Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Reviews: Lady of the Court

From Amaya Radjani, author of Corruption:

As the Creative Director of Middle Child Press and part of author Ankhesen Mié’s creative network, I had the good fortune of reading Selo & Inya: Lady of the Court shortly before it was published. This book is the beginning of a series depicting the adventures of Selo, a tall, regal woman warrior from the Queendom of Tiy, and Inya, a healer from the Kingdom of Oon Sati. Selo is thoughtful and serious and Inya is observant, blunt and hilarious. The pair makes for a good entertaining team.

Ankhesen has declared Selo & Inya to be a series of short stories to be published on a regular basis. Lady of the Court is an excellent foundation to what I know will be a delightful series of novels. In it, we are introduced to Selo, who must escort Queen’s Ituti’s daughter Abeti to the Kingdom of Oon Sati, an adjacent territory. Abeti is to be married to an Oon Sati prince so that an alliance can be formed and deter their common enemy, the Antwari, from attacking.

Book Two ~ Hunter

While journeying through the Kingdom of Oon Sati, Selo and Inya are invited to join the  bounty hunter Vathi tracking a prince with a generous price on his head.  As Selo learns about the laws of mixed society, the quest brings her face to face with the woman who almost killed her...and a thing or two she didn't know about Inya.

New Faces

Vathi ("vah-tee"): A fun-loving bounty hunter from the Queendom of Soneti, Vathi typically works alone.  She's an old friend and sparring partner of Selo's.

Mimi: Vathi's prized black stallion whose name means  "friend friend" or "best friend".

Queen Bathia V: The Queen of Soneti.  She's the one who hired Vathi.

Kimmeka ("kim-mek-kah"): The royal astrologer who serves Matawai.  Her name means "full moon."  She recently took over for a much older astrologer, and Matawai still doubts her ability.  In Antwari, her kind are traditionally referred to as "Bone Singers."

Mero ("meh-ro"): The man Vathi's tracking.  He's specifically been requested to be brought back alive.

Onnoka ("oh-noh-kah"): Briefly introduced, she's a female spy who serves Matawai.  Her name means "faceless moon."

Places of Interest

Kuwari ("koo-wah-ree"): The Amalian kingdom is mentioned for a second time here; it lies beyond the northern Antwari border.  Like Antwari, it is mountainous; unlike Antwari it is very fertile.

Fun Facts

1) The women on the covers are deliberately ambiguous. Artist Jules Nguyễn's intent is to let the viewer's imagination sort of roam. So if you like, then the woman on this cover can be the bounty hunter... or not.

2) The women of Soneti look somewhat like dark-skinned Southeast Asian women.  Thai women in particular come to mind.

3) In this volume, we learn the meaning of Selo and Inya's names.

4) We also learning the meaning of the Selo & Inya "glyph".

Hunter is now available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fun Facts: Lady of the Court

I'm excited by the emails I'm getting about Lady of the Court.  However, I realize there are some things I need to clarify about that volume to avoid confusion.

1) Princess Abeti of Tiy is marrying Prince Iyuru of Oon Sati in a blood marriage.  A blood marriage is conducted when two nations who have a common enemy (in this case, the Antwari), form an alliance against that common enemy.  Though Queen Ituti of Tiy and King Miru of Oon Sati don't like each other (and we'll get to that later), they're not at war with each other.

2) The title of this volume (and of future volumes) will refer to a role within society.  The stories will reflect Selo's (and in some cases, Inya's) briefly flirting with that role.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Review: Lady of the Court

From Kymberlyn Reed, Acqusitions Editor for Parker Publishing:
As an avid fantasy fan who loves her warrior heroines (especially when they're of color), I didn't think there would ever be another contender for my all-time favorite warrior heroines outside of Tarma (from Mercedes Lackey's Vows or Honor series) or Dirisha Zuri (of Steve Perry's Matador series). Thanks to author Ankhesen Mié, I can add Selo to the list.

Selo comes from an all-female society warrior society (inspired by the Dahomey Amazons). Assigned to escort Princess Abeti to a rival kingdom in order to secure peace between two nations, Selo finds a vastly different world where feminine power lies not in the sword, but in the wielding of beauty. Like the proverbial misfit, she finds it difficult to adjust to life in a mixed society where women's roles are far more circumscribed. In order to be her princess’s Chief Attendant, she is given over for training to Inya the court herbalist.

Inya is that wise, matter-of-fact and no nonsense tutor that the bemused warrior woman needs in order to make sense of her new surroundings. They forge a deep friendship based on mutual respect and soon will begin a journey of adventure.

Granted, this is a short novella but does it pack a serious wallop and it made me eager for the next installment. Mié is a brilliant writer who brings her worlds and her characters to vibrant life.  (Source)