Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Blood of the Land: A Warder universe ghost story

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
As urban fantasy goes, my Free Court of Seattle series isn’t particularly gritty—although Bone Walker has some darker themes than Faerie Blood does, and I’ve got some long-term plot plans that will go in darker directions. But by and large, the series skews to brighter and more upbeat action, much like the sorts of books I like to read. There are reasons, after all, that I tell people that the Free Court of Seattle series is my “music, magic, and computer geekery” series. Those are the things I like to emphasize.

But that said, there are darker themes and darker questions to explore in the Warder universe. And my short story “The Blood of the Land” gets into one of those questions, namely: if a Warder is magically constrained to remain on his or her land, what happens when the magical connection to the land is tainted?

 “The Blood of the Land” was originally published by Drollerie Press, in the Civil War anthology Defiance. It picks up in media res with the escaping slaves Dorcas and Caleb, as they’re fleeing northward through Kentucky with the help of the Underground Railroad. They’re in search of a particular barn that’s supposed to be their next stop, only to discover that the men hunting them have beaten them there. And they’ve shot the couple who owns that farm, Elias and Jenny Sutherland.

All of which is a pretty dark setup for a story. But as this is the Warder universe, there’s more going on. Elias and Jenny are in fact Warders. And Dorcas herself has power—she’s a powerful healer, a gift that makes the son of her master determined to get her back at any cost.

If you’re thinking this sounds similar to the setup for my character Faanshi in Valor of the Healer, you’re not wrong. But hey, I like writing powerful healer characters. And I wanted to introduce another source of power into the Warder universe as well—namely, Yoruba mythology. Dorcas is a follower of Inle, one of the orisha in the Yoruba religion, and from him she derives her healing power. You can read more about Inle here and here.

What happens to Dorcas and Caleb—not to mention Elias and Jenny—well. If you want to find that out, come read the story! Its official page is here on my site. And of particular note, I have the story available for “reader sets price” on Smashwords—including free! Everywhere else, including Amazon, it’s available for 99 cents. So check it out. This is the first ghost story I’ve ever written, and the first historical story I’ve written for the Warder universe. I’m very happy to make it finally available again.

As Angela Highland, Angela writes the Rebels of Adalonia epic fantasy series for Carina Press. And as Angela Korra'ti, she writes the Free Court of Series urban fantasy series. Come say hi to her at, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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