Tag Archives: tyrea

Bound A-Z: U is for Ulric

“You know, your father was a hard, cold man, but there were a few years when he wasn’t so.”

“Because of my mother?” My heart skipped, though I couldn’t say why. Anything I thought or felt about that part of my past had been long since walled away. It didn’t matter anymore.

“Hmm.” Xaven turned his attention back to me. He seemed troubled. “You know about their situation?”

“Little enough, I suppose. Were you there when she lived in Luid?”

“No, I never met her. I heard things later, some from your father. He cared for her quite a lot.”

“If he cared for her at all, he wouldn’t have killed her, would he?”

Aren does have a point, doesn’t he?

Stories and characters are such strange things. In both, there’s a lot going on beyond and beneath what we see on the page. There’s the history of events that came before the story. Important things, but perhaps not relevant enough to warrant taking up space in the book. There’s everything happening off-page to characters who aren’t featured in a scene, whether that be what the villain is up to while the heroes are dealing with something else, or minor characters who may only have a small part to play in the plot, but who have full stories of their own.

And then there are the people and events who shaped the characters.

Or their parents.

Ulric (King Ulric, technically, at least for the moment) is Aren’s father. I thought I knew everything I needed to about him. Hard, occasionally cruel, especially when it suits his goals. Driven, and never one to let sentimentality get the best of him.

But there’s always more to the story, isn’t there?

You might think you know a character, and then you get the bright idea to do a prequel. You meet a character as he was almost 30 years ago, before the greatest tragedy of his life. You learn that he has reasons for being the way he is that go way beyond “he’s a dick” or “good king, bad father.”

You learn the depth of his regret and fear, how he hates himself for the weakness that once brought him a few years of joy.

And you realize that this stiff, cold guy was actually super hot at one time.

*cue discomfort in the author*

It was a story that needed to be told, but Uric’s not the kind of man to be able to put his feelings into words, or to want to open up old wounds just for the sake of gaining sympathy. The story of his romance with Magdalena wasn’t one he was going to tell us properly.

We needed to hear it from her.

And so you shall.

I’ve mentioned this project a few times, but we’ll call this the official announcement:

At Any Cost, the project I’ve been working on while Sworn is away for edits, is the story of Aren’s parents. How they met, how they fell in love, the challenges they faced so they could be together.

It’s a romance, of course. And though it ends before the worst times, it’s a tragedy. When you’re writing a prequel there’s not much you can do to change the future.

Here’s the cover copy I’m working on:

“How can a woman with no magic enchant a Sorcerer?”

Maggie Albion grew up in the shadow of great people. Sorcerers from across Belleisle came to her father’s school for training, and she watched them blossom while she remained as she was born: ordinary and unexceptional. Now she loses herself in history books, dreaming of being one of the great people. The ones who change history.

It seems that Maggie’s dreams of greatness are not destined to come true–at least, not until a chance meeting with a soldier from an enemy nation changes the course of her life. Though she knows he’s the last man in the world she should want, the powerful connection between them feels more like fate than a decision she’s free to make.

Even with her heart bound up tight, Maggie still has a choice: a life of safety and peace, or a chance to follow her heart and change the world.

Sound interesting? I have good news. As part of the lead-up to the release of Sworn (Bound Trilogy Book Three), this novella will be available FREE for newsletter subscribers. It’s my way of thanking everyone who has supported this story and my work over the past year and a half.

Click here to be connected before what should be a December release on this one. You’ll also get a free download of The Binding (the first prequel short story), plus more bonus content in the future.

(author’s note: this prequel can be read at any point in the series, but my preferred reading order places it between Torn and Sworn. What lovely timing!)

AAC cover test 3


Bound A-Z: T is for Tiernal

Who’s up for some history?

*crickets*

Oh, come on. It’ll be fun.

Okay, you in the back. You’re excused. But for anyone who’d like a little more information on Aren’s family history and maybe a hint about a project I’ve got in its earliest stages, you’re in the right place. Please forgive me if my dates end up being a little off. Or way off. It’s not easy to get this information around here, and my characters are just rolling their eyes at me when I pry. I reserve the right to revise dates and facts before future publications.

We good? Good.

Aren, stop smirking.

Hundreds of years before the Bound trilogy starts, the last line of kings fell. If you want to know a little about how that happened, check out the “D is for Dragons” post from a few months back. A decade of chaos followed, with several Sorcerers aiming to take control of the country. That’s a story all on its own, but not one I have plans to tell.

The ultimate victor in that struggle was Galyg Tiernal. I wish I could say he was a good man or a good king, but he was neither. He held onto power, save for a brief period around years 86-89, but Tyrea fractured into the lands that had been brought together under the old dynasty: Tyrea (south and central, containing the new city of Luid), Artisland (east), Cressia (north), Tauren (west), and a smattering of smaller areas that were generally absorbed into the larger ones. It was a time of war, of poverty for many, and darkness. Magic was a cruder thing then, used mainly for survival. It was more spread out through the population than it is now, but generally weaker in humans.

It was Galyg who focused on the practice of choosing his wives and companions based on their potential to produce heirs with strong magic rather than marrying for reasons of political strategy. He decided that with enough magic in his line, he would take the other lands back by force rather than treaty. He was ruthless about destroying those who opposed him–and if those enemies had magic of their own, he killed their families, as well.

Not one to take chances over potential competition was Galyg.

He had many children, and his plan to produce children with strong magic worked. In the year 102 (his reign started the calendar over), a daughter was born. People overlooked her for many years, as it was well known by then that males tended to carry stronger magic. But over the years, Avalyn proved herself. She laid low, keeping out of her more powerful and ambitious siblings’ sight. She witnessed the fall of the rival nation of Ferfelle in the year 127, and played a part in it. This was her first step toward taking the throne after the death of her father and brief (and eventually painful) reign of her eldest brother.

