I delight in calling my first series a “trilogy in 5 parts”. When I first sat down to write that one scene that refused to get out of my head for about nine months and opened its grip on my brain only after being released from the prison of my head, I had no idea that it would eventually turn out to be a book.
I was well into my 500th page when I first thought that if I continued like that it truly might turn into an actual novel. Soon enough I realised that I couldn’t possibly fit all my ideas into just one book, so I decided that it was going to be a trilogy. That did not quite work out as I had planned. The characters were utterly uncooperative and did as they pleased instead of adhering to my mind-map. They had developed a disconcerting kind of independence that made me wonder more than once if I had acquired myself a fancy new multiple personality disorder (I have not, I read that other authors write of similar experiences…). So three parts turned into five just like that.
Every time I mention an idea for the “next” trilogy, my husband smirks and tells me that for a “next” trilogy I first need to have an initial one. Technically, he is kind of right here – which does not at all sit well with me (because it makes me wrong, obviously). Thus I have taken to referring to it as a trilogy in 5 parts. And yes, I totally stole that from Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Why reinvent the wheel when his term fits my requirements so perfectly? I wonder if he had the same discussion with his significant other back then…
A clumsy step, the wrong branch to hold on to and a bump on the head to leave her unconscious – no more than that turns Eryn’s life upside down when she suddenly finds herself in the capital city as a prisoner of the King. She is determined to keep her magical abilities a secret in a kingdom where, as long as anyone knows, magicians have only ever been male.
However, her aim doesn’t work out especially well. The Order – the governing body for magicians – and the King seem to have their own plans with her, none of them caring in the least that she just wants to leave that accursed city behind and return to the peace and quiet of her profession as a healer.
And then there is Enric, a high-ranking magician in the Order thanks to his considerable strength, who seems to find watching her struggles an amusing diversion.
Ram’an has, to Enric’s great relief, left Anyueel again to return to his home country – which leaves him to work out the challenge that Eryn still presents to him in more than one area of his life.
Eryn is restless, unnerved by the Order’s demands and her own urge to do something useful. It seems an expedition into the woods to teach the herb gatherers in the city how to provide her with acceptable goods is just the thing to pass the time until the new healers’ premises are ready for use. Ten peaceful days of collecting plants, far away from the city – or at least that’s the plan.
After Eryn and Enric leave Takhan, they make a discovery that has a huge impact on their relationship – a change Eryn doesn’t approve of while Enric is thrilled.
Life could be busy yet peaceful if it weren’t for the guests from Takhan who turn out to be rather troublesome in more than one way. And then there is the King, who obviously doesn’t want to be outdone by the new Ambassador and the healer from Takhan when it comes to causing tensions.
Right after her arrival in Takhan, Eryn has to face a shocking revelation. Then there is the simmering tension in her relationship with Ram’an, as well as the wearisome preparations for the final healer exam with Sarol, a man who considers mediocre performance a personal insult.
While Enric is getting to grips with his role as Head of House Aren and senator and Vern seems to have found in Takhan his ideal home, Eryn is still fighting to cope somehow with her anger.
In addition to leading House Aren and Eryn’s own project in Takhan she also has to care for the new family addition – and all this while her companion is absent, gone up north to free Malriel from the claws of a foreign jurisdiction.
Enric is not only suffering from nightmares which are not his own but also under the third level commitment bond that turns his separation from his family into an even greater ordeal. He is determined to take care of the matter in Pirinkar as swiftly as possible and finally be able to return to his partner. And to his son, who was born somewhat sooner than expected.