Parkite’s new fantasy novel, ‘Master Artificer,’ follows an anti-hero on his path to darkness
The book is the second installment of Justin T. Call’s ‘Silent Gods’ series
Justin T. Call’s new fantasy novel, “Master Artificer,” continues protagonist Annev de Breth’s journey to becoming a dark lord.
Call, a Summit Park resident, released the book, which is the second in his “Silent Gods” series, Tuesday. The book is available online at Amazon and barnesandnoble.com.
It is also available at Weller Book Works in Trolley Square and Barnes and Noble in Orem.
The book will be available to purchase in the Wasatch Back in a few days, Call said.
“Because of the pandemic, there have been delays of getting the books into the stores,” he said. “So there may be a delay.”
“Master Artificer” picks up where Call’s debut, “Master of Sorrows,” ends, he said.
“There is also a little overlap of some of the characters in Book 1, and the tone for Annev in the first part of the new book is the same, but as the book completes, you have an arc of seeing him transform from being a naive hero who saves the world into becoming something else,” Call said. “He’s heroic, still, but also not. You can see the path he’s on, but you can empathize with him. And Book 2 is about him finding his path and starting his own personal journey.”
It’s no secret that Annev is on the path to evil, according to Call, who is also a board game designer.
“I told people I was going to write an origin story for a hero who would become a dark lord, and that I wanted to do it in four books,” he said. “‘Master Artificer’ is longer, darker, deeper, denser and more brutal. You see the trajectory of Annev, the protagonist, as he progresses from being a reluctant hero to being something else, and it’s kind of exciting.”
One of the challenges of writing “Master Artificer” was deciding how much of Annev’s journey Call could fit in this book.
“It’s about how much of the story is essential, and how much can I put off for another time,” he said. “I had to think about how much of what I write will add to the story and how much it won’t.”
The author set the stage for Annev’s evolution in “Master of Sorrows,” which was published last year.
“I had given the readers the bare minimum for the magic system and the world outside of the village that this character lives in,” Call said. “I’ve given them a cast of character and established mythologies, but all of those things are still the tip of the iceberg.”
With “Master Artificer” Call moves into other realms, politics and kingdoms.
“There are also new points of view from characters who were secondary in the first book, and you get to see them get involved and explore these new opportunities, as well,” he said.
Writing “Master Artificer” was a much different experience than writing “Master of Sorrows,” Call said.
“‘Master of Sorrows’ was the first book in my fantasy series, but I wrote it as part of my thesis along with a critical essay while I was at Harvard,” he said. “Even then, I had spent about 10 years world building and making sure I knew what I wanted to say. But I only had about two years to write the new book.”
Luckily, Call had an outline of what he wanted to accomplish in the book.
“I had an idea of what Annev would do in these books, and I had specific character arcs that I want to accomplish, along with several themes and tropes that I want to explore,” he said.
Another challenge for Call is writing about what some readers would call an “anti-hero.”
“It’s easy for people to identify with a young hero,” he said. “That hero grows, makes difficult choices and sacrifices to become more heroic in the process. But the catch with Annev is that some people may not want to identify with someone who is evil, so the challenge is to give the readers an empathetic character and keep them engaged with the character throughout his entire journey. I want readers to still love and identify with this character and accept him, so they get the hero and the dark lord.”
For information about “Master Artificer” and “Master of Sorrows,” visit justintcall.com.
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