Sunday, 30 October 2011

Guest Post: Lynna Merrill (The Seekers of Fire)

A little later than planned, I would like to introduce author Lynna Merrill! She has written a character interview for NBR. If you're interested in her books, feel free to visit her on her website.

The Seekers of Fire
The Bers have ruled Mierenthia with fire magic and an iron fist for hundreds of years, but now their magic is failing. The firepipes are dry. The firewells gape cold and empty, and the factories are shutting down. Light, warmth, and food are scarce. Strange creatures appear not only in the distant forests but even in the cities, the Bers' own strongholds.

Amidst this chaos arises Linden, a young commoner woman who dares oppose a Ber with forbidden magic of her own. She is joined by Rianor, the High Ruler of Qynnsent, who defies what the Bers call a noble's greatest responsibility. The two tamper with the half-ridiculed, half-forbidden idea of science and believe that there is more to science than the Bers and mentors would have people think.

Dominick, a young mentor, one of the priestly class who keep people from thinking aberrant thoughts, starts to question the Ber world even as he is trying to save it.

Merley, a young Ber woman who sees things that others cannot, saves a condemned boy and seeks out a reprobate old witch.

As these young people choose the paths rarely taken and make paths of their own, others try to pull their strings and shape the world according to their own wills.

The Interview
Interviewer: So, tell us about yourself. What are your dreams? What are your fears?

Linden: You must know that already. You must have already tried to breach my mind. For the eighteen years of my life I have learned that those who ask the questions already know the answers. At least, they attempt to. There is no safe place in Mierenthia. Not for those with thoughts even slightly diverging from what the Bers and mentors claim we must think. There is no safe place for those who want to make their own choices.

Interviewer: But no one could ever breach your mind.

Linden: None of them ever succeeded. Even the Ber who attacked me could not make me fall.

Interviewer: Why would a Ber attack you? The Bers protect people. They give you all fire and warmth. They are Mierenthia's caretakers and guardians, the ones who make sure that the unspeakable ones who lurk by the world's edges do not creep closer. They are the ones who protect you from your own selves.

Linden: Ask the Bers why. Ask them what happened to the world. Ask them why the firepipes broke in people's homes, or why the factories are failing even though the Bers torture wretches so that Ber magic would continue to exist. This magic does not exist any more. Not really. It is weak, so very weak---and yet we have nothing to replace it with. Ask the Bers why there is no warmth, no food, why the rites of master crafters, which used to give us food, clothes, and even canned food, produce nothing these days.

Most of all, ask the Bers why even the master crafters have no idea how their rites are supposed to work. Ask why even basic tools are denies to us, and why science is rudimentary and ridiculed as nothing more than a trifling pursuit for those with too much time to waste. Magic was what used to run our world. Now, magic is dying, and yet it has gripped the whole world tightly in its fist like a falling giant clutching madly at something, anything.

Even a dying giant's grip can be deadly.

Ask your questions of the Bers. Perhaps they will give you an answer. They gave none to Rianor and me. So, we are taking matters into our own hands.

Lynna Merrill was accused at an early age that she lived in a world of her own. Since then she has changed the country, continent, and language—but she still lives in worlds of her own. One of these is the world of Mierenthia. A part of it, together with some of its people and conflicts, has recently been chronicled in the first three books of Lynna’s fantasy series, The Masters That Be. Nine books are planned. Lynna also makes her own cover and interior art.

In the real world Lynna has a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the Ohio State University and has worked on various open source software projects, both as a volunteer and as an employee. She wrote the almost 300,000 words of her first three books in the VIM text editor.

Lynna is interested in books (of course),  computers, and “what if” questions. She lives by lake Ontario with her husband and soulmate, Alex.


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