After having been beat up by reviewers for The Emperor’s Pet for the ending, I thought I might give you a bit bigger picture on why Pol gets bludgeoned at the end of this book.
Why did I do such a thing? At the end of The Emperor’s Pet, Pol is extremely powerful as a magician. There is no prison or cell that can hold him with his capabilities. Why is this important? Pol is only going on seventeen years old. He has, generally, had a minder or mentor with him. He can’t get married. He is too young to fit into the Deftnis Monastery system. He is still too young to rule. How do I get Pol to grow as an individual and do more on his own? He needs to be removed as he gets older. He needs some seasoning.
Daera is a continent that Pol has never visited. He doesn’t know much about it and neither do the readers. So I wanted to get Pol on Daera. With the pot stirring in Tishiko, he wouldn’t leave Shira on his own, so he has to go involuntarily. He’s not one to run after he finds out people want to kill him, but when his friends are ‘kidnapped’ and the Scorpions tell him everyone is after him, Pol agrees to a strategic retreat.
So far so good. The Scorpions say that they rescued Pol’s friends. And he is taken to the safe house and sees Fadden and Paki on the floor. He checks to make sure they are all right. He has his mind shielded, but not his skull. So the seventeen-year-old, having evidence that the Scorpions just helped him, trusts that they are working in his interests. He leans over and…Wham!
There were some reviewers that said I cheated. They don’t like cliffhangers and they’ve seen the memory wipe thing done over and over. There is nothing new under the sun. I needed to solve a problem and that was the way I chose to do it. Did I cheat? I don’t think so. How else can I get Pol to grow?
The Scorpions don’t want Pol to come back and stir things up again, so they, rightly or wrongly (wrongly! shouts some of my readers) block his memories. So Pol is stuck on Daera. He isn’t mindless, but he will need to struggle to figure out who he is and what he can do.
Book Six – The Misplaced Prince will have Pol’s ‘seasoning’ time while he gets a few years on him and it will also feature Shira in parallel in her own struggles for personal independence. I will say that Pol’s personality helps him to succeed, but his life is not a bed of roses. I will also say that readers will be ready and waiting for the better integrated Pol to return and I won’t disappoint them. He is the main character, after all. Shira will get growth in as well, so be patient. Good things are headed their way,