The Afterward, by E. K. Johnston


It's been a year since the mysterious godsgem cured Cadrium's king and ushered in what promised to be a new golden age.

The heroes who brought home the gem are renowned in story and song, but for two fellows on the quest, peace and prosperity don't come easily.

Apprentice Knight Kalanthe Ironheart wasn't meant for heroism so early in life, and while she has no intention of giving up the notoriety she's earned, reputation doesn't pay her bills. Kalanthe may be forced to betray not her kingdom or her friends, but her own heart as she seeks a stable future for herself and those she loves.

Olsa Rhetsdaughter was never meant for heroism at all. Beggar and thief, she lived hand to mouth on the streets until fortune--or fate--pulled her into Kalanthe's orbit. And now she's reluctant to leave it. Even more alarmingly, her fame has made her profession difficult, and a choice between poverty and the noose isn't much of a choice at all.

Both girls think their paths are laid out, but the godsgem isn't quite done with them and that new golden age isn't a sure thing yet.




"Both the world-building and the LGBTQ romance are well done and appealing.... Delightful."—SLJ, starred

"A compelling fantasy world in which meticulously crafted female characters slip easily between chain mail and dresses."—Kirkus Review

 


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