Friday, December 1, 2023

Bromance & The Band -of-Brothers in "Daughter of Blood" by Helen Lowe

A classic theme for '23

Phew, made it to December 1 and the final post in m'2023 blog series -- and with three weeks in hand until the full festive-palooza kicks in! Awesome: high fives all round!!

For the past few years I've been blogging to a theme and this year's has been the "band of brothers" trope in fantasy fiction, right alongside it's joined-at-the-hip sibling, the bromance. (The full list of posts, with direct-link-goodness included, is at the end of this post.)

Currently, I'm rounding up the theme with a closer look at both bands-of-brothers and bromance in m'own The Wall Of Night fantasy series. Today, for the final post, the spotlight's on Book #3, Daughter of Blood.


Bromance & the Band-of-Brothers in Daughter of Blood

Last month, I asserted that Book #2, The Gathering of the Lost was "band-of-brothers central", an assertion I reiterate in respect of #3 Daughter of Blood. Only in this case, bromance is definitely part of the mix as well.

Kalan in the Red Keep

The central character in this respect is Kalan, one of the series' two main characters. (The other is Malian, the Heir of Night, but she is far more of a loner.) In the first part of the story, he competes in a grand tourney to select an honor guard for Myr, the Daughter of Blood of the title. 

The tournament not only comprises feats of arms, it's also rife with plots, politicking, and skulduggery. As an unaligned stranger in this mix, Kalan must find warriors of like mind to guard his back -- thus his first 'band', which as well as three adult warriors (Bajan, Taly, and Dab) comprises two pages (Faro and Liy) and the castle's pack of wyr (magical) hounds. 

(Using 'brothers' in a very loose and all-encompassing sense, needless to say -- as has been the case throughout. :-) )

Garan and His 'Merry Eight'

The story's second band, operating independently of Kalan, Malian, and their adventures, is more of a "happy few." A Night soldier called Garan, with his eight-unit (the foundational military unit in the world's armies) shift from what they call "nursemaid duty", escorting non-combatants, to a hunt for a missing person. 

Readers have met Garan and his eight before, but they come more fully into the picture in Daughter of Blood, where their experience and camaraderie is the glue that holds their part of the story together.

Kalan and the Bridal Caravan Assault

Following the Red Keep tourney, Kalan and eight exiled House of Blood warriors, together with thirteen of the Red Keep wyr hounds, must defend a bridal caravan--and the bride--from an unexpected attack. The odds are against them, but they team up with a Sea envoy's marine* escort, to form the nucleus of the caravan's defense. 

Again, it's all about brotherhood and shield-walls, this time in dire circumstances -- a brotherhood that's unexpectedly expanded when a prince of the House of Stars, together with his honor guard, join the defense: 

"The two commanders grasped each other’s forearms in the traditional greeting between warriors and equals, before the Stars leader bowed, demonstrating that he possessed his House's traditional grace as well as its glamor. Both drawl and smile were back in place as he regarded Kalan. “We are yours to command, my brother.”

The sharp-eyed among you may spot bromance. And you would be right! The alignment between Kalan and the Star prince is crucial in the events that follow -- just as the band-of-brothers is integral to the weft and warp of the Daughter of Blood story.


And that's it for 2023, my friends. Enjoy the holiday season -- and see you on the other side, in 2024! 

* Note: "marine" in its original sense of "solders-that-fight-on-ships", as opposed to various specific marine corps that currently exist -- a distinction discussed here: Sea House Marines in The Wall Of Night series.

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
October: The Band-of-Brothers in The Heir Of Night
November: The Band-of-Brothers in The Gathering of the Lost


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 installment in The Wall Of Night series.

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

No comments: