We’re celebrating the release of ICE LIKE FIRE by Sara Raasch with a tour of the kingdoms of Primoria. Today’s stop is the Season Kingdom of Spring! (Check out yesterday’s profile on the Kingdom of Winter here.)
Welcome to the kingdom of Spring! Although welcome may not be quite the word we’re looking for . . . Sixteen years ago, Spring conquered Winter and enslaved its citizens in Spring work camps. Now that King Angra has been defeated and the Winterians freed, it is uncertain what the kingdom’s future may hold. There is no sign of Angra or his magic in Spring, and the kingdom has transformed into a military state, run by a handful of his remaining generals. The rest of the world waits to see what will become of this season kingdom.
Conduit: A tall black staff, the height of a person, with a hollow ebony orb on its tip
Known for: Control
Notable citizens: King Angra, Herod
Views of the Kingdom
In the daytime, rolling hills of lush greenery cascade all around, forests of blossoming cherry trees, fields of wildflowers in a rainbow of colors. In the nighttime, Spring looks far more like what it really is—cloaked in shadows, everything drenched in black.
As you approach the kingdom, cherry trees stretch in a sea of pink and white all around. Petals fall and float into the air. There are no outlying villages nearby, no signs of life outside Abril’s massive stone walls other than the occasional field of crops cutting through the forest of eternally blossoming trees. Laughably peaceful representations of a kingdom that has been anything but.
Abril’s walls rise before you, casting the surrounding land in shadow, looming rows of black behind the pink-and-white trees. As you pass four- and five-story buildings, heads pop out of smudged windows, eyes peek through cracked doors, but there are no people in the streets and you don’t hear the chatter of city life. In Abril’s slums, the buildings get worse and worse the deeper you go. Rotted wood collapsing into rooms, piles of rancid garbage littering street corners. When you cross the bridge the buildings get a little nicer, windows cleaner, walls painted and whole. People stand around now, too, watching you.
A black iron gate sits at the end of one last road. Soldiers march on the wall above it and eye you from towers, a reminder that Spring is a kingdom crafted by war. When you pass through the gate, a grand green yard rolls around you, leading up to a palace of black obsidian. Even from as far back as you are you can see colored etchings in the rock, green ivy vines, butter-yellow and sunset-pink flowers—Spring in darkness.
The entry hall is a cave of gleaming obsidian with sconces throwing yellow light onto the reflective surface, a never-ending echo bouncing off walls that toy with it just for entertainment’s sake. The only breaks in the light are portraits of Spring’s past rulers that hang at perfectly spaced intervals on the walls.
The throne room is wide and dark and filled with the poetic collision of sunshine and shadow. A series of windows has been cut into the high ceiling, circles of sunlight that create a path to the dais at the other end of the room. On that dais, the largest beam pours directly onto a towering obsidian throne, the rock absorbing the light in a subtle yet daunting show of power.
The people of Spring have blond hair, green eyes, and skin a few shades darker than Winterians.
Spring soldiers wear breastplates of silver armor with black suns on their chests. The rest of the citizens (those not living in the slums) wear airy dresses of subdued colors, rose and eggshell and lavender.
There isn’t much to be said about the food, clothing, or traditions of Spring. Because the kingdom has been so sequestered and staunched in their development, and so poisoned by Angra’s magic, they don’t have much of their own culture left beyond fear and whatever they need to get by.
Want another taste of Spring? You can read the exclusive prologue to SNOW LIKE ASHES right here!
Or, if you’d rather get away from Spring, start reading ICE LIKE FIRE right here!
What do you think of the kingdom of Spring? Share your thoughts in the comments below!