Thank you so much for visiting this page! I would just like to caution you, this book is historical, so it’s set in the early 1800s, mostly in a fictional Nordic country in Europe, but in the very beginning it is set in Pre-Canadian territory. Remember the excerpts on Page Two are not full chapters, they’re just scenes, so they are missing some context, and a lot takes place between some of these scenes. I just wanted to give you an idea of the story and how the character dynamics develop over multiple years.
Some of the language and dialogue is quite archaic, meaning we don’t use some of these words the way we did in the past, so some words and phrases may sound oddly placed to you, but that’s because they are being used in their archaic sense. Such as “call” which to us means phone call or yelling to someone, when the archaic meaning is “a visit.” The prose is a bit more intense and strange than in the Zarry stories, but I truly hope you’re still able to find enjoyment in reading The Noblemen, and that you can hopefully still fall in love with the narrative and the characters at the core of all the old language and descriptions.
I cannot stress the amount of trigger warnings there are for some of these scenes on the next page, as well as the book as a whole. If you are uncomfortable with misogyny (women being slapped, imprisoned, and berated) rape, abortion, murder, torture or genocide, you might want to sit this one out. Seriously. This book is not for the faint at heart, and it is incredibly politically incorrect. The characters are archaic in their opinions, attitudes, reasoning, and lifestyles, and the love story is unconventional and quite dark.
Ember turns sixteen when the book first begins and is twenty-one by the ending. This is set in a nineteenth century patriarchy, so men rule and women hold little power unless they are married to preeminent men. Even then, they are still the property of their husbands to use and discard at leisure. In this world, women of color are nothing, which is what Ember will discover. However, by virtue of who she is (intelligent, intuitive, impulsive, and indignant) and in spite of her coloring, she rises to power through adversity and single-handedly brings this nation to its knees.
Page One: Disclaimers & Character Descriptions
Page Two: 12 Scenes From The Story
The Noblemen (Summary)
One girl’s coming-of-age in the custody of callous military leaders results in her rise to power in a 19th century patriarchy and ultimately a steep death toll.
Ember (The Protagonist):
Ember is a headstrong young mulatto of English descent who is abandoned in the care of her aunt and forced to work off the woman’s debt in the home of a pitiless dotard. Once she sabotages all of her aunt’s painstaking arrangements for her marriage to local suitors, she is left with no choice but to wed her elderly employer, as he is the only man still willing to have her.
In her eyes, this is a fate worse than death. At only fifteen years old and never having ventured beyond her tiny woodland village, Ember robs a man of his horse and sets off into the unknown. Devoid of shelter, all means of survival, and no final destination in mind, it is not long before she is thrown from the unruly steed and left for dead. When a company of soldiers stumble upon her cold and mired body, she realizes her misfortunes have only just begun.
Lost amid a sea of officers and trusting to none, Ember blossoms into womanhood in the custody of a man who contests her freedom at every turn. Chained and shipped overseas, never to see her family again, she must adapt to a new life of drudgery and is forced to serve even the servants. Throughout this harrowing journey, she is thrown into many roles and endures many fates, all of which challenge her principles and task her heart.
Ultimately Ember becomes a girl willing to embark anywhere, risk anything, and confront anyone to acquire the man she loves. A man she should rightfully hate. If that means following him to realms ravaged with pestilence and war, she undertakes to do so without question. If that means attempting to learn his craft and mimicking the deeds of the soldiers she once impugned, she does not hesitate in the least.
The Duke (Antagonist):
A titan. A ruthless visionary. A man determined to gain by any means necessary. As the second most preeminent monarch in the country, this Grand Duke’s power, influence, and wealth fall only short of the King. He sits upon a sprawling duchy and a monopoly of violence, leading the country’s largest military arm and principal line of defense. As heir presumptive to the sitting King, who despite multiple marriages remains childless in his old age, the Duke will cut down anything in his path on his way to the throne. Having been bred to obtain this seat his entire life, nothing will stop him from acquiring what is rightfully owing to his bloodline. Not war, not pestilence, and least of all not the antics of a baseborn scullery maid unfit to enter his presence.
Lord Commander (Antagonist):
Lord Commander: Leader of the largest and most lethal military force in the country. His allegiance to the Duke is obsessive; and paralleled only by his faithfulness to his mission and his men. But from the moment he lays eyes on the unlikely trespasser brought before him for questioning, his world is irrevocably changed. Caught between duty and distraction, his loyalty will be continuously tested as he finds himself ill-prepared for war with this defiant ward. One who scoffs at the levers of power in his world and makes a mockery of the tenets he holds dear.
Equally baseborn and leading a life of servitude, Tillary is a kindred spirit to Ember and joins the team’s travels mid-route before they embark across the Atlantic Ocean for Europe. Tilly is a headstrong barmaid and a survivor, unafraid to speak her mind, protect her dearest friend, and better her lot by any means necessary. The two maids developed a deep confidence and an enduring bond resilient to men, circumstance, and even forcible separation.
Lord Lieutenant (Antagonist):
As Lord Lieutenant, Storm is the fourth most powerful man in all the country and loyal to none but his sword. He has a lust for blood and violence, and in absence of the Commander, all must answer to him. Zealous, rigid, and at times unhinged, this officer is eager to get his hands dirty in pursuit of success and the completion of all missions.
(Although he does not feature prominently in the first book, he is introduced towards the latter half of the story and plays a key role in the madness of the ending. He will feature more prominently in Book 2 of this series, which deals with the fallout from the ending of Book 1.)
Page Two: 12 Scenes From The Story