When the going gets rough, who would you prefer to have at your side: a brave knight or a cunning mage?
In High Maga, Eolyn has both. When the Syrnte invade Moehn and destroy her home, she finds herself alone in the highlands with Sir Borten, a loyal knight of the king who was assigned to her protection. Soon they are joined by Mage Corey, who took Eolyn under his wing years ago and still considers the maga his ward.
The alliance between Eolyn, Borten, and Corey is a fragile one haunted by failures of the past. Eolyn has reason to distrust both men. The knight and mage have no fondness for each other. As if this weren’t enough, the Gods weave their mischievous magic with all three of them, striking sparks of attraction in unbidden moments. A volatile mix, these three, but if they are unable to overcome their differences and succeed in this task, they will perish and the rest of the kingdom with them.
In my first novel Eolyn, Borten appears only twice. Both occasions play a crucial role in the realization of Akmael’s fate as a king and ruler. Early in his reign, Akmael pardons Borten for a transgression that should have cost him his life. In return, Borten submits to his king with unfailing loyalty and becomes one of Akmael’s most trusted servants.
Like Eolyn, Borten is a native of the isolated province of Moehn. It is partly for this reason that Akmael designates him captain of Eolyn’s guard when she establishes her new Aekelahr.
Though Borten has blood ties to the impoverished nobility of Moehn, his family is of low rank. This allows Corey to refer to him disparagingly as a “peasant knight”, a habit that does little to encourage the knight’s friendship.
When I wrote Eolyn, I did not anticipate the importance Borten would eventually assume in the maga’s journey. Indeed, even in the opening stages of High Maga, I had few plans for Borten beyond letting him wield his sword in the Eolyn’s defense.
Then one day, one of my critique partners said to me, “You should let Borten have a crush on Eolyn.”
So I did.
That’s when Sir Borten’s story became most interesting. . .
Mage Corey of East Selen
Corey was born to a family of magas and mages that ruled the eastern province of Moisehén. One night when he was still a boy, his clan was massacred by the Mage King Kedehen. Corey escaped thanks to the intervention of his cousin Briana, who was captured by Kedehen and made queen.
At once a prisoner and adopted son of the royal family, Mage Corey struggles with conflicting motivations. On the one hand, he desires vengeance for the obliteration of his clan. On the other hand, he is bound by loyalty to the few individuals who still share his bloodline, among them Briana’s and Kedehen’s only son, King Akmael.
Corey and Eolyn first meet under the auspices of his Circle, a travelling show that brings the illusion of magic to the people of Moisehén. The mage recognizes Eolyn’s importance early on, but much time will pass before Eolyn fully understands the true extent of Corey’s power, and what his influence and ambitions will eventually mean for her.
The chemistry between Eolyn and Corey crackles with tension. Their relationship is one of constant disagreement, wary admiration, and latent attraction. Although Corey might be considered a minor character, his fate is tightly intertwined with Eolyn’s. The final outcome of the saga, to be revealed in the third book Daughter of Aithne, will depend crucially on the resilience of this besieged friendship.
Next week, our final preview before the release of HIGH MAGA.