Broken Soul, and The Scholar’s Legacy series, has been a passion piece of mine for over a decade now.
It first started in 2007 as a novel called The Warborn Exodus, a sword and sorcery affair that was going to be part of a larger series (still titled The Scholar’s Legacy). Several of the characters from Broken Soul were mainstays in The Warborn Exodus: Hawke was still a main character, and Char, Othenidus, Luke, and Uraj all made appearances as well.
The story was more focused on Hawke, though, and more importantly, there was no appearance by Broken Soul’s main character, Micasa. The adventures focused on Hawke and Char travelling with a young orphaned infant, finding their way to bring Hawke home.
After finishing it in 2009, like took a hold and pulled me away from working on it for over a year. When I came back to it, I found myself unsatisfied with the quality and direction of the story. Taking the elements I liked best from The Warborn Exodus, I started anew, trying to find a different angle to approach an adventure story from.
One of the common criticisms I received on Warborn Exodus was that the infant felt unnecessary and added nothing to the story. Hawke’s journey was to build him into a sort of father figure, and I was loathe to destroy that part of the character, so I doubled back to find a way to keep that aspect while creating a more interesting character.
Thus, Micasa was born.
As a young girl who has yet to see the world, Micasa not only gave Hawke someone to create a familial bond with, but also opened the story to be told from her perspective, allowing her and the reader to take the adventure with Hawke together as they explore the land of Astra for the first time.
Broken Soul draws inspiration from many Japanese manga and anime series that I grew up with, stories of warriors on a quest for self-improvement and justice. The main themes of the novel focus on freedom and lack thereof, and the bonds that help one find their way towards such freedom.
Each chapter of the book is treated like a stand alone adventure that the characters must overcome, building towards a final conflict that connects the seemingly unrelated events. As with other works of mine, I want readers to be able to read it in small doses and not feel like they have to remember every detail of what came before it, lest they forget some small detail.
Broken Soul establishes the setting of The Scholar’s Legacy, and the relationship between Hawke and Micasa that will be a mainstay focus of the series. Though it’s written so it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone novel, I hope those who enjoy Broken Soul will look forward to the continued adventures of the pair. There are big plans on the horizon for them, and I welcome all who want to to follow them on their journey.
Reviews & media
GENRE: Fantasy (epic, young adult)
PRINT LENGTH: xxx pages
FORMAT: Kindle, paperback
Excerpt from the book
As I sit to write this, I look back on the long and colorful life I’ve lived and remember countless strange and fantastic things that I’ve survived through and how they’ve all affected me and made me into the woman I am today. None, however, have affected me as deeply as the story of the Scholar and the time that I spent with him after he saved my life.
My name is Micasa, and sadly, I can’t tell you the precise circumstances under which I was born. My first real memory was of the labor yards, where I often worked the fields from sun up to sun down. It was tireless, thankless work, and the greatest rewards I got for my efforts were lukewarm soup, half a roll of bread of questionable freshness, and the shackles around my wrists tightened slightly less when I went to sleep every night in that dingy shack they called a boarding house.
My education was all but nonexistent, save for fear of the master’s anger and the overseer’s lash. I taught myself how to talk from the stories the other slaves told each other at night while the rest of the manor slept. Most of the stories revolved around the demons that supposedly ruled the world, indiscriminately killing people and forcing them to live their lives in constant fear of their wrath.
None of the slaves had ever seen one of these monsters, but the master had more than once threatened to leave disobedient slaves out for whatever bandits or demons came across them. From the somber way the older slaves took the threat, I could only assume there was some merit to the stories.
Despite my ownership, I considered myself fortunate. The labor camp was relatively safe, far from the larger cities and villages where demon attacks and marauder raids were said to be a regular occurrence. There were plenty of guards who lived there too, protecting the estate from anything that might threaten our little corner of the world. They made it clear, though, that if we made any escape attempt, they would hunt us down quickly and punish us gladly.
So we stayed, and we worked, and Hawke Morau ‒ the Master of our household ‒ always made sure we were fed and watered and in relatively good health. Of course, it was he who made all the profit from our toil and lived in the lap of luxury; we were simply assets to be guarded or, if necessary, replaced.