Oct. 23rd, 2010

featherxquill: (Aereon foolish games)
Already answered )

4. A mother

~ Empress Medeoan Of Isavalta ~

I wanted to pick someone for this prompt who is a mother, but isn't just 'the mother'. and possibly someone who wasn't the bad mother, or the nagging harpy mother, or the overbearing mother. But it it is surprisingly hard to think of a character who is a three-dimensional woman, carries her own story or sub-plot and is also a (good) mother.

So I chose Empress Medeoan of Isavalta, from Sarah Zettel's Isvalta trilogy, a fantasy series that weaves together Russian, Indian and Chinese folklore and mythology to create its world.

When we first meet Medeoan, in Book 1, A Sorcerer's Treason, she is the Dowager Empress of Isavalta, and the story's villain - clinging to power by enchanting her son's mid so that she may continue to rule. She is old before her time, and suspicious of everyone. She uses people and destroys lives. And she believes she is doing it all for the good of the Empire.

One of the main characters we learn about Medeoan from is Ananda, the Princess who is married to Medeoan's son, Mikkel, and who Medeoan publicly blames for the spell that has addled her son's mind.

An excerpt )

So, although we learn more about her and her motivations from her own perspective, Medeoan is very much the villain of the piece. But - and this is one of the reasons I love this character and this series so much - in Book 2, The Usurper's Crown, we are taken back to a generation before the first book, and Medeoan is one of the main protagonists. In this story, we learn what made her who she became, and the decision to explore this character in such a way is what makes me love her so much. In the first book she is an ageing Empress, nearly mad, terrified of losing her power and clinging to it desperately, but in the second she is newly-minted as the head of her Empire, naive and in love with a husband who is carefully betraying her right under her nose. And the challenges she face as she deals with that show us how it is she became the character she was in the first novel.

I'll leave you with this:

"He would have understood." The dowager brushed a shaking hand across her forehead. "Mikkel always understood the needs of the throne come first."

"How could he have understood anything? You took his understanding away from him, as you meant to take his life!" She stabbed a finger at the dowager. "His life! Not yours. It was not yours to take!"

"All lives are mine!" screamed Medeoan. "I am the empress of Isavalta!"

"No." Bridget shook her head. "You are a sad old woman who has too long tormented herself for the sin of falling in love."

A Sorcerer's Treason on Amazon.

Still to come )


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