Sazed was many people’s favorite character in the first book. I knew pretty early on in the writing process of that book that Sazed would become a major force in the novel. In fact, he was one of the very first characters I outlined and built in my head. Who he is, and what he stands for, is quite integral to the plot arc of the entire series.
So, knowing that, you probably aren’t surprised to see him become a major viewpoint character in this book. I loved writing his chapters. The way he sees the world–always trying to look from other people’s viewpoints, always trying to understand others and give them the benefit of the doubt–makes him very dear to me. He is pleasant to write about, and his inner turmoil (we’ll talk more about that later) is so much more painful because of how basically a nice person he is.
My favorite plotting mechanic of the Sazed chapters, particularly these early ones, is the fact that the peasants don’t really care about what he wants to teach them. The Keepers were a very important element from the first book–people who had worked so hard to memorize the things of the past and keep them safe for the day when the Lord Ruler died. This is, in part, a nod to Fahrenheit 451.
However, there’s also a bit of an arrogance to that organization. They have the truth, they keep the truth for everyone else, and they are the ones who will bring it gloriously back to the people. Supposedly.
I wanted, in this book, that glorious return to be underwhelming for the Keepers. A group of scholars wouldn’t, I think, even have considered that nobody would CARE about the things they researched and memorized. Their battle is far from over. I think that convincing the people to learn is much more difficult a task than memorizing the information in the first place.