Bian’s Tale – Revenge – LAST part

Here is the eighteenth and LAST episode of Bian’s Tale. It’s long: 6,000 words. The first book in this series is done. This book has been the longest for me to write by far, although some of that was because I paused to write other books.

If you’re just arriving here, and haven’t read from the start of this serial, here’s a link to the beginning: and each episode has a ‘next post’ at the bottom to take you to the next episode.

The whole story’s 18 episodes will stay up for TWO WEEKS more, before being taken down. After that, the final version with edits and amendments will be released on Amazon.

Following an idea from writing friends, the book will go up as $0.99 FOR ONE DAY so that alert friends and readers of my blog and Facebook page can get in there for a discount. Next day it’ll go to $2.99.

If you enjoy my posts, please LIKE the Bite Back page and/or FOLLOW or FRIEND me on my personal page.

I will be starting a Group soon. <<<— I know I keep promising this, but it will come.

The other books planned in this series are:

The Words of the Dead

The Weight of Gold

The Sword of the Son

The Tears of the Leopard

The second and third follow immediately after The Harvest of Lies. The Sword of the Son is set in WWII. The Tears of the Leopard is based at the end of French rule, just as American influence starts to be felt in Vietnam, and yes, it moves the setting from Vietnam and ends in America.

Feedback always valued, folks. 🙂

< * * * >

This episode from Bian’s Tale 1 – The Harvest of Lies has been removed.
The book will be available shortly on Amazon.



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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first books are available on Amazon at

17 responses to “Bian’s Tale – Revenge – LAST part”

  1. Wendy Nelson says :

    OH No! I haven’t even read this last part and I’m already dreading the end. I am so glad there will be more books in Bian’s tale though – that is what you meant right? The other books are still about Bian and her moving through the years to reach Amber’s time – right? – I’m excited to see what happens but sad to let this go for now. Will comment after I finish reading it – 🙂

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Wendy.

      Yes, the series will take Bian through to at least when she becomes Diakon of House Altau, and probably as far as when she meets Amber. I *may* go beyond that to give me two different perspectives in Bite Back – i.e. I could have Amber and Bian alternating protagonists.

      • Wendy says :

        ohhhh I like that! alternating. Normally I don’t always care for that, but I like Bian so much that I would love to get her perspective in the new Amber books.

      • Michael Orton says :

        I don’t have a problem with minor plot lines involving other characters doing their thing without Amber and doing it in such detail that a separate book is in order.

        You have done this already, and to my mind, with great success. More of events in New York please! I’d like to see what happens when Jen and David hit the world of finance with Pia in support but without Amber. Well, until Amber’s specific skills are needed anyway. Yet this is going to be set in aspects of the world of less interest to many. I suspect you know enough to write it, but done well it would probably drive the majority of readers away. So it has to be something you can omit and still keep current with the main story arc.

        For the moment, the main story arc of Bite Back has to be Amber’s.

        • Mark Henwick says :

          Bite Back 6 is coming out of my brain like smoke at the moment.

          Bite Back is the spine and brain of the Athanate story, with other sub-stories feeding in and branching out. Any of those branches will *tend* to be shorter and simpler than a main line Bite Back book. The Harvest of Lies is longer than I anticipated because I felt the setup, being so different, needed to be revealed.

          The only one that doesn’t obviously fit atm is Enzili.

  2. Wendy Nelson says :

    Oh, you made me tear up more than once – I will not give anything away here. But I cried for Bian. For her losses. What an amazing end to the first chapter of her life. Thank you so much for sharing this with us – and please do let us know when it becomes available on Amazon so we can buy and review it immediately. I do have a private email to send as well.

  3. amper5andrew says :

    Very nice. Lots of resolution and yet very little resolution. At this point, if I was reading this in a couple of years time, I would immediately be looking to get book two.

    I didn’t see the death of Song comming at all, it had real impact.

    Re: House Zheng—curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

    While the death of Bác Thảo would have been satisfying that’s obviously for another book.

  4. Pyo says :

    I’m usually full of opinions, but with this being posted on a blog I just never really got “comfortable” reading it and so I’m not sure how “accurate” my impressions actually are. Maybe I should have copied it to a text document for better reading or something ^^;

    I felt that it starts out a touch too slow, or at least with too many characters of questionable importance. Seems to take a long time to introduce a bunch of them that then don’t truly matter once things start going bad.

