Into Lansimetsa

I’m about 10,000 words into a third book of The King Trials series. I hadn’t planned on writing a third book, but I’ve had enough readers who said they wanted to see the characters again and one of those readers sent me several pages of ideas. Thank you, to each of you! A new book will come out sometime next year.

If you’ve read the King’s Shadow, the three main characters in this third book are mentioned in the epilogue. I’m introducing the first of them below, but I’d love to hear your guesses on who the other two are.

Meet Kate, the 16-year-old daughter of the ruler-judge. Note: she is near sighted in a land without glasses, which tends to her noticing different things than most people do. 


Some say that change smells like springtime; damp earth and the vanilla scent of crocus. 

It doesn’t.

Change is the scent of thousands of nobles crushed together on benches to witness the swearing in of a new ruler-judge, replacing Papa because his physician said he won’t live to see his grandchildren if he doesn’t give up the burden and move to a drier climate. 

It’s pipe smoke as men argue about leaders and laws along the halls. Firecrackers as some celebrate in the streets and incense drifting from windows as others mourn the loss of their advocate.

The scent of change is Papa’s medicines permeating the air with their acidic stench as they are used one last time before being packed for a long journey. The briny bear fat rubbed on the axle of his wheelchair so it will roll smoothly over dusty inn floors after eighteen years use on marble halls. 

It is the scent of worries, hopes, and goodbyes. 


When she learns that she won’t be going with her parents, at least not yet.

Kate swallowed her retort and pasted on a smile. “We’ll be fine. At the rate Hal is going, he will finish all the readings for the judge classes and by the time you come back, he’ll be analyzing cases too complex for the recently elected ruler-judge. And me, well, you know me. I’ll only get into a small amount of trouble. Maybe I’ll start an anonymous gossip column for the newspaper, sharing everything I learn while at social events because people think if you can’t see, then you can’t hear either. Or better yet, cousin Luukas and I can change out the ink of all Uncle Halavant’s students again. The Carani language looks much more menacing when written in blood red.”

Book recommendation:

Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer

I love the poetic flow of this story. All of the tree-siren’s thoughts are in free-verse and feel so organic. I also love how at the beginning her chapters are titled “monster” and later, as she changes, her chapters are titled with her name. This story is of an enslaved tree spirit who kills humans to empower her mother—a story of her fight against this compulsion and her desire to be human. The redemption arc is beautiful and literally heart-rending.

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