The Twelve Systems Trio: The Cartel, Bright Star & Transgressions

The Apprentice, Volumes 1-3

Volumes 1-3 of The Twelve Systems Chronicles

by EG Manetti

Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Space Opera 

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The Twelve Systems Trio: The Cartel, Bright Star & Transgressions

The Apprentice, Volumes 1-3

Volumes 1-3 of The Twelve Systems Chronicles

by EG Manetti

Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Space Opera

Where duty and passion collide.

The first three volumes of the awarding winning Twelve Systems Chronicles.

Life within the Serengeti Cartel is perilous, riddled with malice and intrigue that can threaten the mightiest of warriors. For Lilian – brilliant, despised, and one misstep away from execution for her father’s crimes – all that stands between her and destruction is the powerful warrior Lucius Mercio.

THE CARTEL: The Apprentice, Volume 1

Lucius Mercio commands one of the most powerful Cartels in the Twelve Systems. As clever and ambitious as he is ruthless, Lucius’ wealth, influence, and power place him among the elite of the warrior caste. It is not enough. Lucius intends to take his Cartel to unimaginable heights with the aid of Lilian’s brilliance. He faces only one obstacle. Lucius must keep Lilian alive.

BRIGHT STAR: The Apprentice, Volume 2

Lilian’s enemies are more determined than ever to see her destroyed. A visitor from her past will endanger her future and threaten to destroy Lucius’ slowly developing trust. To survive the next set of challenges Lilian will need to find new reserves of courage, wit, and determination.

TRANSGRESSIONS: The Apprentice, Volume 3

Determined to raise Serengeti to the pinnacle of power in the Twelve Systems, Lucius has ruthlessly exploited Lilian’s brilliance to achieve his ambitions. Within seasons, he will lead Serengeti to new heights with the launch of Bright Star, the first stellar exploration venture in over two centuries. With each new success, Lucius’ rivals multiply while a traitor stalks the halls of Serengeti, determined to thwart Lucius by any means. As the viciousness of her enemies escalates, Lilian is forced to confront the past and choose between betraying her oath of loyalty to Lucius and protecting the deadly secrets of her father’s dark acts.

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Fortuna

The Apprentice, Volume 4

The Twelve Systems Chronicles Volume 4

For a year and a half, Lilian has endured the hostility, spite, and deadly violence of those who despise her for her father’s crimes. If not for the protection of the powerful warrior Lucius Mercio, Lilian might not have survived. Without Lilian’s courage and brilliance, Lucius might have lost the Serengeti Cartel to a vicious traitor. Instead, Lucius has total control of his Cartel, and few within Serengeti will risk his wrath to torment his apprentice.
Determined to advance his ambitions and reward Lilian for her role in his success, Lucius prepares for the voyage to Fortuna in the Fourth System. There, they will oversee the next phase of the first interstellar space exploration in two centuries. Lilian’s anticipation soon turns to dread as dark dreams haunt her nights, increasing in frequency and force as they journey to Fortuna. On a distant world, cut off from her few friends, Lilian will face dangerous intrigues as her nightmares take form.

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Serengeti Valor

The Apprentice, Volume 5

The Twelve Systems Chronicles Volume 5

Where passion and duty collide – The Twelve Systems Chronicles.

Ruthless, devious, and ambitious, Lucius Mercio has elevated the Serengeti Group to the third wealthiest cartel in the Twelve Systems, cementing his place among the twelve most powerful members of the ruling warrior class. With Lucius’ rise, his enemies increase in both number and subtlety. Few will dare to attack Lucius directly, instead they will move in secret, targeting the most vulnerable aspects of his empire including his disgraced and reviled apprentice, Lilian.

As Lilian begins the third and final year of her trial by ordeal, she is more determined than ever to survive and repay Lucius’ protection and trust with loyalty and diligence. Expecting only the meager assignments reserved for apprentices, Lilian was stunned to receive the conservatorship of a valuable Vistrite Crevasse—an honor reserved for proven and trusted warriors. When a lethal disaster strikes Desperation Mine and Refinery and imperils Lilian’s conservatorship, hidden adversaries seize the opportunity to plot the downfall of Serengeti.

