Cover art: Rona Dijkhuis ( https://squareonecomics.com )
“She despised her father’s world. Why couldn’t sorcery be true? Would that world not be better?”
Alathea was raised to rule, but the benevolent and deranged forces that hope to prepare her for the throne may create a monster. She’s torn between her father’s reign of empty order through terror and violence, and a magical path that could be completely illusory. She can’t live one exclusive of the other, so she lives both.
Her father is bent on protecting his daughter from the same fanatics who killed her mother, but far too often his desire for revenge takes him away from her. His yearning to raise a strong and steadfast heir compromises what little time they do spend together.
Her tutor intends to help her be better than her father, more sensible and knowledgeable, in control of her own story and the narrative of the empire just as her mother had been. But he isn’t raising her alone and can’t predict how his teachings will be used.
Her nurse subtly coaxes her toward a path of faith and enlightenment according to the nurse’s secret masters, believing that Alathea can be saved and in turn save the empire. But the Seers have grim plans that they would never reveal to their minion.
This tragic story touches on loss, the insatiable hunger for control, the way people live stories and narratives, the innocence and danger of dreams, the follies of love, the deep hatred and rage dwelling within people, and the dangers of using conquest to strive for peace.
Embattled by all the forces hoping to shape her to their whim, Alathea takes a piece of everything they give her and becomes something never before seen in the land. Goddess. Empress. Monster.