Smythe announces fifth book in Kingdom of Florida fantasy series
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, September 28, 2020 - Author and creator Taylor Thomas Smythe announced the forthcoming release of the fifth installment in his imaginative Kingdom of Florida series of novels. The next book, which follows this past spring’s The Fountain of Youth, is entitled The Curse of Coronado and will be available to purchase late October 2020, with a Kindle ebook version available for preorder today.
“I am excited for readers to experience new adventures with our good friends Oliver, Ellie, Ben, and Annie,” Smythe said. “The first four books happened over the course of one summer in the story world and told a very sequential story arc. The new book picks up a year after The Fountain of Youth, so we get to see how things have changed since we last left our heroes. Without spoiling too much, I can say that what starts in the opening pages as a light-hearted birthday celebration quickly goes awry. A mysterious package shows up and propels the children into a new quest.”
Readers can expect a lot of familiar faces—and a couple new ones. “The first several chapters are full of sweet reunions with many of the characters in the Kingdom that we’ve grown to love over the past couple years,” Smythe hinted. “I think readers will be pleased that we get to explore some of the characters who maybe weren’t quite at the center of the story before.”
As with the first four novels, artist Alice Waller will return to illustrate the world of Kingdom of Florida. “I was in love with Ali’s style since before we even began this collaboration,” Smythe gushed. “Around the time she was wrapping The Fountain of Youth, Ali moved out of state, but we had already begun discussing the new book and kept in touch. I love the liveliness she portrays in the faces of the characters. I think Ali depicts them really well in this new story and I’m excited for readers to see these illustrations.”
The series, which draws inspiration from such classics as The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and L. Frank Baum’s Oz books, follows the journey of a group of South Florida children as they discover a magical parallel world ruled by an evil prince.
The first four Kingdom of Florida books are independently published and available at www.kingdomofflorida.com in paperback, hardcover, Kindle ebook, and — for the first installment — audiobook. The Curse of Coronado arrives in paperback and ebook later this October. The Kindle ebook edition is available for pre-order on Amazon.com now.
Click below to download this release in PDF format
Triumvirate card game announced, based on Kingdom of Florida BOOK SERIES
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, September 1, 2020 - Until now, the world of Kingdom of Florida has existed primarily in book form. This fall, fans of the ongoing Florida-fantasy series will get to experience the Kingdom in a whole new way — as a multiplayer card game called Triumvirate.
Triumvirate has a fairly simple concept, says Taylor Thomas Smythe, the creator of both the series and the game. “The goal of the game is to be the first player to collect one heir from each of the three royal family lines.” In the books, these three thrones are known collectively as the Triumvirate. The family names — Coronado, Mangonia, and Palafox — are represented by uniquely-colored cards, which feature vibrant illustrations by Smythe.
While the goal of the game is simple, the full deck includes numerous surprises and obstacles — many of which will be familiar to readers of the four books released so far. “There are some nods, hints, and easter eggs from both the current and forthcoming books,” says Smythe, “so I think fans will love the experience of turning over each new card as they explore the deck.” Gameplay is a well-balanced mix of both chance and strategy that maximizes replayability. “When some of my friends and I were testing it, we couldn’t stop. Rounds can go quickly. You get so close to winning that you just have to play another.”
Though Triumvirate is rife with Kingdom lore, players need no knowledge of the novels to enjoy play. Its sparse rules are printed on a pair of cards included in the deck, and individual cards provide additional guidance on how one can play.
For some time, Smythe has been known as a deviser of games. “Every time we visit our relatives over holidays, I invent a new game using whatever we have on hand — usually decks of normal playing cards, dice, that sort of thing. I recall one game involved a Rubik’s cube and another entailed shouting the names of cheeses.” This love of game-making led Smythe to imbue one of Kingdom of Florida’s main characters with this same spirit. “In the first chapter of the first book,” he noted, “we learn that Oliver has a reputation for making up rules for games with his neighbors. But the friends are unaware that they’re homegrown rules.”
Smythe worked with print-on-demand game publishing company The Game Crafter, whose business model allows designers to create and sell new games without the need for an inventory, to distribute Triumvirate. “I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the folks at The Game Crafter,” Smythe gushed. “Even when they had to shut down temporarily at the beginning of the recent pandemic, they managed to produce and ship me a test deck. The quality of the cards, the box, the colors — everything is absolutely professional.”
Triumvirate: Card Game is available now via www.kingdomofflorida.com/games, or on the shop at The Game Crafter website. The deck includes 90 full-color, illustrated cards. Ideal for 2 to 4 players. Recommended for ages 8 and up.