OUT NOW–The Zero Equation (The Zero Enigma III)

12 Feb

Zero Equation cover FOR WEB

Caitlyn Aguirre is no magician …

… But she’s still at the centre of the storm.

Caitlyn and her friends have returned to Jude’s Sorcerous Academy, but all is not well in the school. The Great Houses of Shallot are on the verge of going to war and the conflict is spilling into the school, while – in the background – powerful and secretive forces prepare to finally reveal their plans to reshape the world. Caught in the middle, torn between her family and her friends – and burdened with a secret she dares not share – Cat must unlock the secret of the Zero Equation …

… Or watch helplessly as her family, friends and school are destroyed by war.

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26 Responses to “OUT NOW–The Zero Equation (The Zero Enigma III)”

  1. ray Stimpson February 13, 2018 at 6:40 pm #

    Dear Mr Nuttal,

    I greatly enjoyed reading your Trafalgar and Warspite series. I would not have read them all otherwise. The reason I am writing is to point to the misuse of a phrase that is commonly used throughout, ‘I say again….’ This is (or was) normally used when transmission difficulties over radio were being experienced and the message may not be clear, as opposed to where the message is to be emphasised.

    There is another point: where an officer is being spoken to by his senior, the senior will commonly use the junior’s Christian or known name; the known name usually being a foreshortened version of the full name e.g. Andy instead of Andrew. It is rare for an officer to be addressed by his rank unless he is in the deep and smelly. In the other direction, as you have rightly written, ‘Sir’ is used unless it during a sporting occasion when both are participants when first names are normal.

    Finally, ‘Donkey Wallapers’ were normally cavalry, as the name suggests, all others except special forces being known as ‘ crap hats’ (by special forces), ‘pongoes’ or ‘brown jobs’ (by RAF), or simply ‘squadies’. I must say, I did not mind what I was called as long as the other person stood his round. Royal Engineers (the cream) were called Sappers.

    Many thanks for a good few hours reading,

    Yours sincerely,

    Ray Stimpson

  2. William Ameling February 14, 2018 at 4:41 am #

    I notice that the question of how Family Swords determine who they responded to ( or allowed to touch and handle them) was raised, in the class, but never answered. I wonder if anyone in that World actually has a good answer to it at that time period. Probably the Thousand Year Empire had a good idea how that worked. There has to be some mechanism to tightly restrict who can use a Sword, but you have not given us (and them) enough data to figure it out.

    I see that I was right in guessing about a betrothal between Cat and Akin, the Sword and peace between the Houses (in order to avoid a House War), but I suspect that you already had your plans made regarding how you were going to handle it. I doubt that I changed your plans much. I was suggesting something to happen early in the book rather than the end.

    But Cat or her father still never mentioned (or thought to herself) about that a marriage between Cat and Akin would help protect her against her sisters after their father died and one of them became Matriarch. I can understand her Father not mentioning the idea, but I think that Cat should have considered it in her own mind as a personal argument in favor of the betrothal/marriage. Although her status as the only known Zero (who had any training and experience) should given her protection anyway. I think/expect that Cat and Akin have a good chance of having a good happy marriage, that is a lot better than many other marriages that get arranged in their society. At least they know, like and respect each other already (a lot), well before the marriage, and there is plenty of time for love to develop before the marriage . Many of the other marriages in their society have/had a lot less to start with. (Even in our own World and history).

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 14, 2018 at 5:30 am #

      It strongly appears that Cat and her sisters have made peace.

  3. William Ameling February 14, 2018 at 11:11 am #

    Hopefully that will remain true between Cat and her sisters. You would think that Cat’s abilities to make Orb’s of Power would protect her, but as books 2 and 3 demonstrate, it also make her a target of control efforts. Also in the future it could lead to tensions (wars) between different countries, not just different houses.

    Regarding (Family) Swords the main additional information we have is that the Royal Family had several “blood bound blades” that they could use, and that one of them belonged to (was used by) the current Crown Prince and was passed on to the next Crown Prince when he became King, obviously because the King (Monarch) had a (Family) Sword of his own to use. So being able to use one Sword does not cut one off from being able to use another Sword. At least permanently, maybe there is some magical ritual or procedure involved in changing which Sword you can currently use. Only the Royal Family (and Chris) can answer that question.

    Also we learned that when those Swords were originally created by the Thousand Year Empire, they were supposedly “quenched” in the blood of the new owner, with the implication that a lot of blood (not just a couple of drops) was used to do the quenching. We also learned that the blood tie can last at least 3 generations of non use even for a damaged blade that got repaired. Which surprised the teacher that gave Cat the damaged blade to try to repair. We do not know how closely connected to the main line of House Ruben any of the other students who tried and failed to lift it were.

  4. William Ameling February 15, 2018 at 2:06 pm #

    One additional thought, maybe there is a difference between the Sword that Cat made that only used a drop of blood and a Sword that was quenched in a lot of blood: the sword that was quenched may retain some kind of imprint or memory of the person that provided that lot of blood, and it is that memory or imprint that tries to control those that pick up the Sword. This might have the advantage of providing the skills to use the Sword that the original owner had, if he (or she) was a skilled fighter with a sword. It has the disadvantage of the Sword making the current user/holder do things they might not want to do otherwise. It could also explain why an adult with a stronger sense of his personality might be able to control that Sword versus a young person such as Cat or Akin trying to control what is done with the sword.

