It’s hard to keep my attention with the same characters for a lot of books, but in here the story just keeps giving!
The Kronicles of Korthlundian by Jamie Marchant released a couple of weeks back in the Epic Fantasy genre.
The Goddess’s Choice–In a world where the corrupt church hides the truth about magic, the fate of the joined kingdom falls on the shoulders of two young people from opposite ends of the social hierarchy.
Crown Princess Samantha’s life begins to fall apart when she starts seeing strange colors around her potential suitors. She fears that she’s going insane–or worse that she’s defying the Goddess’s will. Robrek is a lowly farm boy with incredible magical powers. He has been biding his time waiting to get revenge on those who call him a demon.
Thrown together by chance, they must overcome their differences to fight their common enemy Duke Argblutal, who, with dark magic, is slowly poisoning the king’s mind and turning him against his own daughter. Time is running out for those chosen by the Goddess to prevent the power mad duke from usurping the throne and plunging the joined kingdoms into civil war.
The Soul Stone— A match made by the goddess is threatened by an Ancient Evil.
As Samantha and Robrek prepare for their marriage and coronation, they are met with opposition on all sides. Not all believe that the peasant sorcerer is worthy to be king, and the young couple must perform delicate political maneuvers to prevent the joined kingdoms from breaking apart.
As the church splits over opposition to their union, an unseen force is poised to release an ancient evil that was last defeated a thousand years ago. When the Soul Stone is broken free of its bonds, all life in its path succumbs to its power. How much will the new royal couple have to sacrifice to free the joined kingdoms of its evil?
The Ghost in Exile—A special Kronicle outside of the series that tells the story of Darhour. The novel takes place at the same time as The Soul Stone. The Ghost is going to hell. Not even the goddess can forgive his sins: assassin, oath-breaker, traitor (an affair with the queen earned him that title). No one can ever learn the princess is his daughter. To keep this secret, he flees to the land that turned him from a simple stable groom into an infamous killer.
His mission now? To find evildoers and take them to hell with him. But when an impulsive act of heroism saddles him with a damsel who refuses to be distressed, her resilience forces him to question why he really ran from his daughter.
The Shattered Throne— Queen Samantha’s spirit brightens as the festival of renewal approaches. The Ancient Evil that drained life from the land has been destroyed, and life is returning to the joined kingdoms. The birth of her heir gives her even more reason to celebrate. But a coup orchestrated by the unlikely alliance between a freedom-loving count and a fanatical church shatters both her plans and the ancient throne itself.
With her infant daughter missing and death and destruction spreading, Samantha finds herself faced with an impossible choice: save her daughter or her people. Already torn between a mother’s love and her duties as a queen, Samantha learns that an even greater danger threatens: the goddess herself is fading. What sacrifices will Samantha have to make to stop an evil god from taking Sulis’s place?
The three volumes of The Kronicles of Korthlundia plus The Ghost in Exile: A Korthlundian Kronicle brought together for one low price. In addition to the novels, the collection features several bonus short stories, previously available only to members of my readers’ club.
As The Ghost entered Ares’s temple, an oppressive presence settled over him. He seemed to be alone in the huge sanctuary, but he knew the acolytes of Ares watched through hidden panels. Rumors claimed they waited for someone with signs of weakness to enter. Then they would pour forth, seize the unfortunate, and sacrifice him to their god. The Ghost had found no evidence to support such rumors, but he knew that animals and criminals were regularly sacrificed on Ares’s altar, bleeding out their lives into the bowl at the foot of his statue. It was a hard death, both the blood and the pain feeding the magic of Ares’s priests.
The Ghost knelt at Ares’s feet, where the stench of blood was nearly overpowering. The altar was stained with it, and the bowl at the god’s feet was full from a fresh sacrifice. The power present in this place was undeniable—dark and forbidding, far from the peace and serenity in Sulis’s temples. But he was no longer worthy of Sulis’s blessing. The Ghost drew his dagger, held his left forearm over the sacrificial bowl, and sliced a new cut alongside his numerous scars. As he bled into the bowl, he felt the magic of the place coalesce around him. His blood sizzled as it hit the bowl, and the wound on his arm healed instantly, signaling that The Ghost truly belonged to the Saloynan god.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jamie began writing stories about the man from Mars when she was six, and she never remembers wanting to be anything other than a writer. Everyone told her she needed a back up plan, so she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998. She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University. One day in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized she’d put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. The literary article went into the trash, and she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice, which was published in April 2012. Her other novels include The Soul Stone, The Ghost in Exile, The Shattered Throne, and The Bull Riding Witch. In addition, she has published a novella, Demons in the Big Easy, and a collection of short stories, Blood Cursed and Other Tales of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has also appeared in the anthologies Urban Fantasy, Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds, and Waiting for a Kiss. She claims she writes about the fantastic . . . and the tortured soul. Her poor characters have hard lives. She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and five cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son.
What are you favorite Fantasy books, and did any of them gave you inspiration for your story?
To ask about fantasy books, for me, is to ask about fantasy series. One thing I like best about the fantasy genre is that the story rarely ends with just one book. The characters an author makes me love continue through three, seven, sixteen volumes.
Although I have been a fan of fantasy since my older sister told me fairy tales when I was a child, the author who truly showed me what fantasy at its best could be is Mercedes Lackey. In the books of her Valdemar series, she creates a rich world full of magic and fascinating beasts—griffins and companions that look like horses, but aren’t. But most importantly, she creates deep, full-developed characters. For me, no matter how fantastic the world building if the world isn’t inhabited by characters I care about, it leaves me cold. I must admit I also have a penchant for characters who have suffered, and Lackey’s Valdemar provides plenty of those. I used to say I wanted to be Lackey when I grew up, and in a way, I believe I have. While Lackey’s inspiration on my work isn’t direct and my Korthlundia bears little resemblance to her Valdemar, I learned from her how to build an intriguing world and captivating characters of my own. And yes, my characters live hard lives, but they are all the stronger for having done so.
My other favorite series is Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, which is urban rather than epic fantasy. Like Lackey, Butcher builds an intriguing world peopled by riveting characters. It is also darkly funny. Harry Dresden always tries to do the right thing, but like all real people, he is flawed, and he sometimes makes mistakes, sometimes pretty bad mistakes that lead to significant negative consequences. He is the suffering hero I adore. Again, I can’t say that Butcher is a direct impact on my work, but I learned a lot about character creation from him. My characters are flawed. They make mistakes, and they suffer for those mistakes. But they are all the stronger for having done so.
Harry Dresden also gave me a way to continue a connection with my son that started with another Harry, Harry Potter. I began reading Harry Potter books to my son when he was four, and it provided a bond between us we both relished. If my son wanted my attention, he knew all he needed to do was ask me to read to him. I almost never said no to that request. I treasured our time reading together and dreaded the day when he became too old to want me to read to him anymore. Thankfully, that day came much later than I expected it would. As my son hit middle school, he began to age out of Harry Potter, so I introduced him to Harry Dresden. And while our reading time did diminish as he entered high school, he still asked me to read Dresden to him up until he left for college. In creating Dresden, Butcher gave me a priceless gift. I hope to provide a similar gift to my readers.
- $25 Amazon/BN GC
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