11 November 2021

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[Blog Tour] "Empire’s Heir" (Empire’s Legacy, Book VI) By Marian L Thorpe #HistoricalFantasy

Some games are played for mortal stakes...

[Blog Tour] "Empire’s Heir" (Empire’s Legacy, Book VI) By Marian L Thorpe #HistoricalFantasy
Empire's Heir - Tour Banner

The Book:

Empire’s Heir
(Empire’s Legacy, Book VI)
By Marian L Thorpe
  • Publication Date: 30th August 2021
  • Publisher: Arboretum Press
  • Page Length: 438 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy

The Blurb:

Some games are played for mortal stakes.

Gwenna, heir to Ésparias, is summoned by the Empress of Casil to compete for the hand of her son. Offered power and influence far beyond what her own small land can give her, Gwenna’s strategy seems clear – except she loves someone else.

Nineteen years earlier, the Empress outplayed Cillian in diplomacy and intrigue. Alone, his only living daughter has little chance to counter the Empress's experience and skill. Aging and torn by grief and worry, Cillian insists on accompanying Gwenna to Casil.

Risking a charge of treason, faced with a choice he does not want to make, Cillian must convince Gwenna her future is more important than his – while Gwenna plans her moves to keep her father safe. Both are playing a dangerous game. Which one will concede – or sacrifice?

  • Trigger Warnings: Death, rape.

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[Blog Tour] "Empire’s Heir" (Empire’s Legacy, Book VI) By Marian L Thorpe #HistoricalFantasy
Empire’s Heir - Book Cover

Empire’s Heir - Excerpt:

© 2021 Marian L Thorpe
Here, Gwenna, one of the two narrators of Empire’s Heir, in her role as a junior trade envoy, is reporting to her superior, to be assigned work for the few weeks before she must travel to Casil, capital of the Eastern Empire, as a possible bride for the young prince.

The morning brought sunshine, and a meeting with Michan, the officer to whom I reported. He’d been one of Casyn’s adjutants, alongside my father, when my great-uncle had been Princip in the years after the Casilani had arrived; regardless, he treated me no differently than the rest of the young envoys he supervised.

We reviewed the terms of the tariff agreements I’d made with Ruar. He pursed his lips at the rate set for salt fish. “That’s very low, Gwenna.”

“But within the range I was given.”

“It is. But we’ll have to give the Varslanders the same rate, which will reduce revenues more than I would have liked.”

“Why?” I asked. “Didn’t we request more high-value goods from them? Furs and ivory and amber?”

He leant back in his chair. “Yes, but we are getting fewer of those, not more.”

“A bad winter?” I suggested, “Hunting and trapping difficult, and if the ice stayed late, amber difficult to find?”

“Possibly. But we’ve heard nothing about heavy snows or a late spring. Such hard weather would have affected northern Sorham, too, surely?”

“Then they are holding these goods back? Hoping to renegotiate prices, perhaps?”

“Perhaps. Or?”

“Or bypassing us altogether,” I said, realizing. By the terms of the treaties signed after the Taiva, the Marai brought goods only as far south as the trading harbour in Linrathe, to be transferred to Casilani ships there. It kept them away from Ésparias, their ships and men held in the north. But the sea wasn’t the only way to travel to Casil, just the fastest. “You think they are taking the river route east?”

“I’ve received no confirmation of this from our agents in Casil, but I believe that route not navigable until only a few weeks ago, so it’s not surprising.”

“Am I to investigate, while I’m there?”

“That, I think, might be difficult, given why you are going,” he said gravely. “Nonetheless, be alert.”

“Of course.” Inwardly I smiled: it would be something to do that wasn’t polite conversation and court presentation. “What is my next assignment, sir?”

“As I cannot send you away from the fort, I thought to use you here. It will be mostly translation, and tallying cargo manifests, and such. Not very interesting, I’m afraid.”

I’d spent much of the last year doing similar work—tallying, not translating—in the coastal villages, so I already knew it wasn’t, in itself, interesting. At least I’d been listening as well as auditing records, noting what was said about tax rates and prices—and in the weeks spent at Tirvan, I’d got to know my aunt Kira and my cousin Teárdh a little better. I had a good head for numbers, and I’d been trained to be precise, so the work wasn’t difficult; as well, I’d enjoyed the travel.

I suspected Michan had another motive: the opportunity to negotiate border tariffs with Linrathe had come rather early in my career, and by assigning me to mundane work, he’d be sending a message to the other young envoys that I was not being singled out for special treatment. He’d taken advantage of my rank for one situation, but it wasn’t going to be common practice.
[Blog Tour] "Empire’s Heir" (Empire’s Legacy, Book VI) By Marian L Thorpe #HistoricalFantasy
Marian L Thorpe 

Author Bio:

Essays, poetry, short stories, peer-reviewed scientific papers, curriculum documents, technical guides, grant applications, press releases – if it has words, it’s likely Marian L Thorpe has written it, somewhere along the line. But nothing has given her more satisfaction than her novels. Combining her love of landscape and history, set in a world reminiscent of Europe after the decline of Rome, her books arise from a lifetime of reading and walking and wondering ‘what if?’ Pre-pandemic, Marian divided her time between Canada and the UK, and hopes she may again, but until then, she resides in a small, very bookish, city in Canada, with her husband Brian and Pye-Cat.

Connect With Marian L Thorpe:

[Blog Tour] "Empire’s Heir" (Empire’s Legacy, Book VI) By Marian L Thorpe #HistoricalFantasy
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