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Nightingale

The Apprentice, Volume 6

The Twelve Systems Chronicles Volume 6

~ Where duty and passion collide~

With only a season and half left to her bond, Lilian’s enemies are becoming desperate, and those who would see her fail seek any infraction, no matter how minor, to deny her bond proof. Haunted by the memory of the Serengeti fallen and her actions in eradicating the Despoilers, Lilian struggles to retain her discipline for the final five months of her apprenticeship. With her actions in the battle of Serengeti proving her valor and loyalty beyond doubt, only the honor proof remains – adherence to the rigid and complex Apprentice Protocol. Although few within Serengeti will challenge her bond proof, throughout the Twelve Systems, those who wagered against her are facing penury and will stop at nothing to keep her from surviving.

With Damocles and Despoilers defeated, Lucius’ power with Serengeti and the Third System is uncontested. Determined to advance his ambitions, Lucius lays plans for a triumphant launch of his revolutionary stellar exploration vehicle, the Nightingale. As he prepares to depart for Fortuna, a new threat appears in the form of a charismatic prelate who rouses the populace against Bright Star and Lilian’s role the venture. The prelate will prove but the first among many determined to thwart him through any means, including his notorious apprentice.

When thousands gather on Fortuna for the historical launch of the Nightingale into orbit, Lilian finds herself treading a blade’s edge as she attempts to adhere to the Apprentice Protocol among adversaries who are increasingly desperate and bold. Planned as a celebration of Serengeti achievement, the Fortuna voyage becomes a nightmare where she is faced with deadly opponents intent on her destruction.

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Bond Proof

The Apprentice, Volume 7

The Twelve Systems Chronicles Volume 7

In defiance of the odds, Lilian is within a month of proving her bond, driving desperate Odds Managers to ever increasing bounties on her life—every step beyond the security of the cartel is perilous. Within the cartel, she must put aside her fear, giving all her attention to her duty and the decorum demanded of an apprentice.

The success of the Nightingale launch has brought Lucius and Serengeti into the center of Twelve Systems commerce. As the Nightingale Command Crew is gathers on Metricelli Prime to prepare for the dangerous voyage to the Thirteenth System, whispers of pirates emerge from the Eleventh and Twelfth Systems. A decade before, pirates almost to toppled Serengeti, their reemergence so close to the Nightingale launch endangers all Lucius has achieved. When a group of free-traders arrive from those distant systems, they threaten to resurrect an ancient Mercio scandal that could undermine the honor of Blooded Dagger and Serengeti, and imperil all Lucius’ values.

In the final days of Lilian’s apprenticeship, danger lurks in every shadow. It will require all Lucius’ power and Lilian’s courage to achieve her bond proof.

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Chalice Bearer

Thornraven Volume 1

The Twelve Systems Chronicles Volume 8

After three years of trial, Lilian is free and Monsignor Lucius Mercio’s protege. Her triumph comes at cost. Fearful of Lady Estella’s wrath, Lilian has refused to continue her liaison with Lucius, breaking her heart and straining her relationship with Lucius. She is stunned to discover that Estella is entering her final days and wishes Lilian to return to Lucius and help him through his grief.

Lilian and Lucius’ relationship has only begun to repair, when duty demands she travel to the distant planet Desperation. There, she will confront her deepest fears when the theft of dangerous technology forces her to descend into the depths of Desperation Crevasse. In the frigid wastes at the bottom of the Crevasse, Lilian will discover an ancient legacy of the Five Warriors and Adelaide.

The worst of Lucius’ grief at Estella’s loss has barely passed when his world shatters again. Lilian has disappeared into Desperation Crevasse. He cannot lose them both. Determined to rescue Lilian, no matter the cost, he races toward the Sixth System and deadly danger.

