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Deadly Destinations: Updraft by Fran Wilde

September 7th, 2015 Kristie Posted in Deadly Destinations 2 Comments »

Deadly Destinations 2015

Deadly Destinations gets a lesson in flying today with Fran Wilde’s Updraft! This high-flying fantasy novel was released on September 1, 2015 from Tor.


Wingtests, Wingfights, and Dangers to Avoid Above the Clouds: A Charge for New Flight Instructors, as presented by Magister Dix (excerpted)

“Within the city’s four quadrants, teaching Flight is a sacred duty. You’ve seen what can happen with reckless fliers, or sudden squalls. You know the need for Laws and tests of ability.

Tower citizens trust us to train them in proper flight and safety techniques, while also protecting them from the inherent dangers. They expect us to prepare each tower’s next generation for not only a successful wingtest, but also for success on the city’s gusts.

I tell you now, Flight is also our first line of defense against those citizens who might not be prepared to take part in city life.

Now you may ask, ‘Dix, why say something like that when we can help shape the young minds of our towers before they become a problem?’ I know there are still a few Magisters who disagree with me, but listen carefully and I’ll tell you why: The stability and safety of this tower and that of all around us depends on our keeping a watchful eye on jealousies, stubbornness, and — worst of all — a missing sense of duty to tower and city. That last is worse than clumsiness, worse than being unlucky. Mark my words, you will see it among your students at least once in your lifetime. You must be prepared to deal with it.

How does this relate to flight risk? A missing sense of duty and tradition is not as dangerous as a skymouth on migration, some might say, but I guarantee you this is not true. A sense of duty binds us to our flight groups, and our towers, makes us mindful in the air of others on the wing. It keeps us from flying recklessly. It keeps those who suffer from ambition from harming the rest of us with their dangerous behavior. I could tell you a story or two about a certain famous trader and her dangerous lack of respect, but I’ll save that for another time.

But be aware that the Singers are watching. They count on us as the first line of defense. Much like bridges help support the towers and connect them together, so too we, the Flight Magisters, must help support our communities and bind them to their obligations.


I might add that your own sense of duty and tradition is defined by how well you observe for this in your Flight classes, and report it. But on to other dangers above the clouds, now that we’ve got that straight.

The main risks of flight in the city, in order of danger:

  • The clouds themselves The wind near the cloud layer far below us is changeable and the danger of getting sucked into the unseen should be imprinted on your students from the first. They should be reminded at all times to remain with their flight group. Should a student tumble and no one be able to catch them, avoid sacrificing yourself before going after them. There are things within the clouds that even an experienced flier could not overcome.
  • Skymouths While this quadrant has not seen a skymouth migration in some time, the possibility requires us to be ever vigilant. The terrifying creatures can appear right out of nowhere, although there are often signs beforehand. A distinct lack of birds in the area, sounds of tearing and even shrieking from nearby. Should you encounter one while on the wing, attempt to get to safety immediately while warning the guards.
  • Squalls While we are at a much calmer height than the turbulent clouds, all tower citizens should be aware of and avoid squalls as much as possible. There are grips on each tower for emergency landings, and citizens are required to shelter their neighbors during squalls. These can disappear as suddenly as they appear, and knock fliers right out of the sky.
  • Reckless flyers Possibly our most dangerous risk to safe flight is each other. Recklessness is an unforgivable breach and must be met with a sufficient weight of Lawsmarkers in order to bring the reckless one around, or to alert their neighbors that they have among them a danger.

I’ll take questions in a moment, and then proceed to the particular dangers of wingfighting before we turn to the wingtest elements. Before I do, remember that you are the first and last line of defense against many of these dangers for your tower. Yes, there are guards and hunters, but you provide the eyes and ears of the tower, and you alone can usher the next generation to safe passage on the wind.”


FranWildeAuthorPhoto2015_credit Dan MagusAbout Fran:

Fran Wilde’s first novel, Updraft, debuts from Tor Books on September 1, 2015. Her short stories have appeared at, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny Magazine, and in Asimovs’ and Nature. Fran also interviews authors about food in fiction at Cooking the Books, and blogs for GeekMom and SFSignal.

