L. Blankenship has achieved that with her Disciple series. I know. I am one of the lucky few who got to read the whole series.
Disciple, Part III back cover
Kate fought for her place as a healer in the war’s front lines. Serving her homeland has been her goal since her magical gifts earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the kingdom’s greatest healer. She believes she’s prepared.
But nothing’s simple when defending a besieged capital city — or her heart.
She loves the prince, who means to protect her even though his duties as a knight keep him on the battlements, fighting the enemy’s monstrous army.
Kate’s husband is the one who checks on her, lingers over dinner, and slowly but surely charms her. She’s all too aware that her beloved prince threatened to kill him if he touches her.
As the enemy thunders against the city walls, the kingdom needs more from Kate than just her healing magic. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.
Kate believed she's ready for a war. She isn't.
The official cover reveal and "Next Big Thing" post are over at Disciple of the Fount.
Disciple, Part III arrives September 1st, 2013!
Part I and Part II are available at all major retailers
Excerpt from Disciple, Part III
(Kate and her teacher, Elect Parselev, are readying the infirmary near the city gates. The enemy army is just outside, preparing its first attack.)
“The king! The king!” I heard the shouts only a few moments before the company of banners and black-garbed Guardsmen arrived at a canter. Many banners, and I spotted the prince’s among them. The warhorses kicked up dust in braking, and shunted to either side of the gate to work their way to a stop. All the riders wore full gear, helms included. The king’s bore a simple gold crown around its brow.
Atop the tower, a yell and the catapults thrummed, sending loose shot over the wall. The crews were at them in a heartbeat to winch the long arms back down. I looked back to the royal company at the foot of the towers and saw half the horses standing with riders, half without.
“I must…” I began, looking about at the rows of cots, the stacks of bandage rolls waiting. The nurses and orderlies stood waiting, too, watching the wall as I did. Waiting for someone to bleed. “Should the orderlies be in the gate towers?”
“When the rhythm’s set,” Parselev answered, though that only puzzled me.
“Is Saint Woden here?”
“His concern, not ours.” Through his hand on my shoulder, I felt kir pulse into me and my next breath came easier, deeper. “Take a little more.”
“But you —”
“Drew all I could hold from the Pool this morning. Don’t worry.”
The catapults, once reloaded, shot again. The tower’s trumpet announced something new and behind me, on River Road, orders were shouted.
From the tower came a scream: “Cover! Cover!”
A black cloud rose over the city wall, peaked and began to fall. My feet froze as the arrows plunged toward me, hissing, striking the kir shield and shivering from the effort. They thudded everyplace else, on wood and earth. Then men scrambled up from under their shields, on the wall, and resumed their work. I realized the enemy had largely missed; our archers were further up River Road.
From there came an order: “Loose!” Our smaller flock of arrows answered, cresting lower over the parapet above the gate itself and vanishing.
And again: “Cover! Cover!”
The cloud rose more sharply, this time, and fell onto the wall and towers. Screams followed. But still, the moment the storm passed, they were up again. Most of them. Our archers answered, as well as the catapults.
“Orderlies!” Parselev shouted. “When their next volley falls!”
Thers were ordinary men, most of them Saint Aleksandr’s disciples, who’d taken an oath to serve the Mother and Father through serving others. No armor, not a sword among them. When the next cloud of arrows rose over the wall and thudded down, our Thers sprinted for the nearer gate tower with their sling stretchers. They made for the open door and vanished inside.
Those of the royal company who’d stayed with the horses were out of the saddles and holding the animals close to the lee of the towers. There was a space in the shadow of the gate itself where arrows weren’t falling, and they’d sidled into it. Impossible to see if Anders was among them — I couldn’t make out the details on their tabards at this distance, and there were a few dappled greys among the horses.
There should’ve been another volley, but it didn’t come. Someone shouted, “Elect!” behind us and my teacher’s hand left my shoulder. I turned, spotted a wagon-driver with an arrow-studded friend slung on his shoulder. My frozen feet thawed; this was something I could help with at last. And our Thers would be back soon enough —
A thud against the city gate shook the earth. Then a second. Lower and heavier than any thunderbolt. Horses screamed. My mind shot back to the earthquake at Ansehen and my blood turned to ice. The third blow shuddered the massive timbers and I looked to the gate towers, searching for cracks, for falling stones. A clutch of the warhorses bolted across Wallside Street, torn loose from their knights.
Our enemy knocked. Like a giant.
Contact L. Blankenship at her blog, Notes from the Jovian Frontier