Monday, June 4, 2018

Realm Explorers Part CIX: Visit Malornian-Occupied Alasia with Annie Douglass Lima

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name: Annie Douglass Lima

Title of book and/or series: The Nameless Soldier (book 4 in the Annals of Alasia)
Other books in the series:
Prince of Alasia
In the Enemy's Service
Prince of Malorn

Brief summary of the story:

What do you do when you’re the only survivor?

Nineteen-year-old Tarvic bears the name of a mighty hero from Alasia’s past. However, the young soldier feels anything but heroic when he regains consciousness to find himself the lone survivor of a brutal attack by invaders from the neighboring kingdom.

Forced to leave his identity behind, Tarvic is thrust into civilian life in the role of protector to three war orphans. When the four of them encounter a mysterious stranger, he must choose between keeping the young girls safe and taking on a mission that could help free his kingdom. Can Tarvic live up to his noble name and find a way to balance his duty and his dreams?

The Nameless Soldier is the fourth book in the Annals of Alasia, but the series can be read in any order, and each book can stand on its own.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:

Alasia has long been a peaceful kingdom, with only occasional minor border skirmishes with neighboring Malorn. There hasn't been an actual war in six generations ... until recently when the Malornians attacked, invading suddenly with no apparent provocation.

If we were to visit Alasia as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?

Alasia is a peninsula, with hundreds of miles of beautiful coastline. It's winter now, so not an ideal time for swimming or sunbathing, but the scenery would still make for a gorgeous stroll along the water in many areas.

Ordinarily, I would suggest visiting the king's palace in the capital city of Almar, if you can manage to get an invitation. But the palace has been taken over by Malornians and turned into their headquarters, so it would be best to stay away.

For a taste of local culture, try visiting one of the large markets, where vendors sell everything from fresh baked pastries to leather goods to homemade cheese. There are taverns and restaurants where you can stop for a drink or a meal, but you'll want to be careful. Malornian soldiers frequent many of them, and some go around looking for trouble.

What dangers should we avoid in Malornian-occupied Alasia?

Try to stay away from Malornian soldiers if you can. Lately they have been pillaging crops and livestock from farming communities. After one very close call at the farm where he's staying, Tarvic finds a creative and unusual way to make sure anyone else who passes that way won't steal from them. The soldiers also sometimes harrass civilians in the cities, so it's best to give them a wide berth and not make eye contact as you pass. If you travel into or out of Almar, the capital, you can expect to be stopped at one of the roadblocks. If you cooperate, chances are you won't be harmed, but they'll want to search your cart or wagon. (Rumor has it they're looking for someone ....)

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Alasia?

That depends on your budget or whom you're visiting. Tarvic and the three girls he ends up helping don't have money to spare, though they have access to milk and butter thanks to the family's cows. Their meals tend to consist of watered-down soup or thin slices of bread with plenty of butter and tall glasses of milk. However, if you can afford to eat at a restaurant, you could dine on roast beef and other hearty fare.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Malornian-Occupied Alasia?

The Malornian soldiers carry swords around with them, but they don't allow Alasians to bear arms in the city. If you arrive with a weapon, you can expect to have it confiscated as you enter town. Tarvic is a trained hunter and makes good use of the sturdy bow and arrows that once belonged to the girls' father. Later he seizes the opportunity to use them for more than just hunting ....

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Alasia?

Most people ride on horseback or in a cart or wagon if they have one. At one point Tarvic and the girls are forced to make a journey on foot, bringing supplies along in a wheelbarrow.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Alasia.

Like most Alasian soldiers, Tarvic enjoys card games, though he learned his lesson about playing for money when he lost two days' pay to a man in his company named Dannel. He was surprised to learn that the girls under his care know most of the same card games he does, and the four of them often play in the evenings. The youngest girl, Sennie, doesn't have much concept of strategy and needs lots of help from her sisters, but the four of them have a good time together just the same.

What is the political or government structure in Malornian-occupied Alasia?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?

Officially, Malorn is ruled by the teenage Prince Korram (his father King Kerman died a few years ago). Young Korram is technically now the ruler of Alasia as well. However, since Korram is not yet eighteen, a regent named Rampus assists him in the rule of both kingdoms. Partway through the story, Rampus moves to Alasia to oversee his - er, Korram's - new conquest.

Author Autobiography:

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published seventeen books (four YA action and adventure novels, five fantasies, a puppet script, six anthologies of her students’ poetry, and a Bible verse coloring and activity book). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?

Click on the following links to see or purchase the books on Amazon:

The Nameless Soldier
Prince of Alasia
In the Enemy's Service
Prince of Malorn
Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews (not available for purchase, but click on the link to tell me your email address and I'll send you a free copy!)

Where can readers connect with you online? 

Sign up for my email list to find out when I release a new book (and receive a free copy of Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews):

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Malornian-occupied Alasia.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima

1 comment:

ccarpinello said...

IS this the newest book, Annie? Looks great. Like the cover. Saw this on Mommynificent.