It is Tuesday again, time for another teaser from Warbound: The Shield Maiden, which will be out as an e-book on July 17th.
Riritaka’s thoughts often turned to the Gladiator known as Lionfang. The mercy he had shown her ensured that she lived, seeking her freedom in the arena. She was too weak to win often, especially without access to powerful spirits to bind, but she cared little for her record as a Gladiatrix. It was enough for her simply to live, for now.
Life among her people was a distant memory as were the endless interrogations by the Grey-Robes. No longer considered a Heretic, she was as free to travel as any Gladiatrix. She had visited the great cities of the Empire; seen her first snowfall; walked in the bamboo gardens of the Far Isles; fought a Wirn to the death in the Grand Arena in front of more people than she’d imagined could fit in one place. They had cheered her on that day. It was a precious memory, even if it felt like a betrayal of old hates.
The Spirit-Binder often wondered if she was a coward for choosing life over honour, but it was now a philosophical question, no longer a gaping wound that brought sleepless nights and bitter regret. She had chosen life, and that was what she did. She lived.
Determining which characters to bring back in the the Domains of the Chosen book is not always easy for me. Gavin, Sadira, and Vintia were a given, but filling on other positions required some thought. Riritaka is a character from Bloodlust: Will to Power, a heretic from the People called The Pale, who Gavin fights for one of his ranking matches, refusing to kill her on principle.
I decided to include her because Warbound: The Shield Maiden is about moving beyond the borders of the Domains, and so she seemed like a natural fit. Her perspective on the Domains is that of an outsider, and so she can act as kind of a control perspective.