The theme of my blog post this week is the reaction of some readers to Siray’s developing love life in Book 2, Change of Edict.
I had one reader recently leave an interesting comment on their thoughts on the sequel:
“In the first book, I loved how the love story was just hinted at. It was all so innocent and felt organic to the story. Now, I just honestly want to grab the author and ask her what she’s done. It’s no longer just a romance. It’s not even an annoying love triangle. We have so many people vying for her (the lead character’s) affections, I’m not even sure what to call it anymore.”
Fair enough comment and I like hearing this type of feedback, as it tells me that readers are caring enough to leave hints about what they liked and didn’t like, and what they would like to see more of. And as this reader rated Change of Edict 4 stars, I know she’s enjoying the books.
But as she asked a straight up question, I’ll give her a straight up answer. Or kind of, through the rest of this post.
I do, however, have to refer the reader above though to one of my earlier blog posts, about how sometimes I don’t get much of a say in what happens to the characters (weird I know, but read that blog and it’ll help explain that craziness).
But in relation to the developing romance, yes dear readers, you will find a clear difference between the ‘love’ plot in Change of Chaos (book 1) compared to Change of Edict (book 2).
In Change of Chaos, the love story is a subtle, slightly formal courtship, while in Change of Edict, it almost becomes a key theme, and in comparison, tries to smack you in the face and overwhelm you.
Why? Because amongst other things, The Change Series is about coming of age, and all the things that phrase entails, including how romance can range from being a quiet thing to something where you can suddenly find yourself ‘king or queen of love land’, as it were.
Interestingly, what my reader above didn’t note is how the main character, Siray, while inundated with attention at one point in Change of Edict, is also overwhelmed by it all at other points. Not only that, but she turns to someone older than herself for advice, which many of us have done at different times in our lives.
Also, the dynamics of the relationships between the featured characters continually shift throughout the book—after all, when we are young adults, we can be impressionable, fall more quickly in love (or out of love) with someone and, most definitely, find ourselves enjoying and running from the attention in equal measure, just as Siray does.
So, while one of my characters may have multiple love interests at any one point, its highly unlikely that the character loves all those people in the same way. And it might take them some thinking to figure that out.
But by now, hopefully readers who are familiar with Siray as a character know, or suspect, that our lead character isn’t one to moan over a love decision—she does, after all, have more important things to consider (e.g. war with the Faction).
In our reality, no one has complete control over their love life. It is a give and take, and sometimes one or the other is more prominent.
And on Kaslon, where Siray and the others live, it is the same—except their society has different rules around this. For example, while Siray might have multiple love interests, or to say it better, multiple potential lovers are interested in her, according to Kaslon custom (and as noted by one character in my books), only two males can court a female at any one point. So it’s not that hard to see where Siray’s multiple admirers stand in the ‘love’ hierarchy.
But if you, dear reader, get overwhelmed by the multiple love plots twisting through Change of Edict, then my advice is to just enjoy it and go along for the ride.
For me, the central plot of The Change Series is not about love—nor could you suspect it of being so, given everything else that is happening—but at some point in everyone’s lives, love does try to be the main feature, for however brief a time that is.
And for me, Change of Edict is the book that captures this confusing, whirlwind moment for Siray.
Although, personally (and as some other readers have noted), I found the tiny snippet included on one of the other relationships in the sequel far more riveting (sorry for making you guys cry!).
Anyway, big thanks to my reader for their review and leaving feedback on such an interesting topic!