I have been struck.
New hobverse book, here we come.
Luckily I’m not too worried about working on hob-books because each is meant to be more or less stand-alone. (think : emo humourless discworld). This one is all about the infamous bastard Mallen Gris, and his little sychophant Ives Verrel. So it’s a history. *grin*
What’s fun is that this time my bff (and hobverse fangrrl) is playing alpha-reader and reading it chapter by chapter, in its unplaned, unvarnished state. Keeps me honest, I suppose.
It’s also way too complex for a first person narrative (Hob an Lam only had three POVs and that damn near did my head in) so it’s going to be one of my few books in third past. 😛
anyway, excerpt for those who like that kinda thing:
“Besides, what does it matter? All of this, it’s just a …dalliance. Already my father has picked out some House bitch for me to marry-”
Verrel rolled over and sat up. He stared down intently. “Who?”
“I’m sure I don’t remember.” Gris waved one hand, brushing the question aside. “It’s not as if I was paying the man any attention.” He focused on Verrel’s agonised face, and grinned. “What does it matter, you yourself are going to be tied to that Pelim spinster, that bug-eyed atrocity.”
“She’s not -” Verrel sighed. “She does have a rather unfortunate face. I’m told she’s witty though.”
“So bug-eyed and a shrew. What a catch. You must be thrilled.”
“Shut up.” Verrel grabbed his pillow and pressed it over Gris, who laughed. Denied the pleasure of a struggle, Verrel pulled the pillow away and dropped it on the floor. “Do you even like women?”
Gris sighed. “I don’t like people. I barely tolerate you, and you’re my darling scholar of E.” He looked up, serious now. “The reason you are what you are to me, is because you’re truth.”
“Aren’t you always trumpeting on about how truth is merely lies tarted up to please?”
“I am.” Gris smiled. “Do you know what the world wants from me – of course you do – they want whatever it is they think I can give them, and so they submit to me, mask their faces with a simpering smile, honey their tongues. They never truly become mine – they tell me what they think I want to hear. But you…” He lay back, returned to his examination of the ceiling.
“You submit, but you want nothing from me that you don’t already have. So alone, of all the people I know, you do not fear to tell me the truth.”
There was a long silence, and then Verrel whispered, so softly that Gris almost missed it. “You’re wrong.”
“I’m never wrong, I believe we agreed on that.”
My really craptastic blurb of cheesiness. You have to read this in a dramatic James Earl Jones Movie Voice ( I like to write these for focus)
Mallen Gris is a man destined for fame: wilful, arrogant, decadent, perverse – and the most gifted Saint his ruling House has ever seen. When he has a vision of his future and the end of the scriv-mines that feed his family’s magical power, he sets to creating himself a new path. In order to achieve his goals, he will do anything, including burning his own family home to the ground, murdering his dinner guests, building a new empire, and destroying the closest person he has to a friend.
Ives Verrel has always been at Gris’s side, a friend so loyal that behind his back he is known as “Mallen’s Dog”. Not fully understanding Gris’s plans, he follows along as usual, and finds himself trapped in a world of betrayal, murder, and magic. It is when Gris has Verrel’s younger brother murdered that Verrel finally understands the man he has pledged his loyalty to, and what he has to do in order to not only stop his friend, but to regain his House honour.
With the aid of his dead brother’s wife and a boy-scholar in Mallen’s household, they set in motion the events that will eventually turn House Mallen to dust, and ensure the day that Gris’s name is a curse. No longer content to be Mallen’s Dog, Verrel’s path of revenge will awaken a power greater even than Gris has ever seen in his Visions. A power that will change the face of the world.