More About Sartish

The heart of my next novel is Sartish. I first conceived of him during rewrites of The Nightmare Tree, when I imagined someone who had defected from the pirates and joined the People of the Wind. At the time, this was an intriguing idea--the grain of sand that irritates the creation of a pearl.

The pirates are those whose capacity to dream has been drained from them to feed the Djinn's Nightmare Tree. Once they are "empty," they are sent to nearby islands, where they live out the remainder of their lives in a state of partial humanity.

On a few occasions, however, the pirate king Hodoul comes to the Djinn's island and barters for the life of an individual before they are emptied. His reason for doing so? To find an heir to his throne, someone he can mold in his image. He realizes that such a person must possess some remnants of their humanity, without which they are merely a drone.

Hodoul rescues Isabella Couteau, the heroine of The Edge of Mysterion, in just such a way. Before her, he brought Disagree and Sartish from the unmarked island (the Djinn stronghold) before they were "empty."

Sartish, then, is like a son to Hodoul, and for him to betray the pirate king... Well, let's just say that's its the stuff stories are made of. As to where Sartish came from, how he ended up in the Nightmare Tree and became one of the pirates... More on that next time.


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