First things first:
In case you missed my announcement earlier this week, the audiobook for A Destiny of Dragons narrated by Michael Lesley and the audiobook for The Long and Winding Road narrated by Sean Crisden are both finished and being uploaded to Audible. They should be available shortly.
Second, The Consumption of Magic is now available for pre-order everywhere.
Spoilers for The Lightning Struck Heart and A Destiny of Dragons. If you haven't read either, I would move on until you have. I will not be spoiling anything for The Consumption of Magic.
In The Lightning-Struck Heart, Sam makes an oblique reference to having once brought a bird back to life. In A Destiny of Dragons, the story opens with that exact scene. We see Sam as a morose teenager, convinced that Ryan Foxheart (the dreamiest dream who has ever been dreamed) is in love with the evil Prince Justin. He comes across a dead bird in the Dark Woods, and somehow, is able to bring it back to life.
There is a cost, however. The life is burned out from the earth around him.
And he never told anyone about it.
With The Consumption of Magic, I wanted to delve deeper into that moment, and what it means for Sam of Wilds. He's been told time and time again that he's the most powerful wizard in an age. What does it mean to have that kind of power? And even if one were capable of doing something so remarkable, what gives one the right to even use it?
I know this sounds dire. Much ado has been made so far about what happens in this book, either by my own hand leaving cryptic clues, or by the people who've already read it. There are some big events that occur in Consumption, yes; I'm not going lie about that. However, I don't want people to read this just to get to those events. This book--roughly the same length as Destiny--is still about Sam and his somewhat purposefully cliched Hero's Journey. There are moments that you won't see coming, but these characters are still going to be the ones you read about in Lightning and Destiny.
And while Destiny had the idea of a prophecy hanging over Sam and Company, in Consumption, Sam is more settled in his role in the scheme of things.
Well. Mostly settled. He wouldn't Sam of Wilds if he didn't bitch about something.
But since he's starting to accept his role in his destiny, he is becoming more take-charge. Oh, yes, the secrets he's kept will come to light, and he will have to answer for his hypocrisy. But the point of this is that I needed him to learn from his mistakes. I think Consumption is where clear growth is seen in Sam, and the man/wizard he'll eventually become.
But there is still the question of that bird, and what role Sam's magic will play--if any at all--in the visions Vadoma showed him. I consciously made the decision for Consumption to put the idea of the prophecy almost at the periphery. Yes, we know what Vadoma showed Sam, and yes we know the warning the Star Dragon gave of what is to come. Yes, we know why Sam is collecting all the dragons, and yes there is the Big Bad lurking out there somewhere, but at it's core, Consumption is about Sam and Ryan and TIggy and Gary and Justin. It's about Morgan and Randall. I liked the idea of these two groups of people being generations apart from each other, but seeing all the little connections they have despite the years between them.
Again, as I reiterated with Destiny, Consumption is still first and foremost a comedy. I will even go out on a limb and say that Consumption, for the most part, feels lighter than Destiny did. And while we may not have Ruv and Vadoma and Zero Ravyn Moonfire as we did in Destiny, there will be a few new characters I think will stack up just as well.
The two Northern Dragons were such a joy to write. I can't say why obviously, but I think you'll be able to tell that I had a blast with them.
And we will come face to face with the oldest creature in all the world in the flesh for the first time. The Great White. And he's probably not going to be as you expect.
(Also, Mama returns, as does Dimitri, so.)
But make no mistake: Sam did bring that bird back to life. He has that power within him. And I will use a phrase you probably have never heard before in your entire lives: with great power comes great responsibility. The big question behind Consumption that I wanted to answer (aside from what exactly the title means), is what Sam of Wilds would do if there ever came a moment when he had to make a choice whether or not to use the magic he carries inside.
I think the answer is going to surprise you.
In eleven days, I'll invite you back to Verania, and you'll learn that answer for yourself.
On Monday, November 13th, I will post an interview I did with Gay Book Reviews where I face a barrage of questions from people who have already read the Consumption. I was very careful with what questions I approved and answered as to avoid spoilers.
And I will post one more blog next week ahead of the release discussing heroes and villains.
The Consumption of Magic will be released Monday, November 20th.