Title: The Dark Lady
Series: The Dark Lady Series #1
Author: R.J. Hore
Published: February 6th, 2012
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Content Warning: Minor violence
Recommended Age: 12+
Synopsis: Young Princess Nefasti wakes to discover her father, the King, poisoned and her mother near death. As she is the sole heiress to the ancient high kingdom of Vadio, the king’s three brothers begin to plot and quarrel over who will become Regent and control the kingdom until she comes of age, or dies. Their solution is to marry her off. If this trio were not enough of a problem, the greedy surrounding kingdoms all want to gobble Vadio up, and their ambassadors scurry through the castle plotting and scheming.
Princess Nefasti has two main goals: to survive, and to discover who is responsible for the death of her parents.
Title: Dark Days
Series: The Dark Lady Series #2
Author: R.J. Hore
Synopsis: Young Queen Nefasti’s hold on her throne is tenuous. Her powerful neighbor to the west has declared war, and her other neighbors want something in return for their offered aid, such as her hand in marriage and her kingdom. Assassins lurk in the shadows while handsome suitors try to bribe her with gold and jewels. Her best friend and protector is leaving and one of her favorite ladies-in-waiting is threatening to commit suicide. Could anything else go wrong?
Series: The Dark Lady Series #3
Author: R.J. Hore
Synopsis: It has happened at last. Queen Nefasti’s friends are deserting her on all sides, treachery threatens from inside her own castle, and an invasion led by an old and angry acquaintance is knocking at the very gates to the Kingdom of Vadio. Dark Magic has stirred up things best left alone. Nefasti has been given a final choice, marry The Lord High Protector’s son, or suffer dire consequences. All of this threatens to ruin her 16th birthday celebrations, and probably end her life.
About the Author
Ron (R. J. Hore) can be found sailing on Lake Winnipeg when he not writing novels or critiquing for an on-line magazine. He won a national short story contest for a ghostly love story but his preference is for longer works. Writing as R.J.Hore his medieval-style fantasy novels include the completed Dark Lady Trilogy, and The Queen’s Pawn, which may also turn into a trilogy. Knights Bridge is a novella in the same style, but a bit darker. Ron also writes a series of novella-length fantasy detective tales, six published so far. These are available in print collections: the Housetrap Chronicles Volume 1 and 2. All his novels and novellas are available as ebooks with most of the novel-length now in print as well.
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Guest Post by R. J. Hore
One reason I write what is sometimes called High Fantasy, or what I often refer to as Medieval-Style Fantasy, is to escape the burden of doing detailed research on a particular time period in order to get the setting correct.
So I cheat and make it up on my own.
Having said that, I do a lot of reading about history, watch movies or TV shows (and often criticize them) and I have a beta reader who will run me through if I make obvious errors.
Arranged marriages are common where royalty is involved, often at what we would consider ridiculous ages. I’ve read about marriages arranged for children under the age of five. (I confess I have even used the scheme of arranging a marriage for an unborn child in a novel I wrote.) These marriages are often done to cement alliances, to gain property and wealth, or to make certain of someone’s loyalty. There may be an age limit where the marriage would be consummated. Widows who may be wealthy or have certain ownership of lands or even kingdoms are used as bargaining chips by their overlords.
In the plot of The Dark Lady, where a young girl is heir to a throne, there are three contenders for the position of ruling the country who assume she is too young to rule on her own. Two plot to link her to a son so they can be the power behind the throne, the third decides he should marry her himself. There are countless tales in history of a regent assuming the power for a ruler who is too young. They often find a way to dispose of their charge before they come of age and end up ruling on their own.
The idea for this story came to me in a round-about way. I was watching a TV show and saw the face of an actress who was frowning. My immediate thought was that she could easily play an evil queen. My next thought was “how do evil queens get their bad reputations?” (This was before Wicked!) So I started with a story about a young princess who wakes up one morning as the sole heir to a kingdom that everyone else wants to rule. How does she survive? I probably got away from the pure evil part as I wrote, however that would be how her neighbors might see her. I think my inspiration in part eventually came more from Queen Elizabeth the First who grew up at a very treacherous time in history surrounded by scheming nobles, some of whom would prefer her dead and her kingdom on the edge of rebellion.
Excerpt from The Dark Lady
“The Kingdom of Vadio is an illusion, a decaying corpse of a once-mighty colossus that ruled the known world for thousands of years. But that glory now lies more than three hundred years in the past, after the Great Sundering. Clinging to its fortress valley in the mountains of the Dragon's Teeth, Vadio exists only as the crossroads of the rich trade between the three covetous empires gnawing the tired bones like hungry jackals devouring a dying lion. Once these lands swore undying fealty to the High Kingdom, now they circle it, warily eyeing each other, waiting for the opportunity to tear at the faintly-beating heart of the world, or each other's throat.
But I had a dream, on the first night of this year three thousand five hundred and seven after the Founding. Something is about to stir in the Valley of the Eye; something spawned of Meridiem. There is blood on the Dragon's Teeth. You sneer that this is not new, but I warn you, Lord, that coin is not pure. You are not from this place.”--Blind Eride, beggar and philosopher, overheard in the marketplace, just before his untimely death.
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
- A PDF copy of The Dark Lady.
Giveaway is International