“About two years initially, then a few more months for rewrites. The story was originally all in chronological order, but in an effort to shorten it and get to the focus of the plot more quickly, I moved a lot of scenes involving Orlan’s childhood to later sections of the story and made them flashbacks.”
“I began working on this novel in grad school, when I was taking courses in Old English and medieval lit. In my first versions of the story, I used a lot of proper names and other words that were a sort of amalgamation of Old or Middle English and medieval French, as if the two countries and their languages had never become separate; the Norman Empire contains both. A lot of that has been edited out since to make the story easier to read, although I’ve tried to keep just a little taste of it in some of the names.”
August 30, 2010: Interview with Kathryn L. Ramage on SellingBooks.com.
“‘His first vivid, visual impression was of Redmantyl standing over him in the morning sunlight, so tall and red and bright that the wizard had been burned into Orlan’s memory. Indeed, Orlan marked his life from that moment, when all the light and strength and wondrous magic of the world had stepped into his childish awareness. He believed he had known he belonged to that man, even before he knew who Lord Redmantyl was. Before that, there was nothing.
“‘That summer, he began to test the unyielding barrier which kept him from his childhood—his father’s spell, placed upon him years ago. Until now, he had accepted it: who would wish to look back on dirt and poverty and misery when he lived in an ivory castle of magic? Orlan had not tried to remember, but his visit to Storm Port made him attempt to recall a past which had been kept from him. He wanted to know about his mother and the life he had known with her at Lammouthe. Could the spell be broken? He was a magician of some skill himself. Surely he could undo this. He must know: what had he been before his father had brought him to Wizardes Cliff?’
“Orlan Lightesblood is the son of the world’s most powerful wizard and is training to become a wizard himself. But beyond his father’s castle, he is still an innocent youth, defenseless against the evil and temptations that threaten the future laid out for him. On an alternate earth filled with wonder and danger, the wizard’s son must overcome the demons of his own past and his father’s enemies to survive to manhood.”