Book Series: The Dark War Trilogy

Slander & Steel

Title: Slander & Steel
Series: The Dark War Trilogy #0.5
Genre: , ,
Draft: 4th
Word Count: 45898
Release Date: August 2019

Synopsis:

Catessa is an assassin living in the capital of Kaloris.  When trade between Kaloris and the mines of the distant Rashan comes to a halt, she is chosen to find out why—but she sees no reason the mission should be assigned to her.

Still, the bard who chose her has information she wants. So she finds herself on an arduous journey to the harsh region of Kor-Baen, accompanied by a naïve fisherman and a ranger who won’t protect himself.

In Kor-Baen, the unlikely trio finds issues that run deeper than trade. It falls to them to prevent a mysterious war between the Rashan and their docile neighbor, Adrelia. Failure could mean the destruction of Kor-Baen and every Rashan in it.

Who is really fueling this conflict?

 

Excerpt:
Catessa stopped on top of one of the tallest buildings in the city and looked over her shoulder one last time for anyone who might have seen and followed her. There was still no one. Muffled laughter and talking came from the building she crouched on and she made her way to the gutter, sliding down to land on a pile of trash and mud in the alleyway.

She walked around to the front of the tavern and stepped inside, savoring the raucous atmosphere and the sickly sweet smell of alcohol. This place was almost like home.

She made her way immediately to the counter and saw that someone was already in her usual seat. His face was turned away from her, but the light from the nearby fireplace gave his hair a familiar reddish tint.

“You’re in my seat,” Catessa said.

 

This is basically the prequel to The Dark War Trilogy, and I consider it so because Catessa is one of the main characters. She's a totally different person between the two books, as this takes place three years prior to TDWT. It could stand on its own, as could the trilogy, but I'll be publishing it before the trilogy because the trilogy contains spoilers for this book.

The characters are cool and I really enjoy writing them. That's the main draw of this one (or the majority of my books, actually. Or books I read. I just love characters.).

I'm hoping to send it to a professional editor later this year (2019) and push it closer to being publication-ready.

 


Also in this series:

The Last Assassin

Title: The Last Assassin
Series: The Dark War Trilogy #1
Genre: , ,
Draft: 1st
Word Count: 75989
Release Date: 2020

Synopsis:

How do you stop a world war when you're the one who started it?

Catessa Regan has been the king's assassin ever since leaving her life in Kaloris' Assassins Guild behind three years ago.
When sent to investigate a rumor about a neighboring king - and kill him if the rumor proves true - she does as instructed... but something tells her the neighboring king is innocent and there's something much bigger going on.

After inadvertently starting a world war, the guilt of all she's done crashes down on her and causes her to wonder if she's worthy of redemption. With years' worth of regret standing in her way, will she be able to prevent her actions from destroying countless innocent lives?

Excerpt:

“I told King Detren earlier today. No one else in Roenor knows, except for his adviser Nissa. I just handicapped half a crew of pirates, and now the people in the tavern where it happened are hailing me as a hero. I’m not a hero. Heroes don’t kill kings.”

Cor took her hand, his soft against hers. “You may not fit the classic definition of a hero, but I think you are one. Heroes don’t always get things right, but they understand when they’ve done something wrong and try to fix it. That’s what you’re doing.”

 

This trilogy is the project I'm most excited about at the moment. I love the characters, the setting, the plot, I just love the whole thing and I'm really excited to be able to share it with people in the future. The general storyline is that there are three countries at war with each other, and each book follows a character in a place of power in one of those three countries. All three books take place at the same time, so the planning and attention to detail necessary is really interesting, particularly since I'm not usually a planner. I've found it's very fun to have important points take place at the exact same time, even if you don't know it at first. It's really cool. You can see the trilogy's Pinterest board here.


Also in this series:

The Shadow Raven

Title: The Shadow Raven
Series: The Dark War Trilogy #2
Genre: , ,
Draft: 1st
Word Count: 86251

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Nissa Quail is a thief in the country of Roenor, unwanted even by the man who raised and employed her. When she's caught stealing from the prince, things take an unexpected turn.

Eighteen-year-old Prince Detren Everlind has been resting comfortably in the assumption that he'll have many more years to continue preparing before he has to take the throne.

When the two cross paths they form an unlikely friendship, but all that is put at jeopardy when Nissa's employer disowns her and Detren's father is assassinated. With Nissa determined to prove that she doesn't need anyone's help and Detren struggling to keep his country out of harm's way amidst the danger of impending war, will they be able to reconcile her desire for independence and his instincts to protect? Or will Nissa and Detren both fall, their country with them?

Excerpt:
"A summer evening breeze brushed through [Detren's] hair and sounds still traveled in from the city. Hoofbeats on pavement, the calling-out of merchants, rowdy laughter from some nearby pubs. Detren took a seat on the gravel-accented rooftop and watched the city as the sun sank low on the horizon.
"Before too long, the stars began to twinkle and the city lights came on, burning as if reflections of the starlight in a massive pool."

 

Thanks to Rachel from the Young Writer community for the temporary cover. :)

I just realized that the description I had of this book was wayyyyy out of date. It was from back when I adored this book. I still appreciate the idea of this book, and I'm still working on it, but it's grown extremely difficult to write as it's gone on and the character relationships have begun to reflect difficult real-life relationships, which I think will be a benefit in the long-run but currently makes things stressful to write. That said, I don't hate this book, and I've been doing my best to keep taking baby steps toward getting it finished.

 


Also in this series:

The King’s Paladin

Title: The King's Paladin
Series: The Dark War Trilogy #3
Genre: , ,
Word Count: 16114
Release Date: 2019

Synopsis:

Is magic a blessing or a curse?

Seventeen-year-old Coraline Seralen is in line to become the next King’s Paladin, the guardian of the King of Mandoria blessed with the magic powers of all the paladins and kings before her. At least that’s the idea.

When her mentor dies and leaves her the Legacy, she’s overwhelmed and terrified of her power. But she can’t afford to be terrified with her country thrust into a war. And how will she do her duty as protector of the throne when the king dies and his daughter bans her from the castle?

Maybe if the kingdom can win the war by themselves she won’t have to use her powers ever again…

 

I'm currently really torn about how I feel on this one. The main character has the potential to be the most interesting of all the trilogy's MCs... Or the most annoying. In my head she's the former, but in the novel she's trying to be the latter, so we'll see how well I'm able to force her to work as time goes on.

My Short Story Collection Vol. 1 includes a prequel to The King's Paladin that introduces Coraline and the people she grew up with, who will also play key roles in the novel. If you'd like to meet those characters and get to know my writing style, go check that out.

 


Also in this series: