No, I didn't forget about the last two books for the mystery/thriller series. And no I didn't write Burnt after finishing Senses. Zombies (Novel Series 11) was written in the first half of August. The Tattooed Man, the last book in the Thriller/Mystery series and Novel Series #12 was written in the last half of August and first day of September. Burnt was written in the rest of September.
I had to say "SCREW THE ORDER" because this summary is needed before the other two with the Kickstarter campaign and all.
Yes: there is a Kickstarter campaign to get this thing published. Why? Lots of reasons. Check out the campaign page to see why. I'll wait. Back? Cool. Let me tell you about Burnt
Genre: High Fantasy...you have NO IDEA how happy I am to type that.
Word Count: 115,834
Prompt: The movie Frozen. I watched it then a couple of days later thought: what if it was two brothers and fire power? It morphed into an exploration about acceptance on a whole bunch of levels with a publically transgender character. There's also a witch. And the Black Plague. No talking snowman though, sorry.
Summation: Darius discovers something about himself that can destroy the Lupine line and any chances he has at being the King of Seiovania. This secret leads to his seclusion and eventually to Rowan (his younger sibling) discovering a secret...
High Points: Rowan in general because of the best one-liners and Rowan was freaking awesome to write.
Low Points: When Darius turns 18, Rowan 16.
The World: Middle ages type setting where magic of all kinds is considered evil therefore anyone who shows the slightest bit of magical powers is killed on sight. There are no racial prejudices. People of Color are Kings just as non-PoC are Kings. Servants are non PoC and so long as you're not the heir to a throne or the one who will continue the family name then you can be whatever you want with whoever you want. Basically: so long as you're the second son you can be with a man or become a woman if you want. But if you're the first son: you're stuck marrying a woman and being a man. Some people are totally fine with this, others: not so much.
Religion is singular, as in everyone believes in the same God. In other countries the rules about being with whoever and being whatever are a bit more lax. For instance, in another country the heir to the line (or throne) can be with a man so long as he takes a wife to produce heirs.
Healers aren't considered evil because they're usually devote to a religion similar to Catholic/Christian and apparently Jewish seventy years prior to events in the novel. Rowan will tell us a bit about that.
I did something a bit different here. This is the prologue/first chapter of Burnt: The Story of the Fire King. Yes, sneak-peak, unedited of course, but sneak peak:
"He burned it all to the ground because he could not control the evil flowing through his veins. From the ashes of our ancestral country Seiovania; came a new hope and a new understanding of magic. Mages were not gods. They were not able to control their talents. They had to be caged and controlled as to prevent Seiovania and the rest of the world from being destroyed. Do you understand, Darius?"
Darius looked up at his father, a giant of a man to Darius' six season old frame. Father was watching him and waiting for an answer. This lesson was important. All of father's lessons were important though as one day Darius would be King like Father.
"I understand, father." Darius said.
Father smiled through his thick bushy beard and patted Darius lightly on the head. Darius felt a surge of relief at answering the way he was expected to. He did understand the horror magic could cause but surely not every mage was born evil. Some of them had to be able to control their power. Why would they exist if they couldn't?
It was too much for Darius to consider. Father shifted on the stiff wooden chair and tucked some of the pitch black hair behind his ears. Darius had father's coloring: dark hair, dark eyes, and pale skin. Mother was fair of hair, blue of eye, and tan of skin.
"I am glad you understand, Darius. Understanding makes it a bit easier to lock up the magic users that are born even if they are children no older than you." Father said.
Darius hated to think there were children of his age locked in the dungeons because they had magic. The dungeons were a frightening place deep below the castle with little light, damp stones, no beds, and rats.
There were a lot of crawling things, things Darius did not want to think about. Any child down there would never sleep easily. Darius wondered if it was fair for someone his age to be trapped down there because of something they could not prevent.
But, father, grand-father, great-grand-father, every man in the Lupine line, and the priests said that magic was evil. It bent the will of the world in ways only God should and it was unnatural. No mortal man should be able to wield the power of God. Darius had to believe. At least it's what he was told.
"We do not hear of many magic users anymore. I suppose they could be hiding well but if God has decided to stop blessing us with magic then we have done what is right." Father said.
Darius nodded. There was no arguing against it, not in his six season old mind anyway. If mages were disappearing then they were doing the right thing in killing them.
Father chuckled as Darius turned. Rowan toddled into the room as quickly as his legs could carry him. Darius smiled at his two season younger brother who had turned out looking like their mother.
"Let's play!" Rowan said.
Both boys looked up to their father and father nodded. With that Darius took Rowan's hand and led him out of father's study. Darius only turned back once to see father rub his temples under the heavy gilded crown and go back to work. It seemed a King's work was never done and Darius did not know if he was up for that kind of task.
"Let's find Xander." Rowan said.
"Let's." Darius said.
Darius smiled as Rowan pulled harder trying to get Darius to speed up. Xander was one of the servant's boys, the same age as Darius and one of the best hider-and-seekers the castle had. Besides, hide and seek was always better with more than two people. Darius followed Rowan out in the main hallway and figured thinking about being the King of Seiovania could wait.
Later - Chapter One:
"Fine. What do you want to play?" Darius questioned.
Rowan grinned happily at having got his way. Darius knew he would eventually have to stop giving into his brother but he was too tired to care.
"I wanna see the fire." Rowan said.
Yeah, that's right, Rowan wants to see Darius create fire with magic, you know, the thing that's illegal. And since I've been saying there's a trans character and Darius is the obvious mage, we can figure out who's going to be transitioning, right? ;)
Check out the Kickstarter campaign if you want to read this thing in print (or on screen) sometime next year. Until next time: questions, comments, rage, rants, and whatever else can be directed to the comments.