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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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Rescuing the Princes

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

FREE this week. 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 through Friday! (Book one, The Crimson League, is on sale for 99 cents.) To celebrate, here’s a snippet from the free read: young sorcerer Vane and the king’s men approach the mansion where the kidnapped princes are being held.

“Which village is this?” barked Gratton. “Carphead?”

“Snapperville,” said Zacry.

“And we’re approaching from?”

“The north.”

“Then we want to go south,” announced the guardsman, and gestured for the others to follow. He had spent the previous afternoon poring over maps.

After an hour of trekking through weeds and brush with hardly a sight of even a dirt road, Vane spied Ursa’s mansion, a building stylistically plain except for its large upper windows. Wooden planks painted a cool shade of blue covered the exterior. As the mansion grew larger, the vigilantes reached the border of Ursa’s land. Waist-high hedges with a tended lawn and flower garden on the opposite side marked her property. The morning had progressed, and the sun dispelled the worst of the mist that had earlier obscured Vane’s vision. This was where the king’s party would split up.

Gratton took Rexson and Zacry and circled right. Their goal was to sneak to the window of a vacant room on the lower floor, from which spot the sorcerer could infiltrate the mansion, invisible, and do reconnaissance. Ideally, Zacry would run across the princes and get them out without alerting a soul. Otherwise, he might at least ascertain whether Ursa was home and get to the boys through her coerced cooperation.

Vane, Bendelof, and Hayden had the task of taking down the bear, which was roaming around somewhere and could threaten the entire operation. A shame they had to kill the thing, but there was no way around it. Vane wanted to freeze it magically, to do it no permanent damage, but Gratton ruthlessly revealed the flaws of that suggestion. “Use your head, boy. Suppose Dorane or Arbora shows up and unfreezes the thing? What do you care about Ursa’s animal for? It’s got to die, and quietly. That’s why we’ve got Hayden’s bow.” In the meantime, Zacry would freeze the bear if he came across it first, so that Vane and Hayden could finish the job. If the cursed thing found the king and soldier after Zacry were inside, well, the pair had arrows of their own, but Vane hoped they wouldn’t have to use them. Gratton would not be pleased if he had to shoot the bear himself, not pleased at all.

Hayden led the second trio in the opposite direction. Vane ran their plan over and over in his head.

Kill the bear. Look in the windows, because Zacry’s on the other side, and go in if you see Ursa or the boys. A black flash for the enemy, red one for the hostages. Get in and get out. But first the bear, kill the bear….

The bear found Vane’s party almost straightaway, charging from a clump of oak trees near the mansion, where it was sitting with no restraints. Hayden acted in a flash; before the beast gave two great bounds he loosed an arrow, which lodged in the animal’s snout as it made a third massive stride. With an angry roar—one Vane used a muting spell to silence, but some seconds too late—Ursa’s pet reared up, exposing its chest, and took two more projectiles. Eyes red, claws exposed, yelling in a voiceless rage, the creature careened toward the building when the fourth arrow struck. Then the bear collapsed against the mansion’s blue wooden wall.

Vane threw himself to the earth, and dew soaked his clothing. Hayden followed suit, pulling Bennie with him. Hearts racing, they crept toward the building ten yards away. The sorcerer got there first and found a line of narrow, barred windows hidden by a bush row the bear had crushed. He turned invisible before he jumped the hedge and sprinted to the nearest pane, next to the animal’s corpse. He peered into a basement, a basement Zacry could not have seen because it covered only half the building’s length. An identical room must exist on the other side.

His voice shaking, Vane uttered two spells. The first sent up a soundless spray of ink-colored flashing lights. The second sent up red ones.



Saturday Snippet: The Ambush

What would you do if you were seventeen, a woodworker’s daughter, and your kingdom’s sorcerer-dictator was determined to see you dead?

In preparation for my free promo of “The Crimson League” October 22-24 for Kindle, I wanted to post a “Saturday Snippet” from the book here. It’s the beginning of one of my favorite action scenes, when that sorcerer, Zalski Forzythe, the captain of his guard and his wife Malzin, and his soldiers ambush Kora Porteg and the Crimson League outside their cabin. How does it all end? You can find out Monday HERE, for free!


Kansten, the last to exit, had just shut the door when blue uniforms poured from the cabins on either side. Kora’s companions dropped their sacks one by one, drew swords and daggers. Sedder pulled Kora behind him, his grip so strong his nails sliced her skin, and Lanokas half-threw Bennie to the back. Neslan reached for the cabin wall for support, hot guilt distorting his face. Kora knew at the first glimpse of a cerulean sleeve he had been followed.

Malzin, in matching uniform, entered the street behind her men. She and the guard outnumbered the League ten to six, and all rushed toward the outlaws. Kora pushed her way to the front to meet them; her chest was so tight she did not think she could gasp a syllable, but she yelled a string of incantations, yelled them clearly: “Attada! Espadara! Kaiga!”

One of the guards fell when a rope appeared from nowhere and knotted around his knees. A second stopped to match blows with an unmanned sword Kora had conjured, the largest she had ever seen, while a third tripped over his own feet. Neslan and Lanokas stabbed the two who had fallen at the same time Kora ran forward, following Kansten, her dagger out. Sedder made a grab to hold her back, but missed. As she began to cast again:

“Very nice,” came a bodiless voice from behind, next to the cabin. The Leaguesmen scattered; Kora’s heart jumped, skipped two beats. “Pulgaqua!”

A steady, irresistible force turned the sorceress to face the voice. She crossed her arms like an “X” and her shell appeared, blocking a thick jet of water streaming toward her face, redirecting it to the Landfill’s front wall, which crumbled beneath the pressure in a heap of wood and dust.

Kora did not hear Zalski cancel his invisibility. He popped into existence, utterly unmoved, not three feet from the pile of debris, he and his fine black tunic speckled with dirt.