You can visit Fran around the web here: Website | Blog

             Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Fran Wilde?




Available September 1, 2015 from Tor

About this Book:

Library Journal Starred Review
Library Journal Debut of the Month
Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review
Publisher’s Weekly Fall 2015 SF, Fantasy & Horror Top 10

In a city of living bone whose past has been lost to legend, Kirit Densira breaks a law.

When she endangers her tower by attracting a terrible predator, she is punished by city rulers who have their own terrible secrets to hide. Kirit uncovers those secrets, and faces the consequences.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Deadly Destinations: Lady of Magick by Sylvia Izzo Hunter

September 5th, 2015 Kristie Posted in Deadly Destinations 5 Comments »

Deadly Destinations 2015

Deadly Destinations is going to the Kingdom of Alba! This kingdom is showcased in the Noctis Magicae series by Sylvia Izzo Hunter. The second novel in this fantasy series, Lady of Magick, was released on September 1, 2015 from Ace/Penguin!

**Enter for your chance to win a copy of Lady of Magick at the end of this post! This contest is for US addresses only.**


Advice for British travellers to the Kingdom of Alba

compiled by Einion Powell, Mag.B. (Oxon.)

Private secretary to His Majesty’s ambassador to Alba

Being words of wisdom & warning on diverse matters, for the British subject intending to visit the Kingdom of Alba.

The noble and ancient Kingdom of Alba encompasses the territory north of the Roman Wall, as well as myriad islands large and small, to the north and east thereof. To the west is Eire, close kin to Alba in language, history and custom, and perpetual rival in politics and war.

On language & other forms of communication.

As the well-informed traveller will be aware, the chief language of Alba is Gaelic, and it will ease the way significantly to make some study of this language beforehand, or to engage some person capable of communicating in both Latin and Gaelic. Though in Alba, as in our own Kingdom, Latin is widely spoken among educated persons, it is rare outside those regions immediately abutting the Wall — where except in times of outright warfare, some degree of trade and communication has generally occurred — to find a speaker of English, Français, or any other vernacular of Britain. Several elementary grammars and phrasebooks exist, but none published within the past half-century.

On names & greetings.

Among Albans of every class, the customary greeting, upon being introduced, is a clasping of the right hands. A man need have no reluctance in clasping hands with a lady, nor the reverse. The double handclasp however, is reserved for friends and close acquaintance.

Similarly, Albans of every class, and women and men alike, are customarily addressed not by any title or honorific, but by their full name. Particularly baffling to the British visitor to Alba is the custom whereby the married woman continues to be known by her maiden name, thus sharing a name with her father and brothers rather than with her husband. It is common also to hear persons addressed by surnoms of all kinds: the geographical (distinguishing geographically disparate branches of the same clan or family), the personal (identifying a man by the colour of his hair, for example), and the familial (for instance, to distinguish two cousins both named for their grandfather).  While the reader may be tempted to conclude that Albans accord less importance than ourselves to their own and others’ position in society, in fact Alban names convey complex family and clan relationships, and thus, to the knowledgeable, are as revealing of status and position as any British title. Should the reader find himself addressed in the Alban fashion, therefore — as is more than likely — this should not be interpreted as implying any disparagement, or any loss of status. Indeed, the imposition of a surnom is often (though not always) a sign of favour and of especial hospitality.

On dining & the customs of welcome.

For the most part, the British visitor ought to find nothing discomfiting in the hospitality practised by his Alban hosts. One need hardly mention that the polite guest, whether visiting at home or abroad, will refrain from commenting upon the choice of deities invoked by his hosts in extending their welcome, nor offer any insult to his hosts’ gods. The British traveller, however, must be advised that Albans, who take especial pride in their long history of successful resistance to Roman rule, may be apt also to take particular offence at the invocation of any Roman deity, whether in ritual fashion or in ordinary conversation, in their own homes. Of course visitors are not expected to call upon gods who are not their own; when in doubt, however, the considerate guest will — as is not unheard-of in the less urbane corners of our own Kingdom — call upon Roman gods in the privacy of his own heart, so as to be certain of giving no offence.

