Quick Update

Hey all,

Not a lot of updates to give yet. I’m still cranking away on the third War of Broken Mirrors book, Defying Destiny. I’d say I’m probably about 1/3 of the way through writing it at this point. That’s progress, but it’s going a lot slower than I’d like. I’ve rewritten the outline almost entirely again, and moved around several scenes to make it feel more coherent.

The core issue is that my writing style has changed somewhat as a result of spending the last couple years working on the Arcane Ascension books, and writing in the War of Broken Mirrors styles no longer feels organic to me. It’s taking a while to try to figure out how to adapt what I’ve learned without losing the flavor of the original series.

Another issue is that I’ve been trying to wrap up plot threads that were initially intended to go for more than one more book. The War of Broken Mirrors was initially envisioned as a four book series, but due to the difficulties I’ve been having with switching back to the style, I’m currently going planning to more or less wrap it up as a trilogy.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to try to resolve everything in one book – it’s become increasingly clear that would be a disjointed mess. Rather, I’m going to be dealing with some critical things that are central to the plot, then most likely breaking the series off into individual books to follow some of the surviving characters/story arcs. I think this will be more entertaining to both me and the readers, and it’ll give the characters and story arcs the time they deserve, without forcing me to continue writing in a style that doesn’t click with me as well as it used to.

I know many of you are waiting for updates on the audio book for On the Shoulders of Titans. At present, my understanding is that it will probably be recorded in October. I still don’t have a release date, but I imagine that December is a likely range if it’s recorded in October. I hope we can get future books recorded more quickly after the Kindle release, but it all depends on the publisher and narrator’s availability. Thank you all for your patience.

26 thoughts on “Quick Update

  1. I left a number of comments under the 24 May section in late July and early August that I hope you see, about mostly Book 2 (Titans). I was not sure which one to leave them under but no one else is writing there so I wonder if any one else (including the author) is reading there.

    1. Thanks for the comments! I’m not checking in on this blog very often – I’m much more focused on writing at the moment.

      I went back and took a look at your older comments, and you’re discussing some super interesting stuff.

      I don’t want say too many spoilers about how attunements work, but there are definitely more total mana type combinations than attunements in the Soaring Spires.

      This may be because there isn’t an attunement for every type, or because not all mana combinations are valid, or some other reason – I’m not going to say.

      The “unique” abilities for each attunement that were discussed in class are not necessarily actually “unique”, so much as distinguishing characteristics that they are well-known for. Some of these can be duplicated by having mana types from multiple attunements – like lightning, for example. Others may *actually* be unique functions that only one specific attunement can do, like summoning. I’ll get into the mechanisms behind this as Corin learns more about it himself.

      I won’t reply to all the other stuff you’ve discussed, both because of time and potential spoilers. If you’re looking for more people to talk to about this stuff, I strongly recommend going over to /r/climberscourt on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/climberscourt), since they are still somewhat actively discussing the books.

  2. Some of my comments and ideas were only my guesses or hopes about what might be coming in the future.

    I do wonder about Jin’s fate at the Graduation Party battle. He is not one of my favorite characters, but he is part of the story line so far.

    I do think that you are planning to get Corin involved in the Artificial Attunement program, which is why I think that Corin might get Biomancer, if it is not incompatible with his existing attunements. I particularly wonder if Corin might someday be able to alter Trsistan’s Mark so that he can leave the Tower. He might visit some of the people involved in that program, including Aloras Corrington, and maybe even Echion on the forthcoming visit to Caelford. ( I think that this is a reasonable guess on my part).

    Keras might have trouble getting help against the Tyrant in Gold on other continents, if the Attunement mechanism is tied too closely to the Towers.

  3. I expect to see a Tower climbing trip in in Caelford, and have my hopes up that they (each) might try a Judgement Visit as well. That way they can take classes in any additional Attunements during 2nd year. Plus of course, if they can meet Visage Ferras.

  4. I had an interesting very speculative idea, perhaps Jin (or someone else) left the battle to go to the other Ballroom with the 2nd year students and additional faculty, which is how Prof Vellum (as well as Prof Meltlake) showed up at the end of the battle to banish Mizuchi.

  5. It has occurred to me, that when they get back to the School for 2nd year that perhaps they might get a special award from the School (maybe 100 points toward graduation and class rank standings) for fighting Mizuchi and saving the lives of many students and teachers, even for keeping the school from being destroyed by Mizuchi. For that matter is Corin’s 2nd Attunement ( and if they get any more additional Attunements in Caelford) worth any graduation points. (I know you will say no comment, but they are interesting ideas).

