Characters on the Ragged Edge
I’ve always been fascinated by people who have obstacles to overcome that are bigger than the ones most of us deal with. That’s why, in addition to the love story between Erik and Valdis at the heart of this book, the main characters in Silk Dreams all deal with some pretty difficult issues.
Valdis has epilepsy. Grand mal seizures are no picnic in this century, but imagine being plagued by them in the 11th. In the Northlands, her family thinks she’s been witched when she has a fit before her betrothed’s fine jarlhof, so they sell her to the next group of traders who sail by.
Her new owner wants to use her seizures to convince others that she has prescient dreams and can foretell the future–the future he orders her to see.
The man who buys her in Miklagaard (Constantinople) has problems of his own. Damian was gelded 10 years earlier, but his heart is still that of an intact man’s. As a eunuch, he’s risen high in the emperor’s service, with houses and investments and servants of his own, but he still sends support anonymously to his wife and son back in Greece. He’d rather let Calysta believe he’s dead than to return to her as a half-man.
The life of the mind is his province now and Damian’s is as Byzantine as they come. When Valdis uncovers a plot to unseat the emperor, she and Erik aren’t sure if Damian is trying to foil it, or secretly foment it.
Erik is a captain in the Varangian Guard, the emperor’s elite bodyguard made up of Norse soldiers. But he’s not in Miklagaard by choice. He was banished from the North for killing his brother–a rash act that torments him daily. He’d planned to seek a battle death in the service of the Bulgar-Slayer, but when he loses his heart to Valdis, he has no idea how to rebuild his tattered honor and free her at the same time.
I hope you’ll enjoy Silk Dreams. It was a difficult book to write because there are no easy answers for any of my characters. Of course, there’s a Happily Ever After. It is a romance, after all. But the journey to that conclusion is a hard one. If you’re game for a story that’s not quite safe, Silk Dreams is for you.
“The lush smell of spices, the soft silk of the harem and the intrigue of court life combines as Marlowe sweeps readers into her novel of medieval Constantinople. She crafts a lavish love story that’s as entertaining as it is epic.”
~ RT BOOKReviews
“The colorful and captivating world of ancient Byzantium provides the intriguing setting for Mia Marlowe’s lushly sensual, sumptuously written historical romance.”
~John Charles, Chicago Tribune
Now it’s YOUR turn. I love to hear from my cyber-friends so please leave a comment. I’ll kick off the discussion with a question: Have you ever read an unsafe story, one that didn’t go in comfortable directions and made you wonder how in the world the author would ever lead you out of the tangle she led you into? For me, the most recent one was Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. What was it for you?
P.S. Yes, I know it’s Thursday, but if we have no volunteer, we can’t have Red Pencil Thursday. If you’d like to take a turn in our online critique group’s hotseat, please click here for info on how to submit your material. Hope to hear from you soon. ;-)