A further caution: it is not the custom in Alba, as in Britain, for ladies to withdraw from the dinner-table in advance of the men. In other respects, however, our two kingdoms have many customs in common, in respect of both the welcoming of guests and their care and feeding. The precise words of the ritual of welcome will vary to some degree, both from our own custom and from clan to Alban clan; but the visitor may feel perfectly assured in making the customary reply And may the gods smile upon your house and all who dwell in it.

The Midnight QueenLady of Magick

On precedence & etiquette.

Though popularly called a kingdom, Alba is ruled not by a king as such, but by the man or woman who sits the Chieftain’s Seat in Din Edin. Each is chosen by the previous ruler, and generally from among his own family; but that choice must be confirmed by the chieftains of all the major clans in council, and such confirmation is by no means pro forma. Indeed, disagreements as to the most suitable heir have been at the root of many, perhaps most, of Alba’s past internal conflicts. To the Alban mind, however, our belief that the throne passes from father to son by the will of Britain’s gods represents an equally baffling curiosity.

The clans of Alba govern themselves and their territories with both more and less autonomy than the British peer: more, in that clan chieftains enjoy considerable freedom to make and enforce the law within their clan-lands; and less, in that certain laws — most notably those respecting provision for the hungry in times of famine, and of the poor at all times — are firmly enforced upon all, and the clan which fails to uphold these duties faces the harshest of penalties, which are considered to proceed not from the throne, but from the kingdom’s patron deities.

As in Britain the earliest creations take precedence, in Alba the longest-standing clans are also the most powerful, with certain exceptions resulting from ill fortune of various kinds.

On travel & transport.

Though lurid tales of Alban banditry have long circulated south of the Wall, travelling in Alba is in fact no more or less hasardous than travelling within our own Kingdom, apart from the difficulty of making oneself understood in some regions less accustomed to foreign travellers (see above). One significant point which should be mentioned, however, is that Alban ladies of rank, unlike their sisters in most parts of Britain, think nothing of undertaking even long journeys without male escort. The visitor is cautioned against drawing any conclusion from the presence of such unescorted ladies as may be met with upon the road, or whilst stopping at an inn or wayhouse.


Sylvia Izzo HunterAbout Sylvia:

Sylvia Izzo Hunter was born in Calgary, Alberta, back in the days before Star Wars, and started making up stories at approximately the time she learned to talk. A couple of decades ago she moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she now lives with her husband and daughter and their slightly out-of-control collections of books, comics, and DVDs. She studied English and French literature (with a particular focus on medieval and Renaissance poetry and drama) at York University; she has since discovered that her mom was right: in order to be a functioning grown-up, you really do need to know how to do math.

Over the course of her working life Sylvia has been a slinger of tacos, a filer of patient charts and answerer of phones, a freelance looker-up of unconsidered trifles, an Orff-singing stage monk, and an exam tutor, but has mostly worked in not-for-profit scholarly publishing, where she started out making lots of photocopies and now gets to make XML and EPUB files (which is more fun). She also sings in two choirs (including the Orpheus Choir of Toronto), reads as much as possible, knits (mostly hats), and engages in experimental baking.

Sylvia’s favourite Doctor is Tom Baker, her favourite pasta shape is rotini, and her favourite Beethoven symphony is the Seventh.

You can visit Sylvia around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Instagram

Want to read more from Sylvia Izzo Hunter?

The Midnight Queen Lady of Magick


Lady of Magick

Available September 1, 2015 from Ace/Penguin

About this Book:

Sylvia Izzo Hunter brought “both rural Brittany and an alternative Regency England to vivid life”* in The Midnight Queen, her debut novel of history, magic, and myth. Now, in her new Noctis Magicae novel, Sophie and Gray Marshall are ensnared in an arcane plot that threatens to undo them both.

In her second year of studies at Merlin College, Oxford, Sophie Marshall is feeling alienated among fellow students who fail to welcome a woman to their ranks. So when her husband, Gray, is invited north as a visiting lecturer at the University in Din Edin, they leap at the chance. There, Sophie’s hunger for magical knowledge can finally be nourished. But soon, Sophie must put her newly learned skills to the test.

