“Maybe I’m projecting, but the Raka names seem very Indonesian to my eye…”
Tammy: This would be because that’s where I stole most of the raka names, fashions, language, etc., from. 😉
Tammy: I always referred to the picture I used to based Mequen on as A Man of Probity, and that’s who he always was to me. Men of probity can do well in peacetime and in a stand-up fight, but in a dirty one? It’s so much harder, particularly when the enemy wears the face of a friend. Julius Caesar wasn’t even a man of probity, and he never saw the Ides of March coming.
Tammy: Mequen’s death is strictly “shit happens,” as was Lokeij’s (a blow to that circle of the revolution). I would have happily kept both alive if the impetus of the story hadn’t demanded it. (My editor, Mallory Loehr, and my writing buddy, Bruce Coville, have both mentioned the issue that in my books people will die, and Mallory preens herself for showing me a story arc in which Sarai lives.)
Bronau, like Tom Seymour, is out of control at this point with frustration and greed for power, and he knows Rubinyan is hard on his tail, with prison keys, if not the executioner’s axe, in hand. The only way he can survive is to get his hands on Sarai.
And this is the point where the mortal events do tumble forward, out of any god’s control. It’s taken decades for things to build to this. Now the explosive reaction needs only the Balitangs to return to Rajmuat to begin. After that, Kyprioth will control elements — I had to do some fast talking with Bruce, on whom I based Kyprioth, when the god decided to intercede and take care of the boys, because Bruce, a kids’ writer, loves kids — but he has no more control over the greater picture than Aly at that point.