Palace is the first in a trilogy. It’s super-high fantasy aimed at the YA crowd, but it’s certainly not written to turn off those of us, ahem, older adults. It’s rich in the feel of Tolkien or C. S. Lewis–a fantastical otherworld accessible to all ages.
First off, the cover is GORGEOUS.
It’s not just gorgeous: it’s effective. So with a cover like that, what’s it about? It’s not hard to tell, thanks to the excellent design. In just one cover, you know you’ll be working with royalty, the classic good twin/evil twin archetypes at battle, all in a clear fight between good an evil. Here’s the teaser:
The Peace Summit was in shambles, the prince kidnapped.
When the rival king realizes he kidnapped the wrong prince, hostilities escalate. Loyalties to each other and country are tested for the twin princes of Crato, Joachim and Brandan.
Joachim, captive of King Waldrom, faces deception and betrayal as he struggles to find his way home. Brandan, at home with a father focused on rescuing Joachim, wrestles with his own demons as he searches for his place in the world and the favor of his father.
Torn from the safety and peace of their childhood, they are thrust into a world where bonds of family, brotherhood and roles as heirs to Crato are tested. Through war, spiritual journeys, death and marriage, will they choose the path of good or evil? Who can be trusted, as the world they know slips into a whirlpool of chaos?
I’ve not yet finished, but I can tell that in Palace, Weigand brings us a wealth of characters and a richly imagined world that is foreign enough to give our eyes fresh perspective but familiar enough that we can find our footing there without too much dissonance. I really get the sense that the author loves this place, loves these characters, and is passionate about telling their story. I’m also getting the sense that you won’t have to worry about handing this book to your YA readers and fear that they’ll find something untoward: the voice so far is pure dignity, pure class–VERY REFRESHING in this genre.