Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fantasy is not just about good guys

The best success is revenge. The outlaw main character of Rys Rising knows the path to power is not made of good deeds.
When I was child and watched The Empire Strikes Back for the first time, I fell in love with the bad guy. Darth Vader proclaimed his paternity to Luke and stretched out his hand to his son. I sat up in my seat and thought “Yes, Daddy, let’s end this destructive conflict together.”

Of course the movie didn’t take that direction, but wouldn’t it have been interesting if it had? I know fantasy is supposed to be about good prevailing over evil, and that makes a great story, but is it the only way? As a writer, I decided with my newest fantasy series to enter the dark woods where the bad guy holds his revels free of guilt.

The novel Rys Rising has a main character named Amar who murders, steals, generally kicks ass, and serves a magical rys who just might be the worst soul ever born even though her enemies certainly deserve her hatred.

What’s it like writing a novel heavy on the bad guy action? It’s a lot of fun. It means he gets to win a lot because, if you really look at reality, horrible people get away with unconscionable deeds all the time.

Does Rys Rising have a hero? It sure does. His name is Cruce Chenomet. He’s young, and rich, and good looking and I love him very much. He’s strong and brave and fights for more than his own ambitions, like protecting women and children. He’s flawed of course but hopefully that makes for interesting reading.

Rys Rising is actually the fifth novel I’ve written. My first series The Rys Chronicles has been completely published since 2007 and the new Rys Rising series delves into the ancient past of the fantasy world in my first series. I’ve worked tremendously hard to create the historical events alluded to in The Rys Chronicles, and I’ve had an inspiring journey as a writer developing new cultures both civilized and primitive.

I’m styling Rys Rising and the novels that follow it as a complex epic told from many angles. The story has dozens of characters and multiple civilizations. I hope that readers find Amar compelling and decide that his badness rewards them like a guilty pleasure. I hope that Cruce serves as a relatable young man whose hopes and trials draw you into the heart of the story and help you reflect on the best in humanity.

Now let’s read an excerpt and meet Amar. Will you love to hate him or will you love him even though you know he’s bad for you?

From Rys Rising: Book I

“What was that noise? Watch out, Zoodeba. Must be big mice,” commented an elderly male who spoke to his pet in a tender tone.

The man came down from the roof slowly, gripping the wooden rail that wound around the stairs. Amar rushed around the edge of the room and navigated tables and shelves until he was underneath the spiral stair. The cat hissed at him.

“What’s that?” the man said. He swung the lantern around various points in the room but obviously had no idea where Amar was.

Amar froze inside the shadows and tried to decide if he should kill the old scholar.

The old man was drawn to the disturbed bookshelf and bent down slowly to start setting the scrolls back in place. The cat jumped onto the top shelf and supervised his progress while he commented to the cat about how he was surprised that pile had stayed in place so long.

Amar began to think that he might be able to go about his business undetected. His presence seemed so painfully obvious though. He was surprised that the old man did not smell him. Or perhaps his body odor just seemed so strong because of the unfamiliar sweat of a stranger that permeated his stolen clothes.

While the man was on all fours collecting scrolls and the lantern was on the floor, Amar dashed up to the roof.

The wind hit him when he emerged onto the platform. It was stronger at this height and Amar had a sudden chill as his sweat cooled his skin. He was sweating more than he had realized. Thrilling fear coursed through his veins. His reckless and improvised plan to infiltrate Wayndo’s inner chambers made his existence so achingly real. At this moment, Amar could savor life. In danger he could find joy.

He removed the rope from his pack and shook out its coils. He looked for a place to tie it. A sturdy timber flag pole presented itself. Wayndo’s senshal banner snapped above Amar as he secured his rope.

His hands moved urgently. Between gusts of wind he could hear the old man chatting to his cat. Amar warned himself to go kill the old man, but his heart yet had some mercy in it, and Amar would gamble that the man would not discover the rope. He had already missed Amar practically walking by him.

Taking up the rope, Amar mounted the parapet above the window that he had entered mentally with Onja. A waning moon had just broken the horizon and dappled the scattered clouds with light. Stars glittered in the heavens, and the hills jutting above the dark fields were silvery and silent.

As Amar wrapped the rope about his torso and gripped it fiercely, he paused to take in the splendor of the night. It was good to see beauty and have it touch him. He needed this moment of blessing before he committed cold murder.

I invite readers to discover my epic fantasy. I am the author of two series: The Rys Chronicles and Rys Rising.

Free samples at Brave Luck Books

Rys Rising: Book I

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I

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