Echo in Onyx
Audible Studios 2019
Brianna, our narrator, is the daughter of a country inn-keeper. Her quick thinking and compassion during a job interview earn her a coveted position as lady’s maid for Lady Marguerite, the daughter of the governor of Orenza. Like many members of the nobility in this fantasy world, Marguerite has Echoes, people who look and act just like her, but rarely move of independent volition and don’t speak. (Echoes were originally created by the Goddess to protect nobles by foiling assassination attempts.) As a lady’s maid, Brianna must attend to dressing and coiffing all four of them, something she enjoys and shows a talent for.
Down-to earth and conscientious, Brianna soon makes new friends. Her new employer, who is sweet and gentle, also turns out to be lonely and in need of a confidante. The eligible and single Lady Marguerite is a pawn in the kingdom’s politics. Her parents hope Prince Cormac will choose her as his bride, smoothing over a possible rebellion in the Western provinces. Though Prince Cormac is pleasant enough, Marguerite has secretly given her heart to someone else. Brianna’s other new friend, Nico, a handsome and jocular fellow, unfortunately turns out to be the apprentice to the King’s inquisitor. Though Brianna is shocked to learn of his profession, she has a hard time resisting his attention. Nico seems to care for her, and defends his professional duties persuasively, claiming his work keeps the kingdom safe.
When Nico follows her and learns that Marguerite has a secret, Brianna is torn. Nico claims she can trust him, but Brianna is not so sure. The stakes are raised when the king’s illegitimate son assaults Lady Marguerite. The resulting struggle has tragic consequences, which force Brianna to masquerade as Marguerite’s Echo herself during public appearances, while acting as lady’s maid the rest of the time. Will she succeed in fooling Nico in order to protect Lady Marguerite?
A romantic fantasy, Sharon Shinn’s new Uncommon Echoes series is an Audible exclusive, with Echo in Onyx, Echo in Amethyst, and Echo in Emerald releasing simultaneously. Paperback release is slated for summer 2019. To hear an excerpt, click here.
Gabrielle Mathieu is the author of the historical fantasy Falcon series and the upcoming epic fantasy, Girl of Fire. She blogs about travel and her books at http://gabriellemathieu.com/. You can also follow her on Twitter to get updates about new podcasts and more @GabrielleAuthor.