Fantasy author Rachel Caine told Tor.com that her latest novel, Undone, is the first in her new series, Outcast Season.
“The [book] has two major fantasy elements—the Wardens, who are humans born with the ability to control aspects of the natural world such as weather, fire, and earth (although they don’t always do it well, or honestly), and the Djinn, who are an update on the classic genies-in-bottles,” Caine said in an interview. “There’s a master/slave dynamic to the relationship between these two groups that isn’t always comfortable—and the Djinn aren’t exactly the forgiving type.”
The Outcast Season series takes place in the same world as Caine’s Weather Warden series. “I knew I wanted to do a book that featured a Djinn (or genie), since I’ve had so much fun with them in my Weather Warden universe,” she said. “The basic idea for the plot came to me one day while I was wondering what the most antisocial Djinn of the bunch might be like if she was your coworker … and if you had to get along, or else.”
The book follows Cassiel, one of the oldest, most powerful, and least friendly of the Djinn. “When she crosses the will of Ashan, the leader of her faction of the Djinn, she’s cast out and ends up in mortal flesh … human, to all intents and purposes,” Caine said. “But she can’t survive alone. Like all Djinn, she needs contact with the life-force of the Earth, and she must (unwillingly) partner with humans to get it. As her attachment to her Warden work-partner and his family grows, Cassiel discovers that a force from her past is out to destroy her … and everyone around her.”
Cassiel’s never been in human form before, and she’s never wanted to. “She starts out as cold, remote and bitter, but over time she becomes attached to those around her, and discovers that maybe there’s something in humanity to fight for, after all,” Caine said.
The fifth book of Caine’s Morganville Vampires series, Lord of Misrule, was released in January. But there’s plenty of other Caine due out this year: Another Morganville book, Carpe Corpus, will be out in June, then the next Weather Warden book, Cape Storm, in August, and then another Morganville book, Fade Out, in November. She’ll also have a story in the forthcoming P.N. Elrod anthology Strange Brew.