Stepping toward the Sequel

brown colour dawn environment

For those of you who have already read The Exile, I have some perhaps long-awaited news: a sequel is underway.

I’ll admit that this decision came with some difficulty, largely because of my own fondness of open endings. The beauty of open endings is that the ambiguity leaves so much more room for the reader’s imagination to interact with the characters beyond the confines of the page. A sequel usually eliminates this ambiguity and sets “the afterword” in stone—satisfying for some, but unstimulating for others.

Set in early-medieval Scandinavia, against the brutal backdrop of clans, kings, and cruelty, The Exile traces the journey of two unlikely companions: a princess and a sex-slave. Did I mention the slave is also a warrior?

When the Scandinavian princess Clare finds herself and her sisters sold into slavery to the ruthless clans inhabiting the unsettled mainland, she meets Delta—a hardened slave girl with a history of her own. Although their morals and perspectives clash initially, each recognizes the other as her chance to escape captivity: for Clare, to rescue her beloved sister; for Delta, to return to her own clan. In their struggle against predators, prejudice, and their own secrets, each woman must question what is worth living for and what, if anything, is worth dying for.

While I won’t give anything away, my readers do a better job of summing up the core of the story:

“This is a story about what it means to survive and how strong of a bond two strangers can have when they have no one else to trust.” – Emily U.

“… [A] rare combination of exciting action, rich character development, and thought-provoking plot. Ms. Carozza’s novel authentically immerses you in the harsh, ancient world of tribal Scandinavia. Yet this immersion will leave you pondering political, social, and ethical questions that are relevant today.” – Samuel S.

The Exile is a great story about perseverance and sacrifice. If you like tales about women who slay, yet who are very relatable and down to earth, this novel is definitely for you. This is not a women’s empowerment story just for the sake of being a women’s empowerment book.” – Sam Kirk

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That being said, however, there was one question that consistently appeared in my readers’ feedback:

What happened to *****???

For those who have read the book, you know exactly who ***** is. For those who have no idea, now is your time to find out! 🙂

Admittedly, this was an ambiguity I did not initially intend to resolve. I rather liked the fact that it bothered readers (perhaps because I like books and movies that bother me in the same way). But after hearing the same refrain of genuine curiosity, I realized there really must be more to tell. Thus, the plans for a sequel began.

While the sequel is still in the most nascent stage of development, here is what I will tell you:

This sequel will be less of a linear continuation of the original and more of an exploration of one particular character’s fate.

It will also revisit some events in the original from a different character’s perspective.

So if you are looking for a fresh book to burrow into this autumn, allow me to meet that need. I sincerely hope you will enjoy The Exile and share your thoughts. And if one of your thoughts is “Wait, what happened to *****???!” —rest assured. The answer is underway.

2 Comments on “Stepping toward the Sequel

  1. I can see how Exile turns into a trilogy. The sequel will answer our question about XYZ, but there still is a potential for ABC to have a book for themselves.

    • Hm, you might be onto something there…! It is fun to leave doors open and see where things go. I admit it has been quite enjoyable re-entering the world of wild Scandinavians once again. 🙂

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