Sophie returns home one day to find a note from Gray—he’s been summoned urgently to London. But when he doesn’t return, and none of her spells can find a trace of him, she realizes something sinister has befallen him. With the help of her sister, Joanna, she delves into Gray’s disappearance, and soon finds herself in a web of magick and intrigue that threatens not just Gray, but the entire kingdom.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Deadly Destinations: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

September 4th, 2015 Kristie Posted in Deadly Destinations 4 Comments »

Deadly Destinations 2015

Welcome to Deadly Destinations! Want to journey to a whole new world? Well today you can! Tour Agrabah with the Genie from Aladdin. For more on this world, check out A Whole New World by Liz Braswell for a strange twist on the Aladdin tale.

**Enter to win a copy of A Whole New World! This contest is U.S. only.**


AWholeNewWorld Tour

This thing on?  Hello?

Can’t you just…the little flashing red light?  Darn you and your chronologically appropriate technical knowledge, Aladdin!  Just hold it still!


Hello, and welcome to amazing Agrabah!  City of legend!  Capital of capitals!

I am the famous Genie, here to take you on a fabulous tour!

Oh, I come from a land in a faraway place where the caravan camels roam… 

Honestly, camels don’t really roam the streets much; they’re too valuable and block traffic.  Goats, on the other hand—there’s whole crowds of them wandering around.  Those of you looking for a little country with your city getaway are sure to enjoy the smell of fresh goat…cheese….everywhere…

First stop is the capital of Agrabah itself, the Palace of the Sultan!  Famed for its onion domes!—and now, unfortunately, also for rotting heads on spikes on top of the battlements.  Best behold its glittering awesomeness from a distance; the current sultan, Jafar, doesn’t particularly enjoy visitors.  Only his most respected guests get to personally tour the secret dungeons beneath the Sun Tower; and those who do generally have to stay, if you catch my drift.

Let’s move on to Agrabah’s internationally renowned, world-famous Market!  Here you can spend your precious vacation cash on the freshest figs, the finest silks, the costliest gems!

All right, I can see you’re a little perplexed by the general emptiness of the tents.  We still have at least a half hour before curfew but some like to get a head start, just in case, you know?

Just in case what, you ask?  Well, is there any other place else in the world your personal security is provided by cohorts of undead royal guards?  Snap a picture with them—try to make ‘em laugh.  Everyone does!

A Whole New World

Hey…relax; if you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t need to worry about them.  And staying out after curfew is wrong, so let’s just hurry it along, shall we?

Um…let’s see…the historic quarter…the oldest mosque in Agrabah…the most expensive tea house…

…all the usual boring tourist stuff everyone sees…

Aha!  Let’s swing by my buddy Aladdin’s digs!  Live like a real Agrabahian—airbnb this beauty for less than a single golden daric a night!  He’s not using it while he’s planning the revolution with the princess!  …ooops, did I say that?  My bad.  And sorry, the totally secret headquarters of the Street Rats is also not on our tour tonight.

Look at the sunset beyond the Western Mountains!  Have you ever seen the like?  The sky is like a river of sapphires!  The sand dunes look like hills of gold!  Just don’t…go wandering out among them….

So… there it is.  Agrabah, City of A Thousand and One Sights!

Ok, so it’s not exactly as advertised in film and song.  The city is a little more…um…dystopian these days.  But kids love that, don’t they?  I hear it’s all the rage!  Come for the camels, stay for the groovy emo darkness!

All right …sigh… stop recording, Al.

