Do you know what your problem is?
Ryalgar knows hers. People have been telling this over-educated 13th-century woman for years. So when an equally intellectual prince decides he loves her, it looks like everyone was wrong and her dreams have come true.
Except, this prince is obligated to marry another. He is leading the army training to defend their tiny realm against an expected Mongol invasion. And he is considering sacrificing Ryalgar’s home nichna by abandoning it’s rich farmlands to their foes.
If only he wasn’t such a nice guy. Another woman would …..
Actually, Ryalgar has no idea what another would do. All she knows is she has a multitude of university intellectuals and a family of tough farmers behind her, and a newfound connection with the witches in the forest. Why not devise her own strategy to keep the invaders from destroying her home? Then she can figure out what to do about this problem prince.
It’s just the sort of thing that happens when a woman thinks too much.
Tropes: Band of Brothers/Sisters, Evolving Powers, Farmer to Hero, Lost Civilization, Old Person in the Woods, Reluctant Hero
Word Count: 70000
Setting: imaginary hidden realm
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
I tried to make conversation with Davor over a dinner the two families shared at the tavern next to the inn. Although he was polite, he showed little interest in getting to know me. That annoyed me, so I pushed him for information.
“Do you think this swarm of Mongols will attack us this winter, or wait till the next?”
He raised an eyebrow.
“I don’t generally discuss military intelligence with civilians. I’m sure you understand.”
He turned to one of his friends to talk about something else. Before he could open his mouth, I tapped him on the arm.
“Do you think the Mongols will enter through the grasslands of Bisu? It’s by far the easiest way into Ilaria and word is they have horses they let graze before they attack.”
He gave me a more serious look.
“The Velka have women from all of the nichnas,” I added. “We amass our own intelligence, for our own protection. I’m sure you understand.”READ MORE
His tight little smile was one of acquiescence. “Unlike some of my peers, I do respect the Velka’s abilities. But surely you women know you couldn’t be safer than you are deep in the forest of Ilari.”
He downed his last swallow of ale. I’d started him on a subject he knew well, and it seemed he couldn’t resist sharing a little more of his expertise. “I’m speaking of you and the Zurians, too, of course, because they live in the forest as well. In fact, if we Svadlu don’t handle this invasion the way we need to, the Velka and Zur could be all that’s left of Ilari once the Mongols are through with us.”
“Then we both understand how serious this is.” I gave him my brightest smile. “If the Svadlu put the entire army at the obvious entrance to the realm, we’re all safe, but only if they prevail. If they hedge their bets and keep some fighters in reserve, they’re more likely to lose the initial battle but could still protect some of the nichnas if the Mongols do get through. Just not the outer nichnas like Vinx and Bisu. They’d have to give them up.”
A server set another beverage in front of him and he gave the mug an eager glance.
“Look. We’ll protect everything we can. Sacrifices may have to be made. Okay?”
With that he downed half the contents of his new mug, turned his back to me, and began to talk to one of his friends. I don’t think he realized what he’d just shared. I now knew the Svadlu were at least considering sacrificing my homeland.COLLAPSE
Author Lisabet Sarai of Beyond Romance wrote:
S.R. Cronin writes some of the most thought-provoking and fascinating speculative fiction I've read. After thoroughly enjoying the 46 Ascending series, I was thrilled to see more books coming from Cronin's writing lair... I wasn't disappointed ... -- Kit 'N Kabookle
From the first page ... She's the One Who Thinks Too Much pulls the reader into a diverse, colorful and plausible world, with its own geography, culture, language and politics. S.R. Cronin has done a wonderful job creating Ilari and its peoples. -- Author Lisabet Sarai of Beyond Romance
The world-building is excellent, providing a clear insight into how the characters fit into the world. Each sister is brought into the story carefully and methodically whilst still leaving plenty to come. -- Archaeolibrarian
The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters consists of seven short companion novels. Each tells the personal story and perspective of one of seven radically different sisters in the 1200s as they prepare for an invasion of their realm. While these historical fantasy/alternate history books can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, together they tell the full story of how Ilari survived.
Which sister do you think saved the realm? That will depend on whose story you read.