the Obsidian Key
Book Two of the Legend of Asahiel
“This is the book I really wanted to write. And it shows.
That’s not to say I’m ashamed of its predecessor. Looking back, I feel The Crimson Sword did a capable job fulfilling its role as act one of this series. While at first glance derivative in many ways, that was quite intentional, so as to establish certain reader expectations for the story to come. In order to deconstruct a myth, you’ve first got to make it clear which myth you’re toying with. The Crimson Sword did that, and hopefully led readers to make certain assumptions about what comes next.
With The Obsidian Key, however, all bets are off. Granted, there are only so many ways in which a story can surprise, but if readers’ jaws don’t drop once or twice by the end of this one, then I’ve not done my job. The story is less derivative, the characters less formulaic, and the ending less predictable. And yet, the clues are all there. I’ve been told that the story is even better the second time through, when many of the hidden/double meanings become clear. That, to me, is a tremendous compliment, and satisfying to hear. Because it’s not always easy to say two completely different things at the same time and have either make sense.
Of course, I certainly don’t expect anyone to slog through this story twice. Once should suffice. Even without all of the subtleties, I feel there’s plenty in here to entertain. That’s not to say I expect everyone to like it. It is, after all, the second act of an Aristotelian trilogy, meaning that the tone is somewhat darker, and that some of the major threads are told only halfway through. But for those, say, who feel that The Empire Strikes Back was the best of the Star Wars films, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
What will almost certainly disappoint is the lack of a certain character from the first book, whose absence is keenly felt by the characters in the story. But there are plenty of new characters to help take up the slack—or so I hope. In either case, I promise to do my best to wrap things up in a grand, satisfying manner with the conclusion of the trilogy in Book 3—The Divine Talisman.”