Souldancer Prologue

The Puppy of the Month Book Club continues its in-depth review of my Dragon Award-winning novel Souldancer. Picking up from the previous installments, Nathan Housely turns his keen analytical powers on SD's prologue.
In the eternal realm of Kairos, Gen hero Almeth Elocine has been spurred to action, to intervene in history to mend its wrong course. He is confronted by an old friend, Cleolin, who stabs him when Almeth will not relent from his course. For his treachery, Kairos removes Cleolin, while Almeth falls down and waits...
Almeth Elocine is mentioned twice in Nethereal. The first time, Jaren namedrops him when mentioning how strange it was to talk to Sulaiman, a priest of Midras and an adherent of a religion purged by the Guild. Since Almeth is Gen and the Gen were also purged, perhaps Midras-worship is a Gennish religion. The second time is during the gossip accompanying the Exodus's return from Hell, where rumors of Almeth Elocine's return spread. I suspect that a "king under the mountain" myth might surround Almeth, similar to how the twin stories of King Arthur and Francis Drake will return in England's time of direst need. But the Gen genocide and Cleolin stabbing him are arguments against that particular myth. What is certain is that Almeth Elocine will return to the Soul Cycle again.
Kairos as a name for an eternal realm is also a poignant choice. One of the two words ancient Greeks used for time, it is used for a multitude of meanings depending on context. These include "a period or season, a moment of indeterminate time in which an event of significance happens," and "a propitious moment for decision or action." In this latter sense, kairos has many of the same connotations as the idea of schwerpunkt. However, the term also has history in science fiction and fantasy as the name for the series of books by Madelene L'Engle that include A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet.
Read the rest here.

It's intriguing that Nathan finds similarities between the Souldancer prologue and the legends of King Arthur and Francis Drake; especially in light of the fact that Almeth's treacherous friend is nicknamed "Redbeard".

I admit to never having read L'Engle's Kairos series, but it's clear from Nathan's description that she employed the term for purposes that are quite similar to mine.

All in all, a fascinating review. If Nathan can mine such riches from the prologue, I can't wait to read his thoughts on the meat of the novel.

Reminder: in honor of its selection as Puppy of the Month, Souldancer is currently on sale in the Kindle Store.

Brian Niemeier - Souldancer


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