Orsina of Melidrie is a paladin of the Order of the Sun, sworn to drive out corruption and chaos wherever she finds it. She has been ordered to leave her home and travel around Vesolda in search of a great evil she is supposedly destined to destroy. But after two years of fighting monsters and demons and evil gods, she does not seem to be any closer to her goal—or ever returning home.
Aelia is the Goddess of Caprice, the personification of poor decision-making. The Order of the Sun has classified her as a chaos goddess, meaning that her worship has been outlawed. During a run-in with Orsina, she is trapped in a mortal body, rendering her unable to leave Inthya.
Aelia is found by Orsina again, but this time Orsina does not recognize her in her new body. So Aelia pretends to be a mortal woman who is fleeing an abusive family. Aelia plans to use Orsina as protection as she hunts down the magical relic that will free her from her mortal body.
As Aelia and Orsina grow closer to one another, Aelia wrestles with her own desire to tell Orsina the truth about who she is, and her fear that Orsina will turn on her if she does. But the decision might not be hers after all, because their actions have not gone unnoticed by Aelia’s siblings.
Title: Daughter of the Sun
Series: Tales of Inthya, Book Two
Author: Effie Calvin
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 19, 2018
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, fantasy, pansexual, gods, romance
Daughter of the Sun
Effie Calvin © 2018
All Rights Reserved
Aelia watched the last of the villagers vanish into the darkness with a great deal of relief. At the paladin’s orders, they had constructed a pyre to burn what they believed was Aelia’s body, the remains of which were now little more than ash.
She was lucky, she supposed, that the dame had not noticed that the version of Aelia she killed was a fake. But then, for all their abilities to sense deception, paladins tended to believe whatever was put in front of their eyes.
Unfortunately, to make the ruse believable, Aelia had been forced to release her hold on the villagers’ minds. Their support, unwilling as it had been, had given her power—power that she seldom felt. Gods were generally only as powerful as their worshippers, and Aelia had no worshippers at all.
Tens of thousands of years ago, Aelia had been classified as a chaos goddess by the organization that would later become the Temple of Iolar. All it really meant was that she represented something that Iolar disapproved of…and that his followers drove her out from wherever they found her.
Aelia slipped down from her hiding place in the trees. The wound in her stomach still ached, even as she pressed her magic into it. As long as she didn’t expend herself, it would heal in a few days.
There was no moonlight to see by, but she at least had enough power left to sense her way out of the grove. She began moving in the direction opposite of Soria, determined not to be caught again.
Aelia had two options. The first was to simply kill herself and wait to regenerate. But regenerating from nothing was so painfully dull, and would take years, given how seldom anyone invoked her name. And then, once she was back in Aethitide, it would take ages for her to become strong enough to manifest on Inthya again. If she’d wanted to do all that, she would have just let the paladin kill her avatar.
Her other option was to perform the ritual to unbind her from her mortal body. This was far more desirable. The only problem was the ritual required the use of the Unbinding Stone. And Aelia had no idea where on Inthya it might be.
The Unbinding Stone was not, as it sounded, a simple stone. It was an ancient dagger, all carved from a single piece of violet crystal, forged in the early days of Inthya when the gods were not so powerful as they were now. If she used it to stab her own heart out, she would be free from her awful flesh prison, without the need to regenerate.
Aelia made it out of the olive grove and on to the main road. Weakened as she might be, she had no fear of bandits. In fact, a group of bandits might make satisfactory thralls. At least no paladins would come investigating when they started behaving strangely.
Aelia walked until the sky began to lighten to misty gray. Her body was horribly exhausted, and she wanted nothing more than to climb out of it. Several times she tried to free herself, but the binding magic held strong.
Iolar would regret teaching those rituals to Men someday. The Ten liked to believe themselves infallible, to pretend Men would venerate them until Inthya came to its end. But for all of Iolar’s tedious laws, Men were wild, fickle, easily distracted. One day, they might all rise from their beds and decide to worship Aelia instead.
Effie is definitely a human being with all her own skin, and not a robot. She writes science fiction and fantasy novels and lives with her cat in the greater Philadelphia area.