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Going beyond dragon-slayers and sword-swingers, the Ari Ara Series blends fantasy and adventure with social justice issues in unstoppable stories that will make you cheer!
Ari Ara was a half-wild shepherdess running the black slopes of the High Mountains when the great warrior Shulen chooses her as his apprentice in the mysterious Way Between. Neither fight nor flight, this strange and extraordinary practice propels her into a world of warriors and nobles, orphans and conflicts. She challenges a bully and thwarts the rising threat of war. She stands up for justice and turns an entire city upside down. She rises up to restore women’s rights and sets off a movement that changes the entire culture. With courage and determination, Ari Ara races to master the Way Between before violence destroys everything she loves.
In an exciting blend of action, adventure, and fantasy, author Rivera Sun boldly takes the genre in a new direction. The Ari Ara Series combines the classic elements of epic myths – courage, daring, adventure – with the skills of conflict resolution, anti-bullying, peace and nonviolence. Ari Ara is a young shero with spunk and spark. These novels will claim a spot on your bookshelf and a place in your heart. They are books that both adults and children enjoy!
"These Ari Ara books are changing lives and changing the world! If we want to build a culture of peace, we have to tell a new story. The old myths, epics, and legends rehash outdated war and violence narratives. The exciting and groundbreaking Ari Ara Series changes all that! In Ari Ara’s world, heroes and sheroes stop wars and wage peace. They use active nonviolence to make powerful change. " – Author Rivera Sun
Ages: 8-98 years. What ages are these books good for? Well, The Ari Ara series has won awards for middle-grade readers (ages 8-12) and has also been enjoyed by younger children when read with adults. But, judging from the letters and reviews we’ve received, older teens and adults of all ages also have a blast reading these books.
Each book is a complete story, no cliff-hanging endings, so you can start with either of the novels but you will want to read them all.
Praise for Rivera Sun’s Ari Ara books
"...a beautiful experience...one that everyone in the world needs - now more than ever."
- Heart Phoenix, River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding
"...this book couldn't have come at a better time. "
- Patrick Hiller, Executive Director, War Prevention Initiative
"...an impressive feat an exciting story that deftly teaches ways to create a world that works for all...outstanding contribution to the field of nonviolence!"
- Kit Miller, Executive Director, M.K. Gandhi Center for Nonviolence
"Five stars. It's Harry Potter with a contemporary message."
- Gayle Morrow, retired Y/A Librarian
The Ari Ara Series is supported by the companion volume The Adventures of Alaren: Stories for Building a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence which blends fact and fantasy as it weaves new epic tales from real-life inspirations.
You will love it!.
“Pick it up. You won’t be able to put it down.” – Tom Hastings, Portland State University
“This is an instant classic, a great read for anyone interested in peace and justice.” – Wim Laven, Ph.D, instructor of Peace Studies and Conflict Management
“I can think of no better source of inspiration for (the topics of peace and social justice) than the Ari Ara series by Rivera Sun, and this latest installation is the best one yet.” – Dr. Seán P. Duffy, Executive Director, Albert Schweitzer Institute, Quinnipiac University
“The Crown of Light is a book that contains everything a great novel needs: a heroic female protagonist, colorful supporting characters, adventure, suspense, and most importantly, nonviolence used as a means to solve conflicts. I highly recommend the Ari Ara Series to educators and students!” – Robin Wildman, Nonviolent Schools Rhode Island
"I have been in youth work forty-five years, and I have never encountered a more important work than the Ari Ara series to share with young people and their advocates.”– Michael Harrington
“Ari Ara is the bedtime reading adventure for younger generations that completes my circle of peace literature.”– Patrick Hiller, father, bed-time story reader, Peace and Conflict Studies scholar
“The entire Ari Ara Series offers students a warm, exciting, and hopeful adventure, full of problem-solving, love of life, and worthy models of personal growth and peacemaking.” – Scott Springer, The Bay School, Maine
"An amazing family read, and one that we will return to again and again. Thank you for bringing these characters and stories into our lives and imaginations!" – the Palatucci Family
"Rivera Sun has done it again. She just keeps getting better and better at weaving powerful stories to remind us that courage, determination, vision, and a taste for high adventure, are all essential elements for waging real peace." – Rosa Zubizarreta, DiaPraxis founder and Co-intelligence Institute Senior Advisor
"Ari Ara is one of our favorite heroines and she inspires us daily." – Savanna Song and Opal Moon, young readers
“The Crown of Light has it all - drama, suspense, heart-pounding action - but most of all this is the story of a group of friends becoming a team that's capable of moving mountains when it counts.” – Rick Brown
“The Crown of Light is masterful. It is an awakening of the mind, spirit and heart that calls us all to action.” – Natasha Léger, Executive Director, Citizens for a Healthy Community
“We adore this series … The Crown of Light reaches new, much-needed heights in the world of peaceful resolution.”– Romaldo and Carol Ranellone
“It’s a story that touches the heart. I found myself laughing and crying, and felt as though I was part of the story.” – Chiara Kozlovich, 13 year old reader
"The Crown of Light is the latest revelation in what is one of the most urgently important literary series of our time. Rivera Sun has conjured not one but many great leaders for all of us - adults and children alike." – Ara Savala, Artist in Nipomo, CA
Peace is the work of a thousand hands.
