Sometimes, the rule of the land is meant to keep the powerless powerless. All hail the rebels who mean to change that.
~ Raina Bloodgood, The Witch Collector
Politics. Not my favorite topic. I do enjoy reading about politics in world history, as well as the causes of ancient and even more contemporary wars, but I am not one to sit and watch the news. It depresses me, every time. That being said, politics still plays into my fiction. I'm not the best at the governmental aspects of worldbuilding, I admit, probably because of my aversion to stupid people being in positions of power.
But! In The Witch Collector for instance, political tensions are a huge part of the backdrop and drive the external conflict. Since this is book one in a triology, however, and thus act one in the story arc, I narrow my lens and focus mostly on the relationship of the hero and heroine, my rebels.
Book one follows Raina Bloodgood and Alexus Thibault as they navigate the initial story problems that will later propel them from their normal worlds into a world they've either avoided (Alexus) or never seen (Raina). They live on what's called the Northland Break, a small piece of the broken empire of Tiressia, a supercontinent that experienced a tectonic shift millions of years before, and was once under the rule of a succession of human kings, each of whom answered to the gods.
But then the gods came down and took their own rule, one in the Northlands, one in the Eastland Territories, one in the Summerlands, and another in what's known as the Western Drifts. Much of the conflict that developed is of a godly nature, meaning greed, insatiable appetites for all sorts of pleasure, and complete adoration was paramount in their focus. They wanted what they wanted when they wanted it, regardless of the humans, halflings, witches, magi, and sorcerers they had to step on or destroy to sate their desires.
As tensions rose, bad things happened and two of the gods, Asha and Neri, were condemed and buried in the Summerlands. The City of Ruin is where their bones rest, at a place called the Grove of the Gods on Mount Ulra. Another god, Urdin of the Western Drifts, the best of the deities, died battling the Eastland god, Thamaos. Both were also buried at the grove.
Part of the conflict that led to all four gods' destruction was two simple human lovers. The fallout of that romance was not only a catalyst to the gods' demise, but left the Tiressian world with two immortal rulers, a Frost King and a Fire Queen, cast north and south of one another, who would never again be able to survive the other's presence.
In this story, greed and revenge reign, and even gods can rise again, unless a witch and a Witch Collector can become allies and prevent worldwide calamity.
So. Yes, I use politics in my fiction. It won't show as much in book one as the next two books, because the MC has to learn the hidden history of the world she's occupied for twenty-four years and correct the thinking that three centuries of false lore have impressed upon the Northland people. This is a story of a young woman who lives a very sheltered existence and doesn't even realize it. She thinks she understands her world, and that it's the immortal king of the North who's ruining her life. Little does she know at the onset how protected she's been, and that sometimes, the world we don't see is absoutely stunning and beautiful and can open our minds to different cultures, but it can also be a rude awakening. Sometimes, the lives we think are so terrible are nothing in comparison to the trials many people live through day in and day out. My goal is to show that through Raina, to show her understanding of the complexities of Tiressia, and how those complexities affect her as an individual, deepening with every page.
If The Witch Collector sounds like a book you might like to read, I would love it if you added it to your Goodreads. If you'd like to pre-order the e-book, it's available on several platforms now. Print will be available in September!!
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