Thursday, August 1, 2013

Friendships in Fantasy Fiction Part 1 Good Friends & Great Reads blog series

Follow Her Ladyship's Quest and enjoy my 8-part Good Friends and Great Reads blog series. Every Thursday through September 19th, I'll be sharing insights about powerful relationships between characters from my fantasy series. Join the literary discussion by leaving comments about fictional friends that felt like your friends too. And feel free to use the Good Friends and Great Reads blog prompt at your blog. We can never talk about books too much.

Part 1 - Dreibrand and Tytido from The Rys Chronicles

Powerful friendships are not unique to the fantasy genre, but often needed. Plots driven by small groups battling powerful forces benefit from some firm friendships. A hero really needs someone who’s willing to defend his back, especially when it involves hordes of nasty orcs.

Some famous mainstream examples are Sam and Frodo and Harry Potter, Hermione and Ron. When everything turns against you, friends become the difference between survival and defeat.

As an author of 8 fantasy novels, I’ve enjoyed crafting important friendships within my epic stories. I consciously chose to engineer some friendships while others developed organically as I drafted each novel.

In this first part of an 8-part blog series on fictional friendships, I will examine the friendship between the main character of The Rys Chronicles Dreibrand Veta and the man who becomes his most trusted lieutenant, Tytido of Clan Gozmochi.

Although Dreibrand has other crucial friendships, his relationship with Tytido is remarkably genuine. They are two men loyal to each other who enjoy each other’s company. Tytido is the man Dreibrand will share a pipe with and trust the lives of his family with.

Even so, Tytido begins in a somewhat subservient position in the friendship. Dreibrand is the leader. He’s more worldly and better with women and he’s faced greater dangers. Dreibrand acts as a mentor to Tytido. He is not threatened by Tytido and wants him to have as much success as possible. However Tytido offers critical value as well. He is an important advisor to Dreibrand who is learning to navigate a new culture. Because they are men born of different civilizations, they have interesting philosophical conflicts and find each other intellectually satisfying.

Working toward common ambitions, the two men can depend on each other. They provide an example of friendship and loyalty that is fulfilling in itself without me having to inject conflict into their relationship to drive the narrative. Plenty of external forces provide substantial conflict throughout the novels to keep Dreibrand and Tytido on the same side.

In this scene from The Goddess Queen, Tytido seeks to deepen the terms of his fledgling relationship with Dreibrand on the eve of battle.

They sat by his fire and talked business. Eventually a lull came to the conversation and then Tytido cautiously asked, “May we talk as friends? We may never get another chance.”
The request surprised Dreibrand. He had always maintained some professional distance as the commander, but when he thought about it, Tytido was his friend.
Dreibrand smiled. “Do not sound so pessimistic, Tytido. We will win and we will live.”
“Yes, Sir—Dreibrand. But I was taught that I must accept my death before I enter battle so I will not be afraid. I have done that but I am curious about something, and I would like to know in case I am dead soon,” Tytido explained.
“My people would not talk of death before a battle, but what is it you want to know?” Dreibrand said.
Tytido looked a little embarrassed and he leaned closer and said quietly, “I want to know what you did that you had to go so far from your homeland. People think a crime has driven you from your home.”
Guardedly, Dreibrand demanded, “Who says I am a criminal?”
“It is gossip, rumors. It is no one person. But Dreibrand do not worry about it. The Yentay respect you and do not care what it is. People are only curious,” Tytido said.
“Then what are these rumors?” Dreibrand asked.
“Well, the most popular one is that you killed Miranda’s husband,” Tytido said.
Dreibrand actually laughed, relieved that it was so far from the truth. “No. I have never seen the father of her children, but from what she tells me, I would kill him. Miranda left him before I met her,” Dreibrand explained.
“Then what is it?” Tytido pressed.
Dreibrand sighed and stared at Tytido, trying to truly judge the man. He trusted Tytido but his secret had to stay where it was.
“Tytido, my family is a very old family in Atrophane, and once very powerful, but not so much anymore. I came west seeking a new fortune because I had none to inherit. And that is the truth. As a friend, I ask you to leave it at that,” Dreibrand said.
“So you are not going to tell me,” Tytido surmised.
“I would rather your curiosity kept you alive,” Dreibrand said.
Tytido grinned. Even knowing that Dreibrand held something back, Tytido was glad to know that he went to battle at the side of a friend.

Readers intrigued by how this friendship develops are invited to Brave Luck Books to download the free fantasy ebook Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I so you can meet Dreibrand from the beginning. 

Please leave a comment about friendships in fiction that you found memorable. 


Listen to an audio excerpt from The Goddess Queen. It’s the opening from the novel when Dreibrand takes Tytido out to dinner at a tavern.

The Goddess Queen: The Rys Chronicles Book II is currently being recorded as an audiobook. Support the production and download 2-chapter episodes for $1.50 each.

Want to write about fictional friendships that mattered to you?  

Use the Good Friends and Great Reads blog prompt at your blog. Then fill out the form on this page to tell me about it so I can mention your blog and book here at Her Ladyship's Quest.