I love when people come and visit me...I get to dress up in as little clothing as possible and sit back and enjoy the company...
Please welcome Rebecca Cohen to my blog today! She's sharing an exclusive excerpt from her book Idolatry (Reagalos: Book 2 – Sequel to Servitude) and giving us an inside view of how she establishes her characters...
So Rebecca...here is the metaphorical mic, please take us away...
Lornyc and Methian, the two main characters in my Reagalos series, have come a long way from when I first started writing them back in 2004. I chose Lornyc’s name, and that of a number of his Reagalos family members from a list of known Roman names, as I first wrote his story after I had a dream of a black haired slave and a Roman general. However, while the name stuck the rest of the Roman ideas were scrapped and Lornyc didn’t remain a slave and instead became heir apparent to his city of Katraman.
In Servitude, the first in the series, Lornyc is a student living an easy life, albeit with a secret lover, Methian. His life changes dramatically as he ends up in a magical contract serving Methian. During Servitude, Lornyc abandons any hope of returning to his old life as the deaths of his parents means he has to take the throne of High Lord Reagalos. In Idolatry we now see Statesman Lornyc, leader of two of the Five Cities of Rystal Lake. The new responsibilities Lornyc now has mean he has little choice to but to grow into his role of leader, and develop the political acumen he will need to survive. Lornyc is still a young man and this needs to be reflected in his character. He still makes mistakes, he has a temper and be prone to unreasonable outbursts, but yet he is starting to see that politics is a game that needs to be played, and played very carefully. I deliberately gave Lornyc normal height and slender frame, wanting to contradict the trope of the hero in fantasy stories being the muscular guy. Lornyc’s strength comes from his magic (that is also growing stronger) but also from the unerring support of his now husband, Methian.
Methian is a different character to Lornyc, he too is heir to a city, but has always taken life a lot less seriously than Lornyc. His name come from the Methian tribes of Ireland (c13th), and he is tall, broad, blond and handsome, the typical hero character, but it is Lornyc who rescues Methian in Servitude. He tries to pass himself as an affable, playboy, but Methian is smart, if not a little immature at times. This immaturity comes to a head in Idolatry as Methian obsesses over an ex-lover of Lornyc’s.
By the end of Idolatry, both Lornyc and Methian have changed from their first appearance in Servitude, and there’s still much for both them to learn, about each other, the political games they have to play and how outside influences can push even the loyalist person over the edge.
About Rebecca Cohen: Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.
Check Rebecca out here:
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Shobana Apu
We've got blurbage: Upon taking the throne as High Lord of Katraman and Liege of Scura, Lornyc Reagalos’s focus on rebuilding one city and reassuring another leaves little time for his husband, Methian. Added to that, he must contend with is the unexpected revelation that his grandfather, Romanus, set up his own religion and named an enigmatic figure called The One as its deity. Through some twisted interpretation of the signs left by Romanus, the Cerulean Cult comes to believe Lornyc is their god and invites him to sanctify the Cult as part of its five-hundred-year anniversary. During the Sanctification Ceremony, the Cult’s holy relic, an orb given to it by Romanus, is split, releasing an entity that tears a hole in the dimensions. The species that guards the dimensions, the Valen, force Lornyc to fix the breach, or they will have him extinguished.
Pick Idolatry up here:
To Lornyc, those who tended to practice religion had signed up to a life of piety, introspection, and humility. But the now rowdy scene in the Orb Temple was nothing like his idea of quiet contemplation and reverence. The crowd was verging on frantic, close to throwing physical blows—each member of the congregation desperate to get the best view of The One and only kept in check by a line of burly-looking priests.
“Brothers and sisters,” called Halm above the noise, “please calm yourselves.”
The lights of the Orb Temple turned onto the crowd at their full intensity. The congregation fell quiet again, trapped under the influence of the glaring lights. Halm started to speak.
“I know you are all excited. Trust me, I understand your enthusiasm. We have waited for The One for so long.” Halm motioned toward Lornyc. “And now he is here.”
A murmur rippled through the crowd, but Halm clapped his hands firmly, and silence fell as the lights dimmed once more. Halm was caught in a single shaft of light.
“The Holy Profit sent us his Words of Consequence. His words have guided us for centuries, and now he will show us the way to the next era.”
From his pocket he removed a scroll and unwound it. “The Profit’s own words,” Halm declared, holding the scroll aloft and beginning to read: “Unfortunately, I am no longer physically here to guide you all through the period of change that will follow. Everything that occurs from now on will happen for a reason—and it is an important one.
“Vitam vivere ad beatitudinem,” continued Halm, his voice steady and well-practiced. “My followers, I speak to you through words scratched on a dry piece of parchment. I assure you that the time has come to embrace new things. Remember—stercus accidit.”
The Cult’s members repeated Halm’s divine words in a respectful whisper. Lornyc bit his bottom lip to prevent himself laughing at Romanus’s choice of words. His eyes darted to Methian, who was also trying valiantly not to smirk. Unlike the Cult members, they had remembered their childhood Latin lessons.
Halm continued. “I know my teachings are very different from many of the other false prophets and bogus religions, but remember these words when you are called to defend yourself and echo my sentiment, ‘Stulta superstitio tibi nihil curo.’ Never let those who disparage you get you down.”
Halm looked to the crowd and together, as if they all knew what the scroll contained, the congregation muttered as one: “Nihil dicit te amo similis vinum.”
Lornyc groaned in mortification. The whole ceremony was obviously another perverse manifestation of Romanus’s dubious sense of humor.
“The Cult will have followed my teachings. You will have listened to the elders and they will have interpreted my words to guide you. But from today onwards, the Cult has a new leader. Be prepared that he may have very different views on the future of the Cerulean Cult, but he will be what you need in order to flourish and spread your beliefs.”
In Halm’s office Lornyc had read “The Words of Consequence.” But now, in this setting, Lornyc realized that the speech, although mocking in parts, was not directed at his grass-root followers. In fact, Romanus seemed to be trying to bolster their confidence, to make them understand that they would face hurdles due their religious beliefs and it was something they should stand strong against. Lornyc found the ceremony so far more than a little unsettling. After this was over, thousands of people would look to him for spiritual guidance. The irony was not lost on him: the holy atheist.
“Veritas, lumen est,” proclaimed Halm, closing the scroll.
Halm stared around the congregation. “My spiritual siblings, I beseech you to hear and understand our Holy Profit’s words. From this day forth, the Cerulean Cult will change for the better. The One is among us, and he will be our guide on the long path ahead. Do not be fearful. There is no need to be scared. Our future is assured, and—believe me—it is in safe hands.”
9/8: Fallen Angel Reviews
9/9: The Hat Party
9/10: Havan Fellows
9/11: Love Bytes
9/16: MM Good Book Reviews
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