Champions, you guys are the best! Royal Magic recently hit 80 reviews, so let’s party with the next extra: a short story called Welcome Home. (Click here for the PDF!) Thank you to everyone who submitted a review. I appreciate your support and feedback as it helps me a lot as an author, and also helps potential readers make informed decisions. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And now, on to the blog post!
I wrote Red Rope of Fate, because I wanted to create a lighthearted adventure/romance that focused on the relationship between elves and humans. When I started thinking about Royal Magic years ago, I wanted to keep that as the focus, but I also recognized that this sequel would give me the chance to show there are different types of heroes/heroines, and different ways people can be heroic.
This has always been a passion of mine, and you can see it in my Timeless Fairy Tale world. But the Elves of Lessa books are special because they take place in the same country–in the same city–and feature familiar characters and focuses on the same problem. (Answer: the relationship between Calnor and Lessa) It’s that familiarity and shared goal that really highlights how the main couples are so different and yet both do great things for their country.
In Red Rope of Fate Arion and Tari blow open the doors of communication. In bridging the expansive language gap, they bring huge medical and agricultural improvements to Calnor. Additionally, they break a long held taboo in their marriage as previously an elf/human relationship was off limits. Just by existing with their magical bond and Tari’s ability to speak both languages fluently, they tie their countries closer together and become legends. But that magical bond also limits their influence because many assume their relationship is an exception to the regular rules due to their “special-ness.”
Gwendafyn and Benjimir are the exact opposite. Their relationship is not fated, magical, or thrilling. Both of them, however, were in positions of influence before they were married. The power of their relationship comes from how normal they are, from people witnessing how hard Gwendafyn struggles to master Calnoric, and seeing how they embrace their differences and work together. As a result, Ben and Fyn bring more of a cultural revolution because they prove to their citizens that they don’t need a mythical/magical connection in order befriend/love one another. They normalize it.
As the series progresses you will continue to see how the relationship between humans and elves shifts–and why it’s so important that it does shift. (Which is about as close of a hint as you’re going to get that the High Elves will return…)
But putting the ways they affect their nation aside, Arion, Tari, and Gwendafyn and Benjimir have very different personal roles as well. As shown in Royal Magic, Gwendafyn becomes something of a champion or defender of Calnor, while Benjimir steps into a leadership role in the army. Meanwhile, Tari and Arion continue their role as influencers and begin more readily moving around Calnor.
What might not be apparent is how the two couples help each other. Gwenafyn’s ability to fight was not spurned or even balked at because of Tari’s role as an Evening Star. Even if most people don’t know that Tari is capable of deadly magic, it is known she’s capable of returning insults, sarcasm, and getting angry. (Something that previously might have upset people in both Calnor and Lessa, but since she is the hailed hero fluent in both languages she’s easily forgiven.)
On the other hand, Arion and Tari travel more after Gwendafyn marries Benjimir because Ben’s indulgence in Fyn’s adventurous nature. (After all, if he–as a prince–doesn’t refuse his lovely bride, who can? The only one with the power to do so is King Petyrr and everyone knows he would never tell his daughter-in-law no.)
So not only do the couples change their cultures in different ways, but because of the fact that there are now two very prominent elf/human couples, they make headway for each other, opening up even more doors of possibilities as a result.
With that reflection in mind, it’s time for me to start collecting questions for the Benjimir/Gwendafyn interview I’ll post when Royal Magic reaches approximately 110 reviews! Post your questions in the comments down below, and I’ll try to feature as many as possible in an “interview” with Benjimir and Gwendafyn! (And who knows, Tari and Arion might show up for a moment or two as well!) Thanks for reading, Champions, and enjoy the short!