As some of you may know, I’ve been traveling in Europe this month gathering a plethora of research for book three. Much of the third installment of A Pattern of Shadow & Light is set in the Empire of Agasan – specifically in the Sacred City of Faroqhar – which in turn is based on Italy. So my time abroad has been well spent, even if it hasn’t seen new words written to move the story along.
I’ve been getting a lot of mail recently from fans wanting to know when book three will be ready—and rightly so. I want you all clamoring for more. However, since I am ultimately benevolent towards my readers, and since book three is still a ways from hitting the shelves (even the cyber ones), I thought I would give you some fodder for thought on where the story is heading. A few little nuggets to chew on to satisfy your craving, even if it only just takes the edge off your hunger.
[SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read Book 2, The Dagger of Adendigaeth, stop here and go immediately to download it. I don’t want you left behind.]
[SECOND ALERT: What I say now, below, could still change. I think it’s fairly set or I wouldn’t be sharing it with you, but I reserve the right to reshape the story.]
Okay, now that that’s all covered, let’s look at a few threads we’ll pick up early in book three:
Tanis and Phaedor – when we left these intrepid explorers at the end of Dagger, they were gazing out over a lush valley and a sliver of ocean beyond, a place the zanthyr had just named home.
In book three, Tanis will head into that valley with Phaedor, where he’ll learn more about his mother and father, more about his own unique nature, and ultimately head to the Sacred City of Faroqhar as he continues on his path. He will also face another Malorin’athgul (cue scary music riff).
Franco and Carian – we last saw these Nodefinders in T’khendar. Franco has been training under Dagmar, and Carian was making new friends with the Sundragons as he learned T’khendar’s secrets.
In book three, these two will team up at Björn’s behest to stand against Niko van Amstel as he seeks the Vestal appointment and ousts Dagmar as the realm’s Second Vestal. Niko has plans that will rattle the firmament of the second strand. Unless Franco and Carian can find a way to stop him, he could further push the realm out of Balance to disastrous consequence.
But more troubling to Björn than Niko’s plans alone are the faceless men who stand behind him. Björn needs Franco and Carian to unmask the masterminds using Niko as their pawn, and our two favorite Nodefinders will be wading through a morass of unscrupulous characters in this search (and cursing the entire way).
What about Gwynnleth, you may ask? Currently she’s staying in T’khendar, and I’ll have to keep the why of that a secret for now.
Queen Errodan – When we left the Queen of Dannym at the end of Cephrael’s Hand, she stood upon the quay watching King Gydryn’s ship vanishing into the dawn.
Ean’s queen mother has already shown herself strong-willed and steadfast – she stood apart from her king for five years to protect Ean, never mind the strain it placed upon her heart. With the king and his generals now gone from Calgaryn, Errodan stands alone to meet the Duke of Morwyk as he makes his play for the Eagle Throne.
She’s a powerful woman in her own right, but in Lord Stefan val Tryst, Errodan will face unimaginable trials to both her integrity and her honor.
We’ll also meet some new characters in book three: the Empress of Agasan and her Consort, the High Lord Marius di L'Arlesé, as well as their daughter the Empress's heir.
We’ll spend some time in the head of the young Agasi Nodefinder Felix di Sarcova as he maneuvers the halls (and forbidden nodes) of the Sormitáge seeking answers to the mystery of his best friend Malin’s disappearance.
And we’ll pick up a new viewpoint character in an old friend whose thoughts have, until this point, been a mystery to us.
I hope these threads (which are all in progress) reassure you that in fact I am working on book three and not just resting on my laurels basking in your adoration. Although that would be nice, too.
And if, dear readers, you raise a loud enough clamor, I’ll even consider posting the first chapter of book three on this blog.
It picks up with Tanis, by the way.