Some Initial Thoughts on the Next Book

Yes, you heard right. Having sent The Edge of Mysterion, the sequel to The Nightmare Tree, to the publisher, and having had it accepted for publication (yay!), I am now giving some serious thought to the next book, which I have tentatively entitled Sartish.

Guess who the main character is? Yes, this book will focus on the indomitable and troubled young man who helped Jonah escape the Cyclops in The Nightmare Tree (that, at least, was who Jonah thought he was--he was actually a Djinn in disguise). Sartish appears as a secondary character in The Edge of Mysterion, as a kind of foil for the main character Isabella Couteau. The third book will place Sartish front and centre, focusing on his struggles after the events of The Edge of Mysterion, as well as filling in his back story.

Here are some initial thoughts, in point form.
  • Sartish will be a tragedy of sorts, in which the good character that is Sartish is overcome, at least temporarily, by his greatest flaw: a refusal to believe in his own worth and goodness.
  • The main timeline will focus on Sartish and the New Elder's (aka. Jonah's) quest to liberate Monvieil's Island (Jonah's headquarters) from the occupation of the pirates.
  • The problem is they have no military strength to accomplish the liberation, and the People of the Wind have no ability to fight for themselves once they are liberated.
  • Therefore, Sartish and the New Elder must seek the aid of Sultan of Zanzibar, a large island in the North of Mysterion. The Sultan has an army that is alone strong enough to defeat the pirates.
  • To get to Zanzibar, they must enlist the aid of the Lone Arabian Sailor who died many years before. They must raise his soul from the City of the Dead and following him to Zanzibar, where he will vouch for them to the Sultan.
  • Intertwined with this timeline are accounts of three other periods in Sartish's life.
  • First, there is the story of how the Djinn succeeded in tempting Sartish in the first place.
  • Second, there is the story of Sartish's first life in Mysterion--his apprenticeship to the pirate king, his escape to join the People of Wind, and his return to Lethes.
  • Third, there is the story of the encounter between Sartish and Jonah in Lethes, and Sartish's return to begin a second, redeemed life in Mysterion.
This could quite complicated, but I am hoping that I will be able to keep all the timelines straight and consistent with one another. However, I am excited about the possibilities that this novel holds. In it, I hope to explore the notion of death in Mysterion, as well as looking at the question of goodness and what it means to fall short of the glory for which we were created.


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