It's hard to talk about the new characters in The Children of Fi without putting out spoilers. Yep, there are new Kynllarians to get to know and love, and some questions from The Mage Sister are answered – like why did Arinda and Nathan form a mindlink? And where the heck did Jahx Rife come from? Who is his real father – the one he has nightmares about? Here are just a few of the new Kynllarians in The Children of Fi:
Praise Fiaryn! Great Fiaryn! For the love of Fiaryn! Fiaryn bless you! But who is this Fiaryn? And why has he been gone forever? Is he just a myth? A story from history to help explain the existence of Kynllaria? Nope! Fiaryn does exist, and she's been sulking for nigh on a thousand years (and no, that wasn't a typo). Fiaryn, one of the last of the Old World Fiar clan who led the Kyn by birthright, is the last High Chieftain of the Kyn. It was believed that Cristov Mac Cuin was the first mage but, in fact, it was actually Fiaryn.
Inniss is Fiaryn's son, and was born an oddity. His relationship with his mother is fractious at best, as Fiaryn bullies and smothers him something fierce. Inniss is a bit of a lost soul – forced into isolation with his mother, he hasn't had a chance to explore who he is or what he can do. There's not much else I can say about Inniss without telling too much, except that he has three children of his own, and we already know all three.
Roenan is the last King of Tenari, murdered about 400 years ago in a bloody coup against the Royal Family of Tenari. The Dunforth clan, the dirty schemers, rose against the royal Fahareth clan and murdered every last one… or did they? Rumor has it that Roenan's young son survived in secrecy, but no one knows what happened to him, if that rumor is even true. And Roenan? Let's just say he did die that night… sort of.
Asshat extraordiniare! The Dunforths, another Old World clan, has been scheming and plotting and pushing and battling with the Fiar clan to take over the Kyn since before Kynllaria even existed. They wormed their way into the Fahareth dynasty, even though Fiaryn barred them from crossing into Kynllaria in the first place, and forbid the Fahareth's to have anything to do them. Miles is the latest in a long line of asshats, and a psycho on top of that, and he's just smart enough to be dangerous. He's been abducting mages and has figured out how to control them to use for his own devices. And that's a big bunch o' trouble, no matter how you slice it. An army that can't be killed? Yikes!
King Oren of Chilharia
Descended from pirates. Would love to set the "Royal Navy" on Dunforth. Is there anything else you need to know?
Paul de Reaux
Paul is the Lead Mage of Azure Bay Keep, another of the mage settlements about midway between Tenari and Chilharia. Stone Circle Keep in Rowan was the first, and is the largest and most firmly established of the mage colonies. However, as we find out in The Children of FI, there are other settlements, as well.
The High King of Kynllaria
Guess who? It's the job Nathan hates to talk about, won't even admit to except under intense pressure. And now that he's discovered he has a verified, living, older brother, Nathan is hell-bent on handing over his crowns to him… even though he doesn't want them either. Whoops! Did I just say too much? Forget you read that! Just forget it!
What older brother, you say? Ha! You'll have to read the book and find out.
In order to better organize the website after publication of 'The Children of Fi', I have made a few changes. If you visit the 'Book' tab, you will find pages and associated information for both books. I have also added a 'Reviews' tab, so you can see what other people are saying about the books. I am very happy to say, it's all nice things, so far, but even if it weren't, you would find it there.
In saying that, I have had some feedback from a few different sources that I would like to comment on, discussing how they found certain characters unlikable at first. The two characters in question were Arinda and Jahx in the beginning of the book. Some words used to describe them were moody, bratty, arrogant, insufferable, petulant, and rude.
Am I mad about that? Heck no! It's actually really good feedback. First of all, each person who said that also said that by the end of the book, the characters had grown into much more likeable people and they cared what happened to them. It also means that they had an emotional investment in the characters, and for a writer, that's some of the best news you can get.
I designed my characters that way on purpose. And it is interesting to hear different people's perspectives on them. Some didn't like Arinda at first, others identified with her and understood why she was the way she was.
