SEVEN PRINCES: It’s About Blood John R. Fultz December 19, 2011

The cover of the first fantasy novel
Seven Princes – released January 2012

So what is your book about?

Is there a more difficult question for an author to answer? I know I’m struggling with this one. After spending so much time (often years) crafting a novel, living inside the souls of your characters, constructing the complex world they inhabit, overseeing the evolution of a made-up story, and recounting the fictional exploits of your literary “children”, it’s hard to sum up all the diverse threads of a novel in a single statement.

Yet the market demands a “hook” or “premise” on which any novel can hang its metaphorical hat. After all, if readers don’t know what to expect, why should they even buy the book? Blind faith? Barely. Word of mouth? Well, that’s the best publicity you can get. . . but consider the irony. If you, as the author, cannot find a satisfactory answer to “What is your book about? » then your early readers and critics will do it FOR YOU. They’ll sum up, encapsulate, and shorten your massive undertaking from artistic purity to a soundbite-worthy description (or at least a Facebook update). So the authors would be better off finding their own answer to this big question, rather than leaving it to someone else.

All of this begs the question: “What is SEVEN PRINCES about?”

If you look at the cover text, SEVEN PRINCES talks about war. “A time of legends. An age of heroes. An age of war. It’s a great slogan. It’s engaging, evocative and it rings with a mythic resonance. Ready for more irony?

Here’s the thing: I never thought of this book as a “war novel” when I was writing it. Yet the war itself is certainly one of the themes that drives the characters and the plot. Some characters want to prevent war—they know about the red tragedy and the needless slaughter it brings—while others actively seek war to prove themselves, to avenge wrongs, or simply as a way to seize power. So the concept of war itself is definitely buried in there. There is even a conversation at one point between two characters who argue over the essential nature of Man as a warrior being. Is Humanity capable of living for a long time in peace, true peace? This is a question that is also at the heart of SEVEN PRINCES. So yeah, it’s about the war. But it is also much more. . .

SEVEN PRINCES is about family. It’s about sons (and daughters) living in the giant shadow of their fathers. It is about generational differences, about the human will to change the world according to our tastes, our desires and our terrible pride. It is people . . . mostly members of various royal families involved in a conflict that goes back further than known history.

SEVEN PRINCES is about sacrifice. It is also about Wisdom, and the journey from youth to adulthood. It’s about the timeless depths of infinity and the walls of containment humanity builds around itself to avoid looking directly at the shape of eternity. They are hidden forces that move behind the veils of the known world and drive the currents of history, spinning the tapestry of civilization according to cosmic ideals, theoretical imperatives, or perverse perversions. It’s about POWER. It’s about the wild fires of Love that burn us more than flames, and the murderous frost of Hate that chills our beating hearts and shatters our souls.

SEVEN PRINCES is about intriguing characters caught in dire circumstances. The fact that most of them are members of royal families makes them no less human, no less relatable, no less interesting than ordinary people. In fact, it makes them MORE interesting. In most fantasy worlds, ordinary people are far too busy herding goats, building roads, tending crops, and earning a living in general to explore the great emotions, conflicts, and adventures that make up epic storytelling. And besides, who among us has not wished to be part of the glorious elite at least once in his life? The closest most of us get to being a prince or princess is when we visit grandma’s house and she spoils us rotten. So this book can also talk about the burdens carried by royalty. . . but it’s more about the burden of just being Human.

SEVEN PRINCES is about the clash of sword and shield, the fury of unleashed sorceries, the unyielding passions of light and dark that lead us to our destinies. It’s about loyalty, friendship, jealousy, rage, revenge, death and the overwhelming power of some blood. (The literal and hereditary types.)

This description of the novel may not work very well as a sound byte, and it’s definitely too long for a Tweet or status update. But the stories are too complex to be completely reduced to a single line or two. So let this article serve as a brief but comprehensive answer to the most common question I’ve been asked about The First Book of the Shaper.

I can already hear the following question resonating with me somewhere in the near future: “So what is the next book about? »

I will tell you later.


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