One question I am often asked is how did Steigan get his unicorn.
I’ve always answered that it happened just like the story said it did: Steigan and Martias ran away to “join” the Palin Wars, Martias sprained his ankle, Steigan found Tyana, they got in trouble, they returned home in disgrace. From Steigan’s point of view, that’s exactly how it happened and all perfectly boring.
Okay, I feel that Steigan felt shame over the whole thing and didn’t want to talk about it. That’s exactly the kind of character that he is. Remember me having to go to Annae to get the other 40 cycles of his life that he won’t talk about?
I realized I’d have to approach another character to get this story. Of course, the only other character there other than the unicorn was Martias.
Well, here’s the thing: Martias wasn’t talking about this time either.
I slowly realized that Martias wasn’t talking about it out of shame like Steigan, but rather because he had something to hide.
While I was writing Prince of the Ruined Land, Martias and I got together quite often to have little heart-to-heart chats. In Quest for the Three Books, he always knew more than Steigan and when he caught on that Steigan was discovering the truth, Martias betrayed their friendship. Badly! By the time I got to Prince of the Ruined Land, I knew that Martias had to have spectacular reasons for doing what he was doing.
The problem with Martias is that he loves attention. He wanted me to know his secret. He wanted me to know that while he was grateful for Steigan’s friendship, he also held grudges against it. The way that Martias views Steigan… well, it’s different. Where Steigan wakes up to the revelation that Martias is not who he thinks his friend is, Martias always guarded his emotions to protect himself.
Finally, Martias dared to let me know that his life changed while he and Steigan were in the Palin Mountains. I knew that the only time they had been there together was when Steigan found Tyana, his unicorn.
I realize this isn’t book 5 in the series as many people are waiting for, but I hope this helps to ease the wait somewhat. And, of course, it will give some insights into what is coming.
I hope you enjoy!