Shadow’s Voice takes place in the county of Rhivony. A land of castles and kings, with horses and a little magic. Picture a land untouched by industrialization with lush forests. Rhivony is a country that has forgotten much of its own history. A running theme through the trilogy will be knowing your history; whether it be your own personal history, in the case of the main character Rose who doesn’t know the history of her magic, or the county forgetting who it used to be.
Once there were magical clans all throughout Rhivony. People who could control fire, the earth, wind or water. People who could read minds, fly, or even in Rose’s case, walk through shadows. Years of Civil War between the magic clans and the following hatred and fear caused the people of Rhivony to turn against those with magic. They were cast out, hunted. Killed. Their past was buried and forgotten, lest they remember the war that killed so many. Generations go by. Eventually, magic is nothing more than a rare anomaly. A stubborn piece of history that won’t die. There are no more clans. No wisence common throughout the land. It is all but forgotten. Rose struggles with her magic more than others. She can walk through shadows, become the darkness. She doesn’t understand it. Doesn’t want it.
Rose was fun for me to write. A lot of the inspiration for Rose is me. I based a lot of her on my own personality traits. The traits I wish I didn’t have are in Rose. I did this because I was tired of reading so many characters in books that didn’t seem to have any major character flaws. In real life, people do. They have a lot of flaws. They make really bad decisions. So, I put of a lot of the things I don’t like about my own personality into Rose. I wanted to make her real. I gave her my sarcasm. I also put traits of people I admire in her. I put a strength of will in her that I wish I had; that I hope I can achieve one day.
Rhivony is a complicated land. There are rocky mountains to the north, a cold harsh area. The mountains form a near impassable barrier to the country to their north. The plains take up the middle of the country with swamp lands to the south. The east and western boarders are ocean. So much more than that though, Rhivony is a mystery. How can it not be, when the magical people who used to live there are gone and forgotten?
The country of Rhivony is just starting to unfold in Shadow’s Voice. It’s so hard to bring you a full country in one book. Much more of the history is fleshed out in the coming sequel, so I don’t want to spoil too much. History plays a large part of the trilogy. The running theme that history repeats itself if you’re ignorant to it.
With the dagger in her bodice, she slipped into the hallway, peering through the shadows in each room as she passed it. It was an easy enough trick, looking through the shadows as though they were nothing more than windows.
She found him back in his room, bent over at the short table in the corner. The soft glow from an oil lamp distorted any more details. Rose looked up and down the hallway, saw no one else, and stepped into the shadow casted by the still lit candles. She fell into the darkness, became part of it, and was in Gavin’s room. She didn’t know how it worked, where the magic came from, or why she could use it when no one else apparently could.
When she’d still attended the lectures at the small schoolhouse in town, before her father made her work, she was told there were different planes of the world. The gods lived in one, the world in another. Rose often wondered if the shadows were another plane, and that was what she was touching.
It scared her back then. It scared her still. Maybe if she wasn’t afraid of it, she’d know what she could truly do with it. Rose had never pressed herself with her magic. Never challenged herself.
She drew her small knife as she moved closer. She paused in the shadows, the cool mist that always seem to be present ghosting over her skin. This would be difficult. His back was straight and rigid. Even through the loose sleeves of his shirt, long lines of muscle were visible. She had one shot, one try for this to be easy and finished. Good thing I’ve had practice. Rose moved closer in the light shadow.
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