What is Myrcia?
Myrcia is the central country in a fantasy universe that began with an original four book series, the Quartet, around which everything else sprang. The Quartet is set in a quasi-late Medieval/Renaissance Europe-like setting and full of anachronisms we feel work in the ‘verse. Books written in the Myrcia ‘verse since then stretch as far as 2,200 years into the past and 150 years into the future. There are currently over 60 named countries and provinces in the world, many of which have provided settings for various novels. The following is the order in which we wrote the novels, although we have done our best to allow all of them to be read independently. Still, the Quartet seems like the place to start with the rest coming in whatever order the reader pleases.
QUARTET. This series is comprised of the books: This Present Life, That Smallest Interval, Not Touched by the Storm, and The Darkness Without. It is an epic quest in which the Myrcian Princess Ferryn, who was raised to be a scholar, must become a queen and general with the help of many friends, including Bertie, a young hillichmagnar she meets at school. Of course, hillichmagnars, angels of great power and long life, have debated for millennia what their role should be in the lives of humans, although the debate over whether they should ever intimately love humans was resolved in the negative many centuries before this. Their story and the fate of Myrcia is entwined with that of another friend from school, Clovis, whose father, a religious leader of great moral and political authority, leads the assault against Myrcia. Along the way, Clovis meets Queen Haldana, a young woman who grew up a princess in a matriarchal warrior society who was forced to marry the stupid and cruel king of a sprawling, patriarchal bureaucracy.
MY PRIVATE WAR. Written entirely by J as a surprise present for S, this series of either 3 or 6 books (depending on how you count) is the fake memoir of a character introduced in the Quartet named Sabrina Drusilla Agrona. She is a spy of the Mata Hari/James Bond variety, and her memoir is sexy, tragic, hilarious, and adventurous. This being an academic special anniversary edition, it also comes with introductions, appendices, and copious footnotes.
KEARA OF GLEN TARAN: Set 2,220 years before the events of the Quartet, this novel (again written entirely by J), contains ancestors of the characters in the Quartet, as well as some of the ‘verse’s most interesting historical figures. It covers the expansion of the kingdom of Leornian into the neighboring mountains 1,000 years before all of this new territory and Leornian become the heartland of Myrcia.
MAGNIFICENT KINGDOM/REVOLUTION MOON. While J was busy with these projects, S struggled a bit with two projects that remain unfinished. Magnificent Kingdom will someday be written, and it will tell the story of the Myrcian War of Independence when Myrcia became the country known in the Quartet. It will focus on two of the ‘verse’s most interesting figures, the roguish first king of Myrcia, Edmund Dryhten, and Kuhlbert the Magnificent, a hillichmagnar of nearly unparalleled power. However, when S started this project, she didn’t have the skills to write what will likely be the longest single volume of the Myrcia ‘verse when it is complete.
From there, S moved onto the one and only non-Myrcia ‘verse project either has ever tried, Revolution Moon. This unfinished novel explains the 3/4 book in our total. Perhaps someday she will return there, but at this time, she has no plans to do so.
Then we discovered NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which encourages people to write a 50K word novel in a month. J has been churning out 50-65K novels like emails ever since. They are as follows.
GUARDIAN WINTER: The events of the Quartet as told by the folks who get left behind at school during the Myrcian War when the heroes went to be heroic.
MISTRESS OF ARCHERS: A story about a veteran of the Myrcian War from Krigadam, the matriarchal warrior society located well south of Myrcia. Our heroine, Marit, meets and is wooed by a Myrcian man, Stuart, who has come to her country to build a canal.
JEWEL OF THE KUNDARI: This is a heist novel in which a woman from Sahasra Deva (Myrcian’s eastern neighbor) tries to get back her daughter and her magysk jewels from her no good second husband. Although the peoples and places in this novel have appeared in and been mentioned in earlier books, this is the first Myrcia ‘verse novel without any actual Myrcian characters. It takes place a few years following the Quartet.
A GLASS OF SAND AND STARS: Taking place about 1,300 years before the Quartet, GoSaS is set during the Golden Age of Myrcia’s neighbor, Odeland. It is a romcom, complete with cross dressing, set at a university seminary.
A FATAL HUMOR: A dark comedy about the black death, featuring two of the most prominent hillichmagnars of the Quartet back when they liked each other rather than one being a cranky old man and the other an evil genius bent on world domination. The action takes place around 200 years before the Quartet.
LADY’S KNIGHT: J does love a good pun. This novel set during the Myrcian Civil War (450 years before the Quartet), is a Romeo and Juliet tale without the downer ending.
THE STORM AND THE LIGHT: This one takes place a few centuries before the Quartet and uses the sacking of a city in the county to the north of Myrcia (Cruedrua) by the country to the northeast of Myrcia (Loshadnarod) as the starting point for a tragic tale of romance and winter survival.
