The Kingdom of Grandlock heaves with revolution. The nobility have oppressed the people for generations, but new advances in technology are enabling them to drive more and more people into unemployed misery, at the same time as radical ideas spread among the populace: ideas like democracy and popular rule. Liberty is only a revolt away – but magic threatens to subvert it and fasten new and crueler chains on the people even as they cast off their old ones.
An evil priestess of the Lord of Shadow has come from the world of faerie by way of the Green Stone Tower and built a secret cult dedicated to chaos and ruin. Her agents infiltrate the democracy movement and may replace the king with a tyrant who will enslave the people in the name of liberty, using sorcery to bind them to his power.
And the only thing that can stand against him and his evil mistress is a young woman barely out of her teens: the daughter of a goddess and a powerful sorceress herself.
Goddess-Born is the second of a projected four books in the Tale of Two Worlds series; however, it is an independent story and it and the first volume, The Green Stone Tower, can be read in either order. The same will be true of The People of the Sea and Light and Shadow, to be published in 2013. Update March 2014: Alas, my best intentions became sidetracked by a combination of personal health issues and a different project, and 2013 saw only the publication of the first book in the Refuge series, The Order Master. I am not sure when I will get back to the final two books in Two Worlds, but if you would like to see them, you can prod me by saying so.
You can read the first six chapters for free, starting below:
On a fateful morning, Tranis of D’Anrith woke up in the arms of his goddess.
It happened every so often, a gift of the Light itself. He loved her, but no man can possess a goddess and their coupling was at her discretion, not his. Still, even when she was not there for him in the flesh, her spirit was a bright star illuminating his life and had been for years. It was enough.
He woke as always to find Illowan already awake. He thought her deliciously exotic with her fair skin, sky-blue eyes, and flame-red hair. Of course, being a goddess, she could assume any form she wanted. Sometimes she took the guise of a woman of the Faithful, brown-skinned and black-haired like himself, and he only knew her for the goddess from her knowing smile, the light shining in her eyes, and the familiar touch of her heart. On one of those occasions, in the midst of his passion she had changed form into something out of nightmare, still beautiful but with coal-black skin, burning scarlet eyes, a forked tongue in a mouth that hissed like a snake, and blood-red talons on her fingers. Tranis had cried out in a strange mixture of panic and lust and plowed her harder than ever while she laughed and laughed.
The Lady of Fire, bless her, could be more than a little kinky at times.
This fateful morning, though, she wore her usual form, the one she had worn when they had met before she became a goddess. She smiled and kissed him. “Tranis, my friend,” she said, “I need you to make a journey.”
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