The Unfinished Wyrm
Edith Shepley looks like a Wyrm.
She takes after her father, whoever he was, but that doesn't change things. She is, nonetheless, a proper Folk lady, trained from the cradle to govern as Baroness of Ewert someday. And she knows her duty.
Now a woman at sixteen years old, Edith must marry and beget Ewert's next heir. She obediently considers suitor after suitor, some sweet, some baffling, some detestable. But the more she sees of her mother's society, the more Edith questions whether she really is a Folk lady, after all. And the more she's stung by its insults, its injuries and injustices, the more she doubts she really wants to be.
Alone in an unfamiliar city with only two sacks of clothes and a few coins in her pocket, Edith Brand is determined to accomplish three things: to find steady work, to learn more about the father she never knew, and to keep her own secrets secret.
Edith successfully styles herself Ethel Shaw and angles to get hired on at the Riverton Wool Mill. But the more she learns about her father's past, the more she wonders how much she really wants to know – especially since Freeman Brand was most definitely a Wyrm.
Edith Brand has found a home at last, with kith and kin and perhaps even love, but she's living a lie, and more and more people know it. Still haunted by a mysterious history full of Wolves, Wolves, and more Wolves, Edith musters her courage and takes every opportunity to learn the truth about her father and herself – and it is a truth even more terrible than she feared.
After three years of running from her father's secrets, hiding behind false names, Edith has finally made peace with her true self. Now, she must work – and quickly, for she still has her own secrets, and one of them is starting to show.
Alas, not everyone is glad her father left such a determined heir – and even less glad about what sort of heirs she might leave. While Edith struggles to weave the war-torn Trothlands together again, other, brutal, hands work against her. On the very cusp of peace, with all her fondest dreams finally within reach, Edith learns her battles have only just begun.
Spoonie, knitter, and all around nerd, Arden Brooks writes very short stories, very long stories, and poetry. She is currently drafting The Unfinished Wyrm, the romantic tale of a young woman's journey to discover – and accept – her place in a beautiful world, brutally torn apart by war. The first installment, The Purpose of Miss Shepley, won a “Storysmiths” Watty Award in 2017.
A lifelong West Coaster now living in Washington, Arden enjoys dragging her husband and children to woods and historical sites of all kinds. Her favorite siege engine is the trebuchet.