Frida Kilmari has a new queer reverse harem fantasy romance out: “The Fifth Horseman.”
No name. No past. One giant future?
The only thing worse than suddenly waking up in a magical house with the insanely gorgeous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Being the Fifth.
With no memory of who I am, where I came from, or what I’m doing here, I’m thrust into a new life with four people who I might want more from than just friendship. But with no past, how can I possibly plan for a future?
The only clue as to who I am? Four different species’ magic resides within me—Vampire, Fae, Shifter, and Witch—and between them, I might be the most powerful creature on the planet.
For fuck’s sake.
Look out world, Horseman of Magic coming through!
This is a 120,000-word fantasy polyromance book where the main character will not be forced to choose between their love interests. This book contains lesbian and gay content, excess profanity, a character who can shift their sex (both male and female), is gender and sexually fluid, and who spends a lot of time being a snarky, swearing badass. Please refer to this book’s content guidance page in the front matter for specifics.
Warnings: Mild PTSD and anxiety symptoms (unlabelled), explicit sex scenes, some violence, and lots of emotional angst.
The group are all sexually fluid, and the main character can shift their sex (giving them a male and female form).
Gray light shatters my blurry vision, but all I can see are shapes as voices grate my eardrums. I can’t make out any particular words, but a lilting sound flows its way toward me, a singing voice so beautiful in its cadence, I’m having a hard time focusing on anything else. Though there are other voices in the room, I can’t stop my curiosity wandering around that lilt.
Where am I?
Who am I?
What’s going on?
“Her eyes are opening . . .”
“She’s practically awake, but she’s still really weak.”
“We’re going to continue using this language, then?”
“It’s only polite.”
A thud startles my eyes open the final few centimeters, and four faces I haven’t seen before meet my bewildered gaze. But now that I think about it, whose faces have I seen before? My memory . . . It’s all a giant blur. And the harder I try to clear the picture, the blurrier it gets. I only remember a coppery smell, the feeling of drowning, and an ache in my feet.
“Miss, please don’t be frightened.” A woman’s face vomes into view, framed by beautifully blond hair—impossibly blond, actually, like the color of the sun chose her head out of billions of others to shine its radiance—that seems to trail all the way to the floor in two long braids. Save for the few strands of hair straying around her face, everything is perfectly in place, from the dimple on her left cheek to the deep green of her eyes and the feather earring hanging from her left ear.
“W-Who are . . . you?” My voice sounds so strange, as though it belongs to someone else and I’m stuck in a stranger’s body.
“Name’s Con, short for Connie.” She grabs the pillow and maneuvers it into a more comfortable position. “Reckon you can sit up, hon?”
I nod, not wanting to hear my strange voice again.
She gently grips my elbow and half lifts me into a sitting position.
The other three faces—all male—sit patiently in the room, which I now recognize as some sort of bedroom, though it’s like none I’ve ever seen before. The light filtering through the wall of crystalline window on my right is patchy from the forest dwelling just outside, while the room itself is covered in plush rugs and lounge chairs in all sorts of bright colors—some of which I’ve never seen before. From turquoise greens to burnt orange-yellows, it reminds me of peace. Of calm tranquility.
“Where am I?”
One of the men steps forward. His stubble just grazes the edges of his face, but he’s an otherwise large man, towering well over six feet and carrying nothing but muscle. “You’re safe.”
“Where. Am. I?” The edge to my voice has a bite to it, and I can feel frustration showing on my face.
“Our home. We call it Sheruta. It’s a realm separate from Earth.”
“Okaaay.” Clearly, I’ve gone insane. That or this is just some elaborate dream my stupid brain is concocting while I’m deep in a coma somewhere.
“No, sweet thing.” Another one of the guys steps forward, and my eyes latch on to bright red swept-back hair sitting on top Asian skin, glinting in the sun. “You’re not dreaming.”
Did he just . . . read my mind?
“Yup.” He smells like a bonfire in winter, and his hair’s dirty bright red continues to flicker in the light, as though it were indeed a flame of its own.
A shiver escapes my body. That’s right, I’m cold.
He looks to the muscular man from before. “Get a fire going.”
I look down his slim form and chuckle at his t-shirt, which reads: YOU’RE ONLY A 10 ON THE PH SCALE BECAUSE YOU’RE BASIC.
While Muscle Man places some chopped logs from a wire basket into a fireplace at the other end of the room, the red-haired man sits by my bedside with a smile. “Name’s Nine. It’s nice to finally meet you, sweet thing.”
I look to the only other man in the room, who sits in the shadows on the other side of my bed, as pale as death and almost translucent. “And you are . . . ?”
He steps forward, surprise etching his face as his black hair falls around his eyes in wafting waves of dark beauty that frame perfectly angular cheekbones, a chisled jaw, and a snake-bite piercing both sides of his lower lip. “You are able to see me?” As the light catches his features, that translucence turns into an opacity of ungodly beautiful skin.
Is it weird? To like a guy’s skin? Probably.
I realize then that I’ve been staring and haven’t even bothered to answer his question. “Well,” I start, “yeah. You’re standing right there.”
A smile reaches ear to ear, his raised eyebrows settling back down, and he leans forward to touch my forehead. “My name is Dea, and I was the one who reclaimed your life, little angel.”
That smile is perfect, angling his jaw in all its chiseled lines and perfectly placed shadows, but his rugged hair and piercings gives him a messy, rockstar kind of look. I didn’t know they make men like him. He’s so beautiful it almost hurts to look. But what’s most enchanting is his eyes; they circle in a swirling galaxy, whose pinnacle of golden starlight rests in the very center, where most people’s pupils sit.
Nine chuckles. “You’re distracting her, bro.”
Freida Kilmari, an author, writer, and editor from south-west England, has a passion for unique fantasy, one that started with the likes of Philip Pullman, Derek Landy, and JK Rowling. With their fantastical words, she spent her childhood and young adult life vying to create her own world of words one day. Eventually, after finishing her degree and settling into being a business owner, she started writing fantasy romance with LGBT+ twists, and from there, she’s kept twisting tropes, retelling fairy tales and legends, and seeing just how far you can push the boundaries of sexuality and gender.
Living in south-west England, she owns and runs Penmanship Editing, a fiction editing business that strives to make the most out of each author’s unique story, words, and heart. “Every writer is different, and it’s those differences that make our work a part of who we are.” She’s worked on over 100 books in the last two years and has received praise from authors and other editors alike for her encouraging and togetherness approach in a field that is lacking uniqueness and empathy.