Desperation has been out for three days. Years of walking the solitary paths of Ecthelowall and the Isle of Geists and now I get to share them with others! It’s an incredible blessing. One I certainly don’t deserve and requires immeasurable patience and loving kindness from the Lord (I’m a fairly coarse and stubborn brush for Him to use).
The idea for Desperation started from two images that became key scenes for the book back while I was still editing The Gathering Dark. The first was from a free sketch I made of some warriors on a battlefield. The more I drew the clearer it became the battle had gone terribly for the warriors in the picture. I already knew it was the good guys who were on the losing end and that it was in the Quest of Fire world, but when had it happened and why? Well, the answers are now in the first three chapters of Desperation.
Next came the very striking mental image of a young boy and girl standing on the rocky coast of an island. The scene was very grey with heavy fog and both of the children were clearly worse for wear. A dark shape approached through the mist and turned out to be a boat with help onboard. The children were the only survivors on the island of something terrible.
By now you can probably guess Desperation has some darkness to it. I will say that it was pretty close to Shakespearean tragedy on its first drafts, but as I worked on the story and the characters developed more a resonant chord of hopefulness rose up amidst the dark and I think that characterizes the series theme of hope carrying the characters through the darkest hours of their lives.
I’ve shared this before, but here’s a little about the book:
Guarding his nation’s last hope, a teen must escape enemy lands.
While Anargen, Caeserus, and Bertinand are held captive in Stormridge, the war to restore Ecthelowall’s Commonwealth has been waged for months. Their friend Terrillian is on its frontline and hopes are high.
For Barons Fenwrest and Sornfold the fight is too close to their children, whose union represents the only viable challenge to the Monarchists claim to Ecthelowall’s ancient throne. Enter Thomas Fenwrest, an orphan and page to Sir Hurstwell, who is captain of Baron Fenwrest’s guard. The pair must escort the teens to Castle Yerst expecting boredom to be their only danger. Everything quickly spirals out of control when the Monarchists somehow deliver a devastating blow to the Restoration army and Thomas and Sir Hurstwell face the increasingly difficult task of keeping their charges alive. Ancient sorcery and bitter grudges combine to ensnare them. As desperation sets in for the Restoration and Thomas, to where will they turn for hope?
In the free time I had leading up to release I drew some pictures of the main characters. I had to after they all became some of my favorites I’ve ever worked with. So, here are Thomas vs. an Emeralan captain; Mia, Delia, Gregor; and Thelxipeia: