Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Dasnarian Fashion with Jeffe Kennedy of The Edge of the Blade

Dasnarian Fashion

Thanks to the Reading Between the Wines gals for hosting me today to celebrate the release of THE EDGE OF THE BLADE!

It’s funny that they asked me to talk about Dasnarian fashion, because I saw a review just today where the reviewer seemed confused about the worldbuilding unpinning some of the Dasnarian fashion trends. A perfect opportunity for me to explain!

For those who’ve not yet read the book – or unfamiliar with the series – the Dasnarian Empire is introduced first in THE TALON OF THE HAWK. The hero of that book, Harlan, is a mercenary from there, along with his army of warriors, the Vervaldr (which translates loosely as “sea-wolves.”) We don’t know much about them at that point except that they are big men, fair-haired, with light eyes.

In the next book, THE PAGES OF THE MIND, more becomes apparent about the Dasnarian Empire – particularly their interference with the Twelve (or Thirteen) Kingdoms – and in THE EDGE OF THE BLADE, our heroine Jepp must go there as a spy.

Most of her time in the Dasnarian capital is spent at the palace. When she arrives, it’s the dead of winter, in a northern climate. Women in the Dasnarian Empire are considered weaker physically and in need of protection – thus they are cloistered and remain indoors almost exclusively. As a result of their lifestyle, the women dress both literally and symbolically in clothes appropriate only for their well-heated and cossetted lives. The noble women wear silk, wrapped in an elaborate length, much like a sari. The silk is imported to the palace from protectorate states. Men, also, wear silk uniforms, an obvious symbol of the might of the Empire which can afford – or afford to take – anything it wishes.

Another emblem of the women’s indoor existence is their lack of footwear, especially for the women of the palace who walk all day on imported silk carpets. They go barefoot, and have developed elaborate foot-jewelry that shows off their wealth.

Color is very important in the Dasnarian culture, especially in the palace where it demonstrates political sympathies. Clothing is also used to intimidate by making people physically uncomfortable, as in the Emperor’s blindingly bright raiment.

I particularly love the scene when the Dasnarian women develop the perfect costume for Jepp – a blend of the two cultures, but also strongly influenced by Jepp’s unique character. I won’t give it away, but that fashion choice foreshadows her future.

What did I forget – what other questions do you all have?

29895188The Edge of the Blade 
(The Uncharted Realms #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy
Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 27th 2016 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
ISBN 1496704266

"The Twelve Kingdoms rest uneasy under their new High Queen, reeling from civil war and unchecked magics. Few remember that other powers once tested their borders until a troop of foreign warriors emerges with a challenge . . ." 

Jepp has been the heart of the queen s elite guard, her Hawks, since long before war split her homeland. But the ease and grace that come to her naturally in fighting leathers disappears when battles turn to politics. When a scouting party arrives from far-away Dasnaria, bearing veiled threats and subtle bluffs, Jepp is happy to let her queen puzzle them out while she samples the pleasures of their prince s bed.

But the cultural norms allow that a Dasnarian woman may be wife or bed-slave, never her own leader and Jepp s light use of Prince Kral has sparked a diplomatic crisis. Banished from court, she soon becomes the only envoy to Kral s strange and dangerous country, with little to rely on but her wits, her knives and the smolder of anger and attraction that burns between her and him . . .

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About Jeffe Kennedy
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include novels, non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion; an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera; and the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, which includes Going Under, Under His Touch and Under Contract.

Her award-winning fantasy romance trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms hit the shelves starting in May 2014. Book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and was nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose received a Top Pick Gold and was nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2014. The third book, The Talon of the Hawk, won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015. Two more books followed in this world, beginning the spin-off series The Uncharted Realms, with The Pages of the Mind in May 2016 and The Edge of the Blade in December 2016.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website:, every Sunday at the popular SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. 

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