This post is based on a question from a reader. Thanks, Jared C., for the idea.
“What happened to Kolina and Alemana after they escaped from the pirates? Did they ever make it to Ahjin?”
The answer is in the books, but it’s a bit subtle in places for reasons I’ll explain, so here’s the whole reveal.
After their early adventures in Tales of Kaiatan, Kolina and Alemana swam all the way home, collected their stuff, then swam to the island of the gods. Ahjin gave them both jobs among his guards, and they are in Spark of Intrigue as such. You have to look for them by description, because early readers complained I had too many names to keep track of, so I un-named a lot of minor characters. At the time, I hadn’t written Tales, so I didn’t realize that was a bad idea for Kolina and Alemana. Oops.
But in case you missed them in Spark, they are mentioned again in Tales, as minor characters in the last story. Look in Izo’s wedding scene to find them. 😉
And here’s a bonus question for you.
“Do you ever have Easter eggs in your stories?”
Of course I do! I can give you two examples off the top of my head.
In Spark of Intrigue, Nia sees several history tapestries in the library. One shows the war between the Heresa and Tetsuya clans.
In Tales of Kaiatan (and Unexpected Tales), Shara and Hesketh’s romance is almost blighted because of rules laid down after the war between Heresa and Tetsuya.
And in Legends of Kaiatan, which is set farther back in history, the story of Fearless tells of a boy who got drafted into… the war between Heresa and Tetsuya. Yep, they’re all talking about the same war. I had a lot of fun with that one.
My second example is less complicated but more impactful.
In Seed of War, Zefra offers to show Nia the maps of legends her grandparents have, and tosses off the additional information that some of them even have songs with them. She’s just trying to keep Nia from being bored and antsy, and the comment didn’t mean anything in particular.
(The author was just tossing off the comment, too…)
Then in Spark of Intrigue, it turns out that one of those legendary maps and the song that goes with it are the key to solving the mystery and ending the conspiracy.
(Fortunately for me, I was editing Seed while I was plotting Spark and desperately looking for a way to solve my dilemma. And there it was, as a throw-away line. Sometimes authors plan ahead and foreshadow their big plot twists. Sometimes they rummage through the prior books and turn meaningless strands into important threads. Ahem.)
I don’t think I have to tell you about EVERY time I accidentally made myself look smart, do I? Nah… I’m okay if you think I’m actually that smart on purpose. 😉
Marty C. Lee
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