She applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, The Lady (Marakand, Volume Two), and reported the following:
From page 69:Visit K. V. Johansen's website.“The Lady,” said Talfan. “Took a company of temple guard to the suburb. Red Masks. Started arresting wizards, or trying to. Someone started fighting back. Killing Red Masks. Some great wizard with demons and --” She shook her head. “Maybe even the Blackdog of Lissavakail’s out there.”Well, it’s all secondary characters on this page, a gathering of some of the Marakander rebels against the goddess called the Lady, but the Northron caravan-guard Varro, husband of the Marakander apothecary Talfan, is a character we’ve already met in Blackdog and The Leopard, and is a friend of the shapeshifting Blackdog. He’s kept Holla-Sayan’s nature secret from his wife, just as he’s kept Talfan’s place among the leaders of the loyalists of the old gods secret from his friends. This page, despite not featuring any of the central characters except by hearsay, comes at a significant moment, when those opposed to the Lady and her temple are realizing that their time has come -- if they don’t raise the city now, in the wake of the assassination of the Voice of the Lady (by one of the heroes, Ahjvar, in The Leopard), and seize the advantage they’ve been given by the battle in the suburb in which the Blackdog, the bear-demon Mikki, and the wizard Ivah (who were enemies in Blackdog) destroyed many of the reputedly-invulnerable Red Masks and put the Lady herself to flight, they will never reclaim their city and free their gods.
“The Blackdog?” Varro raised his head sharply. “No. He wouldn’t --” He clamped his teeth together on the words.
If I were a reader considering the book and this was the page I’d opened up at, it would definitely intrigue me, with its hints of battle, intrigue, and dark magic. I’d be wanting more in order to find out what was going on; I’d walk out of the store with both halves of Markand, The Leopard and The Lady, for certain.
The Page 69 Test: The Leopard.
Coffee with a Canine: K.V. Johansen & Ivan.