Updated: Jul 8
Heir of Two Kingdoms
Stephania's journey to self discovery and the deliverance of the dragon riders continues as she travels across Ventronovia. A set of new challenges rise to face her, including complicated relationships, a dragon hatchling, a shared connection with Duvarharia's traitor, new memories, and an impending war. When she loses what is most important to her, will she continue to look behind her, wishing everything were different, or will she have the courage to change the future?
I'm heading to camp!
With July 1st came the start to the epic writing challenge Camp NaNoWriMo. The goal: to write 50,000 words in ONE MONTH!
With Child of the Dragon Prophecy released to USA and Canada and my readers dying for more, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and go to camp for Heir of Two Kingdoms, the second book in The Shadows of Light series.
So far I am a week in with a total of 18,359 words. Of course, I've gotten off pretty easy. I've already written and rewritten Heir of Two Kingdoms twice. So while I am rewritten again, (every single word mind you), I have a very detailed outline to go off of which makes the whole process much easier.
Overall, I have 43,640 words already completed in the newest rewrite (with an end goal of about 110k words) and I'm hoping Camp NaNoWriMo will bring me up to 70k!
However, that's all the boring stuff! Onto what you can expect in Heir of Two Kingdoms!
"I don't like to keep many secrets. They get all dusty in my mind and don't make very good gossip."
—Jargon (Heir of Two Kingdoms)
Heir of Two Kingdoms opens with Thaddeus' (yes we finally get to see more of my villian!) perspective before diving right back into Stephania's head and the culture of Trans-Falls.
Right away, I introduced 2 new Centaur characters, Ravillian and Lamora as Stephania's new friends, but other than that, the cast will be almost identical to Child of the Dragon Prophecy with Aeron, Frawnden, Uncle Dalton, Trojan, and Artigal.
Some themes I'm weaving into this new rewrite surrounding Stephania are: dealing with grief and depression, PTSD episodes, lack of self identity and self worth, shared memories and mental connections with Thaddeus, figuring out how to navigate having 3 parental figures, and struggling against a deity she refuses to believe in.
I'm trying to focus a lot on the consequences of what's happened in Child of the Dragon Prophecy, such as her finding the Lyre, the human mob and the dark magic, dealing with her broken relationship with Trojan, and of course, getting her memories back.
As far as the mood of the story, it's going to be a lot darker and heavier than COTDP because it explore more of the Corrupt Magic and a lot of sensitive topics like PTSD and grief, but there's also going to be some really sweat heart warming scenes that really bring it all together.
Overall, I'm loving the new rewrite. It's been incredible to finally be able to tackle my old writing style and change this book to be the best it can be and it's bringing me closer and closer to beta reading which I CANNOT wait for!
I'll hopefully be posting a weekly update about ol' Camp NaNoWriMo and my progress so stay tuned!
Here's one of my favorite new excerpts (spoiler free) from Heir of Two Kingdoms so far!
Voices drifted to her on the still air, and she could almost hear a little girl and a little boy laughing. She closed her eyes. The sound of the breeze through the trees and the grasshoppers singing buzzed in her ears. She heard the thud of an arrow in a target and she could almost hear …
“I thought I might find you hear.”
Stephania yelled and Braken jumped, knocking into the gate with a clatter. She steadied him with a small burst of magic and quickly sought after who had startled her.
A black Centaur stood with his hands behind his back, a strange twinkle in his dark eyes. “I’m sorry I startled you, Stephania."
Her eyes narrowed. “It’s okay. Who are you?”
He spread his hands out as if a gesture meaning he meant no harm. “Walk with me and guess. You knew me once, perhaps you’ll know me again.”
It was hard not to simply kick Braken into a gallop and leave this teasing Centaur behind but a spark of curiosity lit inside of her. “You speak in riddles.”
“Not really. Would you at least like me to show you the way to Trans-Falls? I think you’re rather lost.”
A blush raged on her cheeks. “I’m not.”
Deep laughter rang through the trees. “And I have two legs. I know you do not remember this place, Stephania. And I know you do not remember the way, just as you do not remember me.”
“Then tell me.” A challenging edge clung to her voice. It was beginning to wear thin on her how much she didn’t remember and how much others expected her to.
“This is my house, Trans-Falls is over yonder,” he pointed in a general southern direction. “And I am a good friend of your mother’s and a once constant companion of yours. I can tell you much about what you do not know so you are not so frightened to face what lies before you.”
Their eyes locked and she tried to find any malice in his eyes.
“So. Will you walk with me?”
She hated how much this felt like a test, like as if she said something wrong or made the wrong decision, that everything from this moment on would change.
“Okay. I will.”
He winked jovially, his shoulders relaxing as she nudged Braken forward and walked side by side the Centaur.
“You have changed.”
She scowled. “So I’ve noticed.”
“But not a lot.”
Their eyes met and he chuckled. “Even when you were younger you were always skeptical of things, and a little on the quiet side as well. You were a bit more trusting, however, but trust is something most creatures deal out less easily as they get older so I’m not surprised.”
“You don’t seem to be surprised by much,” she laughed a bit more sourly than she had intended.
“Ah, now that is something that has changed. You’ve gained a bit of an attitude, haven’t you?” He didn’t wait for an answer before he continued on. “Perhaps you were bullied as a child? You tend to hurt others before they hurt you?”
Her mouth dropped open and she felt her face burn again.
“You don’t have to answer that, of course. It’s just an observation. To answer your sarcasm, I’m not surprised by much, though both you and Artigal have always given me much to be shocked about.”
“Like what?” she couldn’t be more relived he had changed the subject, but she also couldn’t help but feel disappointed. She hadn’t ever talked much about being bullied and how it had truly made her feel, and something about this Centaur did feel especially comforting. But perhaps it was for the best. She didn’t need everyone knowing everything about her. Especially those who already knew more than she did.
“Things mostly related to magic, actually. You and Artigal each have an affinity for getting into trouble with Ancient Magic of the kind that is especially hard to control and heal, even for me.”
“You are a medic?”
He nodded. “An astute observation for sure. I am Trans-Fall’s chief medic.”
“Something I should probably already know, right?”
“There’s that attitude again.” He clicked his tongue and stroked his beard, his eyes holding that same strange twinkle. “It is something you knew, not something you should know. It’s important to make that distinction. And even if you should know it, it is much more fun to learn it all again, don’t you think?”
Her brows furrowed and she tightened her fists around Braken’s reigns. She wasn’t sure how to respond or act with this Centaur; he was much too disarming and hard to predict. “I suppose it is.”
“Good. Then what else do you want to know? I don’t like to keep many secrets. They get all dusty in my mind and don’t make very good gossip.”
Before she could stop herself, she burst out laughing, suddenly feeling much more relaxed. “Tell me about the birds.”
He nodded, seemingly pleased with her menial question, and dove into everything he could tell her about the strange birds of Trans-Falls.
*All pictures used in the mood board are not mine. I found them on Pinterest.*
I'll be giving my favorite quote and excerpt from each week's work in my updates so don't forget to become a site member to get alerts about new posts!
Thanks for reading and may the suns smile upon your presence.
—Effie Joe Stock