONTENTS

On Guard: Prologue. "The junior Seeker stood in the entrance, awaiting death."

Promotion. "'Has it occurred to you to wonder what would happen to this dungeon if their stubbornness came into conflict?'"

Protection. "'Do you recall the orders that you were given when you were first assigned to guard him?'"

Searching. "The prisoner was meek and gentle and very, very afraid."

Appointment. "He was thinking to himself that diligence ought to be rewarded."

Mediation. "'Shall we allow criminals to roam the streets at will because we're afraid to take the chance of harming an innocent prisoner?'"

Advice. "A great man and his faithful guard – that was the tale of which ballads were sung."

Judgment. "He knew at once that something was wrong."

Testing. "'Nervous?'"

Decision. "His mind was focussed, his goal clear."

On Guard: Epilogue. "'He's your friend, isn't he?'"

On Guard: Historical Note and Acknowledgments.
 


Sweet Blood (Volume 5 of The Eternal Dungeon)

The Eternal Dungeon has been split by a civil war, with the division clearly marked by a quarrel between two Seekers (torturers) whose faithfulness to each other has already become legendary. Into this explosive situation arrives a new Seeker, one who is determined to see that past evils do not continue in the dungeon. But can he keep control of himself when assigned a prisoner who falls in love with him?
 

VOLUME CONTENTS

Cover for 'Bonds'

Bonds. A prisoner meeting his fate. A torturer meeting his demons. And between them, a man whose bonds are on the point of shattering.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (HTML) | Gumroad (PDF) | AmazonNook
      ¶ Data: 26,000 words | $3.99 | Publication history.
      ¶ Reviews: None yet. If you have thoughts about the story, why not share your perspective with other readers by writing a review at your favorite online bookstore or social network?
     ¶ Bestseller status, past or present (Amazon Kindle paid books): Top 100 Gay Adventure.


Cover for 'Searching'

Searching. Walking into a trap may be the only way to create one.
 

     ¶ Buy or preview the e-bookGumroad (multiformat) |All Romance eBooks (multiformat) | SmashwordsAmazonDusk Peterson's books at other stores
     ¶ Data: 16,000 words | $2.99 | Publication history.
     ¶ Reviews: None yet. If you have thoughts about the story, why not share your perspective with other readers by writing a review at your favorite online bookstore or social network?
     ¶ Bestseller status, past or present (Amazon Kindle paid books): Top 100 Gay Adventure.


Split. It was his duty to transform the prisoner's soul. But which prisoner?
 

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Side stories

All of the Eternal Dungeon side stories, as well as side stories from related series, are now available at a separate series page at this website:

Darkfics

Side stories from The Eternal Dungeon, Life Prison, Commando,Michael's House, and Waterman.


Maps and series resources

Map of the Midcoast nations (Mip, the Dozen Landsteads, Vovim, and Yclau).

Map of the Capital City of the Queendom of Yclau, showing the cave where the Eternal Dungeon is housed.

Turn-of-the-Century Toughs, a cycle of historical fantasy novels that includes the Eternal Dungeon series. This page includes resources such as a chronology of major political events in the cycle.

Eternal Dungeon research. Blog entries by the author on research for the series.

Bibliography for the series:
Masculinity, Crime, and Everyday Life in Victorian and Edwardian Times.

Shared Universes: Works set in the Eternal Dungeon world by other authors and artists.


Next series in the Turn-of-the-Century Toughs cycle:

[ Life Prison ]



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