Tracer Zhekaris is dead, and he has only one mourner: his twin sister, Mercy Zhekaris, who must watch the rest of Vahlworfe celebrate the man who murdered her brother. His name is Rhamsey Fireste, and he is the victor of the Champion’s trials.
The Church of Lileica and its devout following of necromancers rule over Vahlworfe, using the trials to provide sacrifices to the Goddess of Blood and Sorrow. Each decade, one man is taken from every paltry village to compete to the death. Winning the trials is the only way that they might save their respective homes from the edges of poverty and enter a new state of abundance—otherwise, they and their families will continue to suffer and starve until they can produce a victor.
But the trials do not end with our champion—the church must maintain their facade of love and unity, and thus, the champion needs a bride. The Damsel trials are immediately after, in which women must compete to the death for Rhamsey’s heart, as well as a handsome sum to save their own village. Now, Mercy is faced with a choice: die in the same arena as her brother, or fight to marry the enemy that killed him.
DAMSEL is an Adult fantasy novel complete at 90,000 words. It is the first of the VOWS OF BLOOD Duology, though it could also thrive as a standalone. Packed with diverse and striking heroines, enchanting queer romances, and jaw-dropping betrayals, it would especially appeal to fans of Sarah Beth Durst's THE QUEEN OF BLOOD and Tamsyn Muir’s GIDEON THE NINTH.