Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Character of the week: Gail Z. Martin

Yes, I know there was no 'character of the week' feature last week. Or, um, the week before either. The reason is simple: deadlines and busy diaries. Rest assured, I've had a number of enthusiastic responses from the authors I've contacted, and a wide variety of possible characters have been mooted by the respective individuals. However, they all have stated that due to current work commitments they won't be able to submit their contributions just yet. Hopefully these articles will surface over the course of the next few weeks, so keep checking back.

In the meantime however, I'm delighted to say that Gail Z. Martin - author of the popular Chronicles of the Necromancer series - has ridden to the rescue with her own contribution.

Here's what Gail had to say about her favourite character...

I was very pleased when James asked me about my favorite character, but hesitant, the way you’d feel if someone asked you to name your favorite friend. I’ve read and watched science fiction and fantasy since I was 12, and discovering it was literally life changing. So narrowing it down to one character is really very hard.

In the end, the choice of Vanyel Ashkevron from Mercedes Lackey’s The Last Herald-Mage trilogy comes because of all the many characters I have loved and who have become a part of me, Vanyel is the only one for whom I grieve as if he were real. I first read Magic’s Pawn many years ago, and this character haunts me. He is more real to me than many people I have known. I have no explanation for that. It just is.

When I think of Vanyel, it’s with the same emotion I feel remembering friends who have died. There is such a mix of tragedy and nobility in his character, of moving forward in the worst of circumstances, of being willing to sacrifice everything for love, honor and duty. I love the way he struggles throughout the books to reconcile himself to who he is and who he was meant to be. Although his family tries to crush his differences and force him into their mold, he refuses to compromise. He makes peace with himself and his past through the love of people who accept him as he is. And he has the courage to take a stand, knowing the price, because it’s what he must do. In the end, duty, love and honor transcend even death.

A good book makes you feel as if you know the characters in real life. A great book makes you sad to close the pages on the last chapter because the people you have come to love are going away. A favorite book never leaves you. Favorite characters become a part of you. And so it is with Vanyel.

Many thanks to Gail for her excellent contribution! If you've read my previous reviews of The Summoner and The Blood King, you'll know that by and large I enjoyed them very much.

For further info, check out Gail's website:

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