Many of you may have noticed LadyStar has been fairly quiet recently, and that’s because we’ve been very busy.
I rebooted the entire franchise. I decided to retire all of the previous materials. This includes art, games and books plus audiocasts, animated episodes, web sites and even mobile apps going all the way back to 2000. In one week, a new series of books called Seven Rings of Ajanel will be launched in our own bookstore, and we’ll be telling a brand new story. This series will also establish an all new canon for LadyStar. We’re building on the past world, but we’re expanding it at the same time.
Jessica and her sister warriors are older and a little stronger now. (Jessica and Talitha are both 16 in the new series). The new books will have more romance, more action and will take place in a greatly expanded world, which I’ve been working on for the better part of a year. All of the girls look different, but will retain their basic personalities from previous stories. Jessica is still a goofball. Ranko is still a tough girl and Shannon is still a perfectionist.
However, all the old anime influences are gone. These characters are now literary heroines, and because authors like me have unlimited special effects budgets, they will get to participate in adventures that no studio can afford to film. Except maybe Peter Jackson, but I think he’s probably looking forward to some time off.
Each of the new books is going to be written more like a television episode than a novel. I’m going to try to keep word counts in the 15k to 25k range, which will make these new books quicker and lighter reads. We’ve had a lot of success with this format in other genres and I’m eager to see if serializing the story with this format will make romantic fantasy adventure more exciting and more entertaining. This new format will also give me the ability to include a lot of bonus material in each book, which I plan to take full advantage of. LadyStar takes place in a big, big world. It will take a lot of pages to tell you about it.
The first book is called LadyStar: With This Ring. It is the first “episode” in the origin story of the Ajan Warriors. Instead of different jewelry types like bracelets and necklaces, now all seven girls wear rings. Jessica and Talitha both get their rings in the first book. You’ll find that these episodic books are a little slower paced and focus much more closely on one or two heroes at a time instead of starting with the entire team on the same adventure. I have a really fun set of stories starring Jessica and Talitha as they set off to find the lost pets of the Empress of Fire that may follow the first three new books.
Jessica and Talitha are very powerful together. They are the original “sword and shield” duo, and they are also the perfect combination of energy and contemplation. Once they learn what the world of Aventar is like, they will form the core of a much more believable warrior team. Jessica discovers she carries all of the rings through her treasure Dawnsong, which is now not only her Sword in disguise, but also the armory that protects the other Ajan Rings.
Enken gets a much more substantial role in these books, mainly because he and Jessica realize very quickly if they don’t figure out a way protect each other, the fight for Aventar is doomed. They end up in each other’s arms early in the series, which will lead to all kinds of complications later as Jessica’s enemies realize they can get to her by threatening him.
The second book is LadyStar: Storyteller, which is primarily about Talitha’s new powers. The Warrior of the Forest was often overlooked in the previous versions of LadyStar, but here she is key to meeting the challenges presented by monsters and villains. Talitha is a healer, and once she and Jessica learn to work together you are going to see them grow in power and capability very rapidly. Talitha also gets an exotic magical pet which some might argue is even cooler than Teko, Kishi or Hikousen.
Reina makes her first appearance in Storyteller. For those of you who enjoyed her rather dark approach to heroism in the first series of books, you’ll be happy to know she gets a ton of new lore in this series, including two new weapons, a huge expansion of the Thesian First House and her very own ongoing subplot while she tries to manage and control her fast-moving and rambunctious team of girl fighters. Reina definitely has her own way of doing things, and she has no patience for nonsense. However, even she recognizes the energy and force her young team of go-getters brings to the battle against evil. When she begins to teach them more powerful battle magic, look out.
Next up is LadyStar: By Her Sword, which is the first chance for the fledgling Ajan Warriors to venture beyond the safe walls of their hideout and start to push back against the bad guys. Both Jessica and Talitha learn that just because you have a powerful weapon doesn’t mean you have an automatic advantage. They also begin encountering some of the more exciting new denizens of Aventar, and will certainly find their way to some very strange and scary places before they have their first chance to save the day.
These first three books combined will end up representing as much material as half of Dreamspeaker, which I found quite surprising. We’ll be bundling them together as the Jessica Fight! Collection and you’ll be happy to know all four titles will soon be made available as DRM-free audiobooks.
Because we are concentrating on the book series now, you will find few drawings, animations, art, comics or anything similar. This will give us a chance to really establish this world. It will also give us a chance to provide you with a lot more material than we could before. One of the problems with the previous version of this franchise was we tried to do too much at once. It is just a book series now, and that’s going to make it twice as good.
I can write a 25k word LadyStar book very rapidly. While I’m doing that I can also update this site, the bookstore and our social media sites with sneak peeks, new story previews and all kinds of lore and legends. You’re going to get to see a lot more of this world we’ve built because we aren’t trying to draw it, animate it and turn it into a video game all at the same time.
Over there on the left sidebar you will find a list of permanent links and features. Among them will be character pages and background stories on many of the main characters, villains, landmarks, treasures and monsters of Aventar. You will also find links to other places on the web where LadyStar is being updated.
So be sure to visit the Official LadyStar Bookstore in a week for the big release of the first three Seven Rings of Ajanel stories! Once Jessica and Talitha start the adventure, it won’t be long before the other warriors join them.
As Reina would say, let us prepare well.