Good evening, and welcome to the first installment of my King’s Warrior Read Along! For those of you just joining us, we will be reading through my first book, King’s Warrior, together for the month of December. I will be writing a post each day about the chapter we are reading, and will conclude the festivities on December 23rd. Feel free to read along with us. If you don’t have time to read along, please know that you are still welcome to make comments and ask questions! I love hearing from you, dear Reader!
Well, let’s get started, shall we? Gracious sakes alive, it has been a long time since I read this book. Truly, I do not know if I have ever just read this book for fun. As an author, you spend so much time drafting, writing, re-writing, editing and so on and so forth, that it often feels like you never get to just sit down and enjoy the thing you’ve created.
The last time I just enjoyed this story was during that first draft in the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years of college. I would hand-write pages furiously all day, in every spare moment allotted to me, and then I would go home from my job at the local waterpark and spend the afternoon typing those words into my computer, editing them, revising a little, and then printing them out so my Daddy would have the daily 10 pages to read out loud to the entire family after dinner. What a summer!
Of course, since that very first draft, this story has changed and been polished and edited and almost entirely re-written, so I’m pretty sure that I haven’t just sat and read the book in its current form… ever. So I’m very much looking forward to that this month.
Looking briefly at the dedication and acknowledgements, you can see right off the bat that this story, this series, is all about my family. I wrote it for them. I wrote it with them. Getting these books to publication has been a team effort, and without their encouragement, ideas, and support, these books would not exist.
On to the prologue! It’s the very last thing I wrote for this book, actually. The original did not have a prologue until after I had written the epilogue. And to be completely truthful, I wrote the prologue out of spite. I had discovered while I was away at college that my dad often skipped the prologues of books, thinking them unimportant or uninteresting… so I wrote one just so that he would HAVE to read one!
As it was the last thing I wrote, however, it is the one thing that is the least changed of the entire book. What you have in your hands is almost exactly the same as the original draft!
I love both of these scenes. I love how it introduces you to the dragons of this world right off the bat. I wanted my dragons to be mighty, to be powerful, to be fearsome. I did not want tame dragons. But I did want dragons who could be good, if they wanted to. You won’t meet any evil dragons until book 4, but I wanted my dragons to be more like the ones you meet in Dealing with Dragons than the one you meet in The Hobbit. My dragons have a stricter, harsher, more violent culture than that of mankind, of course, but they are capable of great nobility and honor as well. I wanted to show the juxtaposition of these two mighty kings: one man, one dragon, and how they are both strong in their own ways, and how they come to respect one another and understand one another because of their common responsibilities to their respective peoples.
I also wanted to introduce the concept of the Fang Blade in the opening of the book. Where did it come from? What was its history? It plays such an important role throughout the series, I wanted to introduce it straight-away.
This series doesn’t make a big deal about dates, but I do have a very involved time-line that I referred to constantly as I was writing the books. This scene takes place in the year 7184, while the rest of the story takes place in the seventy-eighth century, more than 600 years after the reign of King Llian.
Well, that’s all for today. I am looking forward to tomorrow! If you have any questions about the prologue, please remember to leave them in the comments so I can answer them in later posts!