Hello Inkshares people!
Thank you for your continued support. Chapter Two is now up, so please read, highlight and comment to your heart’s content - let’s keep those preorders rolling in!
Chapter Two introduces Greyhide, a barbaric madri warlord. He’s one of the key characters in Oak and Stone, although whether he counts as protagonist or antagonist probably depends on your personal preference. Over the coming weeks I’ll post some updates fleshing out the madri race and the inspiration behind this specific character, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading him as much as I do writing him!
Keep an eye out for chapter three, which will be up on Friday.
Love and hugs
So, 3 days into the contest (well, a week, but my submission was a bit late). Today’s been a good day for Oak and Stone (I’m thinking of trialling "O&S"). My follower and pre-order counts have both increased exponentially, which is fantastic news, but I’m not resting on my laurels; there’s still a long way to go before I’m anywhere near the top of the leaderboard so please keep spreading the word when you can!
I plan to use these updates for more than just cajoling purposes, don’t you worry. The rough plan is to upload new content roughly twice a week, whether that be new chapters, artwork, hastily scrawled world and regional maps, or even quasi-blog posts about the story so far and where it’s going. What I also plan to do, when I upload new chapters, is give a little touch of context in the update that goes with it; to set the scene, introduce the characters involved and outline roughly how each new section fits into the overall picture.
As you’ll know having (hopefully) read the chapters thus far, I’ve introduced a few of O&S’ protagonists - Kindari huntress and duke’s daughter Rhialwyn, her childhood friend and bodyguard, the vaivardi Ianni Di’Ange, and the sailor and all-round moustachioed everyman, Mallet.
The main draw of chapter 1, though, is to establish the magic of the world of Enai - that is, the Domains. Each of the six Domains represents, in basic terms, a classical or not-so-classical element - life, water, air, fire, earth and spirit. But the Domains are so much more than that.
As chapter 1 reads, "The Domains are in and of everything there ever was, is and will be, and there is a fine balance to the world’s magics that must not be skewed..." Everything from the simplest pebble to the mightiest oak to the infinitely complex biological processes that cause an embryo to develop into a fully fledged human being... all of this is comprised of the six Domains in one combination or another.
These are the core energies of the planet of Enai, which are harnessed for sorcery and held as sacred throughout the world. This has given rise to the concept of the Dominus, which is akin to a patron saint, often taking the form of a beast. The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed two such creatures referred to in chapter 1; Nihemual (pronounced NIGH-uh-mahl), the bull Dominus of the folk of Kindair such as Rhialwyn, and Gaedal, the sea lioness Dominus common to many sailor folk like Mallet.
Basically, think the periodic table, but magic. And hopefully a lot easier to remember.
This is Big Fantasy in the Erikson/Jordan style, so be prepared - there will be a lot of characters, a lot of points of view and a lot of concepts both scientific and philosophical that have fed into the creation of the world and its mechanics. Erikson says he never intended for his books to be simple to follow, and to a degree I’m the same... having said that, the feedback I’ve received to date tells me that it’s working so far, so thank you to all those who have highlighted excerpts they enjoyed, and to my one reviewer to date!
As is my wont, this update has ended up far longer than planned. I’ll try to keep things short and sweet in future, though. I plan on uploading chapter 2 on Wednesday, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, please keep reading, commenting, reviewing and pre-ordering, and tell your friends!
Love and hugs,
First of many updates - I’ve amended my submission to include the whole of Chapter One rather than the small excerpt previously uploaded. This follows a bit of a re-jig of the book order, which previously contained a rather weighty eight chapters (including prologue) coming in at about 60 pages (10,000 words) each - it feels much better balanced in its new format at about twice as many chapters of half that length per chapter. This also means I can upload the chapters in full to give you a better feel for the story, rather than pulling out random sections and leaving blanks in between each.
Please do have a read, and I’d love to hear any feedback. Bear in mind one of Inkshares’ snazzier little foibles - you can highlight passages you particularly like and comment on them. I would love to hear from you if there’s parts you found enjoyable.