My name is Princess Kordahla. I’m the second child and only daughter of Shah Wilshem of Terlaan. My life is spent interred behind palace walls, where I am safe from the demeaning stares of common men, but on the rare occasion I am permitted an excursion, I marvel at the beauty, bustle and chaos of our lakeside capital city, Tarana. If only my father were not so overprotective! He does not even know how well I can read, thanks to the tutelage of my little brother, Vinsant. He would frown upon such accomplishment in a woman, but what harm can it do? Our southern neighbour, Myklaan, considers women almost equal to men, and it has prospered for years. Perhaps one day, when my older brother Mariano is shah, I might persuade him to pursue a more liberal reign in Terlaan. He might even allow women to forgo the veil in public! Mariano and Vinsant mean the world to me. I raised my little brother after out mother died, and I will sacrifice everything to protect him.
What is your role in the story?
My father would treat me like chattel, and barter me to the realm’s advantage, but I will not sacrifice my happiness for a thin hope. He tells me I am selfish, but if I can control my destiny, so too can every other woman in the realm! And so I will fight for my freedom, because if I succeed Terlaan will enter a more equitable age.
What is your favourite hobby?
I love reading from Tales of the Djinn to my handmaidens late at night, when there is no chance Father or my guards will discover us. The illicit act is the only excitement I can devise. Needlepoint just doesn’t compare.
What is the challenge you’re trying to overcome in the story?
My father believes that by betrothing me to hideous Lord Ahkdul of Verdaan he can negotiate a deal to stem the flow of the poisonous drug porrin from Verdaan into Terlaan. He’s bartering with my happiness. It’s unfair, and I cannot spend my life married to the cruel man. I need to find a way to escape past my soldier-magician guards to southern Myklaan. I need to convince Shah Ordosteen to grant me sanctuary in his djinn-cursed court. I have nothing to offer him in return unless I can steal one of magical crystals our magicians use in their art. The crystals are so heavily guarded I have little chance of success. If I am caught, I will forfeit my life. If I succeed, I will disgrace my family. The Vae help me if they call down blood honour. They will pursue me across desert and hill to strike me down and restore honour to their name.
If you could make one wish, what would you wish for?
A romantic princess cannot help dreaming about a dashing Myklaani Prince who would ask for her hand in marriage. But I could never actually make that wish. A conniving djinn might hear, and trick me into a pact which would plague me for the rest of my life.
Title: Dark Djinn
Author: Tia Reed
Duplicity and deception: aid from a djinn is a curse under any guise.
Betrothed to a cruel lord, Princess Kordahla dreams of fleeing to her decadent neighbour, a journey fraught with danger, and no promise of sanctuary at its end. Her one hope is to offer the southern shah a prize so valuable he cannot refuse to harbour her: the secret of the mahktashaan, the soldier-magicians sworn to protect her father’s court.
But the mahktashaan guard their magic with blooded sword, and in stealing one of their powerful crystals she will risk her life. Unless she accepts the help of a treacherous djinn intent on tricking her into a deal.
It is a compact which threatens to shatter the fragile peace in the Three Realms.
A gripping tale of realms besieged and honour lost, of blood-ties severed and romance dreamed, Dark Djinn begins an epic quest to save mortals from the schemes of djinn.
Tia Reed loves nothing better than burying her nose in a story of her own imagining, cuddling her bossy cat and rescuing chewed pillows from her hyperactive dog. She takes every opportunity to do all three when she is not teaching English as a second language. Her other hobbies usually take a back seat but include trying to tame her beast of a garden, hiking and travelling. The latter has thrown her many interesting, sometimes hair-raising experiences, which she loves twisting into stories. She was born in Malta, but lives in Adelaide, Australia.