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journey of the wanderer

Boosting the Signal

Boosting the Signal: Journey of the Wanderer, by Shawna Thomas

Authors that write fantasy and SF, with or without a side helping of romance, are a bit thin on the ground at Carina Press. Which is why I’m particularly happy to welcome Shawna Thomas to Boosting the Signal. Take it away, Shawna! Or should I say, Shawna’s villain, Bredych? Anybody besides me hear Tom Hiddleston reading this speech, or what?


Journey of the Wanderer

Journey of the Wanderer

In Bredych’s Words:

Most stories are told from the hero’s point of view. Mine is no different. I have been known by many names, but you may call me Bredych. Have you ever stopped to consider the broader picture? I have. They say history is told by the victor. Well, then, if that is true, who are the heroes? Those with ideals and noble intentions or simply those who have penned the words recounting the tale of what was done and by whom?

Are the heroes those whose ideals have won the day and anyone who challenged them are considered villains?

I have been cast into the role of antagonist. I have been called evil, manipulative, and greedy. It’s a role I accept for now. Not because I think that my ideals, my goals, are less worthy than those who dare oppose me, but because my enemies’ thoughts about me are irrelevant. It changes nothing.

I have worked tirelessly through the years, meticulously placing every player where I need them. I have built and rebuilt my kingdom from the ashes. Some worship me, some love me, and some hate me, but all fear me. Fear is the great motivator. Fear is necessary. After all my goals are noble. I, too, will unite Anatar under one ruler. I will bring peace to the land. I will drag these backwards peasants into the light kicking and screaming if necessary–for their own good.

And Ilythra? Yes, she pretends to be a hero. She plays at nobility and merely speaks of honor and love. But what does she offer that is of use? War? Death? The killing of the innocent? She seeks to reunite the stones, and she calls it justice. Where is the justice in handing all that power over to Ewen and the Siobani? And once the Siobani have it, what then? Will they use it to better mankind? History proves they will not. They chose to disengage, to retreat into legend rather than dirty their hands in human ways. I know. I was there.

I will reunite the stones. I will bring and end to suffering. Anatar will be united under my rule. In the end, all will see that my way is better, including Ilythra. We bear two of the great stones; the Siobani possess only one. If she will not unite with me, then she will fall with them. This is not something I desire–I do not wish to destroy her–but if she continues to oppose me, then it cannot be avoided. Rulers must make hard decisions and cannot let personal feelings cloud their judgment.

I accept the role of villain because history has yet to be written, and I plan to be the one who writes it.

I invite you to read these chronicles and decide for yourselves.


In Shawna’s Words: Excerpt from the Novel:

Bredych approached the map with reverence. He inhaled the scent of ink mixed with smoke from the poorly ventilated fire. A single lamp haloed the ivory surface, lending the map texture and depth as the flame flickered. Without quite touching the thick parchment, he traced the southern coastline with his finger, up across deserts to mountains and valleys. In a very real way, the map represented a lifetime of work, of careful planning. He followed the vivid lines to the far south, where the clans there still worshiped and feared him, up and to the east to Rugia, where the tribesmen feared and hated him. He shrugged. There was little difference really. It was the fear that drove them. In the end, it didn’t matter if he was offered tribute out of adoration or to appease him.

He moved his finger to the west coast. The villages there were unorganized and ineffective. They would be easy prey for the southern clans. Further north, built on a peninsula, the great city of Edriel stood waiting for him to pluck it. Maybe he’d make his seat of government there. He smiled. It had a rich history, he wondered if the king of Edriel knew that the Siobani had built the city and abandoned it with the rest of Anatar to the humans. He reviewed what he knew of King Jaryn. No, he had vast libraries at his disposal but he doubted the king had yet to crack open one book.

To the right of Edriel, across the plains, Bredych had very carefully placed small wooden figurines on several of the larger kingdoms. He stared at each one in turn, remembering the satisfaction of placing the piece there after the kingdom had come under his command. Each king in those places merely waited for his command. Each had been promised a place in his empire. Depending on how they served him in the coming conflict, he’d keep his promise.

He remembered the day he’d been reading through the Siobani histories and found out that he’d been lied to. The Siobani had kept the greater power for themselves. They didn’t use it, but kept the secret locked away from even him, a stone keeper. The elder race had treated him no better than an outsider, a beggar on the street.

That day he had decided to bring them down. To make them grovel at his feet. He clenched his teeth together. And that day was coming.

He wondered what Ilythra would do if she knew Ewen had a way to defeat him and simply refused to use it.


About the Author: Winner of an RT award for her debut novel, Altered Destiny, Shawna Thomas has been writing since she can remember. She currently lives in California with her husband and seven children. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s playing in the garden, developing new desserts or sitting back with a cup of coffee and a good book.

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