You’re warned for the last time, this post spoils key plot points/outcomes of The Gift-Knight’s Quest.
Why is that necessary? Because I have 10 minutes to read a 1000-word excerpt, which given my chronic stutter is a slight time crunch. I could present a paragraph-long summary saying what I’m about to say, only less/shorter, if time permits, because the excerpt is from the middle of The Crown Princess’ Voyage and context is very healthy.
Also, TGKQ has been out and available since May 28, 2015. If you got an ebook copy from the Kickstarter, it’s been available to you sooner. It’s very nearly been a year. I understand if you haven’t read it yet because life is busy, but we’re coming up to the one-year anniversary. Sorry, but there will now be spoilers. The good news is, you don’t have to read these spoilers.
It’s because I understand that this is a bit of an obscure book, and life gets in the way, and long reading queues, that I’m placing the spoilers behind a cut. I don’t really understand why many of these spoilers can’t be inferred from the fact that this is a continuing series, but we do live in a world where your favourite author might kill off every character to whom you make any personal connection or take a liking, so…
LAST WARNING, SPOILERS ARE BEHIND THE CUT.
The Gift-Knight’s Quest left our heroine ruling an empire in an uneasy peace, with our hero having avoided mistakenly doing something terrible, and instead making himself rather useful and beginning to define a noble role for himself in Kensrik. The plots of Lords Merton and Belheff were foiled, but it was strongly hinted that these men were working with the blessing (one consciously/deliberately, the other only coincidentally) of a mysterious character you only got to meet at the very end of the book. This arch-antagonist is Alathea, who was just recently illustrated by Maddie Bolek.
Chandra receives a letter from Alathea, who claims she wants to discuss treaties with the fresh regent, and sends an invitation complete with a map to somewhere that simply doesn’t exist to Kensrikan sailors–or hasn’t featured on their maps for over a century. With circumstances at home making life increasingly dangerous not just for Chandra but for the entire upper class of Kensrik, as well as the remaining members of the Kenderley Army and the sailors of the Fleet (both, to review, privately owned by/sworn to Chandra’s bloodline), Chandra finds herself accepting an invitation she can’t quite trust. After all, if the loyal remainder must take to the sea for their own safety, this stranger has conveniently given them somewhere to go.
Many things happen as Alathea’s plans get in motion, and I didn’t say I was going to spoil everything. I wanted to leave you off where the reading will happen, because circumstances will put the Kenderley Fleet and Army rather far from the capital Bayrock. Chandra will have to make a decision whether to help Sir Derek defend his homeland against a huge army, one with strange and devastating new weaponry; or risk trying to sail back to Bayrock’s defense and risk being intercepted by a nightmare fleet of ships equipped with these same weapons. And no matter which choice she makes, it’s not going to sit well with somebody important to her.
That’s where my excerpt happens, right in the aftermath of that decision, and the argument it causes.
Did I ruin everything for you? Feel free to comment.