Mission Impossible, Night Guild Style

by wlancehunt, July 9, 2020 in Books, fantasy, Self Publishing, Writing Now

Thief of the Night Guild

Volume 2 of Queen of the Night Guild

Cover of "Queen of Thieves" Box Set: A Grimdark Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Thief Adventure
Queen of Thieves Box Set: A Grimdark Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Thief Adventure

Older and with Bigger Problems

         Picking up where Iliana’s journey from childhood to adolescence and her time as an apprentice ended, Thief of the Night Guild finds her a full Journeyman. Her status has improved, and she has grown older, but so have her responsibilities and the stakes for failure.

        Yes, this is Iliana of House Hawk, the highest-earning, boldest, most respected Journeyman in the Night Guild.

        But she’s no longer alone. People count on her. Her son Kodyn. Ria, the woman Iliana rescued from a brothel and now cares for Kodyn while his mother is working. The other members of her house. Even powerful members of the guild’s high council depend on her skill to keep them in power.

Still a Grim Dark Fantasy Thief Adventure

        Her world is full of dangers. The work she does continually puts her in jeopardy of imprisonment, injury, or death. She’s surrounded by people willing to kill or betray for little more than a few coins.

        Yet, within this world full of assassins, thieves, beggars, dark alchemists, and brutal enforcers, Iliana has been able to carve out a small oasis of quiet. Next to the Old-town Market in the city of Pramis, she has secretly built a precious, yet precarious home with her cobbled-together family of Kodyn and Ria.

        Few know of this house’s existence. She keeps it this way. For everyone’s safety.

The Price of Freedom       

        To let her house flourish, she concocts a plan to buy her freedom from the Night Guild. From the life her father had sold her into as a child. More importantly, she will save her small family, protect her son the same hell she had to endure. And to allow him a future away from this dark world of theft, intimidation, and assassination. They, along with Ria, a woman Iliana has grown quite fond of.

         To afford this freedom, though, she must pull off a job more dangerous, more audacious than the nearly impossible one she’d accomplished at the end of Child of the Night Guild. She plans to steal a solid gold, jewel-encrusted sarcophagus from the best guarded, most impenetrable vault in the land. In so doing, not only would she be able to buy her family’s freedom but would revenge her friends from the cruel hand of the city’s ruler, the Duke, brother of the King.

Selling her Plan

        To sell her idea to the Night Guild and gain their permission and resources, she appeals to both their greed and sense of vengeance.

  •         The Duke has grown ever harsher in his treatment of the Guild. He has increased policing in the city, targeting the Guild, hindering their ability to earn.
  •         He has also publicly executed many members of the Guild. Including close, personal friends of Iliana.
  •         But they cannot kill the Duke outright without bringing the wrath of the King on the Guild.

        So, she has figured out the next best solution:

Public Humiliation

She will steal the fantastically valuable sarcophagus of his wife—right from under his direct protection. This will shatter his reputation and gut the foundation upon which his power and wealth rested.

The planning Begins

         With the savvy of Mr. Phelps of Mission Impossible, she assembles a team of specialists to plan, work out the details, and then practice each of audacious break-in, one after another. Each plays as crucial a part of the plan as the last. Should any step fail, the whole will collapse, possibly stranding friends, colleague or herself in the snares of one of her many enemies, or killing them outright.

It’s Never That Simple

Blackmail

        While orchestrating this intricate plan, she must untangle a continual string of snags. Including the unknown hand blackmailing her into committing crimes outside of the Guild. A violation the Guild could put her to death for. And the demands in the mysterious notes that appear in her private room have grown larger of late.

The Bloody Hand

        Worse, her city and benefactors in the Council of Night Guild are assailed by the Bloody Hand, a thuggish group from Voramis, a city they control with ruthless authority. The foreigners offer easy money in exchange for complete fealty. Some houses in the Night Guild like the sound of the offer and work to convince the rest to take it 

Turmoil Within
  • jealousies from other journeymen
  • internecine competition
  • political intrigues within the guild’s leadership

All distract and add unwanted dangers to an already challenging mission. None more so than

A Distant Trip

        To get two elements critical to her plan’s success, she must travel to the city of Voramis, the home of the Bloody Hand.

        There, she must break into the Secret Keeper’s temple, a holy site, steal explosive alchemical liquids and powders, putting personal friends in mortal jeopardy.

        And all this happens BEFORE the crew starts the break-in.

One Hell of A Ride

        Once the job starts in earnest, the tension keeps rising, and the suspense lasts until the unexpected scene of the last paragraph. A scene that sets up the final book of the series Queen of the Night Guild leaves her, her family’s, and her city’s freedom hanging in the balance.

        Bottom line: it’s a hell of a ride, and it ain’t over yet.

The many voices of Rebecca McKernan

        This intricate plan unfolds to Rebecca McKernan’s top-notch voice acting. She continues her range of voices, both male and female, both kind and malevolent, and from young to old. As in the last volume, one comes to recognize characters by her giving each one a different spin, adding accents, and varying cadences and intonations.

Just as Intricate

        Less grim dark, but just as intricate, is the high fantasy series the Book of Visions.

Blurb for The Book of Visions

A fabled book. An ancient war. A secret order. When a divorced father of two from Brooklyn stumbles into a world of shadowy magic, it’s all this modern man can do to simply survive. Then the devoted followers of a wrathful god discover he’s the key to a fabled book reigniting an ancient war. A war that now threatens not only this world but his home on Earth. Suddenly on the run in a strange world, he must reach deep inside himself to unravel the secrets of the book to save his family—with or without the help of the secretive Order of the Way.

This Work in Progress is expected into Beta reading this Fall. ~ 100,000 words.

The Prequel: Walking the Darkmaker’s Way

The prequel to the first volume is in beta reading right now, and the rewrite is expected to start this Fall. Under 40,000 words. 

Blurb for Walking the Darkmaker’s Way

An ancient king’s sins still mar the land. A slighted river god prepares yet more punishment. While mobs of pilgrims gather to plead for mercy, the renowned searcher of arcana Menno hunts for an apostate fleeing the Order with dangerous secrets. Forced to walk the crooked lanes of the Darkmaker’s Way, he must elude enflamed pilgrims, a magical assassin, and ghosts from his past. Forced to face the deadly truth of a stranger from another world and of a book that shouldn’t exist, he needs to finally decide whose side he is truly on.

You can check out more details on both books right here: The Book of Visions.

You want invitations to the beta reads, audio giveaways, and more great stuff like this to read? Drop by here and get those and more, starting with an exclusive reading: Two Phoenixes.


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