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Sartorias-deles stories reading order explained in FAQ
COMING 22 January 2022
Kindle pre-order | B&N Nook pre-order
The allies meet Detlev’s boys.
In volume one, A Sword Named Truth, a shaky alliance made among young rulers brought too early to their thrones survived an enchantment, commanded by Siamis, the handsome young Norsundrian. Siamis was defeated, and the world celebrated, believing peace had come!
At the start of volume two, The Blood Mage Texts, the alliance seems to be a thing of the past as two quests reveal long-hidden secrets. Meanwhile Siamis has gone renegade, hunted by both sides.
As the Rise of the Alliance saga continues, Siamis is not the only one being hunted. The sinister and elusive Norsundrian commander Detlev has been seen more often in the past five years than he has in the past five hundred. The young allies to reform the alliance—meeting unexpected difficulties when no one can agree on what form it should take.
That is before a series of murders leads to the shocking news that the alliance has been infiltrated by a mirror alliance of Norsundrian boys.
Trained by Detlev. Which leads inexorably to the deadliest of stalking games . . .
COMING in Feb 2022
The climax to the Rise of the Alliance saga begins with Detlev’s boys taking two prisoners as they retreat to their lair on Five, the sister world that has been lifeless for nearly five thousand years. Reviled by both sides, the one thing they can trust is their strength, their training, and each other. Or so it seems.
Meanwhile, unknown to both Norsunder and the Sartoran mages, there are secrets living within that world that will change everything.
The high-stakes hunt continues on two worlds as the surviving allies step into adult roles one by one, just to find themselves with greater challenges as the world hurtles inexorably toward war . . .
COMING March 2022
The climax to the Phoenix Feather series brings challenges for the entire Afan family–and also for the imperial family, with shocking revelations, martial arts battles, cultivation powers, and battles. But there is still time for romance . . .
In Traitor, Voske comes back.
All of Felicite’s secrets come crashing down around her; a resistance is formed by those least expected; Ross, Jennie, Mia, and former princess Kerry are forced into the position of heroes once again, always with commensurate cost.
And Paco is forced to face the father he denied.
Long-dormant magical forces are moving again in Sartorias-deles. In volume one, A Sword Named Truth, a shaky alliance made among young rulers brought too early to their thrones survived a first foray, commanded by Siamis, the handsome young Norsundrian who was born four thousand years ago. Siamis was defeated, and the world celebrated, believing peace had come!
But the world’s mages know it’s not the quiet of peace—it’s the stillness before the storm.
At the start of volume two, The Blood Mage Texts, the alliance seems to be a thing of the past as everyone is dealing with the fallout of the abortive attack. Rel the Traveler arrives back home to a surprise that has been awaiting him since he was first adopted, launching him on a personal quest.
Jilo, the king who is not a king, finds what looks like dangerous magical texts and hands them off to his friend Senrid, young king of Marloven Hess, who is in the midst of wrestling with his warlike nation. When word gets out that these eight-hundred-year-old blood mage texts are in the ignorant hands of youngsters, all of Norsunder’s mages want them.
Meanwhile Siamis has gone renegade, hunted by both sides.
All the searches converge on Chwahirsland, furnishing new twists in the on-going saga of the alliance of young rulers . . .
The Phoenix Feather Martial Arts Series
When I first encountered Chinese television series and novels six years ago, with their complex manners and customs and long braided stories and the underpinnings of a yearning for beauty in all things, I was utterly blown away.
My tastes in reading tend toward braided tales, with characters growing and changing in a world both breathtaking and strange, where striving to become the best one can be matters. (And how that gets defined is what drives the story.) Romance is frosting on a very delectable cake.
After six years of happy immersion in Eastern history, language, literature and art, when we got quarantined, I wanted escape into such a world, so I began writing The Phoenix Feather as a xuanhuan (an offshoot of the far older wuxia genre, which borrows freely from various mythologies), just to see where it would take me.
I deliberately put in all the tropes I love the most—disguises, hidden secrets, martial arts training, beauty in people, places, and things.
My pandemic “Just write the fun parts” project.
Twenty-five years ago a pair of lovers ran for their lives from an angry prince and washed up on an island where they adopted new identities—and found themselves blessed by an omen promising great things, a single golden phoenix feather.
