Instead of a direct continuation of the series, this is a stand alone novella (roughly 20K) which focuses on the events of book 2 when our titular heroine, Arianna De Amato, is transported away in the middle of a battle with the fierce wraith knight, Ashram.
And although it's technically an en media res story involving alread established characters, the novella can be red as a stand alone. As it's an entirely self contained story, you needn't have read Valandra 1, 2, or 3 to understand it. But if you have read the prior books, it adds that much more depth to the events of book 4.
Because I chose to tell the first three novels in first-person present tense, however, many readers thought this meant my story was intended for young adult rather than epic fantasy readers. Naturally, this created a couple of complications. First, it seemed that some readers were put off by the first-person present tense narrative. Secondly, others voiced their opinions that it seemed that I skimped out on developing the other characters more fully.
Although I personally enjoy first-person narratives myself, I could see how this is a valid complaint. As for the second criticism, I fully agree. First-person writing limits you to one characters perspective; or at least one character at a time's perspective.
As such, I opted to go with the good old, tested and true, third person past tense narrative for this novella. It allows me to develop multiple characters without having to devote a chapter to each one. I can jump around to different povs within the narrative without having to use chapter breaks or start new sections. As such, I basically told a 60K first-person narrative in a condence 20K third-person narrative.
Okay, enough of the technical talk. You're probably wondering what this book is about?
The events of The Black Knight & the Golden Arm follow my main cast of characters in the absence of Arianna. I mainly focus on two people though, Queen Sabine De Atano of Bellera, and Sir Gromelin, the red bearded dwarf and machinist (e.g. Juggernaut mechanic). We also get glimpes into what Lisette, Lief, and the elf Alegra were up to during Arianna's three day absence.
Of course, as the title suggests, we learn how Queen Sabine gets a mechanical golden arm and we learn what happens during the dead army's siege of the holy city of Sabolin before the big climactic battle the kicks of part 2 of book 2, The Dragon Blade Cycle.
With book 4 you get action, a dash of romance (this time Gromelin hooks up with an mysterious ex from his past), and a lot of back story that occurs off page in book 2 is followed in detail.
I'm also planning on writing a novella that covers the 3 year time gap between books 2 and 3 from when Arianna enters the underworld, i.e. The Nether, and from when she returns and everything is different. That novella (book 5), however, won't be available till next year (2018). After that, I will launch Valandra books 6, 8, and 8 in which I kick off an entirely new story arc.
If you're interested in reading this exciting stand alone novella, you can get it on Amazon.com.
VALANDRA: THE BLACK KNIGHT & THE GOLDEN ARM (BOOK 4)
Also, look for the rest of the exciting Valandra series by getting books 1-3:
VALANDRA: THE WINDS OF TIME CYCLE (BOOK 1)
VALANDRA: THE DRAGON BLADE CYCLE (BOOK 2)
VALANDRA: THE GODDESS OF WAR CYCLE (BOOK 3)