Want to take a vacation? How about a trip to an untamed wilderness that’s home to skittish sprites and ancient monsters? Visit a dark, decadent palace where lavish balls and hidden assassinations are weekly occurrences. Take a stroll by the misty seashore, and stay on the lookout for scaly creatures from the depths.
I’m planning to release my next book, Poison and Honey, this summer. It’s an urban fantasy, and most of the story is set in a faerie-like Otherworld, which I’d like to take you to today.
Don’t worry. You’ll probably make it back in one piece.
I’ve been tweeting teasers for this series, which I’m calling Dark & Otherworldly, so you may already know the basic premise is about the heroine infiltrating Otherworld to free the humans who’ve been taken captive there. She tends to think of all the beings there as “Others,” but there’s actually several distinct kingdoms and peoples in the realm.
Poison and Honey focuses on the Dwencanti, since they’re the ones abducting people from the human world. Their lands are mostly forest and mountains, and most of them make their homes in trees.
They’re a varied people. Some look almost human, while others…definitely don’t. They love dancing and song, and their palace is famous for its bountiful feasts and opulent parties. You should be sure to try the food. Lush fruits, delicate desserts, juicy steaks–all of it artfully arranged among candles and flower petals.
Just watch out for poison.
Their kingdom has a long coastline and borders the realm of the Sea People. They have a mostly friendly relationship, and each year, they come together on the beach to celebrate the Festival of the Drowned Moon. It’s a night-long celebration based on a folktale that explains the disappearance of Otherworld’s fourth moon, and it’s filled with dancing, drinking, games, and seafood.
While the Dwencanti and the Sea People do have some political tension, neither is willing to break their alliance. They need each other for protection against the Rashrang.
Otherworld is full of arcane magic, ferocious monsters, and enchanted weaponry. So it means a lot to say that the Rashrang are super-strong badasses who terrify all the other strange, scary people who live there.
They’ve conquered plenty of the neighboring kingdoms over the years and have a war-like reputation, though they’ve had peace with the Dwencanti for several generations. The average Dwencanti doesn’t think about them very much these days, but you can bet their queen does–and they worry her.
I’ll be posting more teasers, sample chapters, and probably a free prequel or two in the lead-up to Poison and Honey‘s release this summer. Keep an eye out if you like urban fantasy, especially books featuring the fae.
What fantasy novel has your favorite worldbuilding? What bookish location would you most like to visit? Let me know in the comments–or post about it on your blog. Feel free to use the Bookish Travel Guide image at the top of this page and the hashtag #BookishTravelGuide, because we could all use a virtual vacation right about now.
Stay safe, and happy reading!