THE CHRONICLES OF Korthlundia
by Jamie Marchant
“Magic, love, hate, torture, heroes, and a story that will never stop blowing your mind!” Cheree~For Love of Books
The three volumes of The Kronicles of Korthlundia plus The Ghost in Exile: A Korthlundian Kronicle brought together for one low price. In addition to the novels, the collection features several bonus short stories, previously available only to members of my readers’ club.
The Goddess’s Choice–In a world where the corrupt church hides the truth about magic, the fate of the joined kingdom falls on the shoulders of two young people from opposite ends of the social hierarchy.
Crown Princess Samantha’s life begins to fall apart when she starts seeing strange colors around her potential suitors. She fears that she’s going insane–or worse that she’s defying the Goddess’s will. Robrek is a lowly farm boy with incredible magical powers. He has been biding his time waiting to get revenge on those who call him a demon.
Thrown together by chance, they must overcome their differences to fight their common enemy Duke Argblutal, who, with dark magic, is slowly poisoning the king’s mind and turning him against his own daughter. Time is running out for those chosen by the Goddess to prevent the power mad duke from usurping the throne and plunging the joined kingdoms into civil war.
The Soul Stone– A match made by the goddess is threatened by an Ancient Evil.
As Samantha and Robrek prepare for their marriage and coronation, they are met with opposition on all sides. Not all believe that the peasant sorcerer is worthy to be king, and the young couple must perform delicate political maneuvers to prevent the joined kingdoms from breaking apart.
As the church splits over opposition to their union, an unseen force is poised to release an ancient evil that was last defeated a thousand years ago. When the Soul Stone is broken free of its bonds, all life in its path succumbs to its power. How much will the new royal couple have to sacrifice to free the joined kingdoms of its evil?
The Ghost in Exile—A special Kronicle outside of the series that tells the story of Darhour. The novel takes place at the same time as The Soul Stone. The Ghost is going to hell. Not even the goddess can forgive his sins: assassin, oath-breaker, traitor (an affair with the queen earned him that title). No one can ever learn the princess is his daughter. To keep this secret, he flees to the land that turned him from a simple stable groom into an infamous killer.
His mission now? To find evildoers and take them to hell with him. But when an impulsive act of heroism saddles him with a damsel who refuses to be distressed, her resilience forces him to question why he really ran from his daughter.
The Shattered Throne– Queen Samantha’s spirit brightens as the festival of renewal approaches. The Ancient Evil that drained life from the land has been destroyed, and life is returning to the joined kingdoms. The birth of her heir gives her even more reason to celebrate. But a coup orchestrated by the unlikely alliance between a freedom-loving count and a fanatical church shatters both her plans and the ancient throne itself.
With her infant daughter missing and death and destruction spreading, Samantha finds herself faced with an impossible choice: save her daughter or her people. Already torn between a mother’s love and her duties as a queen, Samantha learns that an even greater danger threatens: the goddess herself is fading. What sacrifices will Samantha have to make to stop an evil god from taking Sulis’s place?
He returned to the horses, loaded the supplies on Wild Thing, and rode in silence to the abandoned stable. Robbie led the horse inside. When he lit the lantern he kept there, he let out a whistle of amazement. The horse was a bronze-colored mare that looked more like it was forged out of metal than living flesh! But the horse’s impossible color wasn’t the only thing that struck Robbie. Sores spotted the beast’s body; puss and blood oozed from under the saddle. The horse’s coat was matted with dried blood. Her ribs stood out in stark detail. How could anyone neglect a horse so badly? “Where could you have come from, girl?” Robbie could feel a wail building up inside the horse, so he hurried to take the armor and other equipment off her back, unsaddled her, and removed her harness.
“I don’t think you’re a demon. But I don’t know what you are. By the look of the armor you must have been some knight’s lady. But what happened to him? Sores like these don’t form overnight. If he’s still alive, he obviously doesn’t deserve a lady like you. So how about it? Will you be my lady?” He paused at the sound of his own words. Milady. “I had a lady once. For one day, that is. My brother didn’t approve—I’m sure he wouldn’t approve of you, either.”
