In the twenty-fifth and final chapter of Battle Magic, the road is clear ahead of us. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to finish Emelan.
Three and a half years. I remember starting the Tortall books convinced that I’d just cover those and move on. It wasn’t long before I agree to do the Circle of Magic books, too, but even then? I couldn’t conceptualize the journey. I still can’t. Tamora Pierce’s books have been such a constant part of my life that it’s hard to imagine Mark Reads without them (or the Discworld books, but that’s another topic altogether). I started reading them just before Mark Reads ballooned in popularity. At the end of winter just after I began Alanna, I went on my longest tour. (At the time, I should say.) I was nominated for a Hugo that year, too, went to my first WorldCon, and then started getting invited to conventions as a professional. I began the first draft of my novel in October of 2013, after having spent six months doing haphazard research for it. The second draft is now done. I wrote a book in the interim. I traveled the world, I moved four times, I relocated to Los Angeles, a relationship ended, another one started, and now… good lord.
This is finally over. Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy are going home, and I’m finished.
Even though this story is chronologically first, it’s kind of a fitting end for me. I can have my final book of this project be the one where I know what happens next. I know that Briar will go off with his foster-sisters and everything will be painfully awkward but THEN IT GETS BETTER AND I LOVE THEM ALL SO MUCH. I know that Luvo, Evvy, and Rosethorn will head to the Battle Islands and Evvy will continue growing and changing. That’s comforting, and I appreciate that I get to feel comforted by the end of this series.
I think it’s been pretty clear that I’ve preferred the Circle of Magic books over the Tortall ones, WHICH IS NOT AN INSULT TO THAT SERIES AT ALL. I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE READING THOSE, TOO. But these characters – especially Briar and Daja – imprinted on me more than possibly anyone in the Tortall books, and I felt a personal connection to these stories. I know that’s why I was so sad about having no more Emelan books to read. I want a thousand more. I want a book about Daja as an adult! I WANT TO LIVE IN EMELAN, okay I just want ambient magic. I think I’m fine living here in the present time.
Anyway, this is a very surreal thing for me. I’m excited to start the journey of a new series on this site, and our Q&A Party this Friday morning (STARTING AT 8AM PACIFIC, NOT AT 5AM, so that I can actually be awake as it’s happening) is going to be a blast. But this is still a bittersweet moment. I cannot thank the thousands upon thousands of you who have been commenting all the time, sending me sweet emails, giving me the coolest gifts ever, posting fanart when I request it, and making me wonderful at conventions and on tour since September of 2012.
I’m sure I will have a LOT to say about this series and Tortall in the Q&A, so I don’t want to say so much that there aren’t any questions left to ask me. But I must thank Tamora Pierce, who not only supported this project, but commented frequently, and came out to small Jesuit university in Syracuse back in 2013, listened to me lecture, then gave me a gift full of spoilers that I couldn’t even look at until like a year and a half ago. Thank you for bringing such joy and fulfillment to my life, for challenging me to think about fantasy and storytelling in different ways, for giving me Daine and Briar Moss and Daja Kisubo, and for never, ever making me feel anything less than a superstar.
Mark Links Stuff
– I am now on Patreon!!! MANY SURPRISES ARE IN STORE FOR YOU IF YOU SUPPORT ME.
– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
– Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!