Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Making of a Mage King

How do the choices in out lives come about? Some children are subtly guided along the way until they start making their own decisions. Some of that guidance is not so subtle, as many choices are blatantly made, setting the child on a course firmly predetermined. In the most drastic cases, there is no subtly, only cold hard law. And sometimes a child is merely housed and clothed until such time as they take up the task on their own and move out.

Sean Moselle was gently guided through childhood in a certain direction by parents who half hoped the guidance would never be necessary, but they could not risk him not developing certain skills. He was encouraged to learn the art of fencing by stories of valiant knights, both read as well as simply recited as he sat on his father's knee. His desire to be just like King Arthur was more than indulged, but he didn't know the difference. His father was also in a position to instil in him the love and care of horses, as well as the skill to ride them.

In the first book, Prince in Hiding, Sean's happy childhood falls completely apart with the deaths of his parents under unusual circumstances. First, his mother seems to simply drop dead; no cause could ever be found. Roughly a year later, his father, a mounted police officer, was killed in the line of duty, Or was he?

Any other kid growing up in New York who lost their parents by the time they turned seventeen, would have been able to carve a place for themselves. It wouldn't be easy, but it would have been possible. 

In Sean's case, things were not so simple. You see, Sean really wasn't a native born New Yorker. Well, he was, but his parents weren't, and his parents also weren't the two people he had always called mom and dad. His real parents were the crown prince Deain Ruhin and his lady wife was Kassandra Barleduc. This left him with the unwieldy name of Seanad √Čireann Barleduc-Ruhin, named by the custom of his people. His people, who were not here on this earth, nor were they even in this time. Where they were, no one has ever determined; they were just elsewhere.

There was no choice. With the deaths of both of his closest guardians, his other protectors had to take him back and teach him how to be the king he was born and bred to be.

You'd think that defeating his evil uncle and claiming the throne would be the end of the story, but in truth it was only the beginning.

Holding the throne does no good if no one knows. Sean's goal then was to go around and tell everyone. He also needed to set people in place who would be loyal to him and in general clean up his uncle's mess, but there was a deeper reason he needed to make this trek and time was wasting, and he had no idea why. For some reason he felt that he had only six months at best to complete his task. He told himself that it had to be finished by the time the snows came and locked down the mountain districts, but though that was the reason he gave, it wasn't quite right.

Once in motion, even the fastest pace his men could travel wasn't fast enough; he felt positively driven, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't cover the distance fast enough.

He took to expending vast amounts of magic, and striving to keep up the pressure on himself, but even powerful mages aren't indestructible. This is where friends proved to be invaluable. They kept him grounded and sane, and they made sure he didn't kill himself. They couldn't, however, protect him from his own dreams. As sleep turned difficult, dreams filled his nights with puzzles and premonitions, visions of possible futures, and possible pasts. Dreams that were just plain strange, and dreams of his first ancestor leading him to the fate he needed to meet, and yet still not telling him what that fate was.

Now we get to the interesting part. Pieces have been in motion since the first book. Cities have fallen and enemy forces have been helping themselves to the magical populous of Ruhin, seeking to use them for their own ends. Sean, needs to act. He needs to find the stolen and hold accountable those who took them. But that didn't relieve him of his original mission, so he had to act quickly, and brutally. He had no time to be nice, to be diplomatic, to hold court and judge war crimes.

With haste, he rounded up his armies and pointed them at their marks, and then he gathered up the closest of his uncle's nastiest warriors and led them against yet another target. War is never pretty, and Sean made no effort to try. And then he had to protect his borders, and more magic was the only answer.

The magic to protect his borders was a balm to his tortured soul after using so much magic to kill his enemies. But now that the war was over, his original task still loomed. Even though he was nearly finished, snows threatened, time was running out. He pushed on as hard as ever while still trying very hard to remain human, to stay that boy who grew up in New York, raised by a man named Moselle. It was a connection he never wanted to jeopardize, it was a memory that kept the overwhelming power of magic that coursed through his veins from turning him into something akin to his uncle.

Then at one point shortly before being able to make it to all of his districts, time ran out. Snow blanketed the landscape and Sean had to use all of the magic his land had to offer to save the world.

Yeah, I'm going to be mean and make you read the book to find out how he did that, and of course there's the bit after that - something to do with the birth of his son and dealing out a little overdue justice.

Book 3 will be available in June.



William Kendall said...

June will be here before you know it!

Anna L. Walls said...

I know. I've come to the conclusion that it will always be a very exciting ride. haha