It really feels like we’re getting into the home stretch on this book! I hope that you are enjoying the story and the characters. But don’t get too comfortable yet, there’s still some adventure to be had before we reach the final chapter…
Arnaud’s first day as king…
The previous day has taken its toll on Arnaud, and we see him truly wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Possibly for the first time in his life… actually. In the first draft of this story, Arnaud’s temper tantrum went mostly unaddressed. But my first editor mentioned that it was so out of character for Arnaud, that I (and the other characters) really shouldn’t let him get away with it. This is why good editors are worth their weight in gold – and the really good ones tell you when something needs to be changed! I do believe the scene is much stronger for Scelwhyn and Brant’s remonstrations of Arnaud’s behavior, as well as his immediate repentance… because Arnaud knows better, and just because he woke up in a bad mood and angry at the world is no excuse for treating people badly. Especially people who are just trying to help him.
Once he gets past his morning tantrum, Arnaud makes a quick about-face and turns all his energy to learning what the country requires of him. Getting lost on the way to breakfast is not an experience he wishes to repeat, and he also asks Brant to teach him how to use a sword. This surprises Brant, but again we see that Arnaud is a pretty sharp cookie, and while he may not demand answers, not much slips past him unnoticed.
This longer section allows you a glimpse into Arnaud’s first days in the palace, and Brant’s role at his side.
Calyssia is leaving
The oldest daughter of Scelwhyn has a duty she has been shirking. Hopefully you’ve gotten a pretty good handle on her more recent back story. The more I return to this world, the more I realize how many more stories there could be. Someday, I think I’ll have to release an anthology of short stories that go hand-in-hand with this series, because even with all the history I crammed into this book, I still had to leave so much out.
On the road again
Moving along, we find that some time has passed and Brant and Arnaud are on their tour of the kingdom. Arnaud is congratulating himself for buying himself a bit of a respite from having to take on the full responsibility of ruling a kingdom… but before he can really even begin his “last” adventure, disaster strikes!
1. Are you a morning person or a night-owl?
2. Have you ever said sharp words to someone that you didn’t really mean and that they didn’t really deserve, they just happened to be there in the moment of your frustration?
3. What do you think of the potential romance between Arnaud and Zara? Do you ship them yet, or do you need to see them together more? Do you think theirs is a relationship that could work or is it doomed to failure before it begins due to their very different backgrounds?
4. Do you think Arnaud is going to be all right?