Thursday, November 20, 2014


Beth Bernobich is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Her short stories have appeared in Asimov's, Interzone, Strange Horizons, and, among other places. Her books include the young adult fantasy Fox and Phoenix, the fantasy trilogy River of Souls, and the newly released The Time Roads.

Bernobich applied the Page 69 Test to Allegiance, the third book in the River of Souls trilogy, and reported the following:
From page 69:
“I go to Duenne tomorrow,” he said. “Leos Dzavek is dead. Armand will know that soon, if he does not already. You can imagine what follows next. So I intend to demand a public audience before the entire council. It is my right as my father’s heir. There I will say all that I should have said years before.”

At first Emma was unable to speak. Dzavek dead. Raul Kosenmark returning to court and council. It was as though the gods had reached down and overturned all their lives. But immediately after came the thought, He dissolved his shadow court, but his spies are still at work in Károví.

She wondered what else he had kept from her and Benno.

“Will Armand listen?” Benno asked softly. “He never has before.”

Another shrug, but Emma did not mistake that gesture for indifference. “I cannot tell. I also intend to speak with my father and his factions—with any faction that will have me—so that mine is not the only voice. There are others who might dislike me, but they dislike more the idea of a senseless war. They know that Károví will not yield, if they ever do yield, without a long and bloody fight.”

More revelations. “When did your father return to court?”

Kosenmark smiled bitterly. “Another recent event. I wrote to him last month, during my absence.”

Yes, the absence that remained a mystery.

“What of Lir’s jewels?” Benno asked. “Dzavek had one. Surely—”

“I have no report about them.”
Allegiance is the third book in my River of Souls trilogy, set in the fantasy world of Erythandra, which tells the story of a young woman named Ilse Zhalina and her journey toward independence. It's also the story of two nations on the brink of war. One of the chief players is Lord Raul Kosenmark, an exiled councilor, who runs a secret organization to influence politics from afar. On page 69, he announces his intention to abandon secrecy and openly oppose the king's call for war. The decision marks a turning point not only for Kosenmark himself, but also for his allies, his enemies, and the kingdom.

So does page 69 represent the book? It definitely represents the political aspect of the entire trilogy, which has centered around Raul Kosenmark's efforts for peace. Ilse Zhalina herself plays an important role in those efforts, at first as Raul's helper, then as his lover and partner. While she's not present in this scene, her actions in the previous book have led directly to Raul's decision, which in turn will lead them both to the king's court and the final confrontation with their enemies.
Learn more about the book and author at Beth Bernobich's website.

The Page 69 Test: Passion Play.

--Marshal Zeringue