Their eldest child, a natural martial artist like his father, seems destined for those great things. The second son, an artist and a dreamer, has no desire for greatness—he wants to be left alone to paint. And the youngest, a daughter, used to wearing her brothers’ castoffs and trotting at their heels, is the least promising, always scamping her studies in favor of sword lessons and play.
All three vowed to keep their parents’ dangerous secret. But in this first volume, Fledglings, the family learns that sometimes children must follow their own paths . . .
Continuing my pandemic “Just write the fun parts” project.
Twenty-five years ago, a sworn bodyguard and a reluctant bride fled an angry prince, married in secret, and vanished. That prince is now the emperor, with a very long memory.
The children of the missing pair are now making their way in the world under assumed names, hoping to avoid the emperor’s wrath while following their special Talents.
The eldest son Muin is rising the ranks of the army. The second son Yskanda, a remarkable painter, is a prisoner in the lethal, silken cage of the imperial court.
The youngest Ryu, disguised as a boy, studies martial arts and the mysterious Essence power while leading the Redbark Sect that fights for justice for commoners. Her closest companion hides dangerous secrets of his own.
Meanwhile the emperor’s own children test the boundaries of royal power and intrigue, stirring ripples that threaten guilty and innocent alike.
4 January 2022
In the third volume of The Phoenix Feather epic martial arts adventure, the Redbark gang has broken up. The three Afans are on different paths. Muin is rising in the imperial army; Yskanda lives day to day in the silken prison of the imperial court and hiding amidst his paints until a life-changing encounter.
Prince Jion returns to the imperial palace in disgrace, as Ryu, tired of disguises, begins to cultivate her skills and talents as she finds her way back toward her old name and a new identity.
When she isn’t crusading as Firebolt—and causing hunters on both sides to come after her.
Sartorias-deles Historical Era Page (Inda)
Sartorias-deles Kids’ Stories Page
Sartorias-deles, Modern Era
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Vidanric Renselaeus, Marquis of Shevraeth, is a courtly, well-mannered teen coached in the noble art of dueling. Growing up in a court that on the surface seems civilized under an increasingly despotic king, he is sent by his father to the infamous military academy in Marloven Hess. He expects to be reading theories about statecraft, but finds that he is going to learn about military command from the inside–and finally, what it really means to be king.
In this prequel to Crown Duel, the reader learns what made the elegant Vidanric into the enigmatic Marquis of Shevraeth.
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In print for over twenty years, CROWN DUEL is written from the point of view of “the barefoot countess” Meliara. She and her brother promised their dying father to free Remalna from a bad king’s oppressive rule and to preserve the vital Covenant with Remalna’s aloof, unhuman Hill People. Meliara is determined to win or die fighting. She not only has the evil king to contend with, there’s the elegant Marquis of Shevraeth, who always seems to be one step ahead . . .
Brought to court by a mysterious letter, Meliara finds herself the subject of courtly intrigue, both sinister and romantic. Sinister is the deposed king’s sister, and her handsome, elusive son. Romantic is a secret suitor who courts her by letter.
Then there is the enigmatic Marquis of Shevraeth–enemy or friend? Is risking your life less dangerous than risking your heart?
The ebook and the definitive printed editions (same cover as e-book) correct the many errors in the old paperback, and offer six scenes from Vidanric’s point of view at the end.
Nominated for ALA/YASLA Best Books for Young Adults, on the ALA/YASLA Quick Pick List for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and named one of NY Public Library Best Books for Teens, 1998 list. Finalist, Soaring Eagle Award (Kids 12-18 voting, Wyoming Library System)
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The Crown Duel next generation: Two novelettes about Mel’s and Vidanric’s older two offspring, Prince Alaraec (“Court Ship”) and Elestra (“Beauty”). In the latter, the middle child, who thinks of herself as the plain one of the three Renselaeus siblings, goes into the throne room to look at a tree, and meets a beautiful villain. Thus begins a duel of wits with unexpected results.
In “Court Ship” Prince Raec and his best friend, Nadav, heir to the duchy of Savona, go on a mission to court a princess. Both boys get distracted . . . but the princess is determined to keep them on task. A dance of diplomacy and romance ensues.
Here is a map of Remalna, the tiny country where Crown Duel takes place.
“With music you can tell the truth about human experience.”
