Winter has finally arrived!
It’s tempting to just end the announcement right there and tell you to just go read the book.
But a launch day for a book only ever comes once. And so I’d like to offer just a few brief thoughts about why I wrote this book, what it means to me, and in general offer a little “behind the scenes” look at how this book came to be.
The storm begins
Many readers have mentioned, and rightfully so, that the first book, Truesilver, starts out a little slow. That was intentional. I wanted people to get to really know Kion well. I wanted them to identify with his day-to-day struggles and see how rough things could get. I thought that would make it all the more satisfying when he (spoiler if you haven’t read the book) finally triumphs in the end.
With Rimewinter I wanted to hit the ground running. The foundations were laid in book 1. Now it was time to get to the meat of the tale. What was he given this glaive for? What will he do to stop the war and drive the haukmarn out of his lands? In short, what is the purpose of a swordspeaker?
Kion does not get everything right as he works to answer these questions. In fact, he fails several times in this book. The biggest thing he has to overcome is just choosing the right path. He often feels strongly that one way is right, but at times that conflicts with the wisdom of his glaive.
If I could sum up Kion’s journey in this book in one line it would be this one, taken from an early chapter in the book:
Some choices bring sorrow on either side.
A family affair
But it’s not all about Kion this time around. As anyone who has read my books knows, family plays an important role in my stories.
To that end, I wanted Tiryn to have a more prominent role in this story. She has a minor role in the first book and some readers seemed to think of her as more of an after thought. Again, book 1 was really meant to be Kion’s story, but the chapters with Tiryn were meant to be a taste of things to come.
And so Tiryn is thrown into the fire in this story right alongside her brother. Her battles may not be fought with swords and armor but she shows strength and heroism in her own way. And she also gets to sing several lovely songs. One of them is in my favorite scene in the book. I’ll let you discover that on your own, though!
Written in a flurry
Rimewinter was written at a furious pace. The original draft was 100K words and written in 3 months. And then, well, it kind of got snowed under, to use a wintry metaphor.
The story went through draft after draft after draft. The ending got re-written. A pivotal scene in the climax got expanded and another part was cut altogether. One of the battles changed significantly, becoming much more epic I’m happy to say. And in general, scenes which were more rough in the original got polished and expanded.
Throughout all this process, the book somehow grew by 47K words. Almost 50% more than the original draft. Normally I like to cut and streamline things, but this story just needed more and more depth and detail.
But despite the increased length—it’s over 100 pages longer than Truesilver—this story feels much faster to me. Not every chapter runs at breakneck speed, but things never stay quiet for long. And the danger meter definitely gets cranked up to the rafters in several scenes.
A winter wonderland awaits
This story will take you across a much greater span of Warding. There are more foes for the heroes to face and more of the history of the world is uncovered.
There are more songs and poems. More silliness from Zinder—and hats, of course, lots of hats! More peril, more laughter, more tears. In short, this is a grand old tale that will last you a good long while. It’s the most epic thing I’ve ever written.
And it’s waiting for you to read. Today. So what are you waiting for, go get your copy and start your wintry journey right now!