Eiren, the youngest daughter of the Aleynian royal family, has been living in exile in the deep desert of their kingdom. When the invading force from Ambar captures her family and demands that Eiren alone return with the Ambarians to their distant, mountainous lands, she agrees for the sake of her people. Gentle, perceptive, and able to sense the thoughts and feelings of those around her, Eiren is a storyteller—and unsure why the Ambarians have chosen her instead of her more brazen siblings.
As she grows closer to the masked and enigmatic Gannet, one of her captors, on the journey to Ambar, Eiren learns that her special gifts mark her as an icon—the rare, living embodiment of a god. Gannet, too, is an icon, and when he awakens more abilities within her, Eiren discovers a bitter truth: She is host to Theba, the goddess of destruction. A dark and dangerous force, Theba awakens similar appetites in Eiren.
But there’s more the Ambarians aren’t telling her, and secrets Eiren has to uncover for herself. To know the truth of why she was taken from her home, Eiren must become one of the monsters from her stories, whether she wants to or not.
The Hidden Icon is the first novel by author Jillian Kuhlmann, published by Diversion Books. It is the first volume in the Book of Icons series. The story continues in The Dread Goddess, available May 30, 2017.
The Hallowed Ones and The Outside
For those who have already enjoyed The Hidden Icon and need more story (or those who would like to try a sampling of it before they purchase the full book), Jillian is happy to offer a short companion piece, The Two Sisters, for free in PDF form. This also contains the first two chapters of The Hidden Icon. Feel free to download for personal use on your computer or e-reader, but please do not redistribute this short story; if you wish to recommend it to friends or readers, kindly offer a link back to this page. Thanks and happy reading!