Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mirror, Mirror

As I'm working on Young Rene XIV, I'm realizing that the 708 Rebellion in Codyland is almost precisely contemporaneous with Sebastien's usurpation of the Cypress Throne and Rene's ouster of him. Which makes me want to work on Steam Heat in parallel with it.

There are strong parallels between the two novels, which make them an interesting study in contrasts. Both of them are about struggles against tyranny, and both stories are resolved by the restoration of a rightful leader. But what constitutes the rightful leader is very different in the two countries.

The Swamp Kingdom is a heriditary monarchy. Thus, Rene's primary claim to legitimacy rests upon his being the eldest son of the previous king. By contrast, Codyland traces its heritage to the United States and the tradition of popular sovreignty, even if formal republican government has been submerged. Thus, the legitimate ruler is the one who represents the people's will.