Years ago (Ten? Eleven? I should know this, but my husband will be the first to tell you that I am terrible with dates) I made some friends. We met on an online forum that had been created to discuss our shared criticisms of a certain fantasy novel/series. But we didn’t really do much in the way of criticism. That gets old. So instead we chatted. About everything. And I mean, everything. And the weeks, and the months, and the years went by. The website and the forum and all of the other things that went with it fell by the wayside. But a tight group of us remained, sharing our life experiences. Marriages, deaths, births, moves, jobs lost and gained, just life and all of its angles.
And some of us write. We wrote back then, but we were baby writers, still figuring out the ins and outs of storytelling (well, we still are…) still trying to figure out the rules before we learned that they’re really only guidelines. That writing is passion and bleeding out onto the page and realizing that each of those words is a tiny piece of your soul. (Horcruxes, man. Horcruxes EVERYWHERE.) And now some of us are published. Now some of us are doing this full-time, because we can’t see ourselves doing anything else.
So after that intro, I’m really just leading up to the announcement that one of those dear friends, someone with whom I talk about cooking and marriage and kids and, again, everything in-between, has taken a huge step.
Today, K.S. Villoso (I call her Kay) is releasing the second two books in her first fantasy trilogy. This is big for her. This is make it or break it big. And I am sitting over here, cheering and praying and hoping that everything goes well. Because she is an amazing writer. I’m not simply saying that because she is a friend. I have friends who aren’t good at things, and I don’t write blog posts talking about things they’re really not good at just to give them a poof of self-esteem. She is an excellent writer. The proverbial diamond in the rough. And she has worked HARD at this. Because writing (like almost everything one is passionate about) can be hard, exhausting, draining work.
So here is her first book. It’s currently free on Amazon (don’t ping me if you find this post some time in the future and it’s back up to full price!)
It has been years since his brother’s accident. Kefier was only just beginning to live a normal life–at least, as normal as it could get for a mercenary from a run-down town. And then an errand goes wrong and he finds himself holding his friend’s bloody corpse.
Already once branded a murderer, he is pursued by men he once considered friends and stumbles into the midst of a war between two mages. One bears a name long forgotten in legend; the other is young, arrogant Ylir, who takes special interest in making sure Kefier is not killed by his associates. The apex of their rivalry: a terrible creature with one eye, cast from the womb of a witch, with powers so immense whoever possesses it holds the power to bring the continent to its knees.
Now begins a tale with roots reaching beyond the end of another. Here, a father swears vengeance for his slain children; there, a peasant girl struggles to feed her family. A wayward prince finds his way home and a continent is about to be torn asunder. And Kefier is only beginning to understand how it all began the moment he stood on that cliff and watched his brother fall… (Amazon link)
Here is the second book in the trilogy:
Enosh, apprentice to one of the richest merchants in the Kag, is secretly heir to a broken line of mages. Because of The Empire of Dageis’ quest for sources of the agan–the life-source that mages use for power–his people have been reduced to scavengers, his culture diminished to a speck in the wind. For more than ten years, he has helped raise a conjured beast to use as a weapon against the Dageians. But Enosh’s plans are falling apart. A powerful enemy has escaped and Enosh needs to capture him before he reaches Dageis. His quest is further complicated after he finds himself used as a pawn by Gasparian nobles.
On the other end of the continent, Sume, daughter to a Jin-Sayeng hero, must return to her roots to save her country and bring honour to her father’s name. To do this, she must befriend a prince and understand the terrible, corrupting nature of power and the reason her father was driven to walk away from it all those years ago…
Meanwhile, Kefier, Enosh’s agan-blind brother, is forced back into a life of violence. As he struggles with the notion that hands, once bloodied, never stay clean for long, he finds himself occupied with an unexpected burden: his own brother’s daughter. (Amazon Link)
And, finally, the third:
The battle at Shi-uin has left scars. The rise of Gorrhen yn Garr to power seems unstoppable. As nations fall, the lines between love and duty become blurred and Kefier, Sume, and Enosh must learn to live with the choices they have made.
The stunning conclusion to the epic fantasy trilogy that crosses champion and spectator, friends and enemies, and hero and foe in a tale of conflict, revenge, and lost kingdoms. Highly-praised for character development and rich worldbuilding, The Agartes Epilogues is a must-read for the discerning epic fantasy fan. (Amazon Link)
So, there you are. The first two are free for a limited time. The third is on sale (again, limited time, so no resting on your laurels). They are good books. Kay is a fantastic author. Grab them. Read them. Review them. Tell others about them. Go on, now. I have to go tell my kids to stop playing in the bathroom (again).