Last night, I realized that I’ve been reading an awful lot of political fantasy lately. I’ve got Melanie Rawn’s The Ruins of Ambrai for one, Terry Pratchett’s The Truth for another, and, most influential of all, George R. R. Martin’s A Feast for Crows, which is easily the most political of the Song of Ice and Fire books so far, as the game is changing and everyone’s rearranging their pieces, so to speak. Naturally, being the little writerly magpie that I am, my brain shifted gears and I seized the chance to start up my own political fantasy that I have been developing for a while but have yet to really attempt to put into paper.
Of course, my current Aryneth WIP, Serpent in a Cage, is a little bit political, but that series doesn’t really get to the level of ASoIaF until the later books. I wanted something with conflicting factions and convultuted internal plotting now, so I stepped a little further back in Arynethian history to the Second Asyentai (Locke and Auferrix and crew are the Third Asyentai). These are the unsuspecting chosen ones that were lead on a fate that caused them to bring about the Sealing of the Gods from the world, thus creating a period of turmoil and chaos until we pick things back up a couple thousand years later in SiaC. Sweet Bianca, revolutionary Launce, fierce Katarina, playful Tigaren, serene Seo, and an admittedly unnamed Apylo who we’ll just call mysterious wind up being thrown together as the worlds they knew dissolves around them and they change the entire fate of the planet in the meantime. Much like a ASoIaF book, the narratives will switch between these six strangers as their stories mesh and meld in a big net of intrigue, religion, and maybe even a little romance.
So, please to enjoy the following excerpt, the first page of the new project written last night. I’m really enjoying the tone and the approach so far, so thought on what you think and if you’re eager to see more would be appreciated:
With her heart heavy and her shoulders sagging, the princess laid the rose down on the glossy surface of the closed casket. Her rose was to be the first of many, and she drew her hand back slowly, wishing to let her fingers linger but for the thorns. She dropped her hand, as well as her head, and sniffled back her tears. Another hand fell on her shoulder and squeeze.
Startled, she jumped, blinking into the realization that she was not standing over her father’s corpse but was sitting in a rumbling carriage with squeaking wheels instead. The hand on her shoulder belonged to her cousin, Ewyn, who leaned forward to smile at her and pointed her attention out the window. “Look. What a beautiful sunset.”
The transition from dreams and memory to stark reality was jarring, causing her to stare blankly at Ewyn’s handsome face before she could turn her head away. A deep, angry blush heated her skin, and she hoped no one could notice it in the darkening cabin. It was little wonder they all thought her to be slow and a little bit stupid; they couldn’t truly understand how her thoughts plagued and distracted her constantly. She stared out the window without seeing anything, tightening a fist in her lap.
“Sunset,” she noted mildly, frowning, the expression knotting in her eyebrows. “So soon? It will be practically midnight by the time we arrive.”
“The innkeepers will still be most receptive all the same,” Ewyn assured her complacently, “have no worries. The road to Cenmich is long and the proprietors of the Golden Light are accustomed to welcoming their important guests at strange hours due to the journey. They will be pleased to welcome us, Birdie.”
“I would be pleased not to trouble them,” Bianca stated, frowning at her cousin now in a light attempt to convince him. But she knew that she had lost all respect and conviction the moment someone called her by that little pet name. “If we keep on, we can reach Cenmich by morning all the same.”
“Wouldn’t it be better to let the horses rest a while?” In the red twilight, Ewyn’s smile was condescending and, she thought, perhaps a little predatory. “That way, everyone will arrive in the village refreshed and ready. It would leave a dismal impression should we present ourselves road-worn and weary, Birdie.”
Not much, as I said, about a page, but I’m intending to compose much more today. I’ve got a good feeling about this one, so here’s to hoping for a steady drive as I continue it! Wish me luck!