After a year-and-a-half of work, I’ve finally completed The Scepter of Ice and published it as an e-book:
The realm of Askamar is falling under the power of Lady Ruzenathra, the ruthless wielder of the Scepter of Xathun. Among the immortal rulers who still defy her are Lady Liralian, Liralian’s hated foe Mormariul, and Takanepi, the immortal lord who still cares deeply for them both.
When Mormariul destroys the human city of Jaton, Takanepi can endure no more. He demands that she yield her power to Ruzenathra, only to find himself appointed as the new ruler of Mormariul’s blood-thirsty Vanotaquan empire.
As Takanepi struggles to bring justice and reform to Vanotaqua, Mormariul’s mind plunges deeper into torment. Liralian insists that she must be imprisoned before she brings any more harm to the human world. However, Mormariul’s mortal subjects see the new regime as a threat to their own ambitions, and they are not ready to let her give up so easily.
I’m really proud and excited to have finished the second Askamar book. I think this one is even better than the first, both in its plot and in its writing. Unlike The Web of War, which (as the title suggests) focuses on battle and intrigue, this one is much more about the characters.
Of course, my joy at having published The Scepter of Ice is sometimes crushed by the depressive certainty that no-one except Maggie and myself will ever read it, but hopefully those feelings will fade. I really can’t think why it matters to me that no one else reads my books, and I shouldn’t let it ruin the happiness that writing brings me.
Even now, there’s still a small part of me that secretly hopes this book will get some readers, but I know that’s foolish.
Only those who truly know and love Askamar can get past the incomprehensible first chapter of The Web of War (where I decided to introduce all nine Esu Ankaykari and their intrigues at once!!), and The Scepter of Ice might not make sense by itself (unless the reader decides to refer to the website, and who wants that much hard work?)
Anyway, enough of that! I’m really excited about writing the next book, The Ruler of Ruins, but I promised myself that I’d take a break from writing when The Scepter of Ice was finished. Perhaps I’ll wait until July or August. That will give me plenty of time to devote to maps and artwork, and to refine the plot of the book.
This time, I really am going to try not to write like a maniac. Since The Scepter of Ice took me one-and-a-half years (with a lengthy break towards the end to re-write The Web of War), I’ll give myself two years to write The Ruler of Ruins.