Before we get to that, however, a note about the genre known as Epic Fantasy.
As most of you are familiar with the great examples of the genre, as am I, you might be growing impatient for the great battle between Sheruel and the Spellmonger. That is by design. The purpose of Epic Fantasy isn't to portray an action movie, it's to establish the epic (and episodic) nature of story development. The plots for good Epic Fantasy should not resolve themselves quickly or easily (or Tolkien would have had Frodo and Sam ride the Eagles to Oroduin over the heads of a million orcs in the Fellowship, and ended the story there) and they should be as complex and as sophisticated as real life, in my opinion. One of my goals in writing this series is to explore the long-term, gradual transformation of the young punk Minalan into the sage, wise, and powerful Spellmonger.
This will not be a quick process.
Part of that is because I like long stories that explore all the nooks and crannies of the world. Part of this is because I think it's fascinating to watch a character grow and evolve, subject to the same sorts of issues and problems that most people have. And part of it is because the Kindle format encourages such episodic, long plotted narratives to keep you guys happy and me paying my mortgage.
The downside of this is that you will have to wait a good long while - at least another 10 books, if not more - before the last epic battle. The upside is that by the time we get there, your entire perspective on that battle and the combatants will have changed, if you can hang on that long. And the process of getting there will be, I think you'll find, a fascinating study on the development of Minalan as a character.
Enchanter goes places that few, if any, epic fantasy novels have gone before. We get inside Min's head in a way that we never do with Aragorn or Gandalf or even Harry.
That's not to say that it's overly bloody and exciting, and some of my more action-oriented readers will likely find themselves bored. I understand up front that I'm going to be criticized and even lose a few readers over this.
But I found the exploration worthwhile, and that's the direction I plan on going. If you're looking for an endless body count, you have at least two more books to wait on before we get there. Indeed, much of the major plot points in Enchanter happen to other people off-stage, adding to Min's level of frustration. It may well add to your own. There is a WHOLE lot of world-building in this book; in a way, it's a direct sequel to Magelord. There is war and battle, but that's not the focus.
Beyond the plotting and the psychology, this book was difficult in another way: I had to contrive an entire magical terminology for the process, technical discussion and culture of Enchantment. That might sound like a fairly easy thing, but I don't do things like that lightly. The result of my research efforts will be included with the book, a glossary entitled "Minalan's Thaumaturgic Orismology of Enchantment", more than 12 pages long. There are a LOT of arcane and re-purposed words in this collection, which might lead to some confusion without the glossary. I look forward to seeing how it is received.
In any case, you've been patient long enough. Here's the Blurb. I'll be posting a few more items of interest as we get closer to publication, trying not to get too spoiler-y with it, but y'all deserve to know what's going to be in Book 7 of the Spellmonger Series:
Minalan The Moody
Meanwhile, back at the castle . . . Minalan the Spellmonger faces the boredom of house arrest after being confined to his lands by Prince Tavard for his defiance with the Wilderlands refugees. The Alka Alon have returned to their seclusion, dealing with their own crisis, the Dead God is being quiet within the Umbra, and Min’s plans toward re-establishing a functional Duchy of Alshar are progressing.
Min sees his punishment as a unique opportunity to indulge in thaumaturgical research. When the Sevendor Magic Fair brings a tide of enchanters eager for snowstone, irionite, and opportunity to his door (as well as the newly-formed Arcane Knights of Nablus, the successors of the Censorate in Merwyn), Minalan uses his wealth and position to invite them to stay on in Sevendor over the winter and focus on the developing art of Enchantment.
He forms the first Bouleuterion, a conclave of enchanters dedicated to producing and researching the creation of magical items, since the fall of the Magocracy. Such notable enchanters as Lanse of Bune, Taren, and Masters Andalnam and Cormoran arrive to help Minalan and his staff of experts push the frontiers of magical science as far as he can. Even Lorcus, Tyndal and Rondal help out. His secret mission is, of course, to fathom the complexities of the secret Snowflake of Sevendor, the enigmatic pseudo-molopor created from Minalan’s fevered subconscious . . . but not before they improve the lot of the peasantry by creating a wealth of labor-saving (and potentially socially revolutionary) devices.
But enchanters and former Censors are not the only ones to arrive at the fair: Baron and Baroness Greenflower, Magelords Dunselen and Isily, come to Sevendor as well . . . and the results are explosive. Before they depart Minalan’s entire life is thrown into doubt. Especially when a new divinity appears to make him an offer the Spellmonger just can’t refuse.
As Minalan works through his psychological issues by obsessively focusing on his craft, he must also nimbly maneuver his way around an inevitable war between Sendaria and Sashtalia, protect his vulnerable domains, deftly negotiate his course through the tangle of feudal law and obligation in the Bontal Vales, and contend with his troubled marriage.
His frustration, guilt, and doubt are soon revealed to be authored by a secret plot against him. The return of an old enemy and the revelation of new foes challenges his position as head of the Arcane Orders and puts his entire family in jeopardy. Could it be that Is Minalan’s new eleven-year-old apprentice, Ruderal, the only one capable of seeing through the deceptions in time to save them all even as he struggles with his own guilt about his role in releasing Korbal the undead Demon God from his tomb? Or will their fates lie on the whims of a former lover who has ambitions of her own for Minalan?
It’s hard for the Spellmonger to be forced to stay at home and quietly tend to his own business. But then Minalan never let such things impede his plans before . . . why would he now? With the Snowflake of Sevendor, a mighty cadre of powerful magi, some inspired vassals and the assistance of a few friendly gods, Minalan realizes that the only real way out of his personal and political mess may lie with an ancient intelligence of a long-extinct race . . . and his ability to become a master Enchanter!
BONUS: One of the maps from the book!