Turns and Chances

While The chronicles of the Lescari Revolution is a entirely fresh series, accessible to readers who don’t know my work at all, the story does have roots in my earlier writing.

Artist Edward Miller

My first series, the Tales of Einarinn, features men and women living on the edges of legality and society, including mercenaries. Mercenaries need somewhere to fight, so I sketched in the troubled country of Lescar, divided between six dukes who all feel entitled to be High King. They skirmish and plot and every so often, bloody war breaks out.

Only nothing is ever resolved, because no one in the neighbouring countries has any real interest in peace in Lescar. Worse, they make more money out of on-going strife. So those who can afford to leave Lescar do, to find themselves second-class citizens elsewhere. Those who can’t leave stay and try to keep their heads down.

Lescar was in the distant background of the Aldabreshin Compass sequence. Dev, one character in those books, is Lescari. That heritage makes sense of who he is; rootless, cynical.

I found myself thinking about that troubled land more and more. What happens when those ordinary Lescari decide they’re just not going to endure this suffering longer? Could ordinary people frustrate their noble masters’ plans, even deciding the outcome of a battle to make sure neither warring duke secures an advantage?

In Turns and Chances, that common cause unites a duke’s beautiful mistress, a stable lad, a goodwife, a priest, the bereft mother of an infant son and guild masters weary of seeing apprentices drafted into brutish militias. Conflicting loyalties set a duke’s dutiful bastard son on a deadly collision course with a journeyman blacksmith with most unexpected skills.

Then Chaz Brenchley read the novella and observed Lescar was ripe for revolution. I honestly hadn’t seen that, not at all. He was absolutely right though.

But how? I’d just shown how stubbornly this running sore persisted. So I thought some more. One thing sustaining this unhappiness was the remittances from Lescari exiles. What if those exiles decided the time had come for change? What if they worked with that conspiracy of priests and craftsmen? What if the time was right for other folk, from all levels of Lescari society, to take a stand, for their own differing reasons?

Read Irons in the Fire for answers and surprises!

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