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By Patrick (2007-03-13)Q: Without giving too much away, can you give us a taste of the tale that is FEAST OF SOULS?
Well, there are many tales, and many characters, all interwoven into a greater tapestry, but I shall pick out a few:
In a world where the cost of magic is one's own life-force, a group of seemingly immortal sorcerors called Magisters appear to have cheated the system. But now the illness of a royal prince threatens to reveal the secret they guard above all else -- the true price of their immortality -- and they find they must hunt down one of their own kind before outsiders learn too much. Prince Andovan, meanwhile, not content to die quietly in bed, catches wind that sorcery may be behind his illness and fakes his death so that he will be free to go off and hunt down the one who is robbing him of life. Meanwhile a young girl named Kamala, hardened by a lifetime of poverty and abuse, struggles to become the first female Magister, little knowing what that transformation will cost her... All while an ancient Evil that was thought to be destroyed long ago begins to stir anew, corrupting kings, shattering alliances, and ultimately threatening to unweave the very fabric of human civilization
That's the short summary, anyway :-)
Q: What can readers expect from the subsequent two volumes of the series?
Complete and satisfying stories in each volume, first of all, as I believe that is required of any good trilogy! The story of Kamala will continue, as she becomes a key player in the strange and shadowy internal politics of the Magisters...the truth behind various myths will be revealed, as an ancient Enemy that once destroyed all of human civilization returns to finish the job...the origin of the Magisters themselves will be discovered, and their link to that Enemy...a mystical bloodline will awaken to its full potential, but not without asking the ultimate sacrifice of its warriors...and a full host of characters, noble and common, male and female, mortal and mystical, will be drawn together in a last desperate effort to save their world.
All very dark, very intense, and hopefully very satisfying!
Q: What do you feel is your strength as a writer/storyteller?
Reviewers and fans both praise my world-building and my character development, and I'd have to say those two things are what I am proudest of. In all of my books I try to create a world that is so complex and fascinating that my readers hunger to learn more about it, and then I let it unfold as the story does, a true journey of adventure for the reader. I also feel that strong characters are the most important element of any novel, because if we don't care about the people at the heart of an epic, how much do we care about what happens to them? This trilogy has some of the best characters I have ever created, and also the most varied: Kamala, a calloused child of poverty and desperation, determined to become a true sorceror at any cost; Andovan, a prince who has sworn to defy the expectations placed upon him, and make his own fate; Gwynofar his mother, whose bloodline holds the secret to an ancient mystery; Danton his father, who does not yet realize that court has been infiltrated by unhuman agents; Colivar of the Magisters, who knows more about the creatures called Souleaters than any sane man should; and the so-called Witch-Queen of Sankara, an elegant and seductive companion to Magisters, whose corruption by the Enemy is one of the key plotlines of volume 2.
Q: In an era in which authors change publishers quite frequently, you have spent your entire career with Daw Books. What made you remain with the publisher that gave you your first chance?
That answer's easy. Betsy Wollheim is a brilliant editor who is perfectly tuned in to my work. She has been a vital part of my creative process from the first day we sat down together over In Conquest Born. Readers do not realize how much of a difference good editorscan make, but they do, and when you find a good one you hang onto her.