Monday, October 27, 2014

Nem Aster–The Character Review Blog Tour

I find myself participating in another blog tour, this focusing on characters from each author’s work. I found this to be an interesting exercise as it gave me the opportunity to look at my characters from another angle. It helps keep the story and characters fresh while I pound out the prose of the book.
Before me in line was Jolie Du Pré who wrote about her character, Julie Benton, from her series, Benton: A Zombie Novel, Vol. 1 & 2. And considering we are less than a week from Halloween, Benton seems like a good choice for some nighttime reading.
For my own entry into this blog hop, I had to think long and hard about what character I was going to use. Give away too much about a character, and I could pretty much spill the beans on the plot lines of the story and where they are going. I try to write in such a way that the reader discovers who the character is at the same time the other characters in the story learn about the character.
I finally decided that it would be best to talk about the lead character of Aggadeh Chronicles.

What is the name of your character? Is he fictional or a historic person?

Nem Aster. Fictional.

When and where is the story set?

This is a little harder to answer.
The time is in the seventh millenium of the Aggadeh Empire. By comparison, the Roman Empire lasted almost 1.5 millennia. Like the Roman Empire, Aggadeh had gone through a number of upheavals and changes during its history, so it could be pushed that Aggadeh was actually a series of empires all using the same name. However, the social structure and geographic centers remained the same through its history, so it suggests that it is the same empire, merely run under various different regimes.
At the moment the story begins, the Aggadeh Empire, and it’s rival to the west, the Holy Empire of Caltha, are both on the verge of regime changes. The current imperial family of Aggadeh has been in control for nearly 17 generations and the High Families among the nobility are growing restless and hunger for power for themselves.
The fortunes of both empires hinge on two individuals: the Great Oracle of the Holy Empire of Caltha, the most powerful woman in the world. She is also said to be the most beautiful woman in the world. It is said whosoever possesses her favor could become the next Emperor. The fall of the Caltha Empire would make her available for courtship. This throws the nobility of Aggadeh into a frenzy for power. The problem? Along with the Great Oracle comes a curse: get too close to her and you will have no future.
The other, is Nem Aster. A farm boy turned adventurer who may possess the power to save the world—or destroy it. He finds himself dragged into predicaments that quickly get him over his head as the aforementioned events begin to unravel in the story.
The setting of the story mostly happens in Aggadeh, but there are many other scenes that occur in other lands around the world.
The world itself doesn’t have a set name. The inhabitants haven’t considered the world’s place in the universe or the nature of its existence. They are more concerned with the goings on in the next country than they are what turns in the skies overhead. They tend to view their world as the entire universe and don't think about what may lie beyond. As a result, they’ve never actually given a single name to their world. In their future, the world will probably end up being called, Aggadeh.

What should we know about him?

Nem is a young man, just having attained his age of majority before the story began.
We know he grew up on a farm where his family raised livestock before he went to the sea, serving as a navigator on a couple of ships before he found himself on the Islander ship, the Island Dancer.
A farm boy who suddenly becomes a navigator? That would suggest he is far better educated than your average farm boy. Indeed, he has had the most unusual education and teacher than any other person in his world.
And he carries with him a sword that was cut from the claw of a dragon.
He also has a few other unique skills that set him apart from others in his world.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?

Nem is an Aborian, a people very isolated from the rest of the world and having a strongly egalitarian society. As such, he has a difficult time accepting authority from those who inherited their station in society instead of earning it.
He was banished from Aboria for six years as punishment for a crime for which he took responsibility. He unwittingly fed a prize bull owned by another farmer to a dragon, in order to save his own father’s herd. His banishment was part of his restitution for costing the other farmer a major part of his livelihood.
Nem is very weak when it comes to using magic; he can barely accomplish the most basic of magic skills. This inability causes others to look down on him and consider him as having low rank in society.
Because of this short falling, Nem’s teacher, Theorus, taught him the dangerous art of sorcery, which circumvents the complexities of magic and directly manipulates the elemental energies of the universe. If magic could be considered the basic science of this world, then sorcery is high-energy physics. A simple mistake using sorcery can have savage repercussions and whole cities have been destroyed by practitioners who made such mistakes. 
Very few who choose to explore the art of sorcery survive for very long. Those that do are highly respected.
And feared.
Only a very small handful of people begin to realize the significance of Nem’s role in the current events in Aggadeh. To everyone else, Nem is considered an insignificant nobody.

What is the personal goal of the character?

Nem’s goals shift throughout the series. Initially, he just wants to make his fortune in the world and return home.
But along with this is another mission that he needs to complete.
When Nem’s teacher Theorus died, he asked Nem to find his child and deliver to that child a stone that is the key to Theorus’ family knowledge. It is this search for Theorus’ child that puts Nem into the middle of the world falling apart.
So, while Nem would like to go home, he will first have to survive.

What is the title of the novel and where can we find out more?

The title of the first book is Aggadeh Chronicles Book 1: Nobody.
The second book is Aggadeh Chronicles Book 2: Dragon, which is due out later this year.
Information about these books and my other titles can be found on my main web site.

And So… 

The next author in line for the blog hop is Landon Porter, author of the Descendants series and the Rune Breaker saga.