Destined for a King, the first book in The Bastard Brotherhood series releases in less than a month, and I thought it would be helpful to put together a little background information. This is my first attempt at writing fantasy, and I’m used to writing in a time and place readers are largely familiar with, so I am perhaps used to glossing over background.
This post may be updated as subsequent books come out. There may also eventually be a map.
If you have read the book and have questions, please feel free to use the comments section.
WARNING: I have no control over spoilers in the comments. So if you haven’t read yet, you may want to tread carefully. I have tried to keep the following information as spoiler-free as possible.
THE BASTARD BROTHERHOOD SERIES is a collection of four romantic fantasies set in an imaginary place and time. Although the setting has a medieval feeling, the Brotherhood’s world encompasses so much more — magical stones, flaming swords, mystical priests, and women with freedoms some men would envy.
Though the series has an overarching story that involves Torch, the leader of the Brotherhood, and his ongoing quest, each book will feature a new romantic pairing.
Book 1 DESTINED FOR A KING (Sept. 2016) Torch and Calista
Book 2 CLAIMED BY THE COMMANDER (release 2017) Kestrel and Jerrah
Book 3 To be determined (release date TBA) Griffin’s book
Book 4 To be determined (release date TBA) Wolf’s book
People and Places
The Eastern Strongholds encompass a host of Medieval-style landholdings, complete with castles and tenants, as well as the capital city of Highspring Moor.
The Pinnacle, held by the Steelsleet family, is a frozen fortress in the far north. Its walls are made of a legendary substance, Adamant, which renders the keep impregnable. The Steelsleets took in Torch and his mother after their escape from Highspring Moor.
The Freeholds are a stretch of land lying north of the Eastern Strongholds and south of the wasteland surrounding the Pinnacle. The inhabitants of the Freeholds consider themselves free people, beholden to no lord.
The Avestari are the horse-masters who ride the plains to the east of the Eastern Strongholds. They live in tribal communities that only come together when their people as a whole is threatened. When their young males approach manhood, each boy sets out on a personal quest to find a Scrying Stone. Though all Avestari youths seek these stones, not all find one.
The Aranya are a people who live far to the south, where blazing deserts are haunted by mirages and chimera. Their women decorate their bodies with complicated tattoos.
The religion of the Strongholds is based on The Three Gods—the All-Father, the All-Mother, and the Faceless One. None of the Three are good or evil; they simply are, and they are not at odds.
Called Acolytes by the uninitiated, these cloistered men refer to themselves as the Sons of Earth. By mystical means, they take journeys to further their knowledge of various subjects. The lords of the Strongholds seek these loremasters out as teachers for their children. Their symbol is an inverted equilateral triangle, the points of which represent the three gods.
The Brotherhood’s Beginnings
Honoring a promise to his mother, Torch set out on his quest to restore the rightful heir to the throne with the help of his younger brother and sister. Along the way, the band of outlaws grew, joined by those who either supported the cause or had their own reasons for leaving their lives behind. Some joined for the opportunity to collect booty. But regardless their motive, all who joined the Bastard Brotherhood willingly pledged absolute loyalty to their leader, the rightful heir to the throne.
Principal Members of the Brotherhood
Torch………. Leader of the Brotherhood, 30 years old, red/chestnut hair, brown eyes flecked with gold
Griffin……… Brother of Torch, twin of Jerrah, 24 years old, grey eyes, thin jagged scar across one cheek
Swift……….. Sister of Torch, twin of Griffin, 24 years old
Hawk………. A man at least 40 years old
Kestrel…….. Torch’s right hand man, Commander of the Brotherhood, curling black hair, blue eyes
Owl………… A boy no older than 16, Torch’s squire
Wolf……….. An Avestari warrior, who first met Torch when he was a youth