The Eagle Court

The Eagle Court is a series of short stories (and a forthcoming novel) set in a corner of the Marchverse, beginning four and a half years before Tes arrives at the College.

Einas ein Iteme, youngest son of the Iteme monarchy, only thought to announce to the world his true identity—that he isn’t a princess. When his declaration results in his father’s murder and a civil war fought between his necromancer mother and his elder brother Paide, the city-state of Ihrne edges further towards chaos. Peace between his surviving relatives, restitution paid to neighbouring Arsh and the support of the Convocation should go some way to restoring equilibrium. It doesn’t reckon on the politics of the court and the civilians of Ihrne when it comes to accepting an undead regent, an autistic heir and a foreign general. When the bones of civil war have been too-soon laid to rest and words go unheard, how does one survive the world for long enough to change it?

The Eagle Court is a series of introspective stories about marginalised characters trying to survive their own struggles and take on the hell of politics.

Prequel One: Catch a Man (Have the Girl)

Yuissa is the only partner Adelin wants, but survival in Ihrne requires both girls to keep secret their truth. No matter: they’re only a year away from having coin enough to escape to a cottage in Greenstone, a paradise of vegetable gardens, rescued cats and unrestrained affection. They can survive anything until then, right? Yet when Adelin’s worried mother and grandmother plot to solve Adelin’s unwed state by forcing her to court a male acquaintance, Yuissa thinks a beard the only answer.

A queer-seeming bookseller called Nevolin ein Yinne may do, but the process of asking isn’t quite so simple…

Contains: A cis, sapphic, probably-demiromantic shopgirl defying restrictive notions of good; a cis, bisexual, autistic shopgirl defying restrictive notions of abled; two older cishet women enduring and perpetrating misogyny; and a promise of a future possessed of a goodly number of cats.

Links: Part One | Part Two

Length: 4, 021 words (thus far).

Prequel Two: Different in Other Ways

Nevolin ein Yinne sells books, curses low ceilings, promises his father that he won’t get himself killed and looks a little too hard at pretty men. Men he wants to date, men he can’t date, men–even in Ihrne’s queer underground–who expect a comprehension of romance he doesn’t possess.

Harper Mitzin Seili serves dishes, never removes his gloves, promises his mother that he won’t get himself killed and has no idea how to comprehend an interest in people that won’t stop changing. An interest bordering on irrelevant while he keeps secret the nature of his masculinity.

Nevo isn’t good at pretending to be straight.

Harper isn’t good at pretending to be unremarkable.

Different in Other Ways is a series of sketches and vignettes about gender, abrosexuality, quoiromanticism, customer service, working-class queerness and friendship.

Contains: An abrosexual trans man with porokeratosis who gives the scaly middle finger to passing; a quoiromantic cis man struggling with the limitations of the small-minded; two parents prone to justified anxiety; and an Iteme prince in disguise.

Links: Booksellers Who Know Things | Men Bound by Blood | Jeile

Note: A Patreon exclusive.

One: Their Courts of Crows

Cover image of "Their Courts of Crows: A Tale of the Eagle Court" by K. A. Cook. Cover has a waterstained paper background with grey line drawings of a crow sitting on a branch, a tree, three falling dandelion seeds, a feather and an arrow, with the title written in alternating serif and handdrawn type. The effect is something like a sketch in an antique journal.The best he can find is ugly compromise.

Prince Paide ein Iteme has lost his father, his family, his people and his home to a conquering necromancer queen and her armies of the risen dead. A last horrific battle sees him forced to discuss surrender, but that conversation is no small amount complicated when said conquering necromancer is his mother. Who might not have been entirely wrong in her overthrow of Paide’s father…

Contains: A cis, pansexual, allistic prince fighting a war on which there’s no right side; a cis necromancer queen summoning the dead for her trans son; and a surrender that doesn’t exactly have a happy ending.

Links: PDF (read in browser) | PatreonSmashwords | Gumroad

PDF, EPUB and MOBI editions are available for download from Patreon.

Length: 5, 108 words / 14 PDF pages.