Over. Under. Around. Through. There was always a Way Between.
In the Way Between, one never ran from a conflict. Nor did you attack the attacker, no matter how scared or angry you were.
Neither flight nor fight, the Way Between explores a realm of endless possibilities for navigating the conflicts of the world.
They had come from distant lands, diverse cultures, and both sides of the border. They had one thing in common: a yearning to end the cycle of violence between their peoples.
They trained as intensely as warriors, but for peace, not war. They drilled as hard, if not harder. They sweated as much, studied as deeply; ate, slept, and dreamt in the Way Between.
So much of what we think is solid fact isn't as solid as it seems. If the rumors you've been told were a frozen river, would you dare to walk across it?
We can learn from all of us, with all of us. The youngest have as much wisdom to share as the eldest.
Peace is forged not just by those strong in body, but also by those strong in heart, mind, and spirit.
It was important to confront the past, not ignore it. Only then could they begin to heal.
Too often, people assume they know the journey someone else has walked, simply because of their accent or skin color or style of dress. But we are all so much more than simple categories.
“I am from these mountains,” he said. “The bones of their minerals built my limbs. The blood of their waters flows in my veins. The secret poetry of their winds shushes through my voice.”
In the Way Between, it is not always the strongest or the quickest that are the most powerful. Sometimes the gentlest and most vulnerable are the best equipped to handle a dangerous and tricky situation.
There are a thousand ways to follow the Way Between.
The Way Between was for everyone, one-legged boys and powerful warriors, elders from the cities and young people from rural villages.
Those who have seen war and violence firsthand often know it doesn't bring peace. You can't put out a fire with more fire.
Ari Ara was a force of nature, strong as a gale-force wind, fierce as a wildfire, and as unstoppable as a flood. Already, she had changed the fate of nations.
Listening was an essential skill for the Peace Force. The work of peace required the ability to pay attention in a deep way, to not interrupt, and to hear what was said and left unsaid.
Through decades of war, battles stopped and started like thunderstorms, rolling through century after century. The local villagers had rarely lived in the clear sunlight of peace.
Conflicts simmer beneath even the most peaceful-seeming surface. It's our job to turn down the heat before it sparks an inferno and burns everyone.
Like a scythe in a wheat field, war struck down a whole generation.
The moon is up, the night is long, and we have time for telling tales
Wherever mountains meet and the people stand united, the Crown of Light shines.
If you give into bullying, it multiplies. You've taught your opponents that it works.
If the goal of the harassment was to get the Peace Force to cower like dogs, they had to stand courageously. If the attackers wanted them to run away and go home, the Peace Force had all the more reason to remain.
When a generation spends more time telling stories than stick fighting, it bodes well.
Life isn't a journey with a destination. You do not arrive at adulthood like a town at the end of a road. It’s series of changes and crossings, one after another.
After years of war and heartbreak, a spark of hope had returned to the Border Mountains. The promise of peace blazed on every horizon. Old legends roared back into life.
Her throne was wherever she sat down, in hayfields with humble villagers or in temples with quiet monks.
Her home was the rise and fall of mountains, the curl of rivers, and the expanse of desert lands. Her nation stretched across borders and resided in the heart.
If she needed a crown, it was forged by friendships near and far. It was built of hope and peace, shimmering in the dark night.