Posted By David Shepherd on February 11, 2015
Well, it’s been a long time in the making, but my next project is now fully evolved and progressing nicely.
‘The Restless Ones’ is my second Tale of Rhoderica, again set in a time before the Elves came to the continent.
Set after the events of ‘Wolves of Winter’, this tale of hard men in hard times has been inspired by one of the great loves from my childhood – watching Westerns with my dad.
The story is inspired by the events of The Searchers, a wonderful tale of a half-indian and his embittered uncle, attempting to rescue his kidnapped sister from the Cheyenne.
The Searchers first saw light as a newspaper serial and was eventually collected and published as a full novel in 1954. My experience of The Searchers comes not from the Alan Le May novel, but from the 1954 film. My dad first introduce me to the two Johns – Ford and Wayne – through the trilogy of cavalry movies the pair made together. The Searchers was something else – brutal and decisive, yet still holding the fireside warmth typical of Ford movies.
My tale cannot hope to hold a candle to the original, and does not try to imitate. I have taken the seed of a story – the kidnapping and subsequent quest for retrieval – and turned it into a sprawling fantasy. My characters travel through lands to the south of the world readers will be familiar with from Song of the Elves Books 1 to 3. The Southren are the protagonists – a savage race of humanoids from a humid continent lying out of reach across a narrow sea.
I hope to capture the same hope and despair that Le May envisioned and John Ford subsequently brought to the big screen. My dad and I loved John Wayne, but we were a little afraid of his lost soul portrayal of Ethan Edwards – a soldier returning defeated from the civil war. Naythan is my equivalent character, returning from the horrors of the Black Rose Wars (you can read a little of this at my website & I will return to this period of Rhoderica in a further ‘Tale’). He is a study in bitterness – he might be beyond redemption. He certainly has the mettle to get the job done. If anyone can reclaim the lost girl – Naythan can.
More to come in the coming weeks!
Until then, up the Elves!