~Buy THE CHRONICLES OF KORTHLUNDIA on Amazon
SOME WORDS FROM JAMIE
Magic and Spirituality: Two Sides of the Same Coin
What is the difference between a prayer and a spell? In both, you say some words or perform a ritual and expect a supernatural result. Ultimately, what is spirituality but a remnant of a belief in magic? But spirituality isn’t the same thing as religion. While spirituality is a personal connection with something in the universe that is larger than oneself, religion is a human institution meant primarily for social control. The Kronicles of Korthlundia explores this distinction between the religious and the spiritual and ultimately finds that in the spiritual, not the religious, magic can be found.
The people of Korthlundia worship Sulis, who is the goddess of healing. (The Sulis of my world is roughly based on a Celtic deity.) The Korthlundian priests preach that they alone have the ability to heal because the goddess has blessed them with her magic. But the problem with their claim is almost none of them have any healing magic and their actions are directly responsible for the dearth of magic in Korthlundian society.
In my world, magic requires a mixed racial heritage or mixed blood. The more usual the mixture the stronger the potential for magic. Since Korthlundia is geographically isolated, the number with mixed blood is already low, but the church has exacerbated the problem by calling any mixing of blood an abomination to the goddess, persecuting those of mixed heritage, and condemning any healing performed outside the church. Like most religious dogma, their doctrine is designed to maintain their control over the population rather than to benefit the people.
This distinction between the religious and the spiritual is seen early in the first volume of the series, The Goddess’s Choice. Robrek, the male protagonist of the series, is of mixed heritage. Because of this mixture, he both has powerful magic and is seen by the local priest as cursed by demon blood. A local villager develops a rash and goes to the priest for healing. As is typical of the religious, Father Gildas attributes Ula’s problem to sin and asserts that only by conforming to orthodoxy will she find relief. The priest asks her, “Have you been arguing with your husband lately? You know, my child, it’s Sulis’s will that a woman submit herself to her husband, and you’ve repeatedly tried to usurp your husband’s place. This rash is Sulis’s way to teach proper subservience.” In other words, he tells her that her well-being rests on her deference to male power. His motive is ultimately to control, rather than to help her. Certain that the cause of her rash is a particular plant rather than her failure to be submissive, Ula indicates that she might seek help elsewhere. The priest uses another technique typical of the religious and preys upon fear. He warns her that if she goes to Robrek, she might find “temporary relief, but at the danger of [her] immortal soul.” Then for a hefty donation, he gives her a salve.
Unsurprisingly, the salve makes the problem worse. The severity of the itching causes Ula to risk her immortal soul and go outside the religious hierarchy for help. She takes her problem to one that is spiritual rather than religious. First, Robrek doesn’t blame her problem on sin, but rightly, determines that it is a simple result of natural processes, that Ula “got into Nimh weeds.” He gives her no lecture on her behavior and provides a magical remedy that heals her rash. He has no motive other than providing relief. As he tells her, “Unlike Father Gildas, I’m a true healer.” In other words, he is spiritual, not religious.
But the spiritual threatens the power of the religious by revealing them for what they are, and Father Gildas ultimately tries to burn Robrek at the stake, a fate he is saved from only when a novice chooses the spiritual over the religious and frees him.
Ultimately, The Kronicles of Korthlundia explores a truth I have found poignant in my own life. By getting in touch with the spiritual, by treating others with caring and compassion, we can find the magical in the real world and live a happy, helpful life. It is a powerful magic that cannot be found in religion.
Jamie began writing stories about the man from Mars when she was six, and she never remembers wanting to be anything other than a writer. Everyone told her she needed a back up plan, so she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998. She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University. One day in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized she’d put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. The literary article went into the trash, and she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice, which was published in April 2012. Her other novels include The Soul Stone, The Ghost in Exile, The Shattered Throne, and The Bull Riding Witch. In addition, she has published a novella, Demons in the Big Easy, and a collection of short stories, Blood Cursed and Other Tales of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has also appeared in the anthologies Urban Fantasy, Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds, and Waiting for a Kiss. She claims she writes about the fantastic . . . and the tortured soul. Her poor characters have hard lives. She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and five cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son.
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Jamie Marchant will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway