Beautiful Books: The Pentegreen Series / / Yes, You Finally Get to Meet MY MOST BELOVED BRAINCHILD

by - November 19, 2017


So, hello, lovely readers! I am currently drowning in schoolwork and SOOOO thankful that it's almost Thanksgiving break. The prospect of two days off is beautiful. I can't wait.

I'm also editing feverishly (or at least pretending to edit feverishly) for the Rooglewood contest! I have, like, one month to get that submitted. HOLY COW WHAT AM I DOING?????

I'll tell you what I am doing: I am writing a blog post about my brainchild. This is the one that I have had brimming in the bottom of my brain (although usually also at the top of my brain) for about eight years. It's a story about the triumph of good over evil and never underestimating the short girl who looks like she can't wield anything besides a pen.

It's a story I've been in love with since it first came into being when I was eight, when I wrote a little twenty-page story to submit to a novel writing contest. To this day I have no idea if my parents actually submitted it or not, but this is one thing it did: it forced me to finish a project. It was valuable, and important.

So without further ado, let me give you some real information about the badly named Pentegreen Series.

I am linking up with an older archive from the Beautiful Books meme by Cait and Skye. Enjoy!


What inspired the idea for your novel?

Honestly? At this point, it's been so long, I have no idea. 

But I think I wanted to write a cheap Narnia ripoff that my eight-year-old self thought was genius initially. You can read THIS POST for more information on that story (scroll down to entry #1, The Tunnel.)

Otherwise, I have no clue where the form that the story is now in came from.

But you get a little story anyway. I originally had (as the post above says) a sprawling ten-book series that I wasn't really enthusiastic about anymore. I had written a rough draft for one of them and was working on a draft for another one, but it just wasn't working.

Then my family went on vacation to Florida, and while I was lying on a noodle in the hotel pool, reflecting on my story, it hit me like a ton of pounds.

What if I condensed the story and took only the characters and plotlines I actually cared about for a four-book series? 

That's what I did. And obviously, new characters sprang up all over the place unintentionally, and the story keeps blooming out of control all over the place. Several of the characters begged for their own story when I realized that my protagonist didn't need them and so I took them out and dropped them in Washington, D.C., in the year 2032. The result was Watched. 

Good gravy, I'm proud of this series.

And this was probably a much longer answer to this question than you wanted to read, so let's move on to the next question!

Describe what your [series] is about!

Here's a synopsis for book 1, The King's Daughter, which is not at all solid and very likely to change: 

There's a princess in the city of the Pentegreens. A princess who longs for peace, who only wants to live her life surrounded by her beloved parents, her dear friends, and her people. The last thing she wants is war with an unknown enemy in the North. But that's just what she's going to get. 
The army besieging Princess Esma's city has leaders--leaders who know her parents and will use her against them. But the general of the enemy army has a son...a son who could be the wild card who decides the whole war. His loyalties are shifting, tearing him between what he knows is right and the one person he loves. Can he possibly leave her behind?
The princess and the general's son never thought they'd meet. But it turns out they may need each other more than they could have imagined. There's an enemy in the city of Misue--an enemy who wants them all dead.
 And the king's daughter is going to have to fight back. 
 What do you think? This is such a bad synopsis, but I can't come up with anything else that might work for the current form the story is in. So. This is what you get, dear reader.

What is your book's aesthetic?

Secrets//inner turmoil//friendship//blazing fire//ice everywhere//cups of tea//midnight horseback rides//blank walls of a prison cell//gleaming metal//a king in council//ball gowns//lost hearts

Introduce us to each of your characters!

I shall kindly provide you with a snippet to describe each of these characters. Heh heh. 
Esma Pentegreen--the protagonist and titular King's Daughter.

At four feet and six inches tall, Esma was the smallest teenager she had ever met, and while her body was small and compacted, she was also the daughter of an extremely slender woman, and had inherited her body. She also was never very hungry, which meant that she couldn’t get any additional weight through eating food.
She entered the dining hall in the pair of high heels she’d dug from the closet and a dress that, most unfortunately, was pink.
That's not the best characterization you'll ever see from me, and Esma is a much more complex character than this. She's got insomnia and horrific nightmares. She's passionate. She has a tendency to fling herself headfirst into things without thinking them through at all, which has the unfortunate side effect of bringing horrible consequences. She's not a perfect girl by any means, but she's constantly struggling to do the right thing by her family and her subjects. 

I like her. A lot. 

Rishatta Woods- the general's son

                He leaned in closer, his breath tickling her ear. “But believe me when I say I know all about being treated as less than human because of my last name. I am the general’s son.”
                Her breath simply stopped coming. The stars grew blurry.
                He was the general’s son. She hadn’t even known the general had a son.

