The Lady And The Tiger

Sam Starbuck

The Lady And The Tiger
Extribulum Press
14 June 2022

The Lady And The Tiger

Sam Starbuck

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Alanna Daskaz, daughter of the duchy of Askaz, is perfectly happy to ignore her noble heritage. She prefers to serve as administrator to Gregory III, current king of Askazer-Shivadlakia and her brother in everything but name. It’s just another day on the job when she hears that Duke Tomas, ruler of neighboring Galia and generally appalling person, has died. The same day, however, siblings Ofelia and Milo Ansevali arrive as diplomatic emissaries from Galia, with historian Bruno Sheff in tow, to inform Alanna that she is the daughter of the duke’s only cousin, and thus heir to his title and his throne. Alanna doesn’t even want the duchy she already has, let alone another one. She’s going to have to straighten this out, and that means going in person to visit her new kingdom. Traveling to Galia with her best friend Jerry, Duke of Shivadlakia, Alanna discovers that the Palazzo is full of intrigue and in desperate need of strong governance, and that’s before they even talk about the issues with Athena, the local pet tiger. Surrounded by people she isn’t sure she can trust, Alanna finds Jerry’s ability to ferret out information useful - until she discovers Jerry has a few secrets of his own. There’s a lot to fix in Galia, but politics was always Gregory’s job. Alanna doesn’t want to become ruler, especially not with a precious new romance blossoming in the shadow of Galia’s impending power struggle. Her best option might be the persistent rumor that the duke had a secret child - if she can figure out who it is, and how to get them on the throne instead of her.

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