Thursday, October 7, 2021

Spotlight on Marian L Thorpe, author of Empire’s Heir (Empire’s Legacy, Book VI)


Some games are played for mortal stakes.

Gwenna, heir to Ésparias, is summoned by the Empress of Casil to compete for the hand of her son. Offered power and influence far beyond what her own small land can give her, Gwenna’s strategy seems clear – except she loves someone else.

Nineteen years earlier, the Empress outplayed Cillian in diplomacy and intrigue. Alone, his only living daughter has little chance to counter the Empress's experience and skill. Aging and torn by grief and worry, Cillian insists on accompanying Gwenna to Casil.

Risking a charge of treason, faced with a choice he does not want to make, Cillian must convince Gwenna her future is more important than his – while Gwenna plans her moves to keep her father safe. Both are playing a dangerous game. Which one will concede – or sacrifice?

Trigger Warnings:

Death, rape.

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 Fun Facts

Marian L Thorpe

Penguins and Icebergs

Over Christmas and New Year’s of 2006/7, we travelled to Antarctica for my husband’s 50th birthday trip. (We are birders, a convenient excuse to travel the world, do a lot of hiking, and see places well off the usual tourist routes.) We boarded a converted Russian research vessel, with only forty-two passengers, in Ushuaia, Argentina; crossed the Drake Passage, and spent a week among the islands and the mainland of the Antarctic Peninsula. Penguins, leopard seals, brilliant blue icebergs, an icy swim followed by an immersion in volcanically-heated waters, and a memorable New Year’s Eve barbecue and dance on the deck, in the half-light of the Antarctic summer.  Truly an unforgettable trip.


Credit: melissa2760 from Pixabay

Dream an Impossible Dream

To see a snow leopard in the wild was a long-held dream, but the cats are generally found at very high altitudes, and I can’t function over about 3000 m, and especially not for a prolonged period. But in the spring of 2019, my husband, browsing birding opportunities, found a snow leopard & birds trip to the Altai mountains of Mongolia, at an altitude my lungs could handle. Not only was this a chance to see a snow leopard, but I had always wanted to go to Mongolia. For three days our small group hung about on a high ridge, looking down into a valley where the cats hunt, while local spotters (and us) scanned every nook and cranny. Late on the third afternoon, we found the cat. A long way off, but clear through the spotting scopes, and behaving just like any cat – stretching out on a boulder, rolling over, sitting up lazily. A dream come true, and one I had thought impossible.


Credit: Marcel Langthim from Pixabay 

Isozymes, anyone?

My first widely published work isn’t fiction, or poetry – those came later. I have a Masters’ degree in crop breeding and genetics, and worked as a researcher for several years. My first published work is in this area!  (And, remarkably, I still understand what that says after all these years!)

 Credit: Screenshot from Google Scholar 

From Eye to Hand

My mother was an accomplished watercolour artist, specializing in dry-brush paintings of flowers. She encouraged me to draw, but with little success – with one exception. After a lifetime of watching birds, they’re the one thing I can draw, the hours and hours of observation translating itself to an understanding of anatomy and movement that transfers to the page. It’s a neglected hobby now writing takes up almost all my time, but one I’d like to return to.  This is the best piece I’ve ever done, the Great Argus, a huge pheasant of the dark forest of Malaysia.


GreatArgus  © Marian L Thorpe 2010


Let’s walk across a country for fun.

I’ve been a walker since childhood, and my husband I and have done our share of long walks and hikes, but he had no interest in something I’d wanted to do for years: follow Alfred Wainwright’s guide and walk from the Irish Sea to the North Sea in northern England, a distance of just under 300 km. I was thinking of doing it alone, and then my sister surprised me by suggesting she come too. So in 2004 we flew to Manchester, and then travelled up to St Bee’s Head, the starting point, and began the walk. Other than a few blisters, it was trouble-free; the weather was good, the bed-and-breakfasts comfortable, and the scenery beautiful.  A lot of that walk ended up in my books, in one form or another – the waterfall my protagonist Lena must climb, for one!

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Marian L Thorpe 

Essays, poetry, short stories, peer-reviewed scientific papers, curriculum documents, technical guides, grant applications, press releases – if it has words, its likely Marian L Thorpe has written it, somewhere along the line. But nothing has given her more satisfaction than her novels. Combining her love of landscape and history, set in a world reminiscent of Europe after the decline of Rome, her books arise from a lifetime of reading and walking and wondering what if?Pre-pandemic, Marian divided her time between Canada and the UK, and hopes she may again, but until then, she resides in a small, very bookish, city in Canada, with her husband Brian and Pye-Cat.

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