A boy goes on a journey. This theme, or variations on it, has long dominated epic fantasy offerings. However, the Broken Man Trilogy, of which Dark Heart is the second volume, features as its main character a man who never leaves the building. Like a spider, he sits and waits for his prey to come to him.
Chief among his prey is a character I’ve had more email about than any other: Lenares the cosmographer. Readers love her quirkiness and the way she thinks and behaves, so different to standard fantasy characters. I was excited the day I thought of her, and I remain excited by what she’s becoming. Her gradual realisation of the web of danger ahead of her, and the ways she chooses to deal with it, earn this book its title. Dark Heart is, well, the darkest novel I’ve written.
Before the story is over each character has to answer the question: how many wrongs am I prepared to entertain in order to do what’s right? The various answers drive the book along at an ever-increasing pace; and as for the ending … ‘cruel’ is a fair description.
‘Middle’ novels of fantasy trilogies are supposed to be difficult to write. This one fair flew on to the screen. I’m delighted by Dark Heart and I’m sure you will be too.
Dark Heart by Russell Kirkpatrick is, as Russell says, the second part of the Broken Man Trilogy and is out now from Orbit in the UK and US. The first part of the trilogy is entitled Path of Revenge [UK | USA] and the conclusion, Beyond the Wall of Time is due for publication next year.
Find out more about Russell Kirkpatrick and his published work to date, over at www.russellkirkpatrick.com.