All right, for those of you who don’t like “spoilers,” you might want to think twice about reading further.
So my publisher has pushed back the release of All My Holy Mountain, essentially because the cover is behind schedule. This means that those who have been faithfully waiting for it (as well as those who are only casually or marginally interested, I suppose), will have to wait until June now, instead of April (though I do understand there is a chance it could be out sooner if the cover gets finished quicker than expected). In light of this delay, I’ve been thinking about things to post about for those who want “something” to tide them over. Here it is.
I’ve not really been in the business of giving things away about books still on their way, as most fans can attest who’ve asked or emailed me questions about what will happen in later books. It’s been hard, sometimes, to keep silent while people theorized, vented or interrogated, but I’ve tried to preserve the integrity of the story by keeping silent. However, I have with some friends hinted that the end of my series would have a relatively high body count, and so I felt I could share this with the broader reading public as well.
While I love LOTR greatly, it always struck me as a little bit unrealistic (as far as realism applies to fantasy stories) that of the nine who set out on the perilous journey to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring, only the treacherous one fell by the way. While I certainly didn’t want any of the others to die, given what they endured and where their journey took them and how many lives were lost in the war against Sauron, it feels a little too convenient that the rest of the fellowship comes through with only some emotional scars and a missing digit. (Of course, Theoden & others who become major characters do fall, but you get my point.)
So, when I was conceiving my story, I knew that I had to be willing to let some major characters go. I’ve already posted about Joraiem and the reactions to his death, so I won’t get into that here. I’ll simply say that in the last book of the series, seven of the characters that I would call “major” will die. That sounds like a big number, I know, but I should clarify it.
Using Father of Dragons as a reference point, I would say 3 major characters died in that book: Sarneth, Pedraal and Soran. So, from that number we learn a few things…
Sarneth – Major characters don’t have to be human.
Soran – Major characters don’t have to be good or have been around since Beyond the Summerland.
Pedraal – Major might really mean major, as in part of the core of characters that have been around from the beginning – aka, the BOTB equivalent of the “fellowship.”
When you read the book and check my math, you may end up with a different count, as we may not agree on what makes a character major in the end. That’s fine. The point here is not so much to give you a specific number, though I have, as to prepare you that things might get a little rough.