  5. William Ameling February 16, 2018 at 3:05 am #

    It could also explain why Cat’s Father said that she was too young to touch or hold the Family Sword. The family has a lot of experience with it’s members trying to use such a blood blade, and some idea of what it can try to do. I assume that this is true of other Families and their Swords. I also remember from the prequel to Book 2 that Cat’s Father was able to verbally tell the Sword to Stop while Cat held it, and the Sword stopped. We do not know what a Family’s normal procedures are when a member is usually permitted to touch a Family Sword the first time. Their blood may play a role in such a magical ceremony (almost certainly).

    It appears that there is something connected to a Family Sword with a will or purpose of it’s own. The simplest explanation would be something that came from the original owner of the Sword who provided the blood to quench it.

    The most drastic explanation would be that the Sword was literally quenched in the body of that person, i.e. probably killing him in the process. Last drastic, would be draining a lot of blood from that person into a container, but that is dangerous as well. Even quenching the sword in a separate container of blood might have drastic affects on the person who provided that blood. We already know that blood has a strong magical connection to a person in that World. We have no idea of how dark or dangerous some of the magical procedures of the Thousand Year Empire were, this could very well be one of them.

  6. William Ameling February 17, 2018 at 12:30 pm #

    Why so few comments? It has been about 5 days since the Book was released on Amazon.com.

  7. William Ameling February 17, 2018 at 12:41 pm #

    It occurs to me that making one of these Swords during the Thousand Year Empire might have been something that was only done when blood donor was about to die anyway of some other cause. It might serve as a way of preserving at least part (or all) of the essence or soul of that donor along with their skills in using the Sword, and maybe magical skills as well. That could explain why the Sword seemed to be trying to control it’s holder.

    • chrishanger February 20, 2018 at 5:12 pm #

      There are a lot of details I’m holding in reserve for later books .


      • William Ameling February 21, 2018 at 9:02 pm #

        About what I expected: you are not telling us everything yet, and we will have to wait for future books.

      • chrishanger March 4, 2018 at 9:23 am #

        But they will come


  8. Joe February 19, 2018 at 2:11 am #

    Many be she gets to meet dragon?

  9. Alan Sharkey February 19, 2018 at 2:15 pm #

    You were asking about future novels. How about a child of Cat & Akin’s who has power and is also a Zero.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 19, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

      Not Chris, but IMO based on his description of “what is a Zero”, one can’t be a Zero and “have power”.

      IE Cat & Akin could have one Zero child and one (or more) child with power not a child who was both a Zero and have power.

    • Lokiorin February 19, 2018 at 4:38 pm #

      That is impossible.

      You cannot have magical power and be a Zero. Those are literally opposites.

      • Pyo February 19, 2018 at 11:31 pm #

        …and then there was quantum magic. ^^

      • Alan Sharkey February 20, 2018 at 11:18 am #

        Exactly. Given that magic is about how you sense and store magic (all magic users are just a big battery), then by draining and ‘turning off’ the battery, you can become a Zero.

        Imagine growing up like that. 🙂

      • lampwright March 1, 2018 at 4:45 am #

        Well, actually you could have power and be a zero if you had some way to entirely ward off your magic.

        One wonders if the bracelets that protect you but make it so that you can’t use your magic might allow you to make Objects of Power. Or, if not those, if such a thing could be made.

      • chrishanger March 4, 2018 at 9:20 am #

        That’s true. They might have twins, of course; one magic, one zero

        But that’s a very long way off.


  10. Aleisha February 20, 2018 at 8:45 pm #

    I plan to leave a reveiw on amazon, but I just wanted to say that I love this trilogy and watched this site like a hawk waiting for updates or news on the Zero Equation. I went into the book with high expectations and I’m very pleased to be able to say that this book did not disappoint. I’m going back and re-reading all three in sequence to enjoy them again. Wonderful job on the series and even though I know you plan to take a break from the Zero Enigma, I’ll miss Cat and Rose and Akin. Also… one little thing, I’m having a hard time figuring out mentally how I’m supposed to pronounce Akin’s name, is it AH-keen, or uh-KIN ack-in…? A pronunciation guide would be nice, most of the names are easy to prononce mentally but I get stuck on this one.

    • lampwright March 1, 2018 at 4:46 am #

      I listened the first book on audio (and was disappointed when the other two weren’t out yet. lol) It was pronounced like Aiken–Long A-ken.

    • chrishanger March 4, 2018 at 9:22 am #

      Thank you!

      It’s ‘Ah-Kin’


  11. William Ameling February 22, 2018 at 9:50 am #

    A Zero is someone who does not even HAVE a “battery” to store magic with.

    • Alan Sharkey February 22, 2018 at 9:59 am #

      Possibly. Or the battery is not rechargeable.

  12. William Ameling February 25, 2018 at 5:12 pm #

    A better way of putting it would be a Zero can NOT absorb and store any of the magical field, so they “Might” have a battery, if they had no way to absorb the magical field. But the simpler answer is that they have no battery as well, because their body might be able to store some magic that the body generated if they had a battery.

  13. Joel Li March 2, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Hi Chris,
    Do not know where to put but of all your suggestions of books in this universe. I would prefer: The Hangchow Connection.

    Maybe if you can somehow weave Isabella into that story will be great.

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