*Prologue: In the wilderness of old, deities fell prey to dark sorcery when a Mage lusted for their powers. Only Lion, aloof & majestic, withstood his magical rapine & saved from the ranks of the despised & abandoned a cadre of human tributes. His soldiers of mercy.
*Alternate Prologue: The first gods were not dead but decayed, trapped in their avatars, their powers muted. Only Lion still shifted among his forms to breathe fire on evil or shower rain on deserts. His last hope of Eden’s resurrection lay in the girl. Willful, spoiled, and untested.
Historical Fantasy: THE TRIBUTE by Cecily Winter …
I gripped the bed rail and braced for the pain. One, two, three, and Mama’s lady’s maid gave a mighty tug to complete the lacing of my corset.
I groaned theatrically, but Elvy said, “You’re hardly a reed the way you eat, Lady Leona.”
“No, but do I need a candlestick waist or buttocks made big with hoops?”
“I’m afraid you do.”