Wed
Mar 25 2009 12:40pm

Wings of Wrath...in 60 Seconds

Fantasy author C. S. Friedman told Tor.com that her latest novel, Wings of Wrath, is the second volume in her Magister epic fantasy trilogy.

The book follows Kamala, who, hunted by the Magisters for killing one of their own, decides to head north, in search of ancient lore that she can barter for her safety. “There, where a magical barrier called the Wrath of the Gods divides the world in two, imprisoning the demons called Souleaters in the frigid northlands, she takes up company with the Guardian Rhys,” Friedman said in an interview. “He has been on a quest to investigate the recent disruption of the Wrath, and together they will discover the true source of that barrier, and confirm what Colivar and the others have feared: that the Souleaters are returning. The last time the creatures appeared all of human civilization was destroyed, and so mankind is now in a race against time, struggling to gather the knowledge and weaponry necessary to keep history from repeating itself. Meanwhile, in the High Kingdom, the monk Salvator has arrived to claim his father’s throne, inviting enemies, rivals, and potential allies to test his mettle. Among them is the Witch-Queen Siderea, whose secret pact with the enemies of mankind has now given her access to a power to rival that of the Magisters themselves...but at a terrible price.”

Years ago, Friedman wrote the Coldfire Trilogy, a dark fantasy epic that explored the impact of magic on the human psyche. “At the end of that work, the world in which the story took place underwent a transformation, so that the kind of sorcery which had previously been practiced became impossible,” she said. “Now, in order to manipulate the fae (the natural force that fueled magic), a man would have to sacrifice his life. The characters in the book (and many of my fans) assumed that this would mean the end of sorcery, since it had become, well, rather self-defeating. But you see, I have a stubborn faith in the persistence of mankind, and in his superhuman creativity when it comes to finding ways to break the rules. If power is available, men will seek it out, and if the price set by Nature is too high for their taste, then they will seek ways to get around that.”

So, Friedman asked herself several questions about that: “How might that work? What would it do to men and women if they had to transform themselves into something other than human, in order to wield power? What degree of sacrifice would be acceptable? And what would happen if the fate of the world came to rest in the hands of such people, who, by their very nature, valued their own survival above all else?”

After the Magister Trilogy is done, Friedman said she has an idea for a new fantasy series that is so awesome she can hardly wait to start writing it. “It will be anchored in the modern world, and will deal with the true source of some of Earth’s darker legends,” she said. “Watch my web page for announcement.”

1 comment
Richard Fife
1. R.Fife
I adored the Coldfire trilogy, to the point that my adolescent screen name for a while was Gerald Tarrant o_O, so I will eagerly await the next series. I, too, enjoy the exploration of "what would happen if people who did not have magick suddenly did?", although I'd like to see it done (and am currently attempting to do it myself) on a more immediate level, like at zero-hour of the incident.

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