Sunday, 28 January 2018

The Black River Chronicles: Who Would You Be?

I was once asked in an interview, "If you could live in the world of a fantasy novel, which one would it be?" and again, "If you could be any one of your characters, who would you choose?"  The answer to both questions was the same: I wouldn't want to live in any fantasy world, thank you very much, and certainly not one of my own.  Those places are dangerous!  I mean, real life is dangerous, but fantasy lands are seriously dangerous.  I might stub my toe, or slip on an icy pavement, or get a funny tummy from eating shrimp that's been in the fridge for too long, but I don't expect to ever have to stare down a dragon.

But if I was going to be a character in a fantasy novel, especially one of my own, I wouldn't pick anyone at the Black River Academy; even by relative standards, it seems severely hazardous.  And if I had kids, I wouldn't let my kids go there either.  Oh, that head tutor Borgnin might make a big show of having safety measures in place, but have you ever seen them in action?  Have they once teleported out a party that were about to be splatted by trolls or devoured by giants?  Well, maybe; I mean, I don't want to disparage the educational establishment in my own books.  Still, I'd be awfully wary if I found myself there, and I wouldn't waste any time buying a ticket on the first stagecoach to Luntharbor, which frankly sounds like a far nicer spot.

Now, I realise that I'm a grump with no sense of adventure and perhaps too healthy a sense of self-preservation, and not everyone's like me.  Some people enjoy imagining themselves as characters in even the most dangerous of stories, and no doubt there's at least someone out there who's thought "Boy, I'd sure like to be one of the students in those Black River Chronicles, they seem to be having plenty of fun, what with the murderous shapeshifters and the savage unicorns and the poisonous giant toads and the walking corpses."

For those people: congratulations on being much braver than I am.  And I've made you a little quiz.  Because there's no use imagining yourself as a character in the Black River Chronicles without knowing which of the party you're most suited to be, right?  I mean, maybe you're envisaging yourself as Hule when you'd be much better off as Arein; maybe you like the idea of firing off the odd arrow and running away a lot the way Durren does, but you'd be far better off slinking around in the shadows and generally being all Tia-like?  Or, you know, perhaps you're be best off as a floating eyeball that really doesn't contribute all that much.  Because that's an option, too!

The point being: there's now a Black River Chronicles quiz.  And you can find it here.  Have fun!  And don't come complaining to me if you don't get the answer you want, it was created using rigorous science and is totally infallible!

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