I have finished switching the genders of my three lead characters and am very excited with the results. Gone is the damsel in distress; in her place a compassionate prince awaits rescue. Gone is the deadly male lead, unstoppable by any force and resplendent in black; in his place strides a hard-as-fucking-nails female assassin who takes no guff from nobody, drinks like a fish, and frequents brothels and gambling houses alike. Gone the heroic knight upon glistening steed; in his place a distraught wife rides forth to rescue her beloved husband. Please let me know what you think of the synopsis for my novel, THE BOOK OF WIZAR, first installment in THE CHRONICLES OF ELLERAN trilogy:
In the city of Lordnam, capital of the Pearl Kingdom:
Facing bankruptcy, the Pearl King and his adviser, the wizard RIMLOCK, concoct a plan to replace waning profits from the dwindling pearl industry and eliminate the threat of Khan piracy with one sweep: they will seize the resource-rich lands of their neighbors, the tribal Bedarin. The Bedarin salt pans are a lucrative resource and their western coastline would afford a trade position that bypasses the Khan raiders in the south. But the kingdom cannot afford an all-out war; they will need to be discreet.
Following a night of drunken gambling, renowned assassin JENNEKA the Hunter is given a fortnight to pay off the gold she borrowed — and lost — or expect the removal of her toes via blunt chisel. The next morning four King’s Guards kick in her door mid-hangover and march her to the palace. Expecting the worst, Jenneka is surprised to find herself being offered a job: the Pearl King promises her a fortune in gold if she kidnaps a Bedarin prince called GARRIK. Eager to return to her favorite bar stool, Jenneka sets out immediately for the distant Gritlands, home of the Bedarin. Four days in, she encounters a pair of tribesmen wandering the Great Plains, one of whom is Garrik.
Garrik is searching for his lifemate, ALARIA, who disappeared while hunting an ancient beast whose horn, according to the spirit of a legendary shaman visiting her dreams, would ensure Garrik a son.
Before Jenneka can capture Garrik she is attacked by several men who seem to have been following her. She slays two but is wounded and saved from death by Garrik, who she then drugs, ties to a horse, and drags back to the Pearl Kingdom. While Jenneka awaits payment in the palace she is set upon by the King’s Guards and fights them off with nothing but a small wrist-knife, having relinquished her swords upon entering the palace. Knowing the king has betrayed her, Jenneka finds and frees Garrik, thinking they can help each other.
The pair escape the palace pursued by a cohort of the King’s Guards, who they lose in the nearby woods, but the River Roon still lies between them and the Gritlands. There are only two ways across, both guarded. Jenneka chooses the longer route through Haketown, where an old friend of hers lives.
Meanwhile Alaria finally returns home after recovering from a wound sustained from the beast she killed. Finding Garrik gone, she sets out after him, racked with guilt that she was absent when he was taken.
With their leverage against the Bedarin chief snatched away, Rimlock and the Pearl King, desperate, turn to more drastic measures. Rimlock steals the Book of Wizar from its guardian, a former student of his, and, following its forbidden instructions, begins harvesting the souls required to return Wizar to the land. The forefather of magic himself will surely prove a deadly ally in the kingdom’s struggle for survival…
Alaria follows the trail of Garrik and his captor to the Pearl King’s palace, where she asks after her lifemate. The Pearl King, in an effort to avert Bedarin retaliation, convinces her that Garrik was kidnapped by the Khans, ancient enemies of the Bedarin. Alaria rides for Tur’Khan, hoping she’s not too late.
Jenneka and Garrik arrive in Haketown to find a group of Bedarin, led by Garrik’s father, waiting for them. Garrik, who has begun to forgive and even warm to Jenneka, lies about her involvement in his abduction, saying it was she who saved him. Meanwhile the Pearl King’s men have set up a blockade on the bridge. Jenneka and her local friend devise a plan to get the Bedarin across, but it goes awry and a battle ensues. Garrik’s father and several of his men are slain, and the rest make it across thanks only to Jenneka’s courage in battle.
Rimlock succeeds in resurrecting Wizar, but after a century entombed the mystical being’s need to consume the souls of others has taken control of him. He kills Rimlock, beginning a rampage across the Pearl Kingdom. There is only one person who can stop him: the one who possesses the horn of a beast born from Wizar’s blood centuries ago, and she now rides for Tur’Khan.
Garrik, mourning his father and Alaria, who he believes dead, invites Jenneka to accompany him to the Gritlands, where he will have to defend his right to the chiefdom. Jenneka accepts, for though she is a wanted woman with not a copper to her name she has discovered something in Garrik far more precious than gold for which to fight.
And across the sea in the land of Jenneka’s birth a prophecy is spoken that will send a vast army into the Gritlands with one purpose only: to exterminate the Bedarin.