Today, I'm happy to have L. Blankenship return with a guest post about the nobles in her fantasy world of Disciple. Enjoy her post and be sure to check out her new release.
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, Wodenberg, 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 of Wodenberg, 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 Arceal Empire -- the kingdom's lead saint will not take kindly to objections and his temper is well known.
Back cover of Disciple, Part IV
Kate can’t avoid the simple truth any longer; as much as she loves Kiefan, he’s now the king and his duties leave him precious little time for her and their newborn son. Kate’s husband Anders, the ne’er-do-well knight, is the one who kisses her cheek every morning and soothes the baby to sleep on his shoulder.
Kiefan’s protective jealousy still casts a shadow over her life. He would gladly throw Anders to the wolves if it will keep alliance negotiations from collapsing. Their homeland desperately needs these allies against the invading Empire. The kingdom barely survived the first wave of the enemy’s monstrous army and more is to come.
But Kate can’t stand by and let Anders become a victim — or let Kiefan suspect she’s falling in love with her husband.
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New to Disciple?
The Half-Omnibus collects the first three parts into one meaty ebook.
Or try Disciple, Part I for only 99 cents!