Interlude: Maybe When the Bones Crumble

Cover image of Maybe When the Bones Crumble by K. A. Cook. Cover has a waterstained paper background with grey line drawings of a textured feather, a dandelion head, a spilled ink bottle, a broken pen and an arrow, with the title written in alternating serif and handdrawn type. The effect is something like a sketch in an antique journal.And how is your hand today?

His hand broken, his father dead, his brother rebelling and his mother dancing the bones, Einas ein Iteme has nobody at the Eyrie but his uncle and one cursed question he can’t escape.

Contains: A transgender, aro-ace, autistic prince with chronic pain, dealing with the expectations and abuse wielded by kin unable to value him for the person he is.

Links: PDF (read in browser) | EPUB | WordPress

Length: 4, 945 words / 14 PDF pages.

Two: A Prince of the Dead

"A Prince of the Dead: A Tale of the Eagle Court" by K. A. Cook. Cover has a waterstained paper background with grey line drawings of a sparrow sitting on a branch, a knife, a falling dandelion seed, two leaves and an arrow, with the title written in alternating serif and handdrawn type. The effect is something like a sketch in an antique journal.Too alive to die and too dead to live.

Bones interred under the palace, gold given to field-ravaged farmers and Parliament dallying over amendments: war is ended for Prince-Regent Paide ein Iteme. Or so it should be, but returning home to Ihrne in a broken body ensorcelled by a necromancer leaves Paide struggling with politicians who ignore him and servants who condescend to him. What good is a title and purpose when his words and desires have become meaningless to those around him?

Surviving the dismissal of the Eagle Court is harder than facing an army of shambling corpses. How does a dead soldier fight it when he no longer wishes to live?

Contains: A cis, allistic, pansexual, aromantic prince occupying an unnatural position between life and death; an allistic, trans general doing her best to offer solutions and friendship; and a goodly amount of the ableism one faces as a disabled man in an ableist court.

Links: PDF (read in browser) | Patreon | Smashwords

PDF, EPUB and MOBI editions are available for download from Patreon.

Length: 9, 890 words / 28 PDF pages.

Interlude: Loveless

Cover image for Hallo, Aro: Allosexual Aromantic Flash Fiction by K. A. Cook. Cover features dark pink handwritten type on a mottled green background with a large line-drawn peacock feather, several sketch-style leaves and swirly text dividers. Green arrows sit underneath each line of text.When Paide ein Iteme says the words “I don’t love”, he doesn’t just refer to romantic relationships.

Contains: A pansexual, aromantic cis prince discussing the reasons why love doesn’t encompass his feelings for friends, family and nation.

Links: PDF | EPUB | MOBI | WordPress | Patreon

Length: 1, 000 words / 4 PDF pages.

Three: The King of Gears and Bone

Cover image of The King of Gears and Bone by K. A. Cook. Cover has a waterstained paper background with grey line drawings of the bones of a human hand and wrist, a head of wheat, an acorn, a small dandelion head, a long-legged wire-haired dog and an arrow, with the title written in alternating serif and handdrawn type. The effect is something like a sketch in an antique journal.In a nation of liars, an honest man cannot rule.

Einas ein Iteme knew he wasn’t a princess. That first truth provoked violence, murder and war, leaving him the heir to the throne of Ihrne—a throne he doesn’t want and can’t hold. How can he when he struggles to put words together, won’t look courtiers in the eye and avoids people on general principle? Yet the Eyrie, even Zaishne, simply assumes Ein will find a way to become the allistic ruler he can never be.

When his brother Paide invites him to a private discussion, Ein sees a chance to voice the second truth. Paide, though, keeps secrets of his own—and doesn’t seem to recognise the fate bound to him by hundreds of devouring angels.

To begin to save Paide’s soul, Ein will have to learn what the world never stirred itself to teach: trust.

Contains: A genderflux, aro-ace, autistic prince seeking to rule on his own terms; a cis, allistic prince learning to be a regent instead of an heir; an allistic, trans general working to support both brothers; and the challenge of governing a kingdom while trans and disabled.

Links: PDF (read in browser) | SmashwordsEPUB | MOBI

Length: 12, 495 words / 34 PDF pages.

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