— Oscar Wilde
I admit to have sinned, in an authorial sense. A story should avoid anything that draws a reader out of the narrative. Each word should immerse. Nothing should remind that this is but a book full of ink symbols, rather than a dazzling mind adventure.
Fantasy stories whisk the reader even further from reality. It’s even more critical nothing should puncture the world-building bubble. For this reason, what I’ve done in my new epic fantasy, Dark Lord’s Wedding, is inexcusable, reckless, and selfish.
And I’m not sorry.
Chapter titles in the novel reference other worlds, other narratives, and, specifically, other dark lords. Each quote honors inspirational villainy. A powerful antagonist changes a story, and powerful stories change a life. One narrative that taught me the joy of reading had a dark lord, and they are quoted in Dark Lord’s Wedding, a tale that itself celebrates the vital role of villainy.
I invite you to share in my glorious shame with a contest. The winner shall have spoils, in this case a signed paperback of Dark Lord’s Wedding. Use your cunning to identify the dark lord referenced in each chapter title. Not all are direct quotes:
Not all are obvious:
And not all are from books. The supreme winner of the contest will have deduced the most dark lords. Ties will be decided by random roll of a d20, or by a fight to the death. I’ve listed the chapter titles below. The contest ends on the last day of April. Send your numbered answers through the Contact Me tab on this website. Or you can direct message me on Facebook or Twitter.
You’ll notice that these referential chapters only occur later in the book. And this story is itself the fifth following this cast of characters. After all that I thought it right to indulge.
I don’t like saying Dark Lord’s Wedding is the fifth in a series because each premise is so wildly different from the others that I encourage people to read them out of order, with villainous glee. That said, Dark Lord’s Wedding is the deepest plunge into the Lands of Loam. You may wish to read any of my previous stories first, Gown of Shadow and Flame or Magic Banquet, to name two. Or if you don’t mind a challenge and desire nothing more than to read about a pair of dark lords getting married and taking over the world, then go for the throat.
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