The Three Lands


"Have you ever heard of a place where the custom is for friends not to touch each other?"

Adrian knows that friendship is a fundamental custom of all mankind. Or so he thinks, until his closest friend discovers a mysterious journal.

A commentfic for [personal profile] schneefink. This story can be read on its own, but it does have spoilers for the chapters of "Law Links" that I have already posted.

  • Online fiction: Famine or Feast at AO3.

  • Series: The Three Lands.

  • Series resources: The Great Peninsula: series resources for The Three Lands.



  • Law Links


    "Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

    Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

    Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




    Men and Lads


    "'You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'"

    A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

    All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men's worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.




    Sweet Blood


    "He tried to keep his voice calm, though his pulse was racing."

    Time is running out.

    Vito de Vere has ten days to prepare for his performance in the Eternal Dungeon's first play. He may have fewer days than that to fight for his career and to save his prisoner's life.

    As the Eternal Dungeon prepares for the greatest change it has ever undergone, Vito must prove his worth by breaking and transforming a criminal. Nobody else is likely to manage it. And nobody but himself cares so passionately whether his prisoner survives.

    As an actor, Vito portrays the qualities of courage, love, truth, and trust. Now he must find the strength to take those qualities into the breaking cell.




    To receive notices of my fiction by e-mail )
    Law Links


    "Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

    Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

    Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




    Men and Lads


    "'You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'"

    A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

    All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men's worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.




    Sweet Blood


    "He tried to keep his voice calm, though his pulse was racing."

    Time is running out.

    Vito de Vere has ten days to prepare for his performance in the Eternal Dungeon's first play. He may have fewer days than that to fight for his career and to save his prisoner's life.

    As the Eternal Dungeon prepares for the greatest change it has ever undergone, Vito must prove his worth by breaking and transforming a criminal. Nobody else is likely to manage it. And nobody but himself cares so passionately whether his prisoner survives.

    As an actor, Vito portrays the qualities of courage, love, truth, and trust. Now he must find the strength to take those qualities into the breaking cell.

    Also, note that Sweet Blood now has an epigraph. Scroll down to the beginning note of Bond.




    To receive notices of my fiction by e-mail )
    I saw a recommendation on tumblr for Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller and checked it out.



    Summary on the back: Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map - the key to a legendary treasure trove - seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship. More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

    My thoughts: This book had a slow start, and at first glance Alosa had most of the characteristics I dislike in a YA protagonist - too young, far too talented for her age, a violent, unnaturally good fighter, and annoyingly sassy - but I enjoyed the setting so I kept on reading. And before long it captured my interest. Yes, Alosa is all of the things I thought she was, and she is full of herself, but she does improve, and get layers - a tragic childhood of abuse, and a revelation as to exactly why she's so talented and unnatural - that helped change my opinion of her, and even grudgingly admit she wasn't so bad by the end. Similarly Riden starts out as relatively unlikable, but quickly grew on me, with layers of his own to uncover, and some impressive moments of self-sacrifice and honor.

    The writing isn't perfect - a bit cheesy and occasionally bland - but there is some witty humor and several moments had me giggling or emotional. The darker moments don't blend well with the overall story - the writer couldn't seem to decide if she wanted a light-hearted swashbuckler or a gritty tale of a very unique girl trying to navigate a man's world - and the brief instances of torture and blood seemed entirely out of place. The real strength of the book, to me, was it's delightful concept, putting a fresh spin on the interactions of pirates and sirens. I'm actually surprised that both don't have more of a presence in YA fiction, but I'm always pleased when they appear, especially with the creativity in this plot. It was also refreshing to see a dash of the darker side of pirate and siren life, even if unpleasant - dubious consent/treatment of both women and men by the opposite gender, and violence. I did have one major issue with the way the topics were handled: while the violence/unwanted behavior of the male pirates to Alosa (and hinted at regarding other women) is rightfully and strongly condemned, the rape/murder of male sailors by female sirens is strangely romanticized as merely the way they reproduce (and one character is praised within the narrative for not trying to fight them off), which made me very uncomfortable, despite the briefness of the scene. But hopefully it's something that will addressed better in the sequel.

    Despite its occasional side-eye worthy moments and imperfections, Daughter of the Pirate King was a mostly entertaining, relatively fun read that, if nothing else, left me wishing for more YA pirate books. Particularly ones with sirens.
    .