Do I or don’t I? In some areas The Bastard Line is developing to be more vicious than anywhere in the previous two books – it has more calculated cruelty and violence in the story – more blood, more death – The main thread was always certain, it just needed to be written and linked together in appropriate detail and order (yes, with some of that savagery), however a secondary thread, which is Va’el’s side of the story, had to be created from scratch and proved trickier than I anticipated, for reasons I didn’t expect – mainly because of the blood.
His age is a concern. How rough can you get with a kid? Yet, let’s be clear here, I don’t write children’s books and you always knew that once we got into Khekarian territory, things were not going to be so nice. This story is most definitely meant for adults. I had to give Va’el something more than a kiddies’ adventure and it had to be something fitting for the character, his future and the history and nature of Khekarian society.
What I have ahead for him is actually something pretty nasty, and I don’t mean Sevi. Given his age (ten), I’m not sure I should go there, but I’ve decided to push ahead anyway because the event has done a strange thing to his nature. Primarily, it will be what transforms him from spoilt-brat boy to eventual villainous adult, but along the way it opens him up a bit to sensitivity you don’t really expect to find in this sort of character. It also paves the way for connections with future ramification.