Judith Starkston in Conversation

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On Sunday, February 24 at 2 PM, The Poisoned Pen’s Pat King will host a conversation with Judith Starkston and Beth Cato. Starkston, the president of the local chapter of the Historical Novelists Society, will discuss her book, Priestess of Ishana. Signed copies are available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2Ea1O4M

Starkston had this to say about Priestess of Ishana. “The world-building in Priestess is inspired by the Bronze Age Hittite Empire, a lost culture that works well for epic fantasy with its combination of international intrigue, military dominance, and beliefs in magical rites and supernatural powers. The priestess of the title is based on a remarkable queen who ruled for decades but has been largely forgotten. These days, women in leadership seems like a good topic for exploration in fiction. So, politics, magic, and a dead body to sort out while exposing an empire-wrecking conspiracy, all on the shoulders of one young woman who must navigate in a patriarchal world.”

Here’s the summary of the book.

A curse, a conspiracy and the clash of kingdoms. A defiant priestess confronts her foes, armed only with ingenuity and forbidden magic. A malignant curse from the Underworld threatens Tesha’s city with fiery devastation. The young priestess of Ishana, goddess of love and war, must overcome this demonic darkness. Charred remains of an enemy of the Hitolian Empire reveal both treason and evil magic. Into this crisis, King Hattu, the younger brother of the Great King, arrives to make offerings to the goddess Ishana, but he conceals his true mission in the city. As a connection sparks between King Hattu and Tesha, the Grand Votary accuses Hattu of murderous sorcery and jails him under penalty of death. Isolated in prison, Hattu’s only hope lies in Tesha to uncover the conspiracy against him. Unfortunately, the Grand Votary is Tesha’s father, a rash, unyielding man, and now her worst enemy. To help Hattu, she must risk destroying her own father.In a whirlpool of magic, politics, family crisis and love, Tesha pursues justice over the dark forces arrayed against her.