Farewell to Kirthanin

I almost called this post “A Whole New World,” but suddenly the sights and sounds of Aladdin rose up before me and convinced me this wasn’t the way to go. Of course, by telling you this, I’ve just evoked those same sights and sounds, but so be it. Once I’d realized the connection, I just couldn’t use that title.

Not that I don’t like Aladdin – I love Aladdin actually – it was one of those rare movies where I actually laughed out loud at the theater. The first scene with the genie in the cave is pure comic genius. Robin Williams is brilliant there. It’s just that this post may, for some of you, carry a feeling of bittersweetness that doesn’t fit the upbeat, happy associations of Disney in general and that movie in particular. But alas, I continue to digress…

I was asked by someone the other day if my new series would be set in a world that was similar to that of The Binding of the Blade. It wasn’t a new question, as that same question or ones like it have been fairly common from various friends and fans over the years when they find out I’m working on a new series. In fact, more than one person has been even more pointed than that, wanting to know if the new series was set in the same world.

The answer to both questions is, I must say, no. Not only is the world of The Darker Road and The Wandering not the same as the world of The Binding of the Blade, but it isn’t even similar. Not really.

That is to say, it’s time to bid farewell to Kirthanin. That’s strange for me to write, and perhaps strange for you to read, but perhaps it is necessary. For me, it isn’t really a sad thing to say. I spent the better part of seven or eight years ‘in’ Kirthanin – conceiving it, developing it, writing about it, etc. So, even before All My Holy Mountain was published, I had moved on to other ideas and stories. It was simply time.

And yet, for many who read the series, and for whom the books were a good experience, Kirthanin is a place that they enjoyed visiting and some of them have, I think, harbored hopes that they might get to go back. And, since I’ve not published something else in the intervening years, there’s been no concrete, tangible evidence that they wouldn’t.

Now, I’m not saying I might not someday revisit Kirthanin, I just don’t have plans to at the moment. I loved Kirthanin and the people and adventures I found there – and I hope you did too – but its time for me, at least, to bid Kirthanin farewell. My story-telling heart just lies elsewhere.

Fortunately, you can always go back and visit, any time you like. That’s one of the great things about books. Though the world around us changes, and though we change, they don’t. They remain. So while we bid farewell to Kirthanin in The Wandering and enter into a very different kind of world, it doesn’t have to be a permanent good-bye.

Anyway, enough of looking back. Next time let’s look forward, as I’ll begin to tell you a bit about the new world you’ll encounter when you are at last able to pick up The Darker Road and hold it in your hand…