I love him too. He needs a lot more development, but he's my precious child. He has a very evil father, and is still trying to sort out where his loyalties lie in this war. One thing I'm playing with a lot in this series is the idea in fantasy of characters having loyalties to people and only people, rather than what seems to be the norm of completely nationalistic loyalty. I do have plenty of people in this series with that latter mindset (my protagonist, for example? XD) but it's cool to play with that idea.

Derek Ternarnthien and Kariana Winslet--the rising commander and the talented spy

“I need some tea.” Kariana clutched at Derek’s shiny and metallic armored arm. “Derek, make me some tea.”

            “But it’s like eighty—”

            I NEED TEA!” Kariana bellowed. Derek stepped away from her, his eyes growing so big that they could have been bulging out of the sockets for all he cared. “I’ve been away forever and I need tea.”

            “Fine, fine, I’ll make you tea! Sheesh!” Derek flung his head back before straightening with a perplexed expression. “Wait, why do you want me to make you tea? I thought you told me not that long ago that you absolutely  hate my miserable excuse for tea and that your brother would string me up from a curtain rod if he ever tasted it.”

            “Well, he would,” Kariana said. “But you’re my friend. And when friends have been out in the wilderness for a really long time and have had no tea whatsoever for two entire months, they make each other some tea, no matter how horrible it is.”

Derek grew up a humble farmer's son until he decided he wanted to make a name for himself and moved to Misue to attend military Training School. Maybe at one time his brothers could laugh at the stupid things he did to get attention, but not anymore. He's confident and brash, but gets himself into huge trouble with his issue of speaking first and thinking much later, if ever. 

Kariana is one of the toughest girls you'll ever meet--but that solid exterior is hiding her secret insecurities and trauma from childhood abuse. She's incredibly talented and a brilliant spy, but her struggles with forming relationships may just be the key to her undoing.

Bernathel Pentegreen--the queen of Misue and Esma's mother (not pictured: Martin Pentegreen, her husband and the king)

“I am so sorry,” he said, stuttering out the words like he did not know how to speak. “I – I was never trying to hurt you, and I apologize for doing so. You are the only woman I’ve ever loved, and I will never stop loving you.”

                “Are you sure?” she asked, her hand rising to his beard. 

                “Yes,” he said. His hand found her hair and he buried his nose in the top of her head. “I promise I will always be here for you. Always.”

They're married and I love them so, so much. <3 

There are a few other principals. Such as the villains (spoilers) and a certain antihero (also MAJOR SPOILERS) and Esma's adopted younger brother (of whom I cannot speak because I have no picture at the moment :(  )) 

List three things about your novel's setting.

Well, I worked very hard to set my storyworld up so that all the parts of Esma's kingdom have real functions and both imports AND exports. Even the capital city. It's a wonderful, wonderful thing. ^_^

Then the world is also sprawling and takes up a whole continent. Which is awesome and fun. Except when I have to actually draw a map, at which point everything decides to conveniently shift around. Super annoying and not at all pleasant.

Basically, there are three countries in the continent of Sildalone: Venaria, which has been conquered by the evil dictator in the North and tends towards cold and extreme weather; Lascogine, which is held by the Pentegreens, who reign justly and fairly; and Brue, which is basically fantasy-world version of a completely closed country where the few powerful people abuse the rest without end. That country doesn't figure in much, although in the prequel that will most likely not be written unless people beg, it's where a lot of the action takes place.

There's also lots of racial diversity, because I approve of that. Although none of the races are quite comparable to the races we have here on Earth. Believe me, I've tried to come up with photos of models. It's a lot harder than you might imagine. :P

What's your character's goal and who stands in the way?

Well, basically Esma's goal is to win the war that came out of nowhere to take over her kingdom, and also to find happiness in her personal life.

What stands in the way is this evil army led by a mysterious dictator who won't rest until he's kidnapped Esma, for some reason that still isn't clear to her. (Although I, the evil authoress, have it figured out in its entirety...mwah ha ha.)

There's also a lot of subplots. Which will not be expounded upon now because #Spoilers. Mwah ha hah.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Esma is going to learn that she's not as wimpy and incapable as she's always believed, and that she actually has a place amongst the circle of her friends. She's not strong in the same way as they are, but she is still incredibly strong. 

Much stronger than she knows. 

What are your story's themes? How do you want your readers to feel at the end of the story?

I want them to feel...hopeful. A major theme in my story is hope and its effects on people. How it feels to have no hope. 

I also want to bring across the fact that, no matter how strong the evil around us might seem, good is still stronger. No matter how underdog-ish it seems. 

