Hang In There Readers

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,

7 comments:

  1. Sean Fitz

    While I appreciate you reading and responding to your fans commentary, I don’t think you are appreciating our anger. You created a world, it it, for the most part, a medieval world. In those worlds a 17 year old would be considered old, a 17 year old unmarried female would be an old maid. Add to that the experience that Pol has gone through and he has lived a lifetime in his years. So sorry, saying he’s only 17 doesn’t fly with us.

    The secondary issue of he and Shira. I disagree with how you handled that, but that was your choice, but in that choice you made it very clear they had at least 3 years before anything could happen. Given that, your readers already expected a long wait. So again, no dice on your explanation on why things happened.

    Finally, the magical mystery horse Demeron does nothing while his partner gets whacked, a smart, strong and talented magician gets disabled by a schoolyard trick that a 5 year old could have seen coming and then to really piss off your readers you took his memory away. We spent 4 books coming to learn who he is. We spent 4 books experiencing his relationships, the mistakes and the triumphs. In one paragraph you took that all away. He’s no longer Pol. He’s a random dude who lost his memory.

    You could have simply had him learn that his brother (who has become expedient at this point) sold his sister Ammona (sp) to the tribes in Daera. Pol would have been forced to leave Shira as she has to stay for 3 more years and moved to Daera without ruining everything you built.

    My .2c Probably not worth that much to be honest, but perhaps it helps to better understand why your fans are unhappy.

  2. Kent

    I’m afraid i have had enough of the negativity lately. If everyone wants their stories to go/end a certain way; then they can write them. While I can appreciate you trying to appeal to your readers, NOT ALL YOUR FANS ARE UNHAPPY! I enjoy your stories just as you write them. Everything does not have to be to my liking, nor do I expect it. Do these readers still expect their mommies to cut up their meat for them too? I do not have the talent and creativity to write, but I can appreciate and enjoy those, like you; who do. There are so many other things in life that actually deserve our criticisms. You don’t!

    1. Sean Fitz

      Kent, if it makes you feel better to have positive feedback I’m more than happy to give it. I wouldn’t be unhappy with certain things if I didn’t love the books in the first place. I like Mr. Antibes writing and really like Pol as a character. I feel he made mistakes and that has been echoed by a LARGE number of his fans. We are lucky he is one of the writers who truly listens to his fans so we are perhaps more willing to share our disappointments. Don’t mistake criticism for dislike. I confess that I detest a character who we have come to know and love losing his memory. It’s not the first time I’ve seen it, but it completely eliminates all of the persistent relationships established prior to this event. He’s not longer the person we know, his relationships are no longer in existence.

      I’m critical of decisions made, but ultimately it is HIS book and his choices on how to handle things. I was glad when he mellowed Shira as she had turned into a shrew. So he DID listen to his fans and I think his fans were happier for it. Don’t get upset when we express the things we don’t like, I think it helps Mr. Antibes anticipate what his audience is interested in.

  3. Peter Calhoun

    I’ve enjoyed the Disinherited Prince series. I was a little surprised by the ending but it didn’t bother me the way it obviously has other readers. I look forward to Pol’s adventures on Daera. I’m not expecting GREAT LITERATURE here, but rather an entertaining and intriguing YA novel. I especially find the intricacies of the magic system and Pol’s development as a character most rewarding as a reader.

  4. Bill

    Guy,

    I think it’s great you are so connected and concerned with reader opinions, that said, readers read and writers write. I gave some slightly negative feedback previously ‘re: Shira, not because I wanted you to change your intention but because I believed their interactions didn’t read the way you intended, didn’t reflect your true intention.

    This is YOUR world, if marriage isn’t until 20, it isn’t until 20. If you wanted to give Pol some time to grow, mature, make his own choices rather than being on “assignment”, I say good for you. To be candid, Pol with the challenges of independence and the freedom of choice while he matures makes perfect sense to me. Personally, I look forward to his independence, heck, I hate the title “Pet”, it makes him feel subservient, this time might change that. If everything went “according to plan”, you would have a boring, predictable story. Ultimately you have to write the story as you see the characters, not in response to complaints. (Unless the feedback illuminates a POV or insight you hadn’t seen or considered)

    As an example- Do I like the idea of a potential forced relationship or other romantic interest for Shira? Nope, (I absolutely hate the love triangle-female sacrifice, storylines) and perhaps I would stop reading the story if that came to pass, BUT if that’s what you feel is a key element to your story, then you should write it. My point, this is fantasy, if you needed to get your protagonist somewhere and abduction was how, it’s perfectly fine. At least you didn’t kill him and make it a dream or resurrect him.

    1. Bill

      Oh and I would add, no the memory wipe is not “cheating”,you laid a very solid foundation for mind manipulation in the series. Moreover, who cares, again, it’s your story!

  5. Ando

    Dont worry too much Guy, once people read the next book theyll get over this. Just make the next one worth it!

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