Let’s just hope Jasmine gets stuff under control before the real tourist season begins…


Tour Schedule

Week One:

8/24/2015- Adventures of a Book Junkie– Interview

8/25/2015-Book Briefs– Review

8/26/2015-Fiktshun– Guest Post

8/27/2015- Addicted Readers– Review

8/28/2015-Me, My Shelf and I– Interview

Week Two:

8/31/2015- Bumbles and Fairy-Tales– Review

9/1/2015- Nerdophiles– Guest Post

9/2/2015- Pandora’s Books– Review

9/3/2015- Novel Novice– Interview

9/4/2015- A Backwards Story– Review


LizBraswell_HDAbout Liz:

After the sort of introverted childhood you would expect from a writer, Liz earned a degree in Egyptology at Brown University and then promptly spent the next ten years producing video games. Finally she caved into fate and wrote Snow and Rx under the name Tracy Lynn, followed by The Nine Lives of Chloe King series under her real name, because by then the assassins hunting her were all dead.  She lives in Brooklyn with a husband, two children, a cat, a part-time dog, three fish and five coffee trees she insists will start producing beans any day.  You can email her at moc.llewsarbzilnull@em or tweet @LizBraswell.

You can visit Liz around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter Facebook

Want to read more from Liz Braswell?


A Whole New World

Available September 8, 2015 from Disney-Hyperion

About this Book:

What if Aladdin had never found the lamp? This first book in the A Twisted Tale line will explore a dark and daring version of Disney’s Aladdin.

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.

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Deadly Destinations: Beauty and the Werewolf by Kristin Miller

September 4th, 2015 Kristie Posted in Deadly Destinations Comments Off on Deadly Destinations: Beauty and the Werewolf by Kristin Miller

Deadly Destinations 2015

Deadly Destinations travels to the beautiful city of San Francisco. We are getting an inside look at the city from the werewolf perspective! If you like what you see, read more about it in Beauty and the Werewolf by Kristin Miller. Beauty and the Werewolf is the second novel in the paranormal romance San Francisco Wolf Pack series. This novel was released on August 25, 2015 from Entangled Publishing.


Welcome to the San Francisco Wolf Pack! Please consider this a brief introduction to our city. On behalf of the Alpha, we hope you find the information useful.

You may be familiar with San Francisco, California. You may have driven down curvy Lombard Street, visited Coit Tower or Pier 39, or even biked over the Golden Gate Bridge. Contrary to what some may believe, the city has many things to offer werewolves as well as the resident non-shifter.

Whether you’re a born wolf (with shifting tendencies during moments of extreme anger) or a turned wolf (who was bitten by a werewolf, and has the urge to shift at the full moon), here are a few tips to live and thrive in the great city of San Francisco.

1. Where to shift into a wolf when the urge strikes:

  • Golden Gate Park
    • Make sure to shift at night
    • Don’t howl too loud
    • Watch your back (never know who could be watching)

Kristin Miller goldengatepark

  • Lake Merced Park (southwest part of the city)
    • If you’re looking to cool off and take a swim in wolf form, this is the place to do it.

Kristin Miller LakeMerced

2. Emergency transportation

  • If you are ever out-and-about in the city, and unable to control your urges, a werewolf taxi system has been developed to assist you. After finding a safe spot to hide, simply howl quickly three times, wait ten minutes, and repeat the procedure until a wolfpack-designated taxi arrives. There will be clothes in the trunk suitable for most body types. The service is free, courtesy of the pack.


3. Entertainment

  • You might not believe it, but werewolves own a large part of the city. They work the average nine-to-five, and keep to themselves most of the time. If you’re looking to support a local packmate’s business, look no further. Consider the following businesses werewolf friendly:
    • Wilder Financial in the Financial District
    • Eclipse Magazine, San Francisco branch
    • Howlingers in the Haight
    • Café Moonlight in the Mission
  • From what we know, the following businesses are non-shifter owned, though werewolf approved, <wink>:
    • Johnny Foley’s Irish Pub and Restaurant (Favorite of Isabelle Connelly from the Irish Wolf Pack.)
    • deYoung Museum
      • If you’re lucky, you might be able to catch the genius display by Irish Wolf Pack artist Bella Nolan. Her artwork also happens to be detailed in BEAUTY AND THE WEREWOLF, a novel about her journey to finding true love with our very own Jack MacGrath.

Kristin Miller_deYoungMuseum

Those are the basics: where to shift, and what to do when you have the urge to get a little wild…if you get our drift. Be safe out there, explore the marvelous sights San Francisco has to offer, and enjoy our city!


