Saturday, December 19, 2015

"Warlords and Wastrels"

Julia Knight is married with two children, and lives with the world’s daftest dog that is shamelessly ruled by the writer’s obligatory three cats. She lives in Sussex, UK and when not writing she likes motorbikes, watching wrestling or rugby, killing pixels in MMOs. She is incapable of being serious for more than five minutes in a row.

Knight applied the Page 69 Test to Warlords and Wastrels, the concluding volume of the Duelists trilogy, and reported the following:
Vocho, one of our...I hesitate to say heroes, so protagonist might be better, is lying to an acquaintance about why he needs a magician (who are very rare) by inventing an arranged marriage gone wrong for his sister, Kass. This is a typical Vocho moment. He starts by describing his father:
Extremely old-fashioned, and so was the intended groom as well as just being plain old. So when Kass got betrothed, they tricked her into having a magician put wards on them both, tattoos like you said.’

Dom took an aghast step back, handkerchief to his mouth. ‘May the Clockwork God preserve our gears, how barbaric!’

‘You see why we had to get away? Why we wanted to know about magicians? The chest – sort of a ruse. Kass knew you’d know, because you’re so educated and worldly wise.’ Vocho wondered if he might be laying it on a bit thick, but Dom looked tickled pink. ‘To tell you the real reason seemed imprudent. And of course, if you want me to help press your suit with Kass...’

Really, when it came down to it, Dom was quite decisive. Perhaps the thought of those tattoos – the only magic Vocho was sure about and that because of him – had sharpened his mind.

Dom waved his hand, as though the thought of Vocho's favour in the matter of Kass had never crossed his mind. ‘Even if I didn’t, I thought those wards hadn’t been used in years! Not since the prelate killed all the mages, at least. I’m surprised your father could find a magician to do it. Turning up all over, all of a sudden. What do you need me to do?’

‘Outlawed, yes, but there are still people prepared to use them, and magicians prepared to draw them, if you know where to find them. It’s not far to Ikaras, and a few people might slip past the guards, might go to your old university to find a magician. What I need is a magician to undraw them. Someone we can trust, and someone within the borders if I can, because my father’ll have them watched, you can be sure.’ Vocho wanted to know who this magician was. There wouldn’t be two in Reyes, couldn’t be, but if there was one . . . Dom would perhaps know or could find out without suspicion falling on Vocho. Dom might be a ninny but he was a well connected ninny.
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--Marshal Zeringue