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Reviewers compare “The Crimson League” to “The Hunger Games.”

thecrimsonleagueI am so excited by the way reviews are comparing the first novel of my trilogy (free today for everyone who wants to read) to Suzanne Collins and “The Hunger Games.”

I have to admit, I haven’t yet read THG, but I can’t wait to do so. The dystopian theme is intriguing to me, and I assume it will have a lot of depth. In addition, I have heard nothing but praise for Collins and her writing chops (as opposed to other very popular series of the moment and recent past involving sparkling creatures of the night.)

Here’s the most recent comparison:

“I just finished The Crimson League and am about to start the next in the series. Victoria has a unique flair for writing and keeping the reader interested. Most importantly to me, her characters are well described and easy to follow through all the twists and turns that transpire throughout the story. If you’re a fan of magic and an era like The Hunger Games, you’ll enjoy this novel to the fullest.”

And here is an older one:

“This was an excellent book. If I were to compare I would say it is close to Hunger Games. It is a different world one that has magical humans and nonmagical humans against each other. There is a man who has taken over the kingdom who is torturing people and a group called the Crimson League that has decided to rise up against him in order to restore order to the kingdom and place the rightful King in his place. The characters are amazing and really tug at your heart strings. The book didn’t end the way I wanted it to but I loved for that. All in All I would recommend this book to anyone.”
If you know someone who enjoyed “The Hunger Games,” would you mind letting the know that “The Crimson League” is free May 31 and June 1?
While it’s the first book in a trilogy, it’s a finished, complete story to itself, and the sequels–both of them–are now available for those who enjoy their journey to Herezoth. When you can travel to a land of sword of sorcery risk free, what’s to lose?
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Meet Arbora

FREE this week. Don't miss out on sorcerer-duke Vane Unsten's coming of age story.

FREE January 11, 2013. Don’t miss out on sorcerer-duke Vane Unsten’s coming of age story.

Coming of age is never easy. Especially when you’re an orphaned duke. And a sorcerer. And the king, your surrogate father, finds his children kidnapped….

Book two in the Herezoth trilogy, The Magic Council, is FREE today! (Book one, The Crimson League, is on sale for 99 cents.) To celebrate, here’s a snippet from the free read: meet sorceress Arbora Anders

Arbora Anders had been twenty years old and more tender than most her age when Zalski Forzythe executed his coup d’état. She had grown up in Partsvale, quite distant from the sorcerer’s native Podrar and the royal court to which his birth gave him access. Indeed, Arbora still made her home in that large northwestern village known for its shrine to Herezoth’s god and its pool that worked, upon occasion, some small miracle of healing due to the Giver’s mercy. It was beneath the light of a pale Partsvale moon streaming through her open window that Arbora tossed in bed, unable for the fourth night in a row to clear her mind. Not even the summer breeze blew out her worries.

Arbora had lived a quarter-century before setting foot in the capital. She had never heard Zalski’s name before he assumed power, let alone made his acquaintance, but she wished desperately, and daily—sometimes nightly as well—that she had met the man before his three year reign. Familiar with his aims and character, she would have had some basis on which to choose a course of action. Whether to throw her support behind him or to stand against him would have been clear. Even now, Arbora wished she had traveled to the Crystal Palace in the early days of Zalski’s regime. The man had been flawed, but he had also revered magic’s majesty as few before him. He would have respected Arbora’s abilities, would have yearned for her backing, even to the point of—the years had convinced her of this—sacrificing the cruelty of his justice system to gain her goodwill. Due to Arbora’s influence, or Zalski’s fear of losing her support, which would have amounted to the same thing, the sorcerer would have moderated the worst in himself, allowing his belief that the magicked should not and must not hide to burgeon in the hearts of Herezoth’s youth. What the Giver could have accomplished with Arbora as his Instrument!

Reflecting on those days inevitably brought Arbora to dwell on her hatred of two individuals, the first of whom was she herself. Arbora’s sin of inaction, of indolence and indecision, was a sin unpardonable. One could justify wavering for a day, or a week, but for three full years…. Her constitution could not have been weaker, and the guilt of her missed opportunity was one she could never expiate. She did not want her guilt expiated. Arbora deserved no peace, for one thing, and for another, her inner turmoil had become for her what a rudder is to a ship. Her shame directed her, kept her not merely in motion but covering real distance. Without it, she feared she would roam in circles again, stupidly, fruitlessly. To choose a destination and push full-speed toward it no matter rough waters, that was what life called for. That was what Arbora had been doing for eleven years now, ever since she had founded the Enchanted Fist. She did not believe she had darted off in the wrong direction, and had held her course, had never veered away. Some of those she tried to guide might have turned, but not Arbora. If by chance she had chosen the wrong bearings, well, the error was preferable, a million times preferable, to going nowhere and suffering vertigo from those sickening circles.

The second human being Arbora hated was Kora Porteg. She loathed Porteg with an infantile intensity out of nothing but pure envy. While Arbora recognized the seed of her invented rivalry, she was powerless, despite her magic, to uproot the noxious bloom that sprouted from it. (She had never been able to do a thing with gardens.) Porteg was everything, and yet nothing, that Arbora should have been. Choosing the wrong side—that was reason enough to hate the woman—Porteg had stood firm, had done more than that, had advanced unfalteringly, slowly at moments but unfalteringly, dragging the royalist movement behind her. She pulled them even to victory, despite slandering tongues and vicious printed lies.

Then there was the matter of Porteg’s exile. The king used the sentence he had levied as a crutch to prop his arguments; he talked about extremists who railed and rallied against the very idea of magic and who thought he was on their side because he had turned on his supporter. He claimed these people were dangerous. Whenever he said this Arbora wanted to yell that the lunatics couldn’t possibly be as numerous as the king feared, and that Rexson couldn’t let a few crazed individuals prevent him from making real progress, from reaching out to heal the magic community, which did need healing—but she never did. She would be a hypocrite to chastise Rexson for acting exactly as she: rather, for choosing not to act. Arbora could hardly stand the thought of Kora Porteg in exile, because Porteg had not deserved banishment, and the life sentence under which she toiled tempted her fellow sorceress to sympathize with her.

However, Kora Porteg was not the person who prevented Arbora’s slumber, who filled her heart with dread, her mind with premonitions that she had directed her ship to collide with a hurricane that had only just organized in the open waters ahead. No, Ursa and Dorane were the party responsible for that. But what was there to do? The two had kidnapped three royals without consulting her. They refused with vehemence to release the boys or to turn themselves in. There could be no turning back; the pair’s crimes were far too drastic for reparation. Arbora must support them. Perhaps Rexson might sanction a Magic Council in the end, on behalf of his sons and their liberty. Yes…. Yes, he would have to kowtow. The king had no powers to rival the Fist and its magicians, and no one to call to his aid. Who would help him? Kora Porteg? Rexson had banished her, betrayed her in a fit of spinelessness. Her brother Zacry? Zacry was a second-rate academic, more interested in arguments than incantations, and rumor held the younger Porteg was none too fond of the king after what he had done to Kora. Besides, Zacry was in Traigland, tucked away near Triflag with the sister the king had sent away.

What was to be, Arbora told herself, would be. Why waste the wee hours panicking? She had set her course eleven years ago, and had only to continue the route she had always traveled.