Last January, I commissioned my friend and super-talented artist, J-P Mavinga, to create a piece of art for the Raven Queen, Arise Kickstarter. The “Thunderbird and the Priestess” was inspired by a sequence of the story that didn’t make it into the final novel—because Illyria isn’t in it at all. However, it will (soon!) be the cover of its own story.
I’m developing a novella from the point of view of Conseca, former bedslave and future first priestess of the Raven Queen, that’s entitled Righteous Disobedience. The events of the story take place during the four days following the Battle of the Bridge in Raven Queen, Arise.
Her chosen goddess-to-be gave Conseca the task of preparing Alamar for a coming siege. Seems pretty straightforward, if you’re a goddess-in-the-making: create a lot of scary noise, warn the people of what’s coming, and get them ready.
The only problem is that Conseca is not a goddess. She’s nobody. Less than nobody: an escaped bedslave, a fugitive among a tight knit highland clan, and a flame-haired Azzarean outsider to boot. And, well, there are many more problems: Conseca is not a warrior amongst among Illyria’s warlike kin, then there’s the mischievous Book of the Forbidden that she’s supposed to protect with her life, a sexy but meddlesome thunderbird demigod who won’t take no for an answer, and a long line of gods and goddesses (not to mention Illyria’s frightening warlord mother) who all want Conseca to do things she’s simply doesn’t want to do…
At this point, I imagine the story will be about the same length as Death Descends. But with just a few scenes written so far, anything is possible. My goal is to make it free for subscribers of Dark Tidings in May 2023. It’ll be for sale wide in all the usual sketchy marketplaces—and some of the more noble ones.
Here is the original piece I commissioned side-by-side with the updated version that I asked J-P to create for the cover. Enjoy!
If you’d like a free read evokes that kind of vibe, the prequel to the Temple of Vengeance quadrilogy is yours for the taking, Death Descends. Grab yours today!
Righteous Disobedience will be free to newsletter subscribers when it’s released.