In this romantic fantasy that takes place roughly the same time as Crown Duel, Flian is an ordinary princess who would rather be left with her music, but gets abducted not once, not twice–three times!
What is a civilized princess to do? Especially when she can’t tell which prince is the hero and which the villain!
Readers familiar with Crown Duel and especially A Stranger to Command have asked what was going on at the end of the latter. Well, this is that story. It’s eight centuries after INDA. Magic has been slowly returning, and Norsunder is watching and waiting.
Senrid, fifteen-year-old king of the Marlovens finds himself drawn into world politics. Along the way he meets other young rulers in various precarious positions.
They are not ready to deal with Norsunder, but Norsunder is more than ready to deal with them.
This romantic fantasy takes place right before the Norsunder War sequence. It begins with Sasha snatched from Los Angeles, where she has been hiding with her mother, and taken back to the kingdom where Sasha’s mother, Sun, was once swept away by a real prince.
Sasha is more than ready to kick some bad-guy butt, but is the stylish pirate Zathdar the bad guy? Or artistic, dreamy Prince Jehan, son of the wicked king?
The Change Series Page (YA hopeful dystopia written with Rachel Manija Brown)
Dobrenica Urban Fantasy Series
Kim’s a grad student in L.A. Her passions are ballet, fencing, Jane Austen, and swashbuckling, romantic old movies. When her grandmother begs her to go east and see if “they” are safe, then slips into an uncommunicative silence, Kim goes to Vienna to search for a family, armed with only two clues. She’s having no luck when she first runs into a ghost, and then encounters a guy she mentally dubs Mr. Darcy. Only this Mr. Darcy acts like he knows her. When she goes out for a drink and wakes up on a train, the adventure begins. This story began as an homage to Prisoner of Zenda, only with a female having to prove her courage, dash . . . and honor.
Kim decides the only way to fix the disaster she left is to return to Dobrenica, but what she finds there is far more shocking and dangerous than she ever imagined. Not just politics and personalities but ghosts and magic, murder and mystery, ballroom dancing and moonlit sleigh chases await her. Once again Kim has to take sword in hand as she tries to make peace, she risks her heart when she finds love, but there can be no happiness until she learns the truth. Only whose truth?
Kim is happily planning her wedding when she finds herself pulled two centuries back in time. It’s 1795, the rise of Napoleon, and Kim is now a guardian spirit for a twelve-year-old kid who will either become Kim’s ancestor . . . or the timeline will alter and Kim will vanish, along with Dobrenica. What? Yes, the child called Aurelie de Mascarenhas must get to Dobrenica, or more than the Dsaret family will vanish.
Kim hates time travel conundrums, and knows nothing about kids. How is she going to guide a kid born on Saint-Domingue, with whom she has nothing in common?
From Jamaica to England to the Paris of the early 1800s, Kim and Aurelie travel, sharing adventures and learning more about Vrajhus, the Blessing, and the Nasdrafus than is known in Dobrenica’s modern times. Along the way to wedding bells or annihilation, Kim makes a shocking discovery . . .
(With story connections to Danse de la Folie.)
Regency Era Stories
A light-hearted Regency folly, starring Miss Clarissa Harlowe who wants a quiet life-but falls in love with a smuggler, the marquess of St. Tarval. St. Tarval’s sister, Lady Kitty, is determined to write a dramatic Gothic to save her brother’s mortgaged estate-if she can reach London. Clarissa’s much-pursued cousin, Mr. Philip Devereaux, is inexplicably intrigued by Lady Kitty, who is doing her best to encourage the match between him and Clarissa, except that Clarissa is now betrothed to . . . Lord Wilburfolde. And so the madness of changing partners begins in the dance of love.
In 1799, all of Europe is at war. In Palermo, sixteen-year-old singer-in-training Anna Maria Ludovisi is married by her dying father to Captain Henry Duncannon, the Perennial Bachelor. Minutes after the wedding he sets sail.
The threat of French invasion causes Anna to flee to Paris. At the end of the Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte is transforming France; Anna must transform herself into a professional singer in order to survive.
in 1805, Anna’s opera company is traveling through Spain when events bring the long-missing Captain Duncannon and his forgotten wife back together again, as the English, Spanish, and French fleets converge for battle off the Cape of Trafalgar.
