Sunday, October 1, 2023

The Band of Brothers in "The Heir of Night"



2023 has been my Year of the "Band of Brothers" in fiction, and the Fantasy genre in particular. 

The Crows
From King Arthur and Robin Hood, to The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, or Leigh Bardugo's Crows and The Them in Good Omens, I could -- and do ;-) -- say that the "band of brothers" is to fantasy what flowers are to spring. :D

The Them

In addition to the band or company, there's also the more informal "scooby gang", both of which can can accommodate the "bro" or "sister"-mance. Over the next few posts, I'll be taking a closer a look at how this classic trope features in my own epic tale -- starting with The Heir of Night, Book One in The Wall Of Night series.

The Band of Brothers in "The Heir of Night"

My initial reflection, when thinking about this post, was that both "bands" and "scooby gangs" are in short supply in The Heir of Night.

But then I got to thinking how it's the set-up book for the series, as well as telling a story in its own right, and how that setup includes some of the brotherhood elements that are more prominent in books #2 and #3. (The Gathering of The Lost and Daughter of Blood respectively.) So I'm talking proto-bands and bro/sister/comrade-mance here. :-)

Right from the get-go, though, I can assure you there are no scooby gangs in The Heir of Night (Heir). The two main protagonists, Malian and Kalan, are both solitary characters until fate throws them together. Their subsequent friendship is the core of the Heir story, but it's too early to tell whether this is a budding romance, or alternatively a bromance. But the seeds are sown.

In the first part of the book, a company drawn from two divided sectors of society (the Derai) are obliged to embark on a joint rescue mission into dangerous territory. This is classic band-of-brothers stuff, where the dangers faced overcome the original divisions. That doesn't happen in the Heir situation, in part because the divisions are so deeply entrenched, but also because the mission is of short duration.

The implication being that it takes time, as well as adverse circumstances, to bridge division and create bonds of brotherhood. So there is no 'shining company' forged in Heir. But as with Malian and Kalan, there is a glimmering of future potential, particularly with a very slight softening of some divisions -- if only between a number of individuals.

And no bromances either. Although there is an instance where two individuals from either side of the divide fight side by side to stem an attack, with a greater sense of fellowship thereafter...

Having said "no shining company", I must immediately qualify because there is a small "band" that forms in the last part of the book. Although it does not bridge the same societal divide as the larger company, this smaller band is pitched into unforeseen danger and survival necessitates working closely together, and relying on each other to survive.

Whether they do or not is another question, but this is epic storytelling, where the stakes and dangers are equally high. The perfect conditions for forging bonds of brotherhood -- but only if the ongoing story allows the seeds sown in The Heir of Night to flourish. :-)


Previous Posts:

February: Honing in on 2021Celebrating the "Band of Brothers"
March: Celebrating the "Band of Brothers" in Fantasy #2
April: Celebrating the "Scooby Gang" #3
May: Celebrating the "Band of Sisters"
June: From Band of Brothers To Bromance!
July: Sister Acts: from the "Band of Sisters" to True Sisterhood
August: When Brotherhoods -- and Bros -- Go Bad!
September: "The Band of Brothers" -- A Few More Fantasy Favorites


About the Author

Helen Lowe is an award-winning novelist, poet, and lover of story. With four books published to date, she is currently completing the final instalment in The Wall Of Night series.

Helen posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog, monthly on the Supernatural Underground, and tweets @helenl0we.

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