And now comes the redemption chapter.
This is the sort of thing that I write books to do. It’s the sort of chapter that I really hope to be able to pull off. That may seem strange to some of you, as it’s not the climatic ending or the like—but it’s the turning point of the story. Probably the most important one in the book.
I’ve said before that I feel Epic Fantasy is about return on investment. We often demand a lot of readers in terms of worldbuilding. There’s a lot to catch up on and follow in a book like this. The goal, then, is to be able to deliver powerful scenes that make use of the investment.
The reward for the early chapters is this chapter. It lays a foundation for the entire book. I’ve brought Kaladin as low as I could bring him, and now we get to experience the scramble upward.
Perhaps I think about these things too much. However, this was exactly what was missing from Prime when I wrote it. I was baffled, at the time, as to why the book just didn’t work. It had all of the elements of a good epic, and yet the book felt hollow somehow. There were fun adventures to be had, but no real impact. What it needed was this sequence, which has a lot of motion (and hopefully heart) to it.
This chapter makes the book for me.