Author’s note: This is the eighth book in the Twelve Systems Chronicles and a continuation of the story that begins in The Cartel: The Apprentice, Volume 1.

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Shield Bearer

Thornraven Volume 2

The Twelve Systems Chronicles Volume 9

~ Where duty and passion collide. ~

Within days of being rescued from Desperation Crevasse, Lilian must return at Lucius’ side as his shield bearer. Together with their guild allies, they will confront the Despoilers and end their threat to Blooded Dagger and the cartel. In the savage battle, Lucius is injured leaving Lilian to protect him, Blooded Dagger, and the cartel.

Stranded on Desperation until he recovers, Lucius gathers his allies to protect his interests from rivals determined to exploit his weakness. With the aid of ancient guild lore, he and Lilian will seek to uncover the remaining Despoilers and penetrate the mystery of an ancient prophecy. Before he can return to Crevasse City and his center of power, one if his inner circle will challenge his preeminence and threaten Lilian’s survival. It will take all his cunning and Lilian’s courage to counter the betrayal before it endangers the Nightingale’s voyage to the Thirteenth System.
Across the Twelve Systems, from Desperation to Metricelli Prime, and Fortuna, Lilian and Lucius will battle to protect their love and forge a future for themselves, Blooded Dagger, Serengeti, and the Twelve Systems.

Author’s note: This is the ninth book in the Twelve Systems Chronicles and a continuation of the story that begins in The Cartel: The Apprentice, Volume 1.

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Thorn Bearer

Thornraven Volume 3

The Twelve Systems Chronicles Volume 10

Four years ago, Lilian left the First System ruined, indentured, and in peril of execution. Now as the Nightingale flies toward the Thirteenth System, she returns to the glittering spires of Pinnacle City, triumphant and soon to be consort to the ruthless and powerful Lucius Mercio. With her dreams within reach, she discovers disturbing clues to the identities of the Despoilers, a vile sect bent on returning the Twelve Systems to bloody anarchy. Beset by ominous prophecy and dire Guild revelations, Lilian must set aside her desires to accept a thorn bearer’s duty—a quest to uncover the leaders of these ancient adversaries of order.

With his cartouche and cartel weakened by his kinsman’s betrayal, Lucius must let Lilian complete her quest alone. Resolved to protect her from afar, Lucius will utilize every resource at his command. But even his considerable shadow may be too small to save her from a web of deceit and corruption that exceeds their worst imaginings. With their enemy’s reach far greater than they feared, Lucius must race to forge new alliances and exploit old ones before the Despoilers lay waste to the Twelve Systems.

In the uncharted expanse of the Thirteenth System, Lucius and Lilian will risk all to defeat the forces of darkness.

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Award winning author, EG Manetti has always enjoyed a vivid imagination and occasional scribbling. In 2010 she was struck by the inspiration for The Twelve Systems Chronicles. The draft of a single novel soon became three, and then more. In 2012, after several hundred thousand words, The Cartel: The Apprentice, Volume 1 was published, followed by nine other volumes. The tenth and final volume of The Twelve Systems Chronicles, Thorn Bearer, released September 21, 2021. To date, the four volumes and the series have received Reviewers’ Choice Awards from the Paranormal Romance Guild, and volumes three and five, and seven, and nine were finalists for the prestigious InD’tale RONE Award (Reward for Novel Excellence), and Shield Bearer (Volume 9) received the 2021 RONE for Science Fiction.

A former information technology project manager, EG writes as often as possible, cooks exceptionally, and gardens adequately. She resides in Florida with her beloved (and often confounded) husband and their severely OCD Jack Russell Terrier.

The Twelve Systems Chronicles are epic science fiction romance that blends elements of space opera with the intrigue and suspense of a political thriller.

With characters that jump off the page, love that is forbidden yet unstoppable mixed with top-notch worlds and technology, sci-fi has never looked so good or become so addictive!” ~ InD’Tale Magazine, February 2018.

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