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The Fall Gauntlet: CHRYSIX (Book 3)

The Fall Gauntlet: CHRYSIX (Book 3)

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New friends and foes join the fray, forcing Benji to make difficult decisions about his and Soren's safety. Can Benji stop a mysterious force and unravel the secrets of the Fall Gauntlet before it's too late?

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Format: Paperback


Book Synopsis

Benji and Soren narrowly escape the sewer rat clan, but their getaway comes at a terrible price: Soren’s mask has been tampered with, and he grows weaker with every step. Benji must find someone who can help his brother or risk losing him forever.

Without a true gauntlet champion, the world is falling out of balance, and new challengers vie to take down the brothers who shattered the age-old tournament. Benji puts on his lynx mask, seeking truth, only to hear an unfamiliar voice calling for help. As Soren slips further into a place of no return, and Benji’s options for help dwindle, the brothers take refuge at a spa run by sisters, Lyaza and Miki, hoping they can help heal Soren, but not all is as it seems. Both sisters carry dark secrets, and Miki harbors even grander plans of her own: to make contact with a goddess directly.

When Benji discovers that the voice has been calling Miki closer, he knows he has to stop her before she offers herself as a human vessel to carry out her own vision of what the Fall Gauntlet should be—one where the Dei punish those who attempt to destroy it. In the mountains beyond the desert, a harrowing secret about the totem animals is revealed, one that exposes the very foundations of the gauntlet itself. If Benji doesn’t figure out how to stop a mysterious and ancient force before it strikes, he’ll forfeit any chance he has of saving his mother, once and for all.

The Fall Gauntlet continues ...

J. A. Merkel’s CHRYSIXis part of The Fall Gauntlet, a dystopian sci-fi short story collection about Benji and Soren’s misadventures to outsmart the Crown and save a family lost to them, all while learning how to be brothers again.

Paperback Details

  • Number of Pages: 95
  • Time To Read: 2 Hours
  • Word Count: 22675
  • Series: The Fall Gauntlet
  • Paperback Size: 5" x 8" (147mm x 243mm)


The Fall Gauntlet is also available as a complete eBook Bundle, which includes all 3 books in the series.


Meet The Author

I write to give others hope and the same kind of second chances that writing still gives me. Second chances about what, you may ask? Well . . . I can’t reveal all my secrets here. It’s certainly a big part of why I wrote The Fall Gauntlet series.

If you want to embark on your own reading quest and experience the series yourself, then pick up the gauntlet.

I appreciate your interest in my work.

Read my story

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
Amazon Customer
I’m already waiting for the next!

Like the first two, this third book in the series leaves you wanting more, wanting to know what happens and totally invested in the main characters as well as newcomers. I can’t wait til the next comes out!

Another Exciting Entry to the Series

This might be the best entry so far. Several new characters are introduced and the world continues to get even bigger. Although the majority of this entry takes place mostly outside of civilization, the new characters give insight to both the world and the mythology behind the brothers’ animal mask technology. Unfortunately there is no encounter with the crown just yet, but there is so much else that’s introduced here that there’s plenty to chew on till then.After the events in The Fall Gauntlet RAT, estranged brothers Benji and Soren find themselves struggling to stay alive in a desert wasteland outside the city of New Phasia after narrowly escaping death in the sewer tunnels underneath it. After a welcome new character (and potential love interest?) helps them catch a ride onto a speeding train as stowaways, they meet even more colorful characters. Lyaza and Miki are sisters who own a spa. Benji empathizes with them as they also lost her parents to the crown. Lyaza seems to be the more level headed one and Miki is by far more of a zealot when it comes to the belief system surrounding to gauntlet tournaments.There is some exposition about how the animal masks the characters use to fight one another in the tournament aren’t just technology that gives them enhanced abilities, but there is a entire mythology about how each animal’s spirit (the Dei) chooses the wearer and can even use them to do their bidding. Thankfully none of this exposition is simply dropped in a way that stops the momentum as there is so much going on. Benji worries over his brother Soren who is poisoned and mostly unconscious. Benji also hears an ominous voice in his head that makes him worry about using his own mask. The sisters seem to be trustworthy, but it becomes clear that they aren’t saying everything they know. Merkel feeds the reader crumbs of exposition as all this is happening so the story’s momentum keeps going. The characterization is well done with multiple heartfelt and surprising character arcs. The plot in this entry is still as unpredictable as the first. This is mostly because these short entries cover so much of such a fully realized world while introducing new and puzzling characters that readers don’t have much time to even make predictions, but it also seems that Merkel is actively avoiding overused tropes in order to create a more inventive, meaningful and personal story. Also, the action-packed finale seemed like it came out of left field when it happened, but the denouement did a great job recalling the seeds of the story that Merkel planted earlier, revealing that it was all heading to that outcome no matter what. It was unexpected and yet the only logical ending for the third entry in this series.I was surprised to find by the end of CHRISIX that this is not a trilogy. Things might have wrapped up for our heroes in this entry but so much more needs to happen before readers can turn the final page and close the (final) book on this franchise with satisfaction. I look forward to seeing the next chapter of this series.

James M.
Amazing Third Book

I am continuing to be thoroughly impressed with the imagination and creativity of the author, J A Merkel.Not only is the writer creative but also very descriptive in forming and shaping the scenes in a way that the reader feels being part of what is happening. Well written and I would recommend not only for science fiction readers but also for readers who appreciate excellent writing.

Jessica R.
What a ride!

You know when you’re watching your favorite show and the season ends on a cliffhanger then you have to wait for what feels like forever to find out what happens next? This is how Chrysix left me feeling! This third installment of TFG opened up new twists to how expansive this world really is. Loved the train scene, and Merkel’s vivid and descriptive imagery, as always.

Jude M.
A tantalizing adventure

Another great book in the series. I love waking up on a Sunday with a story like this to keep me entertained and engrossed all day long. There really is nothing like getting lost in a good book and this has everything from heart, action, emotion and adventure. The author J.A. Merkel takes you from sitting on your couch to a tantalizing emotional filled roller coaster that is sure to leave you wanting for more.