In the time leading up to the release of my new novel Fall Of The Hammer, I'll be making a series of posts to serve as an extended introduction to the book -- its origins, its influences, its themes, its setting and characters. Enjoy.
Last time I posted in this series, I introduced a few of the main characters: Jotham, the protagonist; his sorcerer comrades Miss Mab and İlhan; and their acquaintances in crime Teryl Heylinde and Gapardino. Along the way, they encounter a slew of other important folks:
Hiram Sekula: The "aleaum master" of the city-state of Eastford. Under his vulgar reign, the whole place has become mobbed-up, corrupt, glitz-encrusted. Vulgar and impulsive, but not actually stupid, although it's a contest to see if his intelligence and cunning win out over his appetites and his fears.
Maya Sekula: Daughter of Hiram, and groomed to ... well, maybe not replace him (because aleaum masters, like all tyrants, make no succession plans), but certainly to augment him. Her specific skills are of great use there, but may be of even greater use if she decides to follow her own path.
Albion: A wanderer from another aleaum domain on the far side of the world, with the ability to communicate with the strange beasts created by aleaum masters (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not), and to use them as a way to circumvent the limitations of travel between aleaum domains. His abilities are a natural complement to the others', but what he really wants is something of a mystery.
Torrina Faziel: Aleaum master of Port Of Saints, a city she remade in her image -- that of a crystalline, utopian, meticulously planned environment of order and peace. But the cost of maintaining that order and peace is immense, as she has to consciously account for every change or repair made to the city.
Rory Kunyak: Once the head of Port of Saints's underworld, and a former associate of Teryl's. His abilities, which he was at first not even aware of, made him a perfect complement to Torrina's aleaum-masterhood. But his real reasons for being by her side are more personal.
When I wrote about how AONO also had a similarly large cast, I noted that it's kind of in my nature to create such things. A story has multiple facets, and one good way to put all the facets of that story on the page is to embody them by way of the different people in it. There always has to be one certain someone close to the center, to be the guiding light for the whole, but the panopoly, the breadth of the personalities and their attendant experiences, just makes for a richer book.
In the next installment of this series, I'll break out some of the themes the book touches on, and how I chose to treat them.