For Henry Duncannon as well as Anna, everything changes: the demands of war, the obligation of family, the meaning of love, and the concept of home. Can they find a new life together?
One Jane Austen’s best-loved books is Persuasion, and of the characters in it, among the most popular are Sophy and Admiral and Croft, dashing Frederick Wentworth’s sister and brother in law.
In this short novel, Sherwood Smith takes a look at what the Wentworths’ lives might have been like before they met the Elliots, and Sophy’s view of Anne Elliot’s and Frederick Wentworth’s stormy relationship—and how she might have had a hand in bringing about that happy ending.
Eleanor Tilney is little more than a plot device in Jane Austen’s tale, whose first half scintillates so brightly, but whose second half hints at the brilliance to come. In this, another of Sherwood Smith’s Jane Austen novellas, Eleanor gets a voice, and a romance, as we see Catherine through hers and Henry’s eyes.
This novella-length homage to Jane Austen’s Emma was inspired by a single line in the novel that makes Miss Bates, for one moment, startlingly prescient. Supposing Miss Bates really could hear others’ thoughts? A look at three marriages in Highbury with a touch of magic and wonder.
One of the longest-running debates about Jane Austen’s work has been the problematical ending of Mansfield Park. As I have stated in my review is that part of the problem is how the narrative stops abruptly in Book Three, Chapter XVII. Here Austen’s narrator takes the stage to issue a long summary of what happened, after all those brilliant pages of immersing readers in the minds of the characters and their world.
When I read James Austen-Leigh’s memoir about his famous aunt in which he reported sister Cassandra begging Jane for a different ending, I got the courage to join the host of other authors who love to play in Jane Austen’s world, and take up the story from that point and offer a new ending, solving that problem, plus some others.
One of three long novella-length stories I’ve written about Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. This story accepts the ending that Jane Austen wrote, and follows a bitter Henry Crawford wandering the world after his failure at winning Fanny Price. An unexpected encounter with an equally bitter Captain Wentworth, during a sea battle with the French, brings about changes for both gentlemen . . .
The pleasure of your company is requested.
Graceful feet tracing courtly steps.
Eyes behind jeweled masks meeting across a room of twirling dancers.
Gloved hands touching fleetingly—or gripping swords… Anything can happen at a ball.
I collected thirteen stories intended for sheer escapism, full of beautiful ballrooms, intrigue, some swashbuckling, a balance of dark and light with light winning. I have two stories in it, one I’ve since published on its own, “Lily and Crown” and one under another name.
In L. Frank Baum’s Oz
The Emerald Wand of Oz; HarperCollins, January 2005 Amazon
Trouble Under Oz; HarperCollins, August 2006 Amazon
The finale to Sherwood Smith’s Oz trilogy. Journey back to Oz with Dori and Emma, along with old favorites like Scraps and Polychrome, as they travel through the skies over Oz. There’s a plot afoot with a dastardly villain who kidnapped Princess Dorothy in Smith’s first book, The Emerald Wand of Oz. It’ll take Glinda, Rik the Nome (met in the underground adventures related in Trouble Under Oz), Dori, Emma, Scraps, and many more to contend with this threat–even a shaggy dog named Dad! Sky Pyrates Over Oz is illustrated by Kim McFarland.
Science Fiction written With Andre Norton
Derelict for Trade (Solar Queen Universe); Tor Books, March 1997| Audio book
A Mind for Trade (Solar Queen Universe); Tor Books, June 1997 | Audio book
Echoes in Time (Time Traders Universe); Tor Books, November 1999 |Audio book
Atlantis Endgame (Time Traders Universe); Tor Books, December 2002 | Audio book
Other Media-related Science Fiction
Augur’s Teacher; based on the TV series Earth: Final Conflict; Tor Books, August 2001
Paradise Drift; based on the TV series Andromeda; Tor Books, October 2005
In this novelette, Hera is angry with Zeus and the rest of the male gods. She takes their powers, and comes to Earth, handing them out to random old women, saying that the weakest have the most wisdom, and further warns them to prove her right! I had such fun writing it.
There are secret powers that might get you locked up or spirited away. And then there are the secrets that get you shunned. The first kind are surprisingly un-useful at helping with the second. This fantasy novelette set in San Diego, Ca, is about teens and different kinds of secrets.
