One more chapter left to write!

green forest with crepuscular rays

There’s just one more chapter left to write for Between the Lion and the Wolf (BLW)! I have no idea why Chapter XIX almost leapt onto the page (screen?) while the preceding two or three (or four) put up a good fight, but I’m glad it’s here!

I needed to take care of a few things in Kalas’ hometown (Lohwàlar), and I thought I’d get us to the end of the book in short order, but, well, no. One word, one sentence, one paragraph at a time. Each piece had to pave the way for future narrative and connect everything (well, mostly) that came before it. Yeah, that’s not rocket science (probably), but I did discover some geographical oddities I needed to fix. (I should have drawn a map. Or at least completed the one I started so many years ago…)

Anyway, I’m one more chapter away from completing BLW! After almost two years, this is exciting! I just hope I’m able to finish well with Book III. Like I said in my last post, there’s still editing, typesetting and a bunch of other stuff I need to wrangle before BLW is publishable…

And there’s still a lot to unpack between the end of Chapter XIX and the end of Chapter XX. Lots of events have to take place; lots of characters need to discover things—about the world, about themselves, about each other—before I can wrap it up. Chapter XX might be a long one, but I’m confident it’ll be a good one.

Here’s a snippet from Chapter XIX (with some elements redacted for your protection):

“At first, when they saw our swords, they thought we’d come to kill them: it took some doing to persuade them otherwise…They told us—and it breaks my heart to admit it, but they told us several people had tried to flee the capital after the queen closed all the gates, coerced every industry to bolster her war machine, and conscripted every able-bodied man and woman for her military. These two had started out with eight others, but they assumed they’d all been killed or captured; indeed, they fled when a soldier grabbed another young man and ran him through with his sword…”

“We told them to head west, taking pains to keep clear of the main roads, to keep clear of everyone until they reached the Áthradho. I have no idea if they’ll make it, nor what kind of reception they’ll receive if they do…That was two nights ago,” Shosafin concluded.

“The best way to help them—to help all of Ïsriba—is to put an end to ████’s reign of terror. We can’t do that if we stay down here. C’mon, just a little further: there’s the lava tubes up ahead, then the lowest reaches of the dungeon; after that, the castle…and the queen.”

Excerpted from Between the Lion and the Wolf, Chapter XIX.5

One more review, too!

I recently received an email from a reader who left a review for Beneath the Vault of Stars (BVS). It’s always gratifying—and humbling!—to hear from people who enjoyed the first book. If you enjoyed Beneath the Vault of Stars, and if you haven’t yet left your review, please consider it! It takes just few minutes to let others know what you thought about the book. Even if you weren’t a fan, I’d love to get your thoughts. Yes, reviews mean a lot to me, but I suspect they mean even more to people trying to decide if BVS is worth their time. (I think it is, but I’m just a little biased…)

Thanks for reading!

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