But that really is a story for another time. A story with murder and betrayal and love and more murder and treachery and power and sex and magic and did I mention revenge? and… we’ll get to it. Some day. If I can work out some huge problems. Avalyn went through some rough spots that might throw a wrench into actually writing her story, but here’s some of what I know:

Avalyn, the first queen of Tyrea in her line, took the throne in the year 141. For those counting, that made her 39 years old–terribly young for a Sorceress to have that sort of a role. Her reign was not an easy one, and her hold on power was never secure. She had many husbands and several children. The strongest of her sons was Ulric, who most of you have heard of (and who we’ll discuss another day). Her reign ended in the year 255, when she stepped down from the throne.

The rest is familiar history, at least in part. Ulric ruled from 255 and finished the work his mother started in bringing the nation back together and fixing what was screwed up so long before his birth. He disappeared around the year 375 and his son Severn took the throne. As of right now (writing between Torn and Sworn), we’ve nearly reached the point where Ulric will be declared dead and forfeit his right to the throne, even if he returns.

So what does the future hold? That remains to be seen. Thus far the Tiernal line ends with Severn, Wardrel, Dan, Aren, and Nox, and there’s always the possibility of someone more powerful swooping in to challenge whoever holds the throne.

Hmm…


Bound A-Z: Q is for Queen

Hmm. This is awkward.

I had the loveliest image I wanted to share for this topic, relating to future events in the trilogy, but I can’t find the original source to credit them. Since I don’t want to be Stealy McThievypants, we’ll have to do something else.

*shuffles through files* Queen, queen, queen…

We haven’t really heard much from them in the Bound trilogy, have we? We know Severn’s mother is the queen of Tyrea, and that Ulric hardly ever spoke to her again after Severn’s little stunt regarding Aren’s mother. We know she has no magic. Aren explained to Rowan in Bound that Sorcerers and Sorceresses can’t have children together, and the king certainly wanted strong potential heirs. The queen of Tyrea has a strong influence over her son (or she did, once), but she hasn’t showed up on the page.

I do have a little something in the works, though. A prequel novella that takes place a few decades (or a little more) before the start of Bound, and this one set in Belleisle and Tyrea. This one won’t be going up for sale when it’s finished, but will go out to newsletter subscribers as a special bonus to say thanks for supporting my work.*

So just because we’re talking about queens today, and because it’s been so long since I got to participate in WIPpet Wednesdays, here’s a thin slice of description from the rough draft of that novella.

 

A broad pile of ornate fabric and curly brown hair swept into view, an astonishingly corseted lump of woman escorted by a white-haired young man. Jewels twinkled in her hair, crowning a face that was somehow round and pinched all at once, as though a generously endowed and once-beautiful lady had caught the middle part of her face in a slamming door. The rich brocade of her many-layered skirts brushed against the floor with every tiny step she took.

 

It’s not much, I know. Can’t spoil things, though, and I think you guys are going to like this one.

Well, if you like romance and danger and forbidden love and origin stories (sort of) and seeing established characters when they were younger and very different from how we’re used to seeing them.

It’s been a bit of a shock, actually.

So there you have her, the current queen of Tyrea.

Next week: R. Hmm. If only I had a character or two whose name started with R…

*sign-ups are free here, and new subscribers get a free download of The Binding, the existing prequel short story.


Torn Prologue available NOW

Hey, folks!

For anyone who’s been waiting, I’ve got the prologue for Torn posted up there in the blog’s “Free Fiction” tab!

I know, it’s confusing. The header says “Disregard the Prologue,” but this one’s actually important. So… not so much with the disregarding this time, hmm?

Click here!

And enjoy. 🙂

torn_full


Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

The Writer Within

Inside the world of author AnnMarie Wyncoll

Beth Camp

Writer of historical fiction and teller of tales . . .

rogerbloomsfield

An Aspiring Author's Adventure

Are You Finished Yet?

Life, writing, books, dragons- not necessarily in that order. Home of USA Today bestselling Fantasy author Kate Sparkes.

life, love writing

Heartwarming, Authentic, Inspirational Contemporary Christian romance

Allie Potts Writes

Author, Blogger, Designer - Inventor of Worlds

Ultimately Useless Stories

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

The Wordy Rose

"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

Shan Jeniah's Lovely Chaos

Finding Yessings and Blessings in Lifes Messings!

Little Rittwolf's Book Blog

I thought having my own blog would help me....Squirrel!....stay more focused. I could be wrong.

The Sword of Air

Stunning new multitouch iBook by breakthrough author R.J Madigan

Doorway Between Worlds

Communication tips with a creative twist

CHOUETT

Read it! 📖 Spark it! ✨

Benjamin Wallace Books

Books written by Benjamin Wallace

Denise D. Young

Wild Magic. Wild Stories. Wild Souls.

chestnut book blog

Read. Recommend. Revel.

B E L I E V E 🦋Life is Never Fair

I gather strength from life’s storms -Jonathan L Huie

inkedrainbowreads.wordpress.com/

LGBT Book Reviews, Cover Reveals & More! We are a group designed to help promote and review LGBT et al books. We were created out of seeing a need and wanted to have that need filled. We pride ourseles of having opinionated reviews that are unique and helpful to the author. Welcome to a world of the best LGBT et al books out there!

Dionne Lister - Author

I love sharing my stories but I wish they wouldn't keep me awake at night

Avid Reviews

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Reviews For Both Self-Published and Traditionally Published Books

Author Jen Wylie's Blog

Welcome to my mind... Blog for fantasty author Jen Wylie

J.R. RASMUSSEN

new epic fantasy for old-school fans