The White Palace
How Fard the illusionist came to work for the Dragon King.
Fard walked in the house, hung up his cloak and scarf by the door, and flopped face-down on the couch with such dramatic force that he felt a cord or two pop under his weight. Daanil didn't even look up from his paper. "Went well, hm." It was only a question by the most technical of definitions.
From isis.dreamwidth.org: "non-western-historical-feel fantasy about a down-and-out young illusionist who accidentally lands his dream job. Which might be a nightmare."
From pinboard.in: "Fard of House Hariima has been looking for a job for so long, he's desperate -- so when his friend tells him that the Dragon King needs an illusionist, he signs up for it before finding out everything about the job. Which, in retrospect, might not have been too good a move, considering his new employer is cranky as shit."
From pinboard.in: "Fard is a qualified illusionist who can't get a job. Then the job of a lifetime turns up and suddenly he has a whole new learning curve to contend with - and a mysterious king."
The White Palace is a direct sequel to The Red Woman, though the former was written before the latter.
Much, much more tenuously, The White Palace takes place in the same universe as Bright Mouths, though with at least one millennium between them.
I said this last issue, but it remains true here: as a rule, I hate high fantasy. Now, there's nothing wrong with the genre itself -- says the woman who has loved The Hobbit since I was five years old -- but to work, it needs to walk the thin line between the treacherous lands of What The Hell Is Happening and Please Stop Showing Off Your Worldbuilding Now. This, then, is my attempt at putting my money where my mouth is and taking that tightrope trip.
It's a little dopey and melodramatic, but it's not meant to be Great And Profound. My story last December was that; this was just meant to be fun. And it was! And all that matters is that I had a good time, right?
Originally, this was going to be for October. Then I realized there was no way I could get it done in two entries. Then I realized that I really should have a lot more here than there wound up being, but too many demands in real life kept me from making it as long as it should be, which is probably twice what it actually wound up being.
Things nobody will notice: this actually occurs in the same universe as Bright Mouths, only ~1000 years earlier. The Grey Islands become the Island, and Fard's city becomes the Mainland. If you caught what I was doing there, you'll catch vestiges of it here; if not, don't bother.
And speaking of its needing to be longer: my lovely artist (who did such fabulous work here) had the spectacular idea of doing an expanded version, with both more text and more art, and making bound copies/ebooks. So stay tuned! I promise it'll be worth it (i.e., it'll have more porn).
That extended version is, for the record, still in the works.
- fail-fandomanon.dreamwidth.org: "ontains age difference, deflowering, magically induced impotence, dragons. The dynamic is rather familiar - snarky, slightly bumbly apprentice, and scowly, unfriendly, demanding king. Kind of a Beauty & the Beast riff."
- delicious.com: "An illusionist and the Dragon King. Long and enchanting original fic. I want to read this again. Beautiful prose."