Pre-Series Short Story: Gargoyle Claws

Here comes my second Firkad Sarovy short story!  This is set well before the series, as it takes place on the eve (more or less) of his joining the Sapphire Youth Corps.  Which would make him six, going on seven.

He was not the most manageable of kids.

The short stories I’ve been writing for him (one more actually written and a few more planned) are part of an arc that’s only partially shown in the novels.  As I was sketching out my plans for post-series stuff, I realized that the character novellas I wanted to write couldn’t include some material, because of the narrators and time-period they covered.  These, therefore (and the Enkhaelen stories) fill in some of the gaps, and if they ever go to print, will be bundled with the novellas for their particular character.

But!  That’s for the future!

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Pre-Series Short Story: The Lay of the Land

Due to work schedule adjustments, my pace on editing Book 6 has become pretty slow.  (Doesn’t help that it’s 400+ pages, of course.)  On the days where I don’t have a big chunk of time for editing, though, I’ve been picking at short stories — again.  Specifically, Firkad Sarovy stories set before his summons to the Palace and subsequent exile into the west.

They’re surprisingly fun to write.  He’s…an interesting kid, to say the least.

I have two others also written and currently being edited, both with him younger than here, and plan probably two more for after this one, to wrap up its particular storyline.  They don’t include any spoilers for the series, though might raise some questions in the minds of series-readers.

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Book 3 Short Story: Five Fuses

As I’m still working on Book 6 edits and don’t have a new culture composite prepared yet, it’s time to post my second Book 3 short story!  Again, this is a spoiler-thick tale which requires a lot of foreknowledge to understand, but I’d rather have it out here than languishing in my Story folder.  It’s another That Bastard Enkhaelen one, but I promise that the next short story (currently being written!) will not involve him.  And really, this might be the last Enkhaelen-focused short story that I write for a while, since it patches the few gaps in his timeline that I don’t plan to cover in other material.

Also, I promise I’m putting the read-more in here properly this time, and not a week later.  >_<

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Culture Composites: Gejara

Even though the Imperial Heartlands culture composites are just one step from finished, I’ve decided to pass beyond the borders to write up the independent nation of Gejara instead.  The last Imperial province, after all, is Daecia and the Palace…

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Book 3 Short Story: Metastasis

Earlier this year, I wrote two short stories that probably require a knowledge of Book 3, since most of the material won’t make sense otherwise.  While I work on editing Book 6, I figured I’d post them anyway!  This one is the second I wrote, but the most self-contained, so it seems like the better one to read first.  It deals with how That Bastard Shaidaxi Enkhaelen ended up starting his metastatic mage program.  Read on if you know what that means — or if you’re just randomly intrigued.

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Book 5: The Bloodied Army — Published!

As of right now, The Bloodied Army (Book 5 of the War of Memory Cycle) is available on Amazon as an ebook!  It’s wearing its temporary cover for now, and I don’t have an ETA for when it will receive its full cover or a print version.

About the series: The War of Memory Cycle is a post-medieval high-magic multicultural dark fantasy, with touches of both science fiction and horror.  (Yay horror!)  It’s continuing through its ‘epic’ phase, with the gods now directly meddling in affairs.  It includes strong themes of identity, trauma, imperialism, religious conflict, LGBTQIA, and some serious body horror.  I enjoy writing that last part maybe a bit too much.

If you haven’t read any but think you might be interested, check out the pages for Book 1 (The Light of Kerrindryr), Book 2 (The Splintered Eye), Book 3 (The Living Throne), and Book 4 (The Drowning Dark)!  There will also be some free/discount days for the early books coming very soon.

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Culture Composites: Averogne

Second-to-last of the Imperial provinces and protectorates is this quiet little place, sited in the shadow of the Rift and a vassal of the Empire for decades before the Empire invaded any other western territory.  Averogne yielded easily to the Empire’s advances and accepted its troops without fuss, though it refused to cut down any of its woodlands to build garrisons.  It was happy to sell wood to the Empire, however, and let Imperial troops man the protectorate’s current defenses.

And maybe marry into the population.

Or disappear into the woods.

Many invaders have disappeared into the Averognan woods.

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Culture Composites: Muria

Continuing the Culture Composites series, this will be a short one!  And require the use of a rather haphazard map.  The target this time is Muria, the hidden homeland of the silver elementals (or Muriae) and their Primordial, Brancir.  Muria can be thought of as an autonomous zone within the protectorate of Kerrindryr, existing mostly underground but also encompassing the external area of one particular large mountain — Ratrangas Garta, or Howling Spire.  The human city at its base, Thul Rei Tenko, is a part of Kerrindryr but considered under the protection of the Muriae, and is known to have a certain amount of infiltration from the Silver Folk.

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Culture Composites: Darronwy

Six years later, I return to the Culture Composites series!  I’d always planned to make more, I just…never did.

With this installment, we’re only one step away from finishing up all the Risen Phoenix Empire’s vassal provinces and protectorates.  Darronwy joins Riddian, Trivestes, Wyndon, Amandon, Corvia, and Haaraka, all located in the Imperial Heartlands (even if they don’t agree that they belong), plus the conquered lands of Illane and Kerrindryr.  Beyond the Rift with the latter two, Jernizan is the only free land shown so far, but it won’t be the last.  (I swear!)

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Best Reads 2019

Since I failed to do a Best Reads for 2018, I am making a point to do one this year!  Arghh!  It’s probably been clear from my minimal posting that doing blog-related things is at the bottom of my list right now — which I wish wasn’t so, since I’ve enjoyed this.  I just haven’t had the brain-space to devote to it.  I hope to get back to it once I have the full rough draft of Book 6 hammered out and can stress a bit less.

Anyway!  Since I skipped last year, I’ll add a few highlights from it, since some of them (series- or author-wise) do continue onto this year’s list.  However, this was also the year where I saw some of my previously-favorite series, both old and new, trail off into things I didn’t like so much.  I don’t really want to go into what I didn’t like and why, just to note this background feeling of dissatisfaction with a lot of the authors I used to favor.

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