Custos Verbi is the first book of the Verbum saga, written by Niccolo Raoul Vinicio Toderi and currently being crowdfunded on the platform bookabook.

The title is very pleasant to read (although it is currently in a professional pre-editing phase) and masterfully draws a world of which we will never tire of discovering the secrets.

Custos Verbi - Setting

The metropolis of Neo Babylon is the last bulwark of human existence in a land devastated by a forgotten apocalypse.

Since the best of men, the Exiles, left the planet in search of a new home for mankind without ever returning, nothing has changed. A thousand years later, the only true democracy continues to pursue its dictates of order, unity and stability, enveloping humanity in a perennial present with a marked destiny.

In this immobile residual world, held together by technology and the iron rules that mark every moment of life, the members of the Order of the Custos, men and women capable of intuiting and seeing the immediate future, travel the streets of the city changing this which is shown to them through their visions.

Presentation Book on the campaign page

Something in the world of Custos Verbi has gone very badly, enough to bring humanity to the brink of extinction. In this period of crisis, the best minds of mankind left the Earth, leaving the rest to "resist, persist, persist" as an absolute imperative. Since then, taking the political structure of the meanders of the history of some Greek polis, Neo Babylon has resisted the passage of time. Unfortunately, the mechanisms of the One and True Democracy immediately jammed, leading to the development of an oligarchy over the centuries. Although the elections are free and anyone can participate, only a certain social class has the well-being of being able to afford an election campaign. Citizens live divided into demos, sectors of the city used for certain purposes, and live a mechanical life in their particular democratic tyranny.

The famous Custos circulate through the streets, men wrapped in masks and coats, agents of Truth. Nobody has the authority to stop them or to disobey their commands. They act in the name of a superior good which no longer makes any sense to the population and which appears distant and dangerous. For many, now, they are nothing but a burden to get rid of. Elections are approaching and someone seems to want to ride the discontent of the population.

Custos Verbi - Characters

The protagonists of Verbum are the Custos themselves who appear so mysterious to the population. Let's find out the story from their point of view by following its successes and failures. Although they are a philosophical version of the Jedi order, they are very interesting to discover. Readers will easily recognize Greek names, taken directly from the myth, and will wonder how far certain references and connections go. Will Orpheus and Eurydice really fall in love? Is the fate of the young woman already sealed? What connects them to Hades and Persephone?

The secondary characters are still only outlined but, nonetheless, incredibly fascinating. A corrupt and stale democracy can create wonderful anti-heroes, dispostic dictators and incorruptible bureaucrats.

The author

Born in 1985, born in the Marches and in Trentino by adoption, after graduating from classical school he graduated in aesthetic philosophy in Trento in 2011. Married, he still lives on the banks of the Adige, where he was a teacher for years before devoting himself to writing at full time.

He has always been an assiduous reader (from the master Tolkien to Herbert, from Cornwell to Lewis) and a passionate scholar of mythologies, religions and psychology, he begins to write from adolescence. Having refined his style and accumulating ideas and materials, he decides to concretize his efforts in creating a living and original imaginative world that comes to life in Verbum. Custos Verbi is the first book of his sci-fi / dystopian saga contested between mysticism and technology.

Who is Custos Verbi for?

I recommend Custos Verbi to all those readers tired of the usual fantasy or mainstream sci-fi. Verbum gets closer to the themes of works such as Cyberpunk and Blade Runner, while not directly addressing the technological theme, and to all those who love philosophy. The work is imbued with reflection, with questions, with the search for truth itself. Although the characters find answers, often unsatisfactory, to their questions, the reader is driven to find their own.


Although, in my opinion, such a work would have been better represented in self-contained volumes, the author opted to divide the story into several books. So don't expect to find all the answers, not out of incapacity but out of an actual lack of them. This volume was created to expose a problem, a critique of society that will see its climax and its resolution in the sequels to Verbum.