The Sixth Strand: A New View of Elae

As I write this, one of my daughters is blasting a symphonic version of “The Amazing Spiderman” from her room upstairs. It makes me very proud, both as a musician and a fantasy fan. You try to educate your children in life areas of critical importance—Star Wars, LOTR, Marvel—but you can only show them the path; they have to walk it for themselves.

That so many of you have found a path into my world is one of my most rewarding joys. As we head into the final month of book five famine, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for being so supportive over the past three years. In all the time I was writing book five, I received only encouragement, despite the gnawing hunger I know you all are/were experiencing. Your support means more to me than you can ever know. So, thank you.

Now that The Sixth Strand is off to press and available for preorder, I can spare a moment for reflection on the work. One of the aspects of the story that I most enjoyed writing was exploring the magic of Alorin in a new and different way.

In Kingdom Blades, Arion’s memory thread touches upon the idea that the strands of elae as outlined in the Sobra Iternin are merely one way of codifying of the lifeforce. Isabel points out to Sebastian in a later chapter that there are other schools of magic that don’t use Patterning at all.  We see this with Tannour’s thread in Kingdom Blades. He works the lifeforce with no understanding of Patterning or even of the strands of elae.

In The Sixth Strand, as I continued to develop Tannour’s backstory, I was able to delve into the Sorceresy and their methods of teaching magic. I can’t reveal too much of what transpired on that thread or I’ll spoil the surprise, but my delving unearthed a new character that I’m now quite infatuated with (I always have a soft spot for the dark, dangerous types) and a far deeper understanding of the Sorceresy’s work—along with why they teach their inductees to stay far away from Sormitáge Adepts.

Arion made a personal soapbox of the Fifth Law: A wielder is limited by what he can envision. And for good reason. In The Sixth Strand, we began to see how the teachings of the Sormitáge might actually limit a wielder’s ability to envision what can be done with the lifeforce.

On a broader scale, this concept is an important exploration for me. Codification of esoteric subjects (e.g. philosophy, religion, advanced mathematics) is necessary to achieve unified understanding and agreement, but when one is taught something is without recourse to his own evaluation, this has a limiting effect on one’s consciousness—curbing to some extent one’s ability to revise that information thereafter.

If something IS, the data is not necessarily free to be re-examined beneath new information, new viewpoints or new understandings gained. The idea can become fixed. Immutable. There is one God and his name is______ has caused turmoil in the Middle East for centuries.

There are many Sumarian texts that have been intentionally mistranslated because the data appeared to conflict with the timeline of the Bible.

Einstein’s theories are as limiting as they are visionary.

I have no particular religious or political agenda. If I ever take a soapbox, it’s only to advocate for the right to free thought. But I do believe that how free our thoughts are is limited in no small part by our education, and even by the way we’re educated; hence, Arion’s views on the Fifth Law, and my exploration in The Sixth Strand of another side of elae—one you may never have envisioned  before (I know I’d never thought of it until I met Tannour Valeri).

I look forward to hearing your thoughts after you read book five, and where your ideas take you thereafter.



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