Kristin MillerAbout Kristin:

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance of all varieties. Kristin has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. She lives in Northern California with her alpha male husband and their two children. She loves chocolate way more than she should and the gym less. You can usually find her in the corner of a coffee shop, laptop in front of her and mocha in hand, using the guests around her as fuel for her next book.

You can visit Kristin around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Kristin Miller?

Gone with the Wolf Four Weddings and a Werewolf So I Married a WerewolfThe Werewolf Wears Prada Beauty and the WerewolfIntervamption Vamped Up Last Vamp StandingClaimed by Desire Forbidden by Fate Demand of the Dragon The Mermaid's MateWhen I Fall in Love One Sweet Day Crazy in Love Let Me Love You My Kind of Love



Available August 25, 2015 from Entangled Publishing

About this Book:

A paranormal category romance from Entangled’s Covet imprint…

This lone wolf falls hard…for his enemy.

Unmated werewolves don’t normally live past three hundred years old…and billionaire Jack MacGrath is cutting it close. Sure, he has almost everything-the respect of his peers, a mansion in San Francisco, a private jet, and fast cars. But without a mate, Jack’s in trouble. Then he sees her. Gorgeous, proud…and his enemy.

Isabelle Connelly is good at hiding things from her father. Like her success as a painter, or the incredibly intense attraction she has to Jack MacGrath. After all, she’s royalty and falling for anyone lesser-to say nothing of a rival pack-would be, er, unseemly. Now she must choose between her duty to her family and her pack…or her perfect fated mate.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Deadly Destinations: Court of Fives by Kate Elliot

September 3rd, 2015 Kristie Posted in Deadly Destinations 16 Comments »

Deadly Destinations 2015

Deadly Destinations continues today with a visit to the royal city of Saryenia! Our visit comes courtesy of Court of Fives by Kate Elliot! Court of Fives is the first novel in the Court of Fives young adult fantasy series. It was released on August 18, 2015 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

**Enter to win a copy of Court of Fives! This contest is U.S. only.**


A Tour of Saryenia

Enter the royal city of Saryenia. You will see such wonders here as you never knew existed in your tour of the many countries bordering the Three Seas.

It’s true this magnificent city began as a humble Efean fishing village built between Mist Lake and the Fire Sea. The narrow, twisting lanes of the oldest part of the city, the Warrens, are all that remain of the village, and of course only Commoners–that’s what we call people of Efean ancestry–live there now.  Because the streets have no names, the only way to figure out where you are is by your proximity to the fountains at each intersection of three or four or five alleys (we can’t really call such narrow passageways “streets”). Each fountain bears the statue of an animal atop it, so the Commoners who live in the Warrens will give you directions according to how close they live to the “cat fountain” or the “scorpion fountain.” We won’t go there today, nor do we recommend you attempt to navigate that maze alone or, in truth, at all.

Saryenia has much more interesting and splendid things to see.

From off shore you’ll notice the twin hills that give the city its distinctive topography. Called the King’s Hill and the Queen’s Hill, respectively, they mark the site of the King’s Palace and the Queen’s Palace, both massive buildings easily seen from far away. Remember that the current rulers of Efea originally came from the old Empire of Saro a hundred years ago. That’s why the architecture of the two palaces will remind you of the ancient imperial capital–now abandoned–in old Saro across the sea.

The hills are mirrored by the city’s twin harbors. The East Harbor is reserved for the royal navy, so you’ll arrive in the city at the bustling West Harbor, filled with merchant ships from every part of the Three Seas. You can buy anything on the streets of the Harbor District but it will cost you extra. So don’t go shopping there!

In fact, Saryenia’s famous markets are one of its chief attractions! The best known is the Lantern Market, where by day you can buy protective amulets, perfume, cosmetics, jewelry, and gifts suitable for lovers. At night, of course, the Lantern Market turns into the Lantern District, famous for its spectacular theatrical productions and poets competitions. At night the Lantern District also sells every manner of pleasure, which we cannot detail in a family publication like this one.

