Today, Micky is on the blog tour for Pennyblade by J.L. Worrad for Titan Books and we’re sharing the synopsis and an extract, to give you a flavour of this colourful book!
A sharp-tongued disgraced-noble-turned-mercenary has to stop the world collapsing into chaos in this gripping, savagely funny epic fantasy packed with unforgettable characters, for fans of Joe Abercrombie.
Exile. Mercenary. Lover. Monster. Pennyblade.
Kyra Cal’Adra has spent the last four years on the Main, living in exile from her home, her people, her lover and her past. A highblood commrach—the ancient race of the Isle, dedicated to tradition and the perfection of the blood—she’s welcome among the humans of the Main only for the skill of her rapier, her preternatural bladework. They don’t care which of the gleaming towers she came from, nor that her grandmother is matriarch of one of Corso’s most powerful families.
But on the main, women loving women is a sin punishable by death. Kyra is haunted by the ghost of Shen, the love of her life, a lowblood servant woman whom Kyra left behind as she fled the Isle.
When a simple contract goes awry, and her fellow pennyblades betray her, Kyra is set onto a collision course with her old life, and the age-old conflict between the Main and the Isle threatens to erupt once more.
Title : Pennyblade
Author : J.L. Worrad
Format : Physical
Page Count : 384
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Titan Books
Release Date : March 29, 2022
Extract from Pennyblade
I woke up in my bunk, pleased not to have been shivved or beaten. I could hear thunderous snoring down the tunnel to my left, likely that humungous bitch Lizbet. The dormitories lay under St Waleran’s. They had once been sewer pipes when humans had managed to get something like a half-respectable civilisation together before, predictably, allowing it to collapse. Hoxham was laced with these subterranean nooks, sewers and catacombs and such, the infrastructure of a lost and much more populous city. I’d once visited a gambling den with skulls for walls and a water channel you had to step over in order to get to the bar. I never went back there but, in fairness, that wasn’t the décor’s fault.
The bunks were carved into the cracked brickwork. Poppi, and now I, had a bunk in a bend in the tunnel, rather separate from everyone else, partly because there’d been only enough room to carve two bunks in the walls there, partly because it stunk of damp. The outsiders’ corner.
Limes. I could smell limes. I lifted my forearm to my nose and sniffed. That familiar citrus of the season musk. I put my hand under the blanket and checked. My grove’s lips had hardened. I’d be in full equinox tomorrow, crazed, mounting St Walerans’ altars and making awow-woo sounds. The residents of St Walerans didn’t need that, poor darlings.
Escape, Kyra. I had to escape tonight. Earlier if opportunity became my friend.
I’d let my finger slip onto my grove’s stud. A tension went from my limbs, my toes curling. My body’s changes had awoken me early. Why, I told myself, it would be the decent, the civilised, thing to placate myself before the others woke.
I found Kyran’s old shirt beside my pillow. I tried not to think about the ink scribble upon it. Who had done it? The journeymen who had found me? Or… earlier, in those delirious nights I stumbled through mire and forest? I shivered. Too unnerving to give credence, that.
I shoved the rag in my mouth. A key skill in the travelling adventurer game is stealthy alleviation while companions snooze. The epics never seem to mention that.
You, Shen. I pictured you that time in the midnight forest, the Milky Way above, caught in your eyes, as you, as—
A thud upon the tiles. ‘’Ello, Shenny.’