Hi everyone, and welcome to my blog post for the month of March!
Once more, I want to reiterate, how humbled and appreciative I am by the initial response to my debut novel, A Drowned Kingdom. To reach the top position on the best-selling lists of my Indie Publisher, FriesenPress, for the first two weeks following the February 02, 2021, release day, was spectacular, and a proud achievement for me! All the positive reviews, and kudos I have received, have meant the world, to know that people are enjoying the book. I would like to say thank you to all those who spent their hard-earned money, and valuable time, to buy and read my novel.
If anyone missed the announcement, I am pleased to report that A Drowned Kingdom will soon be released in audiobook form, through FriesenPress! I will keep everyone apprised of release details!
A Drowned Kingdom continues to garner positive feedback, and I am hoping that those who enjoyed the book, are eager to read the next chapter in Lord Othrun's journey, entitled The Last of the Atalanteans, Book Two in The Drowned Kingdom Saga. The Last of the Atalanteans will be released in the coming weeks, and I can't wait to share this new installment in the saga with the world!
I discussed in a previous blog post, one year ago, in March of 2021, that there has been much speculation and fascination expressed from readers about Lord Othrun, the main character of A Drowned Kingdom, and The Drowned Kingdom Saga. Yet, save Othrun himself, no other character in my book has incited as many questions to me from readers, and generated so much interest, as evidenced through inquiries via the P.L. Stuart website than Lysi, the mage, and Crown Princess of Nyrimia.
No question, I also find Lysi to be a very interesting character! I am very much a planner, in terms of who I write, and I rarely stray from intended plot lines and roles that characters I have created will play in my books. The one exception that stands out for me, was Lysi. I created her to be more of a minor character, but as my writing progressed, she simply demanded more and more agency, very much like the person who inspired her!
I wrote Lysi, based on a partial composite of my step-daughter, Laura, particularly in terms of Lysi's more positive qualities. Laura's intelligence, brilliant wit, tenacity, sense of fairness, and more are all aspects that I put into the formation of the Princess of Nyrimia. But it is Lysi as a morally grey character in the series, that seems to intrigue readers, and I can certainly see why! People are frequently drawn to morally grey characters, as we tend to see our own ambiguities in such characters.
Lysi's driving need, and ambition appears to be power. Like Othrun she wants to rule more than just her own kingdom in Acremia. She wants to have dominion over - at a minimum - the northern part of Eltnia. This region includes the major Kingdoms of Lynchun and Carthlughe, who happen to be the realms of Othrun's overlords, though these overlords don't acknowledge Lysi's sovereignty over them. This northern part of Eltnia, is actually known as Middle Eltnia, a holdover title from ancient times. The ruler of Middle Eltnia was known as a High King or High Queen.
Lysi very much considers her father, Ina, the High King of Middle Eltnia, and herself the heir to that title. Lysi seems to be somewhat unscrupulous, at times, in what she will do to ensure she secures High Queenship. Like Othrun, for Lysi, the end seems to justify the means, no matter how distasteful the means might be.
While Lysi is not without her own moral code, she seems to be willing to stop at almost nothing to achieve her goals of bringing other rulers under her heel. She is willing to ally with the Sanaavians - the rapacious warriors who live in the northernmost areas of the continent - to get what she wants, despite the Sanaavians being the major existential threat to all Eltnia.
Lysi, as a powerful mage, and one who seems to have the gift of prescience and reading the past (the "sixth sense" according to the Eltnish), obviously carries a lot of information in her head. She guards this information vigorously.
No doubt, Lysi is secretive, and what secrets she is harbouring could potentially greatly impact the events in The Drowned Kingdom Saga.
Lysi is also very intelligent, and a highly effective debater. In saying that, she seems to be very manipulative at times, using her powers, hoarding information when necessary, releasing that information (or parts of it) as it suits her purposes, and keeping her opponents off balance. These opponents include Othrun, who is constantly frustrated by Lysi's constant success with being able to stymie him and maneuver him into a corner.
Othrun tends to believe that he's the smartest person in the room, but Lysi frequently shows him that's far from the case, if she shares that room with him. Their banter is always lively, and neither one will back down in a disagreement, with Lysi usually getting the better of Othrun, often leaving him stunned, confused, and insecure about his own knowledge, which he may have previously thought to be sound.
Still, Lysi, for all her competence, fierceness, and seeming ruthlessness, is remarkably vulnerable when it comes to Othrun. She is obviously deeply and genuinely in love with him, this love for him is perhaps her greatest exposure. Othrun, despite his love for his own wife, and efforts to be faithful to Princess Aliaz, is definitely tempted by Lysi, and fights against feelings for her. Will Lysi's love for Othrun become her undoing, or Othrun's?
While I can't give that outcome away, what I can say is that rest assured, Lysi will play a definitive role in Othrun's life, and the significant occurrences that shape The Drowned Kingdom Saga, and beyond.
Please feel free to comment on this and future blogs and I will be sure to get back to you. Chat soon!
P.L. Stuart's Blog
I am a Canadian high fantasy author. My debut novel, A Drowned Kingdom - first in The Drowned Kingdom Saga, is now available! Book 2 in The Drowned Kingdom Saga, The Last of the Atalanteans, is now available here!