Lady of Daemons is a historical-fantasy YA novel set in an alternate 1880s Wales, where ghostly daemons possess (i.e. infect) a few unlucky souls and, far away, sky pirate feuds threaten to destabilise the Continent. It follows Beth Bishop, infected and recently orphaned, as she works to unravel the mystery of her cousin’s madness. In doing so, she comes to realise that there are forces at work far beyond her reckoning.
I’m currently in my final edits (yay!) and intend to begin querying Lady of Daemons in January 2019. You can get the latest on how that’s going in the “My Writing” section of my blog.
Beth Bishop is infected—possessed by a wilful and potentially lethal daemon. The ghost-like creature lives inside Beth’s head, whispering to her in badly broken English and occasionally seizing control of her body while she sleeps.
Beth’s cousin, Winnie, is also infected, by a daemon a thousand times stronger than Beth’s—but unlike Beth, Winnie does not have the good sense to treat her infection as a curse. In fact, Winnie adores her daemon, despite the severe suffering that it brings upon her.
Astonished, and more than a little alarmed, Beth vows to uncover what drives her cousin to such madness. She soon finds that the truth is far stranger and more terrible than she could have imagined—and that daemons are capable of far more than she ever thought possible.
could have imagined—and that daemons are capable of far more than she ever thought possibledaemons are capable of far more than she ever thought possible
Elegant, intelligent, and more than a little cantankerous, Beth Bishop is more interested in reading about the latest political developments than in getting along with the daemon infecting her – its constant jeopardisation of her health, safety, and dignity give her little reason to love it. Beth is self-conscious, stubborn, and impetuous, often allowing irritation to overpower good sense.
Beth’s daemon, which has lived in Beth’s head since she was a baby, only has one desire: control over the body that it shares with its host. Like all daemons, it is immortal, sex- and genderless, and brightly-coloured. Although it frequently argues with its host, it is also quick to defend Beth from the censure of other “stupid humans.”
Cheerful, eccentric Winnie Matthews shocks her cousin Beth in more ways than one. Not only does she not give a whit about what others think of her, but she openly professes her love of the daemon infecting her, claiming that it protects her. It is commonly believed that Winnie’s daemon, Elwyn, drove Winnie insane as a child—a claim that Winnie’s erratic behaviour and patchy memory seem to support.
Elwyn is an unusual daemon: incredibly old, immensely powerful, and almost unreasonably protective of her host. She is devoted to preserving Winnie’s safety and happiness at any cost and resents Beth’s attempts to discern why she behaves this way. She appears often, shrouding Winnie in golden daemonic power, and has absolutely no qualms about threatening or even attacking those whom she deems a threat.