It is interesting when the two chapters line up. In both cases, the protagonists of each series had just gotten through an action scene. It isn't always true, but these are both followed by an introspection chapter where they deal with the consequences of their choices in the previous fight.
Sand and Blood 19: Humiliated
In the previous chapter, poor Rutejìmo peed his pants and watched Chimípu save his ass from a warrior of the night. All of his dreams and hopes crushed in a single moment. This is the chapter at that point, when the full weight of his weakness is brought to bear and he realizes that he will never be a good as he hoped.
Plus Pidòhu starts to manifest his powers but from a different spirit. Tateshyúso is another bird spirit like Shimusògo, but in a much different category. Think Pokemon with the different types of creatures. Actually, in this world, spirits are categories not unlike Pokemon that identifies how their powers are used: Shimusògo runs in front of his clan and they gain their powers mimicking him; Tateshyúso is driven by the will of her clan and the shadows show how they are using her power.
I don't go deeply into the relationship between Shimusògo and Tateshyúso in any of the Sand books. It is kind of a spiritual marriage. The two spirits work together for protection and company and their clan does the same. About half of all the clans are part of that type of relationship with the other half (such as Kosòbyo and Wamifūko) being single and no long-term relationships. There is also a smattering of triads and quads, but they are relegated to the fringes of society because there is a strong “either be single or married” belief in the desert.
Read Sand and Blood 19: Humiliated at https://fedran.com/sand-and-blood/chapter-19/.
Flight of the Scions 25: A Trade
This is an interesting chapter. It is a bit weak, but it does bring a lot into the story. The most obvious is how telepathy works in my world. Kanéko is considerably more proactive than Rutejìmo and her request to learn it is a reflection of that. Of course, it could be because Damagar is invading her thoughts at the beginning of the chapter… but, who knows.
We also get to know a bit more about Ruben: why Damagar wants him dead, the part of his name that is part of a third language in my world, and also his desire not to talk about what makes him a threat to every telepathic creature in the known world.
I was thinking about italics when it comes to conlang names. I decided to keep the Miwāfu names italic mainly because this book has plots related to languages and I use notational translation frequently. I'm still waffling over the italics for Sand and Blood but I stuck with italics there until at least Sand and Bone.
Read Flight of the Scions 25: A Trade https://fedran.com/flight-of-the-scions/chapter-25/ (subscribers)
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Patrons can also read the work-in-progress of the final book of the series, Sand and Bone. Everything up to chapter fourteen is now up.
Sand and Ash progress
The print version of Sand and Ash has been approved and it is now winding its way through the distribution channels. This is a fantastic moment for me, mainly because I have a second book out. The ebooks aren't quite ready, I'm juggling just a few too many things to get it publish but I'm hoping in a week or so it will be ready.
The biggest distraction is the author signing on July 16th. The signing is going to be fun, there are going to be thirty authors or publishers (including three from Broken Typewriter Press) showing off their books.