The enemy has two religious orders, six noble allies, and three armies. Kini has two sticks, quick wits, and a big mouth.
When Takau mountain chooses a new guardian, Kini is dismayed to discover the mountain-spirit is nothing like the awe-inspiring creatures of legend. It's also injured, naive, and strangely terrified of temple monks. In both compassion and audacity—she's only a widow in her sister's household—Kini preempts the mountain priests and declares herself the guardian's attendant.
But powerful interests—monks, nobles, even mercenaries—want the guardian for their own, and being the attendant makes Kini a target, too. When she's attacked, the seemingly helpless guardian shocks Kini by saving her life. Scared both of leading the enemy back to her family and of leaving the only home she's known, Kini takes the guardian and flees the mountain. Her one hope lies in asking the provincial lord for protection, but even the lord may not be able to stand against the temple's military forces.
Kini will have to think fast and talk faster if she's to keep the guardian safe. If she fails, the guardian will lose its freedom—and she'll lose her life. But if she succeeds, it may be her family that pays the price.
THE WEAVING GIRL'S ORCHARD is a 120,000 word epic fantasy, set in a world inspired by the great trading empires and sea-banditry networks of early modern Southeast Asia.
For those of you who were cheered on the first draft, if you want to see what it's become, I've got it posted in four parts on google drive. All comments are screened, so leave me your email address if you want to read the final/mostly-final/damn-near-final-final version.
Now I just gotta write the synopsis. Onward!