We’re getting close to book two of the Inheritance Trilogy, and I thought it might be nice to post about what’s happened between the two books and give a sense of where I develop to.
Book one was left in a tense place. What happened to the Empress? To those who survived book one? And, also, what happened to the relationship between Sonly and Kare – the impact of Sonly’s actions at the end of book one is a big focus of book two.
Book two takes place a full ten years on from Abendau’s Heir, and that was very deliberate on my part. I strongly felt that what had happened in book one could not have a quick fix – every bit of research into trauma indicates that, whilst the effects differ from each person, rarely do we deal with such events as Kare faced easily. I wanted to give all the characters time to mature and reflect.
It is a more mature work, not just because, as a writer, I was a little more practiced but because the characters are more mature – something Teresa Edgerton’s edit further enhanced.
So, what’s in it? Well, relationships are – look away all those who like their characters fast and not too deep. Not just relationships with partners, although those are there, but between generations, in friendships, and those that are fractured. As in life, none are entirely straightforward and all are murky.
But it’s also a fast-paced SF story with a military backdrop. Timelines were hard in this book. I had to draw up a Gantt chart and refer to it often – different characters had to be in different places, maintaining storylines of their own, and each of these had to dovetail at the end, with all the characters back where they needed to be.
As well as the existing characters, I have two new teenage point of views. I enjoy writing Young Adults, so it was fun to add those. One in particular is very conflicted and faces a hard journey in the book – and I hope you’ll come to like him as you go through.
I also introduce my Space Roamers. They’re mentioned in book one, but the culture is not revealed. Here, we get to know them and, I hope, the culture presented is an interesting one. The inspiration for their very distinctive ships came from my love of barge boating – something I don’t often get the chance to indulge. I took the traditional canal paintwork of Roses and Castles and updated them for a Space race, this time using Planets and Stars. It was a lot of fun, building that culture although, in truth, they’ve been around in early drafts (in fact, my first ever public critique thread was a Space Roamer scene.)
And then, of course, there is the Empress. What happened to her is probably the thing I’ve been asked most often since book one came out. If you bear with me, I’ll answer that, and put up the prologue very, very soon.