I am so excited to announce that Queen of Fury, the next in my Arthurian romance series, is coming Spring 2022 from Vernacular Books.
While this isn’t a direct sequel, it does take a much-beloved character from the first novel and expand the world significantly. Hywfar just leapt off the page from the moment I wrote her, and she’s another character that I took from the old texts and adapted. In the Welsh Triads, they say that Arthur had three wives named Guinevere. Well, Hywfar wasn’t exactly his wife, but she was his first betrothed. And she and all her sisters are cognates of the same name: Gweynhwfar or Gweynmawr. Language jokes! Ha.
Any rate, if you’ve read Queen of None, you’ll be familiar with Hwyfar. She’s a bit of a libertine. She’s described as a “giantess” who wears amber drops as big as thumbs. But Queen of Fury takes her out of her comfort zone. Hwyfar is abruptly called home to Avillion, where her father, King Leodegraunce, is no longer fit to rule. With her sister Mawra married to Arthur, and her sister Gweyn in the crypts, she’s the only heir. The last thing she wants is to manage a kingdom, but when she finds Avillion under threat by a usurping prince, she has no choice. Her own soldiers depleted, she pleas with Arthur for reinforcements. He agrees on the condition she must marry one of the knights she sends him. She consents, but she will not go down without a fight.
Meanwhile, Gawain of Orkney arrives on Avillion, body broken and changed after his last few years of battle. In spite of his first impressions, he is drawn to Hwyfar. But as their relationship deepens, he learns he cannot control her, or the magic of the Island… and she may not be Arthur’s best ally. He must choose between his heart and his duty to the Pendragon family.
Queen of Fury opens up the world of Arthurian legend, introducing more characters and fleshing out familiar faces. Set against a sweeping background, more magic, more romance, and adventure await…
A bit of the draft below…
Cian found me later, drunk and sulking in my favorite alcove, a hollowed-out loft above the throne room. Withiel was a castle built for hiding places, nooks and crannies carved into niches and unexpected doorways around every turn, but he had been chasing after me since I was seven, and though I was now a good head taller than him, some things did not change.
I had a platter full of cheese by my side and the remnants of two very large flagons of apple mead—that was the one thing I had truly missed in Carelon. Something about the journey at sea spoiled the apple mead, and it tasted flat and strange when I was in Braetan. So I’d made do with great quantities of ale and wine, instead.
“You’re already drunk,” said Cian, upon seeing me.
He was not wrong. I have always been very good at getting drunk very quickly.
“I am steeling my heart for the inevitable,” I said, trying not to slur my words, but not even convincing myself. My tongue felt too big for my mouth.
Cian’s sigh was both familiar and effective, leaving me to ponder the dregs in the bottom of my cup. Drink was never the best solution, but so frequently the easiest option in my life.
“You’re a coward if you think that it lies in numbing yourself,” Cian said, squatting down to get a better look at me.
I had been crying so I turned my face away.
“It isn’t fair,” I said. They were the only words I could think of that made sense. Until recently, my father, King Leodegraunce ,had no physical affliction, but the last few years had seen a decline of his spirit and mind of a kind heretofore unknown to our medics and bards.
“Ah, well, my dear, fairness doesn’t generally come into tales as much as we think,” he continued, nudging me so that I would allow him to sit with me. I’d lost count of how many times we’d done this when I was a child, and up until my eighteenth birthday when I was sent to marry Arthur Pendragon. “There are a lot more warriors and kings who die of unseen or simple matters than any kind of poetic truth.”