Servant of the Lesser Good
Feyrlands Collection, #1
by Shaun Paul Stevens
Out: 2nd December 2021
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Page count: 270 pages
Pitt Norton Publishing
A cursed symphony and magic which tells stories in your mind.
High Mistress Talia is a hellraising socialite with a murky past. But she has a bright future. Beautiful, rich, and a virtuoso harpist, she’s betrothed to the Count of Brecht. In short, she has it all. Or so it would seem.
Marla Holst is the new lady’s maid, but never has the ‘help’ been so unhelpful. Marla, real name Mist, has only one mission: to stop the high mistress’s marriage. By any means necessary.
But complications abound. Talia’s disturbed daughter, a girl who can see into the future, is cursed with the stigma of a devil-worshipping father. The count’s father, the Duke of Rizak, is a recluse, too afraid of assassins to show his face. And all the nobility want to do is duel.
Meanwhile, the highlight of the season—a recital of the famous ‘Cursed Symphony,’ draws ever closer.
Servant of the Lesser Good is the latest book by SPFBO finalist Shaun Paul Stevens. Set in his Feyrlands universe, this standalone story follows the deadly but delightful Mist (one of the main characters in Nether Light) in her covert mission to avert civil war by destroying an alliance between two of Sendal’s most powerful southern duchies.
Read a preview here.
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1. What inspired you to write this book?
I love the character of Mist, who featured in Nether Light, and wanted to explore her earlier life within a royal court, period drama setting.
2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
I learned a great deal about period dress, 18th century etiquette, and how to tell a fast-paced, explosive story.
3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
How the story took on a life of its own.
4. What does the title mean?
The main character, Mist, plays the role of a servant with a none-so-pure, ulterior motive.
5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
Not at all, and although that may have made portraying them easier, they wouldn’t have felt as real to me if I’d based them on people I knew.
6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Yes. There is always a price to pay for selfishness.
7. What is your favorite part of the book?
I love the regatta – a beautiful, hot summer afternoon on the river, sipping champagne and playing dress-up, dodging snide comments and watching the upper class’s insecurities play out.
8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
The most challenging character to create was High Mistress Talia—trying to make someone so vile at the same time likeable proved quite hard.
9. What are your immediate future plans?
I’m currently working on books 2 and 3 of my other Rankers series in the Feyrlands Collection, featuring the grizzled warrior, Villa Kiprik.
About the Author:
Shaun Paul Stevens was born in October 1972 in London. He spent his formative years in the shadows of the dreaming spires of Oxford, before moving to Nottingham, where he graduated university with a degree in English and Media.
Navigating a path through music, art and the internet, writing came calling and he found himself ensconced in alternate realities and gritty fantasy worlds. He has written several books to date.
Shaun now lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England, with his patient family and ungrateful cat, generally being a nerd.