I haven't answered all the questions from the Beautiful Books prompt, but not all of them are relevant. So...I'm not going to. But I hope you enjoyed this little peek at my beloved precious little baby. And when I talk about the Pentegreens, well, now you'll have an idea of what I'm talking about. <3

What do you think? Chat with me, lovelies! 

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  1. Your tea snippet!!!! *dies laughing* I LOVE IT.

    Faith, your story sounds amazing and well-thought-out and suddenly i. want. it. now. I love a fantasy with creative, fun-to-pronounce names of places, and I love yours!! *check mark*

    I am intrigued. Very, VERY intrigued. xD

    1. I wrote that a couple days ago and am low-key in love with it. *grins* it’s one of those “I can’t believe I wrote this!” type snippets. So I’m glad you liked it. :)

      Why thank you! This is the story I’ve always wanted but no one has ever written, so now I’m getting around to it and... I am excited. Very, very excited.

      I’m so glad you like the idea! That makes me so. Incredibly. Happy!!!

  2. Oh this sounds awesome! I love the pictures and snippets!

    The characters seem complex, and you seem to have a very developed world.

    1. Thanks, Skye! I’ve spent about eight years developing the characters and the story world, so I’d be hoping they’d seem complex to someone besides me...thank you for your confirmation!!

  3. GAH.....I love it so much, Faith!!

    Oh my gosh, your tea snippet was my favorite one!! All of your characters are absolutely adorable! I can understand why this is your baby, it is so so so good!!


    1. Thank you, Catherine <3 you are too sweet.

      I think Derek at least would take offense at being called adorable...but the rest of them would (secretly) not mind and thank you for the compliment. Heh heh. They’re very particular little people. XD

      Thank you for reading and I’m so thrilled you like it!!!

  4. THIS SOUNDS PERFECT!!!!!!!!!! *flails*

  5. Love the bit about the tea. XD #relatable

    It's always so fun seeing what other bloggy frens are writing and working on. I love taking a peek into your GENIUS BRAIN.

    1. I know...XD

      I know, I LOOOOOVE reading about what my friendies are working on! And you think I'm a genius??? Well, thank you! I want to hear something about youuuuuurrrr stories sometime!

  6. *gasp* The Pentegreens!!! Esma sounds really cool!! (I love stories with shorter heroines/heroes!) And your drawings...wish I could draw my characters. They end up like horribly disfigured stick figures....

    1. I do toooo! I'm only 5'1and3/4" myself, so I always love it when the heroine is shorter ;)

      Thanks! It's taken a LOOOOOOT of practice to get to this point. I used to be a HORRIBLE artist.

  7. Sounds like you've got the storyworld thoroughly thought-out! And you've figured out the villain's motivation in its entirety?? I wish I could plot... xD (And for that same reason - I can't plot - a ten-book series is mindboggling to me xD One is hard enough!!)
    - Jem Jones

    1. Yeah...but remember, it took me eight years to get there! And I'm still not sure how /good/ of a motivation it is. Plotting is something I used to severely deny until I discovered how much faster I could write when I had an outline. So now I'm a plantser. Halp.

      I know...the ten-year-old me was a lot more ambitious (and foolish ) than the current me. XD


    It just sounds so epic. Fantasy is my precioussss. So this is RIGHT up my alley! And the characters are great. I loved getting a close look at them via snippets. The snippet between Derek and Kariana was priceless. XD Her need for tea sounds like me and my coffee. Tehe.

    Oh my goodness, your world is SO detailed! I love, love, loooove how much work you've put into the worldbuilding. I often fail at worldbuiling, so I'm just sitting in awe over here.

    And themes of hope and good always winning are my favoritest things to find in stories!

    This whole thing just sounds like the absolute best. I can totally see what it is your beloved! Thank you for sharing it with us! <333

    OH. And HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you're having a blessed one! ^_^

    1. THANK YOU!!!!! Now you have to do one on CoaDS ;)

      Why thank you! Fantasy is my precious too so this story is my most favoritest baby. I don't write fantasy anywhere near enough anymore.

      Why thank you! I'm sure CoaDS has detailed worldbuilding too after 7 years of work. This story has about the same amount of time, and I'm an obsessive map draw-er, so...yeah.

      They're my favorite too, and it makes me so sad when people act like they're silly or juvenile. :( So I try to keep them in my stories as much as possible.

      You are so welcome!! Thanks for reading!

      And Happy Thanksgiving to youuuuuuu!!! <3

  9. *flails forever because your brainchild sounds EPIC*

  10. Hey girl! So glad u did a post on this and I KNOW that this WILL be a great story ;)

  11. This was so interesting! I LOVE your aesthetics, and your characters sound so deep and well-written! Hope to see more of it all in the future! :D



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