In one of my rare explorations of modern life, with a touch of magical realism, anxious, indecisive Barbra is ferocious about one thing: her daughter. When a mysterious music teacher appears at the local school, Barbra and some local parents are up in arms. . .
So many things can steal the magic from life. So few things can restore it.
In this near, could-have-happened future tale, teenage Lys finds out that her family has been selected for a reality show. The megabucks are conditional upon the family being interesting enough to catch the interest of fellow Americans. Lys and her drummer brother and overworked elder sister go to great lengths to “be real” . . .
In this short, satiric novella, I have fun with inward and outward expectations: personal, familial, social, and governmental.
As a child, Sherwood Smith was always on the watch for magic: no fog bank went unexplored, no wooden closet unchecked for a false back, no possible magical token left on the ground or in the gutter. In these nine stories, the impossible becomes possible, magic is real, aliens come visiting. How would our lives change?
“Masks,” The Feathered Edge, Sky Warrior Books, 2012
“Court Ship,” Firebirds Soaring, Firebird, 2009; reprinted in e-form in Remalna’s Children
“Beauty,” Firebirds, Firebird, 2003, reprinted in e-form in Remalna’s Children
“Miss Austen’s Castle Tour,” Lace and Blade 2, ed. Deborah J. Ross, Norilana Books, February 2009
“Rule of Engagement,” Lace and Blade, ed. Deborah J. Ross, Norilana Books, February 2008, REPRINT, Lightspeed 2014
“Commando Bats,” Athena’s Daughters, 2014
“Monster Mash,” Werewolves, eds. Jane Yolen and Martin Greenberg, Harper & Row, Summer 1988
“Ghost Dancers,” Things That Go Bump in the Night, eds. Jane Yolen and Martin Greenberg, Harper & Row, Summer 1989
“Daria’s Window,” Sisters in Fantasy II, eds. Susan Shwartz and Martin Greenberg, NAL, March 1998
“Faith,” A Wizard’s Dozen, ed. Michael Stearns, HBJ, Fall 1993; reprinted in Between the Darkness and the Fire, SFF Net anthology, 1998; reprinted in Read (teen version of Weekly Reader), November 2000
“Curing the Bozos,” Bruce Coville’s Book of Aliens, BPVP, February 1994 (fifth printing 1995)
“Echoes of Ancient Danger,” Orphans of the Night, ed. Josepha Sherman, Walker & Co., Spring 1995; reprinted in MOOREEFFOC, Summer 2000, vastly rewritten and published as “The Rapture of Ancient Danger,” in Beyond Grimm, e-Anthology, Book View Cafe, 2012
“I Was A Teen-Age Superhero,” Starfarer’s Dozen, ed. Michael Stearns, Harcourt Brace, Fall 1995 (paperback, 1996)
“What’s A Little Fur Among Friends?” Bruce Coville’s Book of Spinetinglers, BPVP, January 1996
“Visions,” Bruce Coville’s Book of Magic, BPVP, March 1996; On Year’s Best List for 1996 picked by TANGENT Magazine; reprinted MOOREEFFOC December 2000
“Illumination,” Nightmare’s Dozen, ed. Michael Stearns, Harcourt Brace, Fall 1996
“And Horses Are Born With Eagles’ Wings,” Realms of Fantasy, October 1997; reprinted in Electric Wine, January/February 2000
“Mastery,” Wizard Fantastic; ed. Larry Segriff and Martin Greenberg, Tekno Books, 1997
“And Now Abideth These Three;” Realms of Fantasy Magazine, 1998; reprinted in Coyote Wild, December 2007
“Finding the Way,” Bruce Coville’s Alien Visitors, Scholastic, October 1999
“Diary of a Henchminion,” Faeries, France, 2001; Fictionwise, 2002
“Mom and Dad at the Home Front,” Realms of Fantasy, August 2000; reprinted in Year’s Best Fantasy, Harper Eos, Spring 2000; Nebula Finalist 2002; Fictionwise 2002; New Magics, Tor, 2004
“The Hero and the Princess,” Lone Star Stories, November 2005
“Being Real,” Lone Star Stories, October 2006; Book View Cafe
“Summer Thunder,” Coyote Wild, January 2007
“The Princess, the Page, and the Master Cook’s Son,” Heroes In Training, August 2007