In the time leading up to the release of my new novel Unmortal, 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: Jahya and Teşkul, the sua-wielder and her sword partner; Othei and Runak, an ex-officer of the authority that brings sua into the world, and the sua codex she's stolen from them; and Fioka and Azual, the sua revolutionaries who each have very different plans about how to bring liberation to their people.
Along the way, they encounter a slew of other important folks:
Detective Piraine: The newly promoted head of the counterterrorism division for Ranphar City, where the Ministry of Sua continues its work. For sua, he has a mixture of sympathy and contempt, an attitude that sometimes unbalances his work.
Emhann: Piraine's sua partner, a hearing aid. Assigned to Piraine after the latter was half-deafened in a sua terrorist attack, Piraine has to balance their own feelings about their brethren against their duties and their mixed feelings about their superiors.
Finnadar: A projector sua who runs a movie house in Ranphar City, where they run films of their own creation, realized directly onto the celluloid a la Stan Brakhage. One of Jahya's long-standing contacts with the sua underworld, and who may be more than just that.
Dr. Saarn: A one-time smuggler of sua, now the keeper of a museum for sua retired from active duty, and maintainer of a surgery/clinic for sua. Blind, but with a sua to provide aid, he offers sanctuary for sua in a city (Thann Helden) where sua are nominally forbidden.
Morithala: A riverboat sua, one of Fioka's old flames, torn between loyalty to Fioka and their vision versus trying to make a new, independent future for themselves.
Pelarot: A black-marketeer specializing in sua, who once offered Jahya a place to make a home. Not an ethical person, but a moral one, and someone who can be valuable in the right time and place.
Blixa: The vault sua that holds the off-the-records riches of entire nations, and who guards a secret that both Fioka and Azual vie for. Whatever their revolutions offer, it may not include Blixa — and for that reason, they may only want to go their own way.
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.