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Remember, it's up at a special price for a limited time: $5.49. Why? Because until sometime around Saturday morning, when you buy the book I'll donate a dollar to BSA Troop 439, a small rural Boy Scout Troop operating out of the Bahama Ruritan Club in Bahama, NC. I'm Assistant Scoutmaster for the troop, and both of my sons are Scouts. Since at least some of the inspiration for Journeymage came from last summer's camp at Raven Knob in Mt. Airy, NC, I think it's only fair that the troop benefit from the resulting intellectual property. I'll reduce it to the proper price when the special is done, and anyone who has moral objections to donating to the BSA can purchase it then - or get it through Amazon Prime. I'm only counting direct sales, not lends.
Best yet, I think I can get my company to match the donation. Thus is the power of the Spellmonger . . .
I'm pretty happy with the book. I wrote it in about 6 weeks, coming straight off of Hawkmaiden and High Mage, and I think it's a good diversion. Serious - nay, even major - stuff happens that has implications for the war and such, and we learn far too much about the Kasari people. In terms of "naughty" level, I'd class it as "ribald" at most. No one has sex on stage. But at least one character is a little on the frustrated side. The inspiration of the book can be summed up as "The Children's Crusade meets Follow Me Boys meets Game of Thrones", with some whacky magic here and there. Min learns a lot of important things about himself, does a lot of important things for the long-term future of the kingdom and the war, and learns far too much about the Kasari culture.
Here's the blurb:
Minalan’s Summer Vacation!What does the most powerful wizard in the world do after the war is over? Despite the hordes of goblins still ready to ravage human lands, King Rard has signed a treaty with them, so Minalan is forbidden from taking advantage of their weakened state. Most would take a well-deserved rest over the summer . . . but Minalan and his household are busy repaying a favor owed to the tribal Kasari for their help in the war, and the Spellmonger pays his debts. So Minalan spends his summer sneaking two thousand Kasari children through enemy lines, goblin territory, hostile Wilderlords, and through some of the roughest territory in the Five Duchies toward salvation.
But the Spellmonger soon learns that not even the help of a goddess is going to be sufficient to contend with the realities of the quest. Despite his best efforts and some of the most advanced magic seen since the Magocracy, the march attracts enemies . . . and far too many friends.
For when the desperate refugees of the war-torn Alshari Wilderlands see the well-fed legions of Kasari march by, they cannot help but follow, even if they have no idea of the destination. Any life is better than the hopeless existence they've lived avoiding starvation and the goblins’ stewpot. And the promise of hope the great march of the Spellmonger’s children offers is just too good to pass up. Security and the promise of a brighter future lie just on the other side of the border with the duchy of Castal.
The problem is that the Duke of Castal, Prince Tavard, who is also Minalan's titular overlord, is dead-set against a single Alshari refugee crossing his frontier – and he’s assembled a small army to stop any from doing so. With political pressure high and the very gods maneuvering behind the scenes, it’s going to take some clever magic, some inspired legal maneuvering, and some serious effort to pull off this miracle . . . but that’s the kind of job the Spellmonger does in Journeymage!
This is not the Meanwhile, Back In Sevendor book many of you want - that will be Enchanter. Nor is it a bloodbath. This book is essentially the beginning of the second cycle of novels, covering Minalan's growing magical and political sophistication. But if you like world building, I think you'll enjoy this one. It's shortish (140,000 words) but pretty involved. And if you get off on logistics and supply issues, you'll be in heaven.
Thanks for reading my stuff. And if you really want to boost me and my stuff, then go leave a review at Amazon - and don't be afraid to be candid. The number of reviews is one of the things that drives sales, and the more sales I get, the more I like writing these things. This marks the fourth book I've published in the series in just over a year (Knights Magi came out on March 10th of last year - I would have made that date, had I not had a couple of hospital stays). And there is plenty more to come. I'm enjoying the hell out of this, and I plan a long and interesting career for our Spellmonger and his friends . . . and enemies.
Now, I'd like to throw the comments open to spoilery discussion. Don't read them if you haven't read the book or don't wan't to be spoiled. You know the drill. Things I'd love to hear are: favorite parts, favorite character, character you'd most like to see in their own focused story, and whether you think this book holds up to the standards of the series. Basic feedback stuff.