So that one book came out and it was 200 and something thousand words, and the next one came out at almost 240 something thousand words, and I thought two volumes, right? Two volumes would do.
When it was time to dust this series off and spiff it up, it was suggested we break it into four parts. I was good with that-- it meant I got more yummy covers, and I am, as you know, a shameless whore for cover art, so that worked out fine, but it also presented a challenge.
That I just sort of skipped right over.
For me, the real challenge was figuring out where to break the books, not how to break them. I figured that if you didn't read the first book, you weren't going to catch up with a few paragraphs easing the way. So Triane's Son Learning picks up right where the other one left off-- and, although it's probably not very accommodating of me, I'm fine with that.
Seriously--when I was editing these books, the one thing that really struck me was that in spite of the length, there was no good place to break the first book. The second book, yes-- that one was easy, and I'll talk about that when it comes out--but the first one? No. Nope nope nope nope nope.
There was no good place to break. It was continuous, like growing up, and I'm sort of proud of that with these books. You not only get the action and the adventure, but you get the growing up too.
Now I'm going to emphasize again that these books are epic fantasy--and that's important. I've already gotten one disappointed and puzzled review because the reviewer was expecting Keeping Promise Rock--or, at the very least, Truth in the Dark. But epic fantasy involves a cast of zillions, and Triane's Son Learning is the second quarter of a fantasy that involves a cast of zillions. The central love story is not the central theme of the book and the people you think you leave behind in book two are going to be the people who save your ass in book four.
This is something I've always loved about epic fantasy. It's got that mimicry of real life in that the world is big and chaotic, and you never know when an old friend will come in and turn your day or chapter upside down.
Anyway-- So it's out. And I'm proud, and, as always, incredibly grateful to Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink for the chance to remake this old accomplishment. I hope you all enjoy it too.
At Dreamspinner Press
When Torrant Shadow fled his homeland of Clough, he hoped to leave its threats behind. He spent four years living with the Moons, making sure Yarri had a home; now it's time for Torrant and his foster brother, Aldam, to leave for the University of Triannon, where Torrant hopes to create a new life enmeshed in healing arts and politics.
Torrant's new school friends Trieste and Aylan want to teach him about love as he settles in, and at first, Trieste's tenderness seems to make her the logical choice for an interim lover, while Torrant waits for Yarri to grow up. But Torrant has learned the hard way that nothing is simple when Clough still wields its influence over their lives. More and more, Torrant must call on the cold predator in himself, the part that Aylan most admires. The truth is, Torrant has certain gifts that give him an advantage of self-defense, but using them to protect the ones he cares for may destroy the part of him Trieste and Yarri love best.
As the four schoolmates progress to life beyond education and the evil from Torrant’s homeland becomes too pernicious to be ignored, Torrant must choose his destiny: Will he be a healer or a hero? Only Triane's Son can be both.
1st Edition published as Bitter Moon I: Triane's Son Ascending by iUniverse, 2008