Book: The Xavier Mosaic - Prince Asyrias by Emma Austen
|4.5 stars, 2 reviews on Amazon|
Emma Austenabout this book: Although set in a fantastic place, The Xavier Mosaic is mostly about the journey out of obscurity and towards personal identity. Most of the characters have to learn who they are in very basic ways, such as their origins, parentage, and even their own name; then, once those things come to light, each must cope with how these revelations influence their lives overall. It shows that identity isn't made by history alone.
I grew up a fan of both fantasy and fairytales, and was never very good at seeing the dividing line between them. When I came up with a story containing elements of both, I knew I had to see it through to the end.
The audience is mostly young adults, due to the age of the main characters (sixteen and eighteen). However, I believe that older fantasy fans will be able to appreciate the entwining plot-lines and subtle themes.
The title wasn't something I knew until after the final draft was completed. Before then, it was just named for my main character, Prince Asyrias. After some brainstorming, I eventually settled on The Xavier Mosaic, a somewhat unusual name that hints at two key elements of the story: the royal Xavier family, cursed by their ancestors' sins, and the mosaics they used to preserve their history. While the cover might seem somewhat mysterious, it in fact employs such obvious imagery that I would rather people be delighted by understanding it on their own.
By far, the hardest part of writing the story was just keeping everything straight. I realize that the entwining plot-lines may be somewhat difficult to handle, because they were painful to write. I had to keep consulting journals and word documents filled with information just to make sure I wasn't leading my readers into a dead end. After the many revisions this went through, I can now promise that if one simply surrenders themselves to the text, there are no forgotten characters, no plot holes, no filler, and everything happens exactly when and how it is supposed to happen. That's the mark of a good epic, after all.
Due to a genetically simple, somewhat one-tracked mind, I unfortunately cannot claim to have learned anything inspiring from writing the book other than that writing a lot of words in one sitting makes you hate the English language.
I hope that my readers will come to love the story, the setting, and the characters as much as I did, and appreciate all of them for their flaws as well as their successes. After all, it is our flaws that make us human.
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