Sunday, June 12, 2011
Why So Much Violence?
Lately I've been running into people within my hometown who have read the first two novels in my epic fantasy series Guardian of the Seventh Realm. Those within their twenties and thirties (and even one seventy year old former marine) have shaken my hand, pleased with my new release Siege of Darkness. But I am also encountering people among a different age group (no pun intended) who are asking: "Why all the violence in your story?" or, "I kept thinking evil was going to win!"
I have to say, I'm happy people are seeing the darkness in this story. I admit it is very dark, a tale of brutality, and even some perverse sections involving the Dark Queen Talvenya. There are many reasons why I had written it like that. First, I didn't wish to write a 'candy-coated' adversary. When I get involved into a tale of good verses evil, I want to feel 'afraid' of the dark—to a certain extant. If I don't feel 'threatened' by the adversary or his minions, I gradually lose interest in the conflict, and soon enough the story. I will mention no names, but there is a certain Urban Fantasy series out there that has an arse-kicking opening book! It is still one of my favorites among the genre. But as the second and third books came out, they all shared one thing in my opinion: 'No Fear of the Adevesary.' I never felt threatened. In just about every battle—if not all of the battles, the good guys would kick butt and always win. From then on I avoided the series.
Second, for me, the violence in my second novel Siege of Darkness is a reflection of how cruel mankind can sometimes be, and even the red in tooth in claw of Mother Nature herself. Sure nature is beautiful; I mean, one of my favorite simple pleasures in life is to gaze at a blue summer sky filled with mammoth-sized white clouds (which still remind me of marshmallow fluff), as a warm breeze blows against you, carrying with it the delightful smells of summer, or the gorgeous lilacs and majestic peonies with their immaculate scents. I swear I could get lost for hours with my face stuffed in a lilac bush or a peonies flower...I just have to watch out for the bumble bees and ants. And let’s not forget those adorable little fawns walking with their mother. They often cross our yard—just the other day there was a doe and her two fawns, the little ones following her lead, strolling down the grassy slope, by-passing the apple trees and wandering into the wilderness. Yes, very beautiful indeed, and yet, what goes on every night within that wilderness when the coyotes awaken is far from beautiful, but that is the way of this world, beautiful at times, but also very dark.
And thirdly, Siege of Darkness is also a reflection of the trials in life that we all face, unless you are one of the blessed ones who have never tasted darkness or even seen it...but that is a rarity. The main protagonist and 'Guardian' of the story, Darshun Luthais, learns the hard way by facing this darkness, brutality and death. For him, it was necessary to experience the evils of the world and suffer before he could truly come to terms with what he was born to be, the Guardian of the Seventh Realm. I can parallel this to my own life as well. I would not be where I am now had I not faced my own demons, trials and hardships, and to a certain extant, conquered them. It is an unfortunate suffering many of us have to go through in life, but a ‘fortunate blessing’ once the tribulation is over. And though I often felt alone, as Darshun felt, there would always be someone there to lift me up with a helping hand, as there always is for Darshun.
And so, as the next three installments in the series come out, I hope many will continue to enjoy the journey I have paved for them, and feel as though you are traveling alongside Darshun and our other heroes as part of the quest. And maybe, just maybe, when Darshun gets out of line, give him a good kick in the arse. It will do him well, the cocky Nasharin that he is! :D