DAUGHTER OF AITHNE
by Karin Rita Gastreich
Betrayed by her own prodigy, Eolyn stands accused of treason. As power-hungry nobles dismantle her life's work and honor, the desperate queen forges a risky alliance with the ruthless and cunning Mage Corey. Determined to defend her son's claim to the throne of the Mage King, Eolyn prepares for her last and greatest battle, this time against her own sisters in magic.
Across the Furma River, Taesara of Roenfyn is drawn out of seclusion and into an ever-more vicious game of intrigue and war. Subject to the schemes of a shrewd uncle and the mysterious ambitions of the wizards of Galia, Taesara struggles to assert her own destiny, even as she takes up arms to defend her daughter's inheritance.
In the climactic finale to The Silver Web trilogy, threads of love, honor, betrayal, and vengeance culminate in a violent conflict between powerful women, opposed to each other yet destined to shatter a thousand-year cycle of war.
"An enticing and elegant series finale, filled with magic and turmoil." -KIRKUS REVIEWS
Taesara stiffened as Penamor took her chin in his fingers and subjected her to cold inspection. After a moment, his frown deepened and he shook his head. “Only the Sisters of the Poor could take a woman at the height of her flower and turn her into a dried-up weed.”
Taesara bristled. “There is no place for vanity within these walls.”
“Apparently not. They’ve made you skinny and sallow. Though it is nothing, I’ll wager, that a bit of sun and some proper food cannot remedy. What are these rags they dress you in?”
She stepped away, clenching her jaw. “This is all I need. All anyone needs, to live at peace in this world.”
Penamor snorted. “Indeed.”
“Why are you here?”
“I’ve come to fetch you home.”
“This is my home.”
“This was your temporary refuge. A foul place, but one of your choosing. We were generous enough to let you stay, first your father and then I, as we put the outside world in order. Now it is time for you to return.”
“I am not going back.”
“Oh, but I think you will.” Penamor spoke with an odd tone, at once menacing and full of promise. “War is at hand, and you will be the one to lead it.”
Taesara forced a laugh. “You know I will have no part of it. Eliasara would die at their hands if we so much as—”
“They do not have Eliasara,” he said. “We do.”
Shadows flashed through Taesara’s vision. She stumbled and caught hold of the back of a chair. A chasm opened inside her heart, swallowing the vines and trees with which she had concealed her love and pain during all these years. The bitter anguish of the day she was separated from Eliasara returned full force.
“Where is she? Where is my daughter?”
~Buy DAUGHTER OF AITHNE on Amazon
A GUEST POST FROM KARIN
The Magical World of The Silver Web
The world of The Silver Web is centered on the Kingdom of Moisehén, but includes many other lands as well. There are the remote Paramen Mountains, the vast marshes of Roenfyn, the exotic coastal territories of the Galian wizards, and the sophisticated empire of the Syrnte, to name a few. Each of these lands has its own culture, history, and system of magic; to cover what inspired them all would take a long post!
So today I’ll focus on Moisehén, home of the principle character, Eolyn. A powerful kingdom with a rich tradition of magic, Moisehén was inspired in part by medieval Germany and in part by the central highlands of colonial Costa Rica, where I lived for many years - though not in colonial times!
In the opening chapters of the trilogy’s first book, Eolyn grows up in a wilderness very much like the beautiful oak forests of the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica. These are spectacular woodlands with moss-covered, ancient trees that can’t help but inspire legends of magic.
In Moisehén, magical power is built on an understanding of the natural world. This was directly inspired by my own experiences as a field ecologist, as well as by ethnobotanical knowledge – particularly knowledge of shamanistic traditions – that I’ve picked up along the way.
Magic is divided into several categories. There are types of magic that are considered inherent, such as Children’s Magic. All magic that must be learned through apprenticeship is referred to as Advanced Magic. Advanced Magic, in turn, is divided into three categories: Simple Magic, Middle Magic, and High Magic.
Practitioners who have become adept at Simple and Middle Magic must petition the Gods for a staff to learn the arts of High Magic. With a staff, the practitioner can accomplish many feats of magic and illusion, such as flight and shapeshifting. They can also invoke flames for ceremonial purposes, for self-defense, or in the case of Mage Warriors, for use on the battle field.
Because magic is a source of power, the question of who can practice magic is central to the saga of The Silver Web. At the start of Book One, Eolyn is the last surviving heiress to women’s magic in Moisehén. As the trilogy continues, Eolyn’s struggle to restore women’s magic to her people stretches across multiple generations and kingdoms, each with their own system of magic and their own stake in the outcome of Eolyn’s journey.
Daughter of Aithne is the final, decisive conflict in this struggle. Ironically, even though Eolyn’s struggle has pitted her against many powerful men along the way, in the third book of the trilogy, Daughter of Aithne, the greatest challenge Eolyn faces is posed by a woman, Queen Taesara of Roenfyn, who takes up arms against Eolyn to defend her own daughter’s claim to throne.
Building a fantasy world is a complicated task, and one must draw from many sources of inspiration and information to succeed in crafting a world that is nuanced and believable. But no matter how vast your landscape and how magical your kingdoms, the core of world building always comes back to the characters. In other words, make your characters real in their talents, flaws, hopes, and aspirations, and everything else will fall into place.
Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands all her life. Her pastimes include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.
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Karin Rita Gastreich will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway