Ascendant’s Rite is about to hit the bookshelves, completing The Moontide Quartet. As you can probably imagine I’m pretty excited by that, as well as lots of other emotions. Relief, to finally complete the series to the satisfaction of my publisher and editor, Jo Fletcher. And to meet my own very high expectations of what it should be. There were a hell of a lot of open threads by the end of Book Three, and I don’t think I was alone in wondering how I’d get them all tied up and resolved. Well, we got there, and did them justice too!
It was always important to me that this series reached a definite conclusion to the story arcs begun in Book One, and those other threads that began in the later books. As a reader I’m always aggravated when a series finale doesn’t deliver on resolutions, and tries to lure readers into ‘the continuing adventures of . . .’ Ascendant’s Rite most certainly doesn’t do that. Punches are not pulled, and sharks are not jumped (author punches shark. Hard).
I’m also pleasantly surprised that the final series does actually look a lot like the original plan. There were a number of unplanned detours, but in the end the overall journey, and especially the final scenes, were much as planned. Given how many balls were in the air, I’m pretty proud of managing to land them all more or less on schedule and intact.
That’s not to say that the journey didn’t wander off into places the original synopsis certainly wasn’t aware of. Better ideas constantly suggest themselves, and in some cases, certain characters jump up and down pleading for a different resolution to their circumstances, and in some cases I listened. One character in fact was scheduled to die in each book at some stage, yet always managed to come through by being enough of a catalyst and instigator . . . until having talked me out of horrible deaths in each of Books One, Two and Three, they— (Ha! Not telling!)
But Endings are really just New Beginnings, so this doesn’t mean the end for Urte. There will be more books set in this world. It’s too big to have explored in just the one outing. The sequel series (initially entitled The Lodestar Quartet but these days rejoicing under the sexier name of The Sunsurge Quartet) will be set around six years after the events of The Moontide Quartet, with an almost entirely new cast of major characters (that’s not to say that some of the survivors of the Moontide won’t pop up with a role in the Sunsurge), and a whole new storyline encompassing many previously unexplored regions, and revealing new facets of the gnosis.
What’s a Sunsurge? In Urte, it’s the opposite of the Moontide: super high tides (burying the Leviathan Bridge under the waves and subjecting it to potentially destructive forces) and a period of extremely wet, cold and inclement weather. It’ the last sort of period one would want to . . . oh, I don’t know . . . start a war of succession spanning two continents, maybe?
Book One of The Sunsurge Quartet – provisionally entitled Empress of the Fall – will be released late next year. I’m nearly done drafting it, and can’t wait to share it.