The Sundered Crown is now beyond my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of 18,000 words (actually closer to 19,000 by now) and I’ll be sending out the second chapter to my newsletter subscribers tomorrow (May 1st). If you want to read the rest of the story but haven’t signed up already, now’s your chance! I’ll be sending out a chapter a month as part of the regular newsletter for the next six months or so. If you’re not yet caught up with the first, publicly available one, you can read it now now right here on this very site.
It would be difficult to offer an actual blurb for this without spoiling the next couple of instalments–I’ve been writing with serialisation in mind from the beginning–but I think it’s safe to say that the story of The Sundered Crown covers both the episodes of Marcia’s life as it is now and the events that shaped the very world she lives in.
Where my first NaNoWriMo work, Face of Glass, took place in a prehistoric fantasy setting in which magic was rare and fickle if it existed at all, The Sundered Crown takes place in a world that has been heavily influenced by supernatural forces and can not survive without them. It’s made for an interesting project to tackle this April, and though I’ve still got some work to do finishing off the story and polishing each chapter, I hope it’ll make for an engaging read over the next few months.
If you’d like to subscribe, here’s that link once again. There’s no need to sign up for notifications (unless you want them): each chapter will come at the end of the usual monthly newsletter.
Chapter One: The Watchtower
It was a marvel to see the White Queen paint. Marcia watched as the brush drifted across the surface of the paper, leaving no mark: its bristles held only water.
There was a knock at the door.
Marcia looked to the queen, and was answered by an almost imperceptible nod. Stepping neatly over to the door, she opened it.
“Your Majesty,” said the general, bowing deeply as he stepped inside. “We have repelled an attack at Hobnail Pass, but the lines will not hold.”
The White Queen traced the brush across the paper with extreme care. Marcia closed the door, then once again took up her place by the queen’s side, examining the paper with silent interest. There was no hint of her mistress’ work but a faint glistening of water in the light.
The general took no more notice of the queen than she did of him. Marcia observed him in one of the queen’s three grand mirrors as he strode over to a map laid out on a nearby table, cluttered with painted wooden models representing various companies and legions. The general scowled, removing a few dusty pieces and rearranging several more.
The queen dipped her brush in the little cup of water and dragged it back and forth quickly across the top of the paper, catching the little beads of liquid as they formed. She stared out of the window at the garden below, comparing this scene to the one she had formed. With a quick flick of the brush, she made an adjustment.
“It is my opinion that we must give up Wieseberg.” The general proceeded to shove a line of figures into place with a straight edge, then formed them into a swooping curve with a pudgy hand. “The city is of little strategic value, but eliminating this salient would shorten our lines considerably. The surplus troops here could be…”
“Give up the pass,” said the queen, dabbing carelessly at the paper.
“Give up the pass.” The White Queen folded her hands on her lap and turned to the general. “Our foe is determined to have that ground no matter what the cost. We will not be so foolish.” Continue reading