OLEG OMDAHL MYSTERIES: S can’t churn out books, even short ones, quite as fast as J. But she has written two crime novels set in Annenstruk, Myrcia’s southern neighbor. They are inspired by her love of Scandinavian crime novels, like those of the brilliant Jo Nesbo. They star Master Inspektor Oleg Omdahl, a member of the gentry, Myrcian War veteran, retired Army Intelligence officer, and cynical, defeated bachelor. Book one is called Dock 29, and is a pretty straight up whodunit, the solution of which is tied to clues found by the characters in My Private War. That novel is followed by The Science of Fire, when Oleg has to help Marit track down Stuart and their daughter when they are kidnapped. Planned for this year’s NaNo is Book 3, Seen to be Just, when Oleg loses the person who keeps him sane and sober.
12/7/14 Update: New total: 20 3/4 books
LAST OUTPOST: J’s first NaNo novel this year, it features a colonial governor preparing to defend the last remnant of a proud old empire from a rising world power on behalf of a homeland that he has barely ever visited. His friends just want to leave, and his local allies are unenthusiastic. His only hope is a powerful witch (hillichmagnar) who might be able to save his city, but she is pretty sure they are fated to lose. Meanwhile, across the ocean, a young officer prepares to join the assault on this last outpost. Her fellow officers have even less experience than she does, and her embittered senior NCO hates her. She sincerely wants to make the world a better place, but first she will have to avoid getting vaporized by the witch. The witch in question had an important role in A Fatal Humor.
FROM UNDER THE SHADOW: J’s second NaNo novel features the little brother of one of the heroes from the Quartet. He’s also the son of one of the villains of the Quartet, and after eight years in exile, he is allowed to return to civilization. A looming civil war means there might be a chance for his family to rise again. The trouble is that he’s not entirely sure he wants to help them. Joining him in his journey are a beautiful, radical intellectual, who wants him to embrace his family’s politics and fight the power, and a sailor girl, who just wants to get away from her horrible alcoholic father, and who thinks our hero would be happier if he abandoned his family and lived a normal life.
THE QUEEN’S TOWER: S put Oleg Omdahl 3 on hold at the last minute to write this novel about one of Myrcia’s most famous queens, Merewyn, who was locked in a tower for 20 years by the king. But how exactly did that happen? The novel covers a brief period during her 17th year in captivity and jumps back to the events leading up to her confinement.
1/5/15 Update: New total: 21 3/4 books
THE LEOPARD’S CLAW: J’s Christmas present for S follows the adventures a barely-competent secret agent. The claw of the title is a magical pendant that has ended up in the hands of our heroine’s ex-boyfriend, whose heart she was obliged to break when her job got in the way. Now, in spite of the awkwardness between them, she has to save his life from a highly-skilled (and psychotically violent) assassin who is trying to recover the claw, while at the same time preparing for an impending inspection from her commander. And speaking of unannounced visits, our heroine’s birthday is coming up, and her estranged mother has just decided that it’s time for the two of them to reconcile. The commander who comes to inspect her, by the way, is a major character from My Private War.
4/23/15 Update: New total: 22 3/4 books
THE LAST BRIGHT ANGEL: J’s book for the 2015 April Camp NaNoWriMo; it’s longer than most of our NaNo novels, at roughly 142,000 words. In the middle of a war, a famous wizard and general is ordered to kill a witch on the other side, who happens to be the great love of his life, and who broke his heart a century and a half ago. Does he kill her to get back into the good graces of the emperor, or can he find some way to save her life? The wizard protagonist also appears in Lady’s Knight and My Private War, and the woman he’s supposed to kill is a character mentioned in The Storm and the Light. Both of them appear together in S’s The Queen’s Tower.
5/31/15 Update: New total: 23 3/4 books
RED SAND GIRL: J’s birthday present for S is the origin story of Pallavi, a sorceress who shows up in several of our previous books, including The Last Bright Angel. She’s 17 and just starting to discover her magical powers, but she’s on the outs with her family and spiraling downward into a life of crime with her useless putz of a boyfriend. Her father is dying, and she comes up with a plan to save him (by doing something very, very illegal). But at the same moment, court sorcerers from the distant capital arrive, trying to hunt her down. They just want to recruit her and train her, but of course she has no way of knowing that. Adventure and hilarity ensue, and uppance comes for those who deserve it.
8/9/15 Update: New total: 24 3/4 books
THE PATH OF THE SON: J’s novel for the 2015 July Camp NaNoWriMo. An old soldier and his trusted manservant venture into foreign lands to bring back the soldier’s son before he can make the mistake of his life: joining the army…as a mercenary for the enemy. Meanwhile, the son meets a girl he likes, who introduces him to her employer, a powerful witch. And the witch seems so helpful at first. But what’s her real reason for helping him? A son learns about romance. A father learns how to understand his son. And a lady’s maid learns that her mistress has a much darker side.