    Also, and I’m not sure this can or even should be avoided, but once thing started going bad I was basically sitting there “alright, now let’s wait until she’s hit bottom so we can move on with things”. It seemed a bit too predictable and linear at that point that everything would just turn messed up, so I wasn’t too interested in how she actually got there.

    Athanate fits with what you created in Bite Back so no real complaints there.

    Lastly, as a rather useless comment, something was nagging at me the entire time I was reading this and I ultimately decided that I didn’t want a Bian prequel **cough* I like her character in Bite Back, but half the appeal is that she’s this mysterious quirky woman with an odd and unknown past.
    But with this series she’ll just be another character we know everything about ^^;

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks for the feedback Pyo.

      The Harvest of Lies wasn’t a good choice for putting up as a serial, other than it kept me focused on finishing it. Structurally, it doesn’t work so well as episodes.

      I get feedback through lots of channels and you’re not alone in your opinions. It is a little slow to start and it does have characters who feature in the series but only peripherally in this book.

      Part of the problem remains I never quite committed to a single target group of readers. For people who are coming from Bite Back and want to know more about Bian (there are quite a lot of those 🙂 ), it should probably be less about where she was before and more about the point of turning Athanate and what she then does with it. For complete newcomers, the first book should be all about the arc from where she was as a human, to becoming Athanate. Sleight of Hand is all about that first step. The difference is that Amber in SoH is already kicking ass, and Bian, as Ophelie, cannot.

      Anyway, the die is cast, as they say. We’ll see how it goes when I get the cover done and the book published.

      Meanwhile, I’m knee deep in Bite Back 6, with Amber, Bian, Diana, Tullah and all the others. And Adepts. Lots of Adepts.

  5. Pyo says :

    Oh, I did read it in one go, so it didn’t have anything to do with splitting the content; just that blog pages on a PC display aren’t that comfortable to read, I guess. Too many distractions, too. ^^;

    Partially it’s probably down to genre expectations. It’s urban fantasy. They generally start very “in medias res”, so to speak. Might be the heroine exiting a night club and getting attacked by a vamp. Or opening the door to a mysterious stranger. Or being in the middle of a dangerous mission of some kind. All right at the very first scene.

    For Bian, that’d probably have meant starting with her being clobbered to death. And then there’s basically two – or maybe three options: jump back to the start and re-tell the story from there. I don’t really like this method but a lot of people are doing it, so there must be something to it … or just continue and then narrate the rest as flashback (or a mix of methods, of course).

    Or basically ignore whatever happened before and move forward, but that’s obviously not always an option.

    Telling it in a linear fashion right from the start might just have taken a bit too long for the genre in this case. But overall I don’t think it’s at such a level that it really affects the entertainment value of the story too much, so I wouldn’t be worried (or at least try not to be 😉 ).

    And looking forward to BB6. I’m generally not much of a prequel-sidestory-anthology-sort of person; I like my single-POV-chronological-linear stories too much for that, so that’s definitely what I’m more interested in 😉

  6. Michael Orton says :

    Everything seems to have gone rather quiet.

    I trust all is well?

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Hi Michael

      Thanks. Everything is well. I’m juggling a few too many tasks!

      Editing The Harvest of Lies on the basis of feedback from beta readers (including a new specific group of young Asian ladies), and comments made here. (Complete)
      Editing my late mother’s unpublished book So Many Doors. (Nearly complete)
      Cover for The Harvest of Lies (*no one* has done anything like this – 1 step forward, 2 back – still in process).
      A re-launch of A Name Among the Stars with a video trailer & promotion by Jessica. (About to go)
      Tests on price points and promotional newsletters for ANAtS. (Done)
      Writing Bite Back 6 – Inside Straight (About 1/5 through).
      Outlining serials and novellas including 2 sequels for A Name Among the Stars, one of which will appear here, and one on Wattpad (the major serial novel site).

      I am aware that I’ve been too quiet too long and people checking the site are being disappointed, so I’ll make a longer post talking about those points.


      • Michael Orton says :

        Thank you and glad to hear the silence is for the best of reasons.

        Sometimes blogs go quiet for sad or even bad reasons. I was more concerned than disappointed.

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