The Madness of Kings
Release Date: December 29, 2020
Castles and courts, kings and queens, peasants, swordsmen, and the occasional airship.
Welcome to the Middle Kingdoms, the most peculiar place on Dib, where the royalty all look like one another and also like the five founding gods of creation. Nine feudal theocracies that haven’t embraced new technology in three thousand years, the Middle Kingdoms is a land that never changes, surrounded by a world that changes constantly.
A Death in the Family
Battine Alconnot made a promise to return to Castle Totus for the Feast of Nita. She’d very much like to break that promise, except that it was made on her mother’s deathbed, to her sister Porra. Disappointing Porra Alcon wouldn’t be wise under any circumstance, but it’s doubly so given she’s also Queen Porra, wife to King Ho-Kenson, sovereign of Totus kingdom.
Batt hasn’t felt genuinely welcome—in court or among her own family—since she was a child, because Battine is a rare descendant of royalty who doesn’t look like it. The gods chose not to smile upon her, genetically. She’s an unblessed. An outcast. Still, she goes. And when a member of the royal family is murdered in the castle, she’s the first person accused.
Battine teams up with the other most likely suspect—an outsider named Damid Magly who knows more than he’s telling—to find the real killer. What they find instead is far more serious.
There are secrets buried deep beneath the kingdoms…secrets that could destroy the royal families, and secrets that could alter the future of the entire planet.
The Man in the Sky
Meanwhile, in Velon, Detective Makk Stidgeon is dealing with the fallout from the Orno Linus murder case. The county attorney wants Makk to find more evidence, while Orno’s brother Calcut mostly just wants Makk dead. His ex-partner, Viselle Daska, remains missing, as does her father, Ba-Ugna Kev. Both are wanted for murder.
Makk is also sitting on two things Orno Linus risked his life to steal from the House vaults. They’re important, but he has no idea why.
Now comes an odd proposal: Ba-Ugna Kev wants to turn himself in. But he has conditions. He wants to surrender to Makk personally, he wants the Veeser Elicasta Sangristy to be there as well, and he expects them to come alone.
Kev can tie everything together: Orno’s murder, the stolen artifacts, and what his daughter has to do with all of it. But he’s also tried to kill Makk and Elicasta once already, and to retrieve him they’ll have to go to the one place where they’re guaranteed to have nobody watching their backs: the space station Lys.
The Madness of Kings is the thrilling second book in Tandemstar: The Outcast Cycle.