As I speak, Space Carrier Avalon is finishing its second week of sales, and is currently ranking in the top ten for Space Opera on Amazon around the world.
Since I am currently almost completely unable to digest this sufficiently to blog about it, here’s the first scene from Mage-King’s Hand (the sequel to Starship’s Mage)
Mars was receding in the window as the starship got under way. Unlike most apparent ‘windows’ aboard the vessel, this one actually looked out onto space, an observatory tucked away on one corner of the immense white pyramid.
If Damien Montgomery stepped right up to the glass and turned his head just right, he could see the star-white plume of reaction mass blazing out from the battleship’s matter-antimatter engines. He couldn’t feel the acceleration as the magic woven into the runes under his feet provided an artificial gravity that countered the force of the ship’s thrust.
His gaze was focused on Mars. The massive peak of Olympus Mons, visible from low orbit, had just rotated over the horizon. Over the last three years, the mountain capital of the Mage-King of Mars’s Protectorate had become home.
He hadn’t left Olympus Mons since arriving on the terraformed world. He’d arrived not-quite a prisoner, having demonstrated a rare gift with magic, and an even rarer gift for causing trouble.
Now, after three years of being the Mage-King’s direct student – as Desmond Alexander had time around his duties and responsibilities – he was leaving again.
“My Lord Envoy?” a voice said from behind him.
Damien turned around to find himself facing a young man in a navy blue uniform with narrow gold cuffs. If memory was correct, the single narrow cuff marked the man as a Lieutenant. The man didn’t wear the same gold medallion at his neck as Damien, so he was not a Mage – ‘just’ one of the many mundane officers that kept the Navy running.
“Lieutenant Keller, My Lord,” the young man replied, and a slight shiver ran down Damien’s spine. Keller was, at most, five years younger than his own not-quite thirty. The uniform and the sidearm the man carried should have marked him as Damien’s superior in most circumstances.
The fact that Damien was the only person on the fifty million ton battleship Righteous Guardian of Liberty not wearing a uniform said something different. The crackling parchment in the inner pocket of his perfectly tailored black suit told the rest of the story: he bore a commission directly from the Mage-King of Mars as His Envoy, empowered to speak on His behalf for a specific mission.
“Mage-Captain Adamant requests your presence for dinner with the senior officers in her quarters this evening,” the Lieutenant told him quickly.
Damien smiled, trying to put the younger man at ease. He quickly realized that, faced with a man who spoke with his King’s Voice, clad all in black with skin-tight gloves, the young Lieutenant was never going to be at ease.
“Let Captain Adamant know I will be there,” he finally told the Lieutenant. “Thank you.”
With a perfectly crisp salute that Damien wasn’t entirely sure even his current status required, Lieutenant Kellers all-but fled the observatory.
Damien waited until the youth had left, and rested his gloved hand on the pocket of his suit jacket. The archaic parchment of his commission crinkled under his fingers and he sighed.
How had he gone from wanting to jump starships between the stars to this?