Today, I'm pleased to have fantasy author L. Blankenship here as my guest. She's talking about the altered roles of nobility in her book Disciple. Check out her book and also her great contest at the bottom of this post.
by L. Blankenship
Throw a rock in a fantasy story and you're bound to hit someone with noble blood. Every society has its "upper crust" where the money and power collect to create a group of people with something unusual in a pre-industrial world: spare time. Time they can devote to education, warfare, or politics.
Its a more or less universal arrangement: a concentration of money and power that's inherited within the structure of a family, or transferred by way of marriage. Whether it's a duke, a thane, or a daimyo, these are the land-owners, the power-mongers and the rich. They can seduce humbly-born young women and break their hearts as they please.
In most worlds.
What's different about Disciple?
In Disciple's world, the highest power in the land is held by a saint: someone who has ascended to ultimate mastery of kir-magic and taken ownership of a fount, one of the few sources of magical "fuel." All nobility and even royalty will answer to a saint, since they are so rare and powerful.
Nobility in Kate's homeland are chosen for their ability to lead in the battlefield, primarily. They must prove themselves ready, willing and able to defend the kingdom and its saints. Their kinship to the ancient noble houses is taken into account, but it's quite possible for a title to skip an eldest son or daughter if the saints are not impressed with them.
This applies even to the king, who is held to a high standard of knightly honor and leadership. So when the crown prince falls in love with Kate, he puts his entire future at risk. The prince's marriage has already been arranged to seal an alliance against the invading empire -- the kingdom's lead saint will not take kindly to objections and his temper is well known.
War is coming. Kate Carpenter is only a peasant girl, but she’s determined to help defend the kingdom and its bound saints against the invading empire. Her healing magic earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the master healer; now she must prove herself ready to stand in the front lines and save lives.
She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though. This is no time to be distracted by romance — the empire’s monstrous army will tear through anyone standing between them and the kingdom’s magical founts. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.
The Half-Omnibus collects the first three parts of Disciple.
Disciple, Part IV on sale March 10th! Get a reminder!
Download Part I for free!
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