Three months after their first journey to Dis, David and Sarah set off once more, this time into the heart of the fortress city itself, and one hundred years earlier than their first visit.With them they carry a note, a simple instruction, on which their lives and the lives of the inhabitants of Levantium depend. But can they find the man who must receive the note, and is their very presence in the city changing a future they have already experienced?
Eight years in the making, ‘Realm of Violence’ picks up where ‘Descent’ left off. David and Sarah are back, but this time as well as evading the myriad perils of Dis, they must battle the forces of history, destiny and time itself…
It would be almost impossible to give a guide to the inner workings of the fortress city of Dis without also giving away too much of the plot of this, the second book in the Firestorm cycle. But as you navigate through the waves and spiral of time and into the inner workings of Levantium around the time of The Division War, many of the things you thought you knew from Book 1 will be turned on their head!Follow David and Sarah to learn…
Note: Realm of Violence is a sequel to Descent… if you haven’t read the first one, the second one will be ever more baffling than it is intended to be. And that’s saying something! For more on Descent click here.
In ‘Descent’ I hinted at the complexities of having multiple time-streams in a single book. In ‘Realm of Violence’ this is pushed to the limit! David and Sarah arrive back in Levantium in 1910 - over a hundred years earlier than their journey in ‘Descent’, but of course, as far as they are concerned, some months later. So David knows a whole lot more about what the future holds than the inhabitants of Levantium do.
But is the future really fixed?
I wanted to play with the idea of being able to change the past as well as the future. We meet some characters in 1910 that seem to be on very different trajectories than we ‘know’ they followed from our reading of Book 1. But which is the truth? Is there even an absolute ‘truth’? How much of what we think we remember really happened how we recall it, and did some of it never really happen at all?
‘Realm of Violence’ leaps between two distinct time-streams as we delve further back into 1899 and the eve of the Division War. This allows characters to play out their parts in highly contrasting environments, and we see how circumstance brings out different sets of beliefs and attitudes. Neither of these sets of characteristics are more or less right than the other; we all adapt our outward appearance according to our environment, and most of us, if not trying to conform to an arbitrary, external value-set, change what we believe to be true too. But to what extent are we allowed to rewrite our own narratives according to the unpredictable outcomes our well-intended actions?
All of which leaves us with the ultimate question: if we don’t know what is true, how can we know how to react to it?
‘Realm of Violence’ is an exploration of how we might break out of such paralysing indecision…