TOP 5 SCENES
1.) Morigan as she enters Caenith's shop in the opening pages of Feast of Fates. I'm not a romance novelist. While the relationship between Morigan and Caenith (the Wolf) initially starts as a star-crossed affair, it took two drafts to arrive at this point. Originally, I had them far more adversarial in tone and interactions. However, it became difficult to keep them together under the series of catastrophes that befalls them quite soon into the novel. Indeed, beginning their storyline from a place of almost fairytale romance, then throwing every horrible wrench and monster I could at them to see if they would break, resulted in a steadfast, legendary partnership. After five books and an epic journey, it turns out I am a bit of a romantic but still not a romance novelist—I'm way too macabre for that.
2.) Morigan and Mouse's first meeting in Feast of Fates. Romantic love isn't the only type of love explored in the series. Indeed, the friendship between Morigan and Mouse is crucial to the fabric of the story. They meet during a crisis, forming an opportunistic partnership. An arc of sisterhood and true friendship slowly develops from this encounter, especially on the part of Mouse. Until her encounter with Morigan, she existed as an embittered, selfishly motivated survivor. By the series’ end, she’s nearly unrecognizable. Still herself, I suppose, only better—as we all strive to be.
3.) The pyroclastic finale to the second novel, Feast of Dreams. Here, we see Lila's transition from a sympathetic victim to a genocidal madwoman. In the words of a reviewer: "Nowhere is this (shades of morality) more evident than with poor Queen Lila. The way Brown nudges her character forward, ever so slowly, so subtly, that her downfall comes as the only logical option for her, no matter how sad the outcome."
4.) Lila's redemption arc, culminating in her judgement before a tribunal of wrathful spirits in Feast of Darkness. As with many of the characters in the series, she's given the opportunity for redemption—even for the atrocities she's committed by this point. The play between good and evil, and the consequences of making even what you believe to be the best decision at the time that has catastrophic results, are recurring themes in Four Feasts till Darkness.
5.) The Sisters of St. Celcita. A strange crossbreed of archetypes between Mrs. Marple and Wednesday Adams, the Sisters of St. Celcita, first introduced in Feast of Chaos through Lila's storyline, became effortless and entertaining characters to write. As nurses to the city's ailing, diseased, addicted, and mentally unwell population, they've developed a thick skin and sharp wit to deal with the incessant horrors of the lives they try to save. If I had to pick one scene where Sister Abagail—the lead of their order—shone, it would be where she helps Lila and her fellow fugitive as they arrive, harried by city guards, on her doorstep. The nun shows no shock at Lila's revelations; her composure suggests that she's privy to more mysteries than the fallen Queen of Eod, or readers, suspected.
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