5/1/16 Update: New total: 28 3/4 books
IN A WOMANLY FASHION: J’s first NaNo novel for November, 2015. This stands on its own, but it’s also a sequel to Jewel of the Kundari. After years of failed dates, Thyra has resigned herself to an arranged marriage, but there’s one final catch: she has to complete a sea voyage as an ordinary sailor to prove her worth to her demanding future mother-in-law. Once onboard, however, Thyra is caught up in the plots of Leila, a notorious thief who is planning one last, great heist in order to salvage a relationship that she stupidly scuppered. Leila may finally discover that no woman is an island; Thyra may find love in unexpected places. But first they’re going to have to escape the ambitious young spy who is chasing them. It’s Persuasion meets Treasure Island, only with a lot more sex.
A MEAGER EDUCATION: J’s second NaNo novel for November, 2015. After capping her education with a Grand Tour, Renita returns home, ready to spend some quality time alone with her books. Unfortunately, her father has just lost money on a stupid investment, and to help settle his debt, Renita has to go serve as governess to the awful, spoiled daughter of his chief creditor. Meanwhile young Gilbert starts his last year in school, torn between the pressure from his family to find a rich girl to marry, and the pressure from his best friend to chuck it all and go join the army. He just wants to coast through this last year, but he slowly finds himself becoming ensnared by that same, dreadfully spoiled girl.
CALLED TO ACCOUNT: J’s present for S for Christmas, 2015. Subtitled, “A Novel of Epic Banking,” this is a stand-alone novel in its own right, but it’s also a sequel to The Last Bright Angel. And it’s the origin story for the spy organization that the heroine of My Private War works for, as well as a famous bank that many of our characters throughout the Myrciaverse happen to use. The epic love affair of Moira the sorceress is coming to its inevitable, though still amicable, end. But she and her ex are still sharing joint custody of their beloved progeny: the world’s first truly professional spy service. Together, they come up with a plan to create their own bank to fund their intelligence operations. Drawn into their schemes are Hamon, a young monk on a secret mission, and Quintus, a very naïve young bank clerk. Hamon the monk questions his vows, Moira finds love again, and Quintus learns the difference between charity and business.
WRITTEN IN SAND: J’s novel for April Camp NaNo, April, 2016. Again, this one stands on its own, but it also continues the story from The Last Bright Angel and Called to Account. An outlaw sorceress threatens the peace of the world, and only three things stand in her way: an exiled dynasty with no real power, a playboy wizard recently out of the closet, and an itinerant witch who just discovered she’s pregnant. Along for the ride are a world-weary young spy, a desert rebel who wants the best for her people, and a jackass nobleman who wants a princess he can never have. It’s like Mad Max: Fury Road meets Juno. But with camels. Lots and lots of camels.
8/7/16 Update: New total: 30 3/4 books
FOR DISCERNING GENTLEMEN: J’s birthday present for S, May, 2016. A dissolute promoter, an alcoholic veteran, and a single mother team up to solve the mystery of a stolen chandelier so they can open a nightclub in a newly-liberated theocracy.
JOINT COMMAND: J’s novel for July Camp NaNo, 2016. Three young spies try to find a mole at the center of the world’s most important intelligence command. One is a veteran, fighting her disillusionment. Another is a new recruit, hoping to prove he’s not as badly out of his depth as he seems. And the last one, on the opposing side, is trying to bring the mole home before sinister forces in her own government can hunt her down. Along the way, they find wild passion among dark, romantic canals, and they face the dreadful peril of the world’s cheesiest children’s musical.
1/18/17 Update: New total: 33 3/4 books
A TINCTURE OF SILVER: J’s first NaNo novel for November, 2016. Seeking to escape their families, two young ladies dress as men and sign up to fight as mercenaries in a distant war over vast new silver mines. When they are captured, one makes it her business to escape; the other isn’t quite so sure she wants to. But with the war reaching its inevitable climax, she might have to be rescued whether she likes it or not. The world’s greatest spymaster sends his lover and best agent to investigate, even as their relationship falls apart. Our heroes learn that sometimes running away actually can solve your problems, and that in war, there’s no silver for second place.
WHEN UPPANCE COMES: J’s second NaNo novel for November, 2016. Selfish, conniving, and beautiful, Lisette comes to the royal court, determined to take her rightful place in society. She schemes to win a place accompanying the queen on a vital diplomatic mission, but she’ll have to win the trust of the army officer vetting the candidates, who unfortunately is her old school roommate, and who knows Lisette all too well. Meanwhile, an enemy spy infiltrates the court, thanks to the wandering eye of Lisette’s wayward husband. They can’t all get what they want, but they might get exactly what they deserve.
THE ALDRED PLAN: J’s present for S for Christmas, 2016. In the aftermath of a long civil war, when teachers could be arrested for backing the wrong king, the greatest school in Myrcia is in dire need of reform. But in the wake of a mass exodus of faculty, the whole project is thrown into chaos. As one teacher tries to hold the school together, an optimistic young lady struggles to overcome illness in order to make the most of her opportunity to study there. And both of them begin to discover romance with unlikely partners. But everything may come crashing down if the budding dictator in the headmaster’s office has his way.