by Jason Hatcher
GENRE: Fantasy, Asian Gothic
IMPERIA is a tale of revenge. It is a resurrection of Asian myth. It is fantasy’s untold story.
Thirty years is a long time to hold a grudge. The Red Empress has endured every single day of the past three decades living among enemies. A captive empress, she bides her time, her mind’s machinations plotting a future bathed in blood. And then the future becomes the present. Across the Empire of Heaven, the winds blow calmly no more.
After bathing in a tub filled with orchid blossoms, she sat down at the vanity. As she gripped the comb and held it by her head, she felt its teeth scratch her scalp, and she realized that her hand was trembling. Even as her body cooled and dried, that place below felt like a cauldron boiling over.
The bedroom door creaked open then and Fei Sei gasped aloud. “Who is there?!” she shrieked, only to turn and find a Silongese maidservant staring back at her in terror. “I have all I need, thank you,” Fei Sei muttered, exhaling a long sigh of relief. The girl vanished. Fei Sei turned back to the vanity mirror, making sure the water-colored dressing robe was closed around her body. She silently thanked the gods that her thick black hair had begun to grow back. It fell close enough to her chin that she no longer resembled a boy. Swollen nipples poking the surface of her weightless linen robe left no doubt whatsoever that she was female.
“I prepared the room for you myself,” a deep, male voice from somewhere behind her began to speak. She dropped the bottle of perfume from her hands. It shattered on the floor. “I chose the color of the shallow sea so that your surroundings here may comfort you.”
Fei Sei remained seated at the vanity with her back to the door. She could not summon the courage to turn around. In the vanity mirror, she could see the reflection of his bare arm, so thick with muscle and tanned to the color of red clay. A bit of his sash showed, too: a sleeveless tunic, black and gold.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Originally from Pensacola, Florida, Jason Hatcher attended the International Baccalaureate senior high school program, then went on to study Japanese and English literature at the University of Florida. He attended law school in Boston, and worked as an attorney in New York City for eight years. A lifelong lover of Asia, he spent much of his childhood in Japan. He speaks, reads, and writes Japanese, and has traveled extensively throughout that part of the world. Today, he lives in Westchester County, New York, with his husband, mother, and twin sons.
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