I was originally intending on using “The Stricken City” or “Stricken Cities” for the title of the second book in my Ascendant Realms series. As the story came along and the characters developed, I decided it wasn’t right. What would fit better would be to use the time of year in which book two is primarily set. It would be a way to ingrain the calendar I’ve fashioned for the world of Syr Nebra.
I recently completed what will most likely be the cover of Book II. I think it’ll make a nice contrast with how dark Book I looked.
When I created the calendar, I wanted something easily understood but unique from what we’re use to in real life. I settled on a year divided up into eighths. Here are the names of each month with the corresponding dates in the real world calendar:
Winterfinding (December 20-23)
Imbolc (February 2)
Ostara (March 19-22)
Beltane (May 1)
Midsummer (June 19-23)
Lammas (August 1)
Mabon (September 21-24)
Samhain (November 1)
As you can see, the ‘months’ on Syr Nebra are longer than here on Earth but the seasons would roughly correspond. Because the dominate religion in this world is a kind of sun-worship, I wanted to have a calendar that suggested an outgrowth of this. So the rather broad pagan concept of the wheel of the year or sun-cross would be a good basis.
The majority of the story of Book II of Ascendant Realms takes place during Samhain and Winterfinding, which is about 90 days. This way we get a sense of time’s passage and it allows for a kind of human vs nature element to come into play through the story. I finished a draft of the front and back cover. The altered image comes from photographer Kilian Schonberger’s Brothers Grimm’s Wanderings series.
And here is the back cover text:
Winterfinding, the second book of the Ascendant Realms series, picks up almost immediately after where Adversaries Together left off. Seven unlikely heroes have decided to take charge of their fate as they not only seek answers but attempting to set things right.
After defeating the pirate mercenary Asa Salda, Avery Roth leaves his new allies and goes north to deliver to his elders–the mysterious Caretakers–the orphaned child Colm. Roth’s longtime companion Jena Char retraces their steps as she searches for clues about who sent Salda and erases any traces of the group to prevent or stall any further bounty hunters.
Wynne Landis continues to the seat of the world’s dominate religion, The Cathedral in the city of Sulecin, in the hopes of negotiating an end the siege of his home city of Rikonen. His daughter Fery stays by the side of the fallen paladin Goshen Staad, the mercenary Declan Rainway, and the priestess Kira Ambrose as they head to the capital of the nation of Silvincia, the Seven Spires of Ardavass, to find out more about Kira’s lineage and why she is being pursued.
All the while, the Seven Spires has amassed an army set to conquer Rikonen with The Cathedral’s blessing. But before it can set out on its war path, intrigue unsettles The Cathedral as word arrives of a gigantic black armada from the far southern nation of Lappala–Do they want war? Trade? Or something else?
Awhile back I also used the title ‘Winterfinding’ for a playlist. Maybe worth a listen:
And, should you be interested, here’s how you can get your hands on Adversaries Together, Ascendant Realms Book I