  6. As well, is the fact that Corin has a Restricted Attunement or that Sera has an Ascended Attunement worth any graduation points? (We will have to wait and see)

  7. Restricted, Secret, and Ascended Attunements for students are probably so rare (almost never, maybe never before), that they have no already defined value in graduation score. Having a 2nd Attunement happens enough that there may be a defined graduation score for getting one.

    Do advanced students ever take classes after 2nd year at the School? It is probably rare, but there should be a need for it. There might be other schools for additional training.

  8. Alyhough just having the 2nd Attunement will probably help you get better scores in your classes, e.g. what happened with Corin in his near end of the year classes and tests.

  9. Do you think that you can get all the way through the end of 2nd year of School in one more book, or two books?

    Considering all the different story lines and things for us to learn, I would not be surprised to see it take more than one book to reach the end of 2nd year.

    I am not saying you will be done with the series then, at some point they will leave the school environment with a LOT more to be done, and get out into more adult roles and society

  10. I do wonder if there are any Attunements, probably from different Towers, that have the same pair of mana types, but with the primary and secondary roles being swapped. Probably NOT, but it is an interesting question.

  11. I have been thinking, off and on, about what mana types are in the Biomancer Attunement, which comes from the Caelford Tower. The problem is that a number of the combinations that I consider likely are already taken: Enhancement and Life are Guardian, Enhancement and Earth are Shaper, Transference and Life are Arbiter, and even Transference and Mental (not a likely possibility) are Enchanter. Even Soul Blade and other Attunements might be possible combinations that could have been Biomancer, that involve either Enhancement or Transference, or Life.

    I think that there is a good chance that Biomancer has either Enhancement or Transference. (It might have Life without either of Enhancement or Transference). This opens the door to the possibility that an Ascended version of an Attunement with Enhancement or Transference, that gains a third Mana type, might overlap with Biomancer and gain it’s abilities (or most of them). While it is possible that this might be Guardian or Shaper, I find more interesting the possibility that an Ascended version of Enchanter (less likely) or Arbiter (more likely) overlap with Biomancer. The reason that I find this interesting is that Corin might be able to gain the abilities of Biomancer with an Ascended version of one of his existing Attunements, without having to gain Biomancer as a 3rd Attunement. This leaves open to him gaining some other Attunement as a 3rd Attunement in the future, while still gaining Biomancer abilities someday, hopefully soon, like on this trip to Caelford, so he can take classes for it in 2nd year.

    One additional possibility is interesting, I have remarked before, that I think that Corin needs to get Spirit, as well as Ice, to have better control over his sword. Perhaps either Spirit (more likely) or Ice (less likely) would be the added mana type that Corin might gain in an Ascended version of Arbiter or Enchanter that overlaps with Biomancer. The greedy possibility (to me as a reader) would be for him to get both Ice and Spirit from Ascended versions of Arbiter and Enchanter (one from each), although I consider that not very likely (but possible).

    There is another possibility to consider, If Biomancer does include Enhancement plus something else (not Life or Earth, or others), could Corin acquire it as a 3rd Attunement and still be able to use it? Since (in this case) it would have Enhancement which is the opposite mana type of the Transference Corin already has in both Enchanter and Arbiter, I am not sure if your Attunement System would allow that to work for Corin. It might work since it is in a different Attunement Mark. This would open the question of what an Ascended version of this form of Biomancer (that already has Enhancement) might have? It might overlap with many other possible Attunements.

    Actually, I would still like to see Corin get Soul Blade (particularly on his LEFT hand), since many previous owners of his Sword had it, and Soul Blade would help him fight better with that Sword. But that should require a visit to the Dalenos Tower to acquire (in the future).

    Are there any Attunements that have more than 3 mana types? In particular, Sera’s Ascended Summoner, i.e. Invoker. I think it is likely that she added Ice, and it is possible that she added more mana types from her contracts that she had active at the time that she drank the Water of Attunement (or Primer). This would probably be considered Forbidden Knowledge, i.e. Sera’s Attunement might actually be a Forbidden Attunement, not just an Ascended one. An interesting question, will Sera gain any MORE lines in her Mark when she advances to Sunstone, etc.? By the number of lines it already has, I would consider it to be an Emerald of Sapphire Class Mark, but she clearly does not have the mana levels that would go with them, and they (the additional lines) did not go away with her having lower mana levels, like happened with Patrick or Marissa when Corin transferred Mana to them and raised their levels temporarily.

    I am not expecting any answers to these ideas (now), until hopefully in a future Book(s).

  12. As well as my suggestions that Marissa get Abjuror and Patrick get Paladin, most likely by meeting Visage Verras at some point during their trip to Caelford, either inside the Tower, or outside it.

