A Singing in the Blood is the third book in the Chronicles of Riven the Heretic. It's a romance, a partial fantasy, and a family saga as well, because in these stories, the characters grow and change, in appearance, age, and their beliefs and convictions.

In the first story, Bloodseek, the hero Riven kan Ingan is a heretic, a disbeliever in the gods. He is in his mid-twenties, an arrogant young man aware of his lowly birth. Having been raised by the king after his father is killed in His Majesty's service, Riven is also privileged. A schemer, he decides to marry the king's daughter so he can pay back those who've looked down on him for being a foreigner...a barbarian's child. As will happen, however, his plans go awry, and those very gods he denies send him into the arms of the woman he will love forever...Barbara, a very young, very brave barbarian barely in her teens.

In the second book, Blood Curse, Riven is in his mid-thirties, Barbara her early twenties. He marries the woman of his heart and for her sake, resigns from the army and accepts a title from His Majesty. Now the Barbarian's Whelp is a Noble of the Realm and with it come all the responsibilities and griefs, for Riven is now responsible not only for himself and his wife but for a manor, an estate, and a village full of peasants. Tragedy involving Barbara's death sends him on a quest which will change his life forever and make him accept those gods whose existence he's denied. He's injured and blinded, captured by barbarians and tended by a barbarian woman. Miraculously cured, when he's at last allowed to return him, he brings with him a son, the child of his union with his gentle nurse. Back at his manor, he discovers another miracle--Barbara is still alive and he has another son. With his new family, he seeks forgiveness from those whom he wronged.


A Singing in the Blood opens on a Riven now in middle age, a man loved by servants and friends alike. He's negotiated a peace with the barbarians; his wife's people now come into Francovia and have settled there and intermarried, some actually becoming nobles themselves. Oh, there's some strife...what household doesn't have it, with four teenaged boys and one daughter? Son Val seems determined to be at odds with his father no matter what the subject, second son Ilke wants to become a priest, the twins are forever into some mischief or another, only daughter Llani does what he tells her. Plus Val is jealous of Ilke because he's the son of Riven's second wife. Nevertheless, Riven is happy, and as much in love with Barbara as ever, and then, everything changes when Meraud, his good friend, drinking companion, and now ruler of Francovia dies mysteriously, and his son, whose sanity has always been questioned, comes to the throne. Morling hates foreigners, of which there are a goodly plenty in Francovia, thanks to Riven's peace efforts, and the mad young king is determined to get rid of all of them, beginning with his father's and his grandfather's favorites...the kan Ingans themselves.

That's the story of the third novel. Called to once again make his pledge of loyalty to the king, Riven has to choose. Will he give back this madman and persecute those people who have become his friends or will he refuse and become one of them? One choice means safety for everyone he holds dear; the other means destruction and death as a traitor to the crown. On a bright winter day with the snow covering the trees, Riven, with son Val beside him as an untried knight, makes his way to the capitol city, to announce his decision--and change the fate of the entire planet forever.



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A Singing in the Blood as well as Bloodseek and Blood Curse, are available from Double Dragon Publishing (www.double-dragon-ebooks.com), as e-books, in print, and Kindle.

6 comments

  1. Nightingale // July 10, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

    Dynamite trailer. Riven's saga sounds very interesting.

  2. Joanne // July 10, 2010 at 8:14 PM  

    Congratulations, Toni. These stories sound so fascinating.

  3. Mary Marvella // July 10, 2010 at 9:03 PM  

    Cool trailer, as usual! That Toni person does vampires well!

  4. Beth Trissel // July 11, 2010 at 9:01 AM  

    I'm so behind in trailer making you put me to shame. You have such interesting titles for your work too.
    This story sounds very good.

  5. Judy // July 11, 2010 at 8:42 PM  

    Wonderful stories, Toni. Love how they are truly interwoven, taking us on a long, exciting journey.

  6. Mary Ricksen // July 11, 2010 at 9:28 PM  

    Good luck Toni what a wonderful generational span of stories. I wish you the very best of luck with sales.