For a Muse of Fire (Shadow Players)
By Heidi Heilig
2018’s For a Muse of Fire is the first volume in Heidi Heilig’s Shadow Players secondary-world fantasy trilogy.
Aquitan’s armies suppressed Le Trépas, the mad monk terrorizing Chakrana, then occupied Chakrana. They are there, they declare, to ensure that Chakrana’s boy king Raik Alendra will peacefully ascend the throne. In the meantime, Aquitan is benevolently guiding Chakrana to true civilization, which is of course Aquitanian. This means suppressing the bad old ways, such as monasticism. The result: civil war.
It’s a good time to flee Chakrana, as Jetta and her family are planning to do. They are travelling players; they fear running into Aquitan soldiers or perhaps freedom fighters and bandits (who are not always clearly distinguishable). Not only that: Jetta needs medical treatment available only in Aquitan.