Shine Cycle Précis: Sunshine Civil War

Sunshine Civil War is the planned fifth book in the “main line” of the Shine Cycle, following The Dragon Returns and the “Alternate Universes” subseries in chronology. Today’s post is a brief introduction to it.

As my plans for the story currently stand, there are two central characters: Jon Royal and his distant cousin Primrose, who has until now been the Guardian of the Gate in Vaynaheim. Other major characters include Jon’s father, the officers over which Jon is placed, and some of the other leaders of the Parliamentary side. And, to a lesser extent, the deposed king Herald and their counterparts in his service. But these are certainly not all, as the scope of the story expands well beyond the borders of the Sunshine Kingdom.

Some of the major themes I hope to portray are the nature of good and godly leadership, just war, and freedom. And, to some extent, love, as I intend a very minor romantic subplot.

The first several scenes set the stage: The scene is the Sunshine Kingdom. Its king, Herald the Fourth, known even at the time the story opens in some quarters as “Herald the Evil”, has become an egregious tyrant. The Parliament successfully impeaches him, but he refuses to relinquish the crown and instead declares martial law, precipitating a civil war. Jon Royal, the son of the author of the kingdom’s Charter, is called home (from Camelot, as it happens) to lead the Parliamentary army.

Jon takes command of a small regiment near Mages’ Vale, and begins to convert its camp from a peacetime garrison to a real fortress, preparing it for the loss of supplies from “central command” and for inevitable challenges from the tyrant’s followers. Primrose arrives with news from other areas of the kingdom, and with a request from his father to abandon his position in favor of a more central location—which he ignores.

While these preparations proceed, Herald’s army attacks the Milkweed Palace, the residence of one of his most vocal critics, and besieges Luddington, a major city strongly opposed to him. Soon thereafter, news arrives that the far-off Dragon Empire has declared war against the Parliamentary side and sent troops to support the tyrant.

On hearing this news, Jon prepares to go to Luddington’s relief, but first must defeat an army that arrives and besieges his own position. Once that obstacle is overcome, his army lifts the siege of Luddington and moves to relieve other strongholds threatened by the tyrant’s forces.

Elsewhere in the world, the Dragon Empire again moves against Vaynaheim, laying a siege around the entire country to ensure it sends no aid to the Sunshine Kingdom.

Jon gathers his army and the rest of the Parliamentary forces, and meets and decisively defeats Herald’s armies in the field near the (perhaps coastal) city of Queenstown. After that battle, part of his army sails to join forces from allied countries in the relief of Vaynaheim. But even before they sail, those allies begin a lengthy sea battle against the Dragon Empire’s navy in the Western Sea, eventually retaking the sealing forts on the Fly Island that were overrun at the beginning of the war, then lifting the siege of Vaynaheim.

However, most of the Dragon Empire’s fleet escaped the Battle of the Western Sea, and sailed east, where it landed in the Bow and besieges Capitol, the capital of the Sunshine Kingdom, which fell to the Parliamentary army soon after the eBattle of Queenstown. After a siege of at most a few months, the allied armies defeat the Dragon Empire’s forces and end the war.

The story concludes with a few last touches, including peace talks to formally end the war, an election of Jon as king of Sunshine Kingdom, and his marriage to Primrose.

Any questions or comments?

The next précis is of The Imperial War.


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