Back in 2007, I landed my very first book deal—a three-book contract with Tor Books for a novel called Passion Play and two sequels. Passion Play came out in October 2010, and to my absolute delight it won the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Epic Fantasy. Queen's Hunt and Allegiance followed in 2012 and 2013, with great reviews.
This year, the paperback edition of Allegiance will be released. I want to celebrate this milestone with a story that is my coda to the series. Nocturnall is a 12,000 word novelette that takes place thirty-five years after the end of Allegiance. Pledges from this campaign will pay for custom cover art, copyediting, a limited print edition, the trilogy e-bundle rewards, and e-book production.
So what is the trilogy about?
It's epic fantasy, set in a world with magic and multiple lives. It's also the story about one young woman named Ilse Zhalina and her journey toward independence and agency.
In Passion Play, Ilse chooses to run rather than accept marriage with the abusive and cruel man her father has chosen. Her flight takes her to the household of Lord Raul Kosenmark.
Raul Kosenmark was once a councilor to the old king. The old king is dead, and Raul now lives in self-imposed exile from court. But Raul secretly continues to influence the kingdom's politics through a network of friends and allies. Ilse joins this shadow court, and over time, her friendship with Raul turns into love.
But Raul has many powerful enemies, enemies who are promoting a bloody and destructive war. Throughout Queen's Hunt, Ilse and Raul plot and plan and spy to prevent this war. And in Allegiance, Ilse discovers she must make a long and dangerous journey, one that echoes a journey she attempted centuries and lives before.
That's the end of the trilogy, but not the end of the story for Ilse and Raul.
Nocturnall takes place thirty-five years after the end of Allegiance. There are secret agendas and political intrigue. Old enemies make their reappearance. But most of all, it's a story about a love than spans across lifetimes. My editor loved it, and suggested we include Nocturnall as an epilogue to the novel. I felt that would only muddy the book's ending. Better to publish the story later, as a stand-alone.
Well, later has arrived. This October, Allegiance comes out in paperback. My plans are to release Nocturnall as an e-single in December. I want to give this story the professional treatment it deserves, including custom cover art from up-and-coming artist Jessica Shirley.
With your help, I can make this happen.
Queen's Hunt: Chapter 1
Allegiance: Chapter 1
Thief of War, a novella set in the same world
Praise for the series
"Bernobich’s debut is simply marvelous. Ilse is a memorably strong protagonist who has to make a lot of really difficult choices in order to survive and Raul Kosenmark is one of the most unique heroes this reviewer has ever encountered." —Natalie A. Luhrs, RT Book Reviews
“Passion Play, indeed. Passionate, articulate, clever, this book sings right along. Desperate measures and hope bundled together in a daring adventure. Byzantine politics seldom combine so well with great characters. A marvelous debut novel.” —Patricia Briggs, New York Times bestselling author
"The promise of Passion Play is realized in this complex sequel, a tale of intrigue among kingdoms on the brink of war…" —Publishers Weekly (Queen's Hunt)
"Readers will be on the edge of their seats with every machination and twist, delighted as characters who were introduced in passing suddenly have their places and purposes revealed." —Publishers Weekly (Allegiance)
ADDITIONAL COPIES OF THE PRINT EDITION (ADD $10 EACH) — Want another copy of the print edition for a friend? Just add $10 plus the shipping charge to your pledge. (US shipping free; Canada $3; rest of the world $7) Valid for the $20 pledge and above.
E-BUNDLE REWARDS: For backers residing in the US or Canada, I will provide gift codes from your choice of Amazon or Barnes & Noble for e-books of Passion Play, Queen's Hunt, and Allegiance. (This is necessary because Tor Books owns the rights to these novels, so I cannot provide them directly.) I will send Nocturnall directly to you as a DRM-free e-book in mobi, epub, and PDF.
You will receive e-books of the trilogy within a few weeks of the Kickstarter finishing. The e-book of Nocturnall will be sent in October. For those who pledged at the E-BUNDLE PLUS level, you will also receive the signed print copy in October.
WRITER'S SPECIAL #1: I'll start critiquing as soon as the Kickstarter ends, on a first come first served basis. When I receive your pages, I'll send you a response with an estimate of how long it will take me to get you feedback.
WRITER'S SPECIAL #2: When I receive your pages, I'll send you a response with an estimate of how long it will ll take me to send you feedback. We can arrange for our one-on-one to happen after you get your critique.
STRETCH GOAL #1 — $2500 — Three interior illustrations for the story from the same artist. If you still want a copy of my collection, I am happy to provide it.
Your support will help bring this project to life. Your pledges will pay for cover art, copy editing, the limited print edition, the trilogy e-bundle rewards, e-book production, and more. Plus you get to read the story before everyone else!
(And you get cat photos. Let's not forget the cat photos.)
Thank you very much.
Risks and challenges
I have a completed draft of Nocturnall in hand, and it's gone through several thorough revisions, so there's no danger I won't have the story completed. I have allotted six months to work with the cover artist and for print and e-book production, but if unforeseen circumstances delay the release, I will let all my backers know immediately.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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