  13. The REALLY GREEDY idea/suggestion (by me as a reader) , would be for them to do a second Judgement visit at the Caelford Tower. Followed, by Corin’s Mother calling them to Dalenos to meet her and talk to Corin and Sera, and THEN do a THIRD Judgement visit in the Dalenos Tower. All before they return for 2nd year at the school.

    This would (probably) make them a little too powerful for a good series of stories/Books. But they might need that and more if they are going to be fighting Children of the Golden Tyrant, someday (soon). Or to help Keras in his quest for help against the Tyrant in Gold.

  14. And then there is the last possibility for getting additional Attunements for them: A long Tower climbing trip while in Caelford (or even Dalenos if they ever they get there).

    So it it is just a matter of how many Attunements and which and when, do you, as the Author, want them to get.

  15. And as I pointed before, they should start with a long Tower climbing trip (with Keras) for more experience and possibly achieving Sunstone, as well as possibly an additional Attunement. Followed by a Judgement Visit, followed by meeting Ferras (if they can manage to meet her).

    Followed by the possibility of going to Dalenos to meet Corin’s Mother there. Followed by the possibility of a Judgement Visit or Tower Climbing trip in Dalenos. (If there is enough time during the Winter Break)

    I know/remember that Corin said that each Judgement visit gets harder the more of them you take. So they might not be ready yet for a third one, and even the 2nd one might be a little too hard for them before they reach Sunstone with their present Attunements. But I am hoping they can do the the 2nd one successfully on this trip to Caelford.

  16. Two of Sera’s new lines in her Attunement do appear to be the lines used for Carnelian and Sunstone. But I seem to recall that Sera actually went up to Carnelian before entering the Tower, so she should have gotten that line already. Actually looking at her new Mark, I think that 5 lines got added, which in theory might make it a Sapphire Mark. So maybe maybe only one or two of the new lines are for a new mana type(s) and the Ascended part of the Mark. But then the rest should be a Citrine or Emerald Mark or she should either have mana levels of those Marks which would probably Mana poison her, or else they should have faded out as she reverted to the lower mana levels that her body could handle safely. So her new Mark is not behaving like Marissa’s and Patrick’s Marks did when they got temporarily pushed up by Corin transferring mana to them.

  17. So maybe Sera has an Ascended Mark as we were told, or there is still the possibility of a Forbidden Knowledge Mark. We will have to wait and see. Sera and Corin have not meet anyone, other than Sheridan (who did not seem to recognize it), who might know what her Mark really is, and what it can do. Maybe Seiryu might be able to provide some information, if Sera can arrange to meet her directly, in the future when Sera is a lot stronger mana level wise.

  18. Also when Sera drank the Water, her Mana levels did not even reach Citrine Level, much less higher. I think she got up to over 1,000 but Citrine is 2,160. So there are still some mysteries here about what really happened when she got her new Mark, and what it means and can do, i.e. just what all the new lines in her Mark mean.

  19. One last idea, for awhile: if it would work, add a Mark to Corin’s Enchanter Mark to form a square, with the new manas being Perception at the top linking only to Enhancement below it and to Transference beside it; and then the Enhancement also links to Mental besides it; with no diagonal links between Mental and Perception or between Transference and Enhancement.

    The new added Mark could be Controller (from Caelford), and the Enhancement to Mental link would give Diviner, and the Perception to Transference link could be something with better abilities to see things at long distances, i.e. some form of a Seer.

    With an arrangement like this the opposites would not connect to each other and cancel each other out.

    Possibly the two Marks could be besides each other at the start without the side lines that link them, which would get added when new lines got added with higher levels. (Although that would remove the Diviner and Seer until the connecting lines got added).

    But Corin could add Controller, Diviner, and Seer (or some other name for it) to his Mind Enchanter Mark.

    I do not know if your Attunement system would allow it to work, but it is a Very interesting idea. Maybe it would be considered Forbidden Knowledge, instead of Ascended.

    And continuing my thoughts above: if Biomancer was Transference plus Earth, then adding Earth to Arbiter could give Corin Biomancer as well as Mender (or something very similar to them). The problem is making the additional lines work (connect) well with the old lines, perhaps he would not get the full capabilities of those Attunements, or he might have to go up some levels (add some more lines) to get their full abilities.

    It may be that doing things like I just suggested, might be done under the Artificial Attunement program, either now or in the future. They might be impossible to acquire under normal circumstances in a Tower, although possibly as Forbidden Knowledge in the Spider Tower.

  20. Actually, I just remembered,in Book 2 that Corin read something that said there was no known Attunement with Perception and Transference, although it was speculated that it was Chronomancer from the Spider Tower. So my idea of it being Seer is wrong.

    So maybe that idea of putting Perception and Enhancement next to Corin’s Enchanter Mark, either would not work, or it would fall into the Forbidden Knowledge category.

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