By Dolores J. Nurss

Volume 1I: Tests of Fire and Blood

Chapter 25




I dreamed of getting pinned down by hysterical gunfire in a jungle.  When, upon waking, I tried to picture the viewpoint of those doing the shooting, Karol and his friends immediately popped into my head and wouldn’t let go.  I wove the two viewpoints together, rebels and army.

I dreamed of chamois playing a role later on, so I had to write about it here.

I don’t remember whether I dreamed or made up the story about the monkeys.  I think I made it up.

How Damien survived the slaughter of his village came as a surprise to me, dawning on me in the final rewrite, but I did dream of the conflict between the mother and daughter witches/politicians–from both viewpoints.  I dreamed of the daughter ultimately triumphing over the corrupt mother, knowing that she would not live to see her victory, and that her mother would never know of her own defeat.  For in the end I finally became wholly the younger woman, and in that identity I died, besieged in a basement, assailed by forces of sheer evil draining the life out of me.  And yet I died with hope in my heart.  And woke up here.

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