Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bringing Inspiration from Esther into a Fantasy Realm

Queen, Fantasy Inspired by Esther
Bringing Queen Esther into a fantasy realm, and entwining her story with another heroine, was a challenge I thoroughly enjoyed. While I was writing Prophet, Judge, and King, one of my editors wrote to me about the importance of bringing the mood and intent of the scriptures to life, while making the fantasy realm and its stories unique. How did I bring Esther’s story into Serena’s world?
If it helps, Serena is actually based on two women from the Scriptures. One is Esther, so both storylines are entwined and not the second character-inspiration from Scripture is more overt until the end. (I'm not mentioning the second O.T. woman's name due to spoilers.) 

Queen’s parallels to Esther actually begin in Exiles. Nik (Nikaros) is Serena's relative, who protects and rescues the king while rising to power within the kingdom, and his kinship with Serena strengthens his position, as well as brings him favor with the king. Vashti's disgrace is reflected in Zaria's rebellion and scheming, and Dasarai and Ebatenai are Serena’s final judges (within the harem). When Serena meets Bel-Tygeon in his own kingdom, I've drawn some oblique comparisons in her thoughts and resolutions as she prepares to meet the king. Also, Serena is chosen throughout her journey over and over again based on her looks, and she is chosen against her will, as Esther implied. I made a deliberate decision to show the Infinite working quietly in the background, as the Lord did during the story of Esther, to save His people (in this case, the Eosyths who love and revere Him despite the threats from their enemies). 

As for the king, I had such FUN bringing Ty (Bel-Tygeon) into an ordinary family, and his longing to have a family and children of his own really came to the surface here, when it was only hinted at in Exiles. Which beloved names from the Scriptures are represented in Ty’s character? There are several—one no one has guessed yet!

Blessings, and happy reading!