Recent years not withstanding, I adore politics. The ancient art of compromise, negotiation, and while no one gets what they want always, at least there’s a solution that everyone can live with. Therefore, it’s probably no surprise that all my fantasy novels are heavy into the political world building. In my YA epic fantasy, The City of Veils, Brynna spends most of her brainpower trying to navigate her thorny council. For a gal used to knocking people around to get her way, it’s an adjustment.
When Brynna is plucked from the streets, stuffed into a dress, and presented in front of the Council, she’s way out of her element. But as every good vigilante does, she observes, learns, then reacts. Almost immediately, she’s able to see who will be an ally, and who doesn’t even believe she is Princess Brynna.
Unfortunately, they still wield a lot of power, and B can’t just do whatever she wants with her country. So in order to accomplish anything, she works to bring them over to her side. Watching her apply her vigilante skills to politicking is one of my favorite parts of the book, and it’s a giant F-U to Felix when she sways a particularly mean councilor to her side.
The Rest of the World
I’ll talk more about economic world building in another post, but Brynna’s woes aren’t just local. She’s got two countries on either side of her who want more than they have, and one country to the east that’s just plain pathetic.
Probably her biggest headache (in this book and the next) is the nation of Kulka to the west. They’re incredibly rural, which means they provide Forcadel with a large swath of their food supplies. To seal a treaty, Brynna was supposed to marry their prince, but she decided to run away instead.
Now that she’s back in the hot seat, they’re eager to find out if she’ll still honor the bargain her father struck. As she points out to Felix:
“It’s like everyone’s trying to kill or marry me.
Truer words, B.