I have a new book out!
Watersmeet is the first of a new epic fantasy series set in the Twelve Baronies. I'm trying something a bit new with this series, in that I'm aiming to make each book a truly self-contained story, so the overall effect should be more series than serial: you can read Watersmeet without fear of a cliffhanger ending and a years-long wait for the resolution (er, yes, sorry about that. To everyone who was hoping the next book would be Reformation: I'm working on it!).
I'm not promising there will be twelve books in total, in the Twelve Baronies series -- but I'm not promising there won't be, either. So far I've plotted out the first four, but that doesn't take me to the end of the first series-level story arc.
For those who care about such things, the technology level is roughly inspired by the Early Modern period (in European terminology), around the start of the industrial revolution, but with the convenient subtraction of gunpowder weapons, and the addition of alchemy and other subtle magic. Religion is firmly polytheistic, and when it comes to moral questions, I've tried hard to avoid giving everyone the lazy default of Judeo-Christian ethics; I'd be interested to hear from readers about how that turns out.
Technically, Watersmeet was released yesterday, but I was a bit busy having Christmas so I didn't get chance to blog about it. It only exists in ebook form so far, but paperbacks (and perhaps some very-limited-edition hardbacks) should be available early in the new year for those who prefer paper.
Here's the back cover blurb:
When a stranger tells her she's a mage, Ailith is intrigued but she's also afraid. Magic is heresy, and heresy means death under the Temple Law. Even literacy is suspect in a girl of her background, and her sister's impending wedding only serves as a reminder that she should be focusing on her future. Then a local priest asks her to rescue his son, and she starts to wonder if her talents could be a blessing, after all.
The Lord Baron of Watersmeet, Leofwin isn't accustomed to welcoming uninvited visitors. A commoner turning up at his gates should be no more than a minor footnote to his day, but something about Ailith catches his attention. Alchemy can be lonely work and an apprentice might be just what he needs.
As their lessons grow into shared experiments, Leofwin wonders if he might even trust her with his greatest challenge. But Ailith can't forget why she came to the castle.