A few weeks ago, I introduced the concept for my new series, Bastia. The first book, titled Becoming Clissine, will come out on September 11th. In this book, we are introduced to a world where same-sex relationships are required by the totalitarian theocracy, and opposite-sex relationships are prosecuted by the church/state. Today’s snippet comes from the prologue of Becoming Clissine. Clissa is brought before the Bastil, the governing body of Bastia, and charged with having a relationship with a boy. What makes this crime even worse? Clissa is the daughter of Lystel, one of the most prominent women in Bastia. The charge of heterosexuality is devastating enough, but that it comes from one of the premiere Houses of Bastia makes it nearly unbearable. Lystel and Methra, Clissa’s parents, are so ashamed that they don’t know where to look.
“Assistant, read the charges against Clissa, daughter of Lystel.”
Somewhere in the crowd the Dis and Nur of Lys, Lystel and Methra, watched the proceedings. They had forgone their usual seats of honor in favor of anonymity. Although a few other well-known Houses had had children run afoul of the Bastil, none were as prominent as the House of Lys—or as vocal in their opposition to leniency for criminals. Would Lystel ever be able to overcome her shame, or had Clissa ruined their House forever?
The bell-ringer unrolled an elegant parchment scroll. In recent generations, electronic and technological improvements had changed life in everyday Bastia, but not within the walls of the Bastil. Here, court scribes took notes in shorthand while using quill-and-ink pens.