If you held me at gunpoint, and put my feet to the fire, and drilled down, and wouldn’t take no for an answer, and just didn’t let it go, and whined a whole lot about it, and made it a huge deal, and kept that up for a fortnight and demanded that I tell you what Spell/Sword is about — then I would probably still shrug.
It’s kind of about a lot of things. Adventure, genre-defiance, gonzo ridiculous action, minotaurs, music, entropy, bunnies, sorrow, death, etc. etc. etc.
But way down at the bottom, in the guts of the thing, it’s about Friendship.
Reason #2: Friendship
BLECH. Really? That’s the big theme I want to toss my literary cap at, like Sean Connery at the beginning of most of his James Bond movies? MS. MONEYPENNY IS NOT IMPRESSED.
She is never impressed.
There’s a lot of darkness in my little world. [And in my head as well, but that’s another conversation]. Lots of evil and sorrow and just shitty, shitty maturity and growing up that Jonas and Rime have to deal with. Even in book one, they both have a lot of shadows gathering around them. Rime is going slowly insane, Jonas is a deserter running away from some dark times. Unlike most fantasy protagonists that at least get a chapter of idyllic chilling in their author’s version of the Shire, I dump both of them onto the page in the rudest way possible. Jonas is drunk and in a pitched fist-fight with an ogre, Rime just committed a calculated murder to protect herself from betrayal. They both appear in battle, in trouble, with no one to stand at their side.
KIND OF LIKE LIFE, MS. MONEYPENNY.
It sounds super banal even in my head, but I’ll go ahead and type it. One of the many stupid epiphanies that I’ve found in my life, is that friends make the difference. Knowing that you’ve got some goddamn backup in this world is all that keeps your feet moving some days.
The core of the book is my boy and my girl learning that they are better when they work together. Two people, two travelers against the world. Neither is quite complete apart, and together they can go toe to toe with the nastiest things my peapod brain can devise.
Because it gets worse. It gets so much worse. That’s the truth of the world, our world and mine. It always ends, and most often it ends with tears. Youth and joy and glory and adventure all fade, everything falls to dust.
WOW. That got depressing.
But that’s the point. Friendship is the shield, the bond that will not break. It’s one of the few weapons we, and Jonas and Rime have to keep them going.
SO YEAH. Navel-gazing aside, the book is going to be free in just over a week.