Now that MISTRESS OF THE AGES is on the street, I thought I’d fill you in on the next project I’m working on, titled VULCAN’S FURY: THE DARK LANDS.
My apologies to fellow Star Trek fans, but VULCAN’S FURY has nothing to do with Vulcans like our beloved Mr. Spock. Rather, this book is something of an alternate history of ancient Rome with a sci-fi twist. The feel of the story thus far reminds me quite a bit of both EMPIRE and the books of THE FIRST EMPRESS trilogy, although set against the backdrop of Earth, rather than outer space.
The premise of VULCAN’S FURY is that the civilizations of the ancient world were destroyed by an asteroid impact. Pockets of survivors emerged after what was later called The Long Winter, among them a group of Romans who had managed to preserve their culture and a vision to build a New Rome come the day they could again live under the open sky. When the First Spring came at last, they found the world had forever changed: the boundaries between land and sea were all but unrecognizable, and even the positions of the stars in the sky had changed. Many animals recorded in the now ancient records of the first Survivors were gone. Over the centuries that followed, other creatures, some wonderful and others terrible, appeared, sent by the gods to replace some of those that had been taken away.
A few thousand years after Old Rome was destroyed, the dream of the Roman Survivors had become a reality. Vulcan’s Fury, as the impact event was known, had become a distant but poignant memory of how wrathful the gods can be, and it was the duty of every Roman to see that they were never angered again. Over those many years, the Roman Empire had finally brought to heel the entire known world, save the Dark Lands. Hidden behind a barrier of smoldering volcanoes and the deadly Haunted Sea, the Dark Lands were at the heart of ancient legends among the Romans of terrible beasts, and worse, that had once feasted upon the flesh of men in the earliest days of the First Spring.
But ancient legends held no fear for Princess Valeria, daughter of Caesar Tiberius Claudius Augustus. Enthralled by reports of strange happenings along the coast and bored by the life of a young Roman noblewoman, she begs her father to allow her to travel to the coast of the Haunted Sea to indulge her curiosity. Tiberius grants her request, anxious to see her safely away from Rome, where the Senate is plotting against him. Together with her closest companions, including her enormous hexatiger, Hercules, Valeria sets off on her adventure, unaware that she has set in motion a series of events that will change the history of the Empire, and all Humankind, forever…
So, that’s a bit more than you would get in a typical book blurb, but I wanted to give you more of an idea of where the story is coming from. I don’t have a publication date yet, of course, but as of this writing the manuscript is already at 41,000 words, so it’s moving along pretty quickly. I also don’t know if it will be a standalone or not – we’ll just have to wait and see!
Lastly, for those who have been wondering, MISTRESS OF THE AGES was not the last book of the IN HER NAME series. The story of the Kreelan Empire and Confederation of Humanity isn’t over yet.