Because here's a fact – people have bad days. Some, like Arinda, have bad lives. Others are hiding secrets they are desperate to protect and will strike out at others if they feel that secret is threatened. Sorry to be the bearer of reality, but not everyone is nice all the time, particularly people who have been bullied. And I would know, because I was a bullied child. That's why I know how Arinda thinks.
For instance, a line in 'The Mage Sister' says: "How she hated them, those horrible kyn kids; how she wanted to be one of them, and have someone to giggle at, too". That is an observation I remember. It doesn't mean that she wants to be mean to someone else. It means that she wants to have the choice.
Quite likely, Arinda would be a champion to someone being bullied if given the opportunity (as she does indeed become in The Children of Fi), but she's never been given the opportunity. She's always been the target, and I can tell you one true thing – a bullied child wishes more than anything to not be a target.
If she had gone blindly along with her transition from being hidden away and terrified of the Circle of Mages to being right in the midst of them, happily accepting everything that happened to her, her character would not have rung true.
And Jahx was under a lot of pressure and having a bad day. His teacher refers to a recent bad experience with his childhood sweetheart, having thrown him over publicly. Actually, they'd been caught in compromising circumstances and her father had hauled him before King Nathan. To keep from getting in trouble, she had told her father that Jahx was the aggressor and had forced her. Fortunately for Jahx, Nathan knew him well enough to know how unlikely it was. But Jahx refused to openly deny it, hoping that somehow taking responsibility would fix the situation and he and his sweetheart would be able to be married as they wanted to. But, of course, it didn't.
Nathan made them tell their stories before a truthsayer and the real story came out. Her father didn’t like Jahx, thought there was no future for his daughter with him and had arranged for her to be married to another man. She didn't want to be married off, so she had instigated the incident, knowing they'd get caught and hoping that her father would make Jahx marry her. In the end, he didn't. She was sent away, and Jahx was utterly humiliated.
That's not in either of the books, because it's back story that is not part of the story. I may put it in a future book, but there's a little tidbit from Jahx's life for you, and the reason he was acting out so horribly. He'd always been a good kid and a gentleman, but after that, he figured, what was the point?
If he had not had his tantrum in front of his teacher, he wouldn’t have run out into the woods that night and become maged. And we find out later in The Children of Fi that Jahx was actually battling a past he could not forget, no matter how hard he tried – a past that haunted him. Those nightmares were real and terrifying.
No, real, true people do not behave nicely all the time. Sometimes they fight against changes that are good for them, because they feel threatened by them. We, as readers, can see that these changes are for the best and they will end up okay, because we have that omniscient view. But they don't. They feel their lives are in peril, and that's what makes a good story.
The fact that Arinda bites back, disagrees, answers back and doesn't always accept what she's been told is one the of characteristics that makes her unique among the mages. She has a mind of her own, and while some of the mages enjoy her spunk, some dislike her for it.
But who, in this world, is well-liked by everybody they know? I know I'm not. I am not Arinda. I cannot be my characters because they wouldn't be unique individuals. But I know her. Yes, I know her well.
The Mage Sister received a really nice 5 star review from SeriousReading.com! Thank you for the great review guys!
Check it out here! There is also an interview with yours truly wittering on about writing and such.
Hey, have you reviewed your favorite books? These days selling books is harder than ever. I'm not complaining, by any means, but I think many readers don't know the impact they can have on their favorite books AND their favorite authors. We love praise! We do. Even the ones who say they don't. They're fibbing.
Anyway, yes, selling books is not an easy task, especially for us little indies, particularly when our brand, spankin' new books don't have any reviews yet (like 'The Children of Fi', and yes, that's a hint). For instance, would you be willing to buy a book with no reviews? Most folks, including me, are more likely to buy a book if they can see that other people liked it. Because if another reader wrote a review, you can be sure that the book wasn't so awful it made them die. So you probably won't die from it, either, and that's a good start!
You can help out your favorite authors by giving their books a review! You can leave reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads, and many other bookseller sites.
And it doesn't need to be a book report!
Get that out of your head right now! Just a few words - I liked it, and here's why. Or you can just say 'I liked it.' Believe me, your favorite author will be grateful. And I'm not just saying that!
Mostly loony, generally harmless. Writer & professional smarty pants. Owned by an exasperated spaniel.