Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Blood Debt (The Medici Chronicles, Book 4) by Erme Lander


Release date: April 20, 2021
Subgenre: YA fantasy

About Blood Debt:


“It’s not a nervous tick Gavin. If this gets out I could kill someone.”

Addicted to the drugs she is taking to suppress her changing abilities, Mika is readying herself to take over the position of Court Medici when she hears her sons have arrived at the border between the two countries and are asking for her. They are strangers, she’s not met them since she gave them up as babies thirteen years ago and they have their own problems. Her only hope - and theirs - lies in the changer community in the mountains.

Mika - nothing more than a fifteen year old girl who has lost her twin brother. The circumstances leading to her arranged marriage and the unwanted discovery that she can change her skin.

The Medici Chronicles follows Mika through nearly twenty years of her life as she disguises herself as a boy to survive, learns to become a Medici and struggles to find where she belongs.

The events in Blood Debt happen about three years after those in Medici of Ackbarr.


Several weeks passed while the Dukes held control, manoeuvrings, shifting alliances, their eyes wary on their own backs in case another slid a verbal dagger between their ribs to kill a reputation. The funeral happened, the sombre pomp and ceremony for a king who had been respected for the iron grip he held over lords and land but not loved.

The expected announcement that the young queen was abdicating and leaving the throne open to Keira. Mika didn’t think she had much hope when she’d declared that she looked forward to a quiet retirement outside of court life. Even with throwing herself onto her stepdaughter’s mercies, she’d be lucky to get a cloister this side of the mountains. The desperation could almost be heard as she said that her unborn child would be brought up in the knowledge that they couldn’t claim the throne. Nice try she thought, it would only take one fanatic to kill both for any perceived approval. It was bad enough with Keira having four other sisters from different mothers. They would be married off, but not to anyone too ambitious. Such a balancing act, she was sure Lord Eldon would be busy scheming to suggest who would be best.

The common people of Ackbarr went around their daily business, a tension in the air mirroring the tension in the keep high above them. Keira’s ascension to the throne was probable but not without risk. Even the crowning ceremony itself had the chance of its own fatal failure and had been known to descend into a blood bath before, with the eventual victor emerging to the general populace. Those working in the streets argued cases for nobles and speculated chances. Mika had sly questions asked when she walked the streets, the Medici were known as a power in their own right and many wanted to know what they thought. She made her answers as bland as she could, knowing that something would be read into whatever she said.

Mika rubbed her face, wishing for the day to be over. She checked that her bedroom door was locked and for once, stripped naked in front of the mirror. Still slim, her spare body was flat bellied. Never eating enough, there was nothing to her. The voice floated up through the years, who’d said that - Rylan? A brief image of shaded morning light through windows and a table spread with breakfast. Rylan himself was a dark shadow, his face erased with the passage of years. The corset she wore to flatten and hide her breasts hadn’t been kind to them, they lay against her ribs. Not for the first time, she wished for a more feminine body with some curves like Lissina’s. Mika reminded herself that she pulled off her deception purely because of her shape and height. Lissi’s body fitted in with her size, a daintiness with a tiny waist hands could span.

Mika sighed, this was the reason she avoided standing in front of the mirror naked - it reminded her of what she wasn’t. She dressed, becoming the dapper Medici she was known for being outside of this room. She combed her hair, noticing the dark blonde roots. She’d need to bleach it again, something that her servants did know about. They respected her wishes on this and kept it private. They knew of her needs for privacy although not the reasons and she made life easy for them. No access to her rooms unless she was there, allowed her to wash her women’s things without the risk of discovery. A slender man now stared back at her in the mirror. | Amazon UK

About Erme Lander:

More frog than princess, Erme Lander lives in Gloucestershire, England.
My hobbies when not reading books are dancing, motorcycling, playing my accordion and karate, although not all at the same time. And daydreaming. I’ll daydream in the bath, on the sofa, in bed at that time in the night when all decent folk are snoring and allow the images to pass over my brain. But I’ve never actually written them down, until last year when a certain vampire wouldn’t leave me in peace. I’m still dealing with the fallout...

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