The Falcon of Imenotash has gone live! This novella (just shy of 50,000 words) takes place in a fantasy realm that I envisioned as more like the ancient Roman Empire than anything medieval. However, you let your imagination take hold, because the time really doesn't matter.
The story begins with a provincial queen answering the emperor's summons. We watch Aridis through the eyes of her loyal captain, Edan. Resented and dismissed by the other kings of the conquered nations within the empire, she endures their contempt and petty cruelties with stoic grace.
The emperor commands that she wed and gives her the grace of a short period in which to choose a husband before having the choice made for her. Aridis quickly evaluates her options and proposes to Edan, who is just as startled by his attraction to his queen as she is to her attraction to him. For the first time, they see each other as man and woman, rather than as queen and captain.
They marry in a ceremony not even the emperor can dissolve, due to the mysterious powers held by the monk who performs the ceremony. Incensed by Aridis' quick and irrevocable action, the emperor exacts his revenge by confining Aridis and Edan within the imperial compound until she bears a son which the emperor intends to adopt as his heir.
Confinement, degradation, and humiliation contribute to Aridis' failing health until the emperor sees no choice but to release her to return home--under the watchful eyes of his guard. On the journey, Aridis and Edan escape. The emperor pursues. And there's a showdown in Imenotash.
I'll let you read the rest. Take advantage of the $0.99 launch price which will only last through May 31. The price goes up on June 1.
My younger son graduates from high school today. It's been a rough four years. Join me in wishing my boy a happy graduation and success in his future endeavors.