But while the Lantern District is easily the most famous of the markets, don’t neglect the others. The Grain Market may be mostly wholesale grain and agricultural goods brought in from the nearby countryside, but it has its own fascination for the many boats coming and going from the lakeside port and the constant haggling of both Commoners and the ruling class of Saroese–who call themselves Patrons–over even the smallest of onions, for Efeans have an unseemly love of bargaining. Never take the first price you’re offered.

For something special, and often overlooked by visitors, try the Ribbon Market. Its scenic location tucked into the caldera of the Queen’s Hill gives it special interest, and it’s a rigorous day of shopping with so many stairs up and down to various levels, but you can’t beat the choice of local handicrafts, especially the amazing variety of colored ribbons and the astounding array of masks that can be bought there.


**Click on the Map for a larger image.**

By now you’re probably hankering for a drink, and we recommend one of the harborside taverns–expensive but with a thrillingly diverse clientele and plenty of rowdy sailors who often break out in song–or a quieter drink at one of the elegant restaurants below the Queen’s Garden. Avoid the over-priced drinking establishments that open onto the Avenue of Triumphs as they are packed with off-duty soldiers more than happy to pick drunken fights with unsuspecting passers-by.

No trip to Saryenia would be complete with a visit to the Archives, known as the most complete library in the Three Seas. You’ll have to apply in advance for a tour since visitors aren’t allowed to wander around as they please. The architecture alone, with its pavilions and twin libraries, will give the cultured visitor much to remark on, and with a special dispensation in hand scholars can spend time among the books and scrolls of the main library.

Of the three temples, only the Temple of the Sun can be entered on a daily basis. The Temple of the Sea (not marked on the map) is currently under renovation and closed to the public. The Temple of Justice serves as a court, overseen by the king, and as with any working establishment you must have a case pending in order to enter. The Eternity Temple does not admit visitors at all, but like all citizens of Efea you can cross under its gate and enter the City of the Dead, the sacred peninsula where the tombs of the departed stand. Here, if you are bold, you can partake in the most peculiar and horrifying of Efean customs: Should you care to bring an offering to one of the tombs that houses a living oracle, you may present the gift to her and hope to receive an augury of your future from her lips. Although the local Patrons think this a perfectly commonplace act, few visitors dare to seek out the whispered words of an oracle, and in truth we advise even the most intrepid travelers to consider this local custom one they should assiduously avoid.

After all, if you get restless, you can crown your trip with an afternoon at the City Fives Court where the best athletes of Efea compete to be first to the victory tower. Thrill to their strength and agility! Marvel at their quick thinking and clever maze-running! Gasp at their daring leaps and acrobatics from heights high enough that a fall would kill! You’ll find the Fives nowhere else in all the countries bordering the Three Seas, and it’s a competition that shouldn’t be missed.

Just as Saryenia should not be missed, for it is indeed a unique city. We hope you enjoy your visit!


Kate ElliotAbout Kate:

Kate Elliott is the author of more than twenty novels, including the Spiritwalker trilogy, the Novels of the Jaran, and the Crossroads trilogy. King’s Dragon, the first novel in the Crown of Stars series, was a Nebula Award finalist, and The Golden Key (with Melanie Rawn and Jennifer Roberson) was a World Fantasy Award finalist. Kate was born in Iowa, raised in Oregon, and now lives in Hawaii.

You can visit Kate around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter |Facebook | Tumblr

Want to read more from Kate Elliot?

Court of FivesBlack WolvesCold Magic Cold Fire Cold SteelSpirit Gate Shadow Gate Traitors' GateKing's Dragon Prince of Dogs The Burning Stone Child of Flame The Gathering Storm In the Ruins Crown of StarsJaran An Earthly Crown His Conquering Sword The Law of BecomingA Passage of Stars Revolution's Shore The Price of Ransom



This contest is provided by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

One lucky reader will win a copy of Court of Fives!
(US only)

Court of Fives

Available August 18, 2015 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

About this Book:

On the Fives court, everyone is equal.

And everyone is dangerous.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.

Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

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