On a purely personal level, I was getting tired of fantasy heroines who went through their adventures untouched by human hand until ending up as the hero’s reward in the final chapter and even more so of farm boys who turned out to be princes, unaccountably mislaid, or hugely powerful wizards without even knowing it, sometimes even both! Then there are those hugely powerful wizards who don’t decide to take over the world, because they’re such darn nice guys. Don’t misunderstand me, some writers tell these tales very well but I was finding a limit to what even the most inventive author could bring to the traditional hero tale. I certainly knew I had nothing to bring to that particular party.
So I went looking for a heroine with a mind of her own, with a network of friends and a life of her own living in a world where wizards have to make a living as much as anyone else and have to deal with the suspicions of everyday folk as well as the local civil powers. If my heroine was going to go on a quest, it would not be her own choice and it would certainly not be the usual kind of adventure.
Livak is a part-time thief and full-time gambler, long accustomed to living by her wits and and narrowly avoiding serious trouble. When she attempts to sell a stolen antique to a passing merchant, she finds herself pulled into a new and dangerous world of political intrigue in which the stakes are higher than anyone involved can imagine. For the antique she has acquired dates from a particular period in the history of Einarinn about which little is known, but much has been speculated. When the truth begins to emerge, Livak decides to take the greatest gamble of her life.
Try the opening chapter !