Saturday, 17 December 2016
( Warning - Daughter of the Moon spoilers ahead! )
Taking place five years after the events of Daughter of the Moon, the story finds the great clans of the Moon People in a time of peace. Rumours regarding the mysterious witches who serve Den Mother Adel swirl through the packs. Their power is feared and respected, for everyone knows the tale of foolish Alpha Miral, who met his end when he tried to claim the witches' magic for his own.
But far away from Adel's valley, another female-dominated clan dwells in the swamps near the coast of the great water. Clan Mother Octavia, rival and once-betrayer of Adel's trust, finds herself burdened with a wilful daughter who refuses to find her place among the pack. Her name is Kiren, and she has inherited neither the dark hair nor the level head of her mother.
Tiring of her daughter's behaviour, Octavia sets Kiren a task: both a journey, and a punishment. She is to travel north, seek out Den Mother Adel's witches, and learn the craft of a seer by becoming one of them. But while the great packs may be at peace, ghosts lurk in the lands of the Moon People. The world beyond Kiren's homeland is full of mysteries, and she soon finds herself thrown into a quest fraught with danger, friendship, romance, and tragedy. Though she has been set on the path to becoming a seer, Kiren's journey will teach her of the huntress that lies within her heart.
Much like Daughter of the Night, Sun Huntress will be wear the suffix "A Book of the Moon People", focusing on a shorter side story rather than being a direct numbered sequel. That being said, the novel will also serve as something of a prequel to book three of The Moon People saga (title TBA), which will pick up right where Sun Huntress ends.
So, why another side story? Why a new main character? Well, that's a great question, since Sun Huntress is a novel that wasn't originally supposed to exist! My plan was to go straight from Daughter of the Night into book three, but during the initial planning phase I started to realise something pretty important about the story I was telling. The character of Kiren is intended to fill a key role in book three, and I always knew I was going to spend some time focusing on her backstory with Octavia's clan, detailing her journey north to find the witches, and just generally establishing her as a strong character before introducing her to the rest of the cast.
But that led me to a problem. I noticed that the amount of material I had outlined for Kiren was almost enough to be its own book, and that including it all in novel #3 would mean numerous departures from the main story to follow what Kiren was doing.
I am strongly of the belief that if a novel has to keep cutting between disparate storylines for an extended period of time, then those stories should probably just be their own books (everything involving Daenerys in the first few Game of Thrones volumes, I'm looking at you). So I decided to spin Kiren's introduction off into its own novel and flesh out what I had, making it a semi-optional prequel to book #3 rather than an awkwardly paced part of it.
While Sun Huntress will focus on a lot of new characters, there'll also be some cameos from the existing cast. Caspian, Khelt, Adel, and Netya will all poke their heads in at some point. We'll see a little more of Octavia, and there'll be some fun insights into how her female-dominated pack live their lives.
But perhaps most excitingly (at least for me!), Sun Huntress will see the return of book #1's vindictive antagonist, Vaya, and you can bet your butt she's going to be more than just a cameo. But how has she changed in the six or so years since we last saw her? Maybe, just maybe, she might be a little more than an antagonist this time around.