One of my favorite authors, Dianne K. Salerni, is getting ready to publish a new book. It’s called The Inquisitor’s Mark and it is the second book of her exciting fantasy adventure series for Young Adults. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Eighth Day and I’m excited to see what will happen next. I just re-blogged my review of The Eighth Day so check it out to see what the series is all about!
Dianne sent me this terrific preview of The Inquisitor’s Mark today. It will be available on January 27, 2015.
The Inquisitor’s Mark picks up just days after The Eighth Day ends, with Jax, his liege lady Evangeline, and his guardian Riley in hiding from their enemies and making plans to find Evangeline’s missing sister. Out of the blue, Jax is contacted by a man claiming to be his uncle. This man, Finn Ambrose, provides proof of their relationship and demands that Jax be turned over to his custody. Furthermore, Finn reveals that he’s a vassal of the notoriously corrupt Dulac clan and that he has kidnapped Jax’s friend, Billy, to coerce Jax into meeting him.
Last year, when I was still teaching, I read The Eighth Day aloud to my class. When they asked about the premise of the second book, I told them, “It turns out Jax has a family after all, but they’re the people who assassinated everyone in Riley’s family.
One of my students slapped her desk with her hand and exclaimed, “Mrs. Salerni! How could you do that to Jax?!”
As an author, I loved her response, because she understood what a terrible choice this would be for my main character. As a teacher, I loved her response because she understood that the author had deliberately put him in this position!
The Inquisitor’s Mark was fun to write. I enjoyed the interactions between Jax and his younger cousin, Dorian, who’s uncomfortable with his family’s nefarious activities but has never found the courage to speak his mind. To Dorian, Jax seems tough and adventurous and brave. One of my students pointed out that Dorian looks up to Jax the way Jax looks up to Riley. My favorite character, however, is probably the devious Uncle Finn – who has sinister plans for Riley and Evangeline, but who sincerely wants to give his brother’s son a home.
Plus, there’s expansion of the Eighth Day world, including magical vermin, mysterious tunnels through time, and even a monster. Much of the book takes place in New York City.
There’s a devastating betrayal at the Balto statue in Central Park.
And a really fun chase scene through the Central Park Zoo.
I’ll leave you with this excerpt from The Inquisitor’s Mark, which takes place immediately after Jax has learned about his real identity:
Who the heck am I? Jax Aubrey or Jax Ambrose?
He was surprised by how quickly the answer came to him.
Names change. That’s what Evangeline said. But I’m her vassal no matter what.
Jax didn’t have fifteen hundred years of tradition behind his vassalhood, like Mrs. Crandall, but he knew who he was.
Dad told me a lot of lies, but what do I know is true?
When his father was in danger, he’d asked Riley to be Jax’s guardian. Not his own brother.
So I’m not going to trust Uncle Finn. But Mrs. Crandall didn’t detect any lies in what he said today.
And Jax’s uncle said they would let Billy go when they got Jax.
What would Riley do?
That was easy. When Evangeline and Jax were abducted by Wylit’s vassals, Riley had delivered himself bound and gagged into enemy hands, just to get close enough to rescue them. Riley had traded himself out of loyalty to his friends. Put like that, Jax’s course of action seemed clear.