COFE Staycation – Evolution of Catilen and the Island

COFE Staycation – Evolution of Catilen and the Island

I’ve talked a lot about how the island in the Mystical Island Trilogy is a character in its own right (we even named the series after it). We established early on that the island’s personality and desires are shaped largely by the person it is connected to. In the first book, that meant Sentomoru. Of course, he already knew the ins and outs of the island, having lived on it his entire life, and he manipulated its powers with nary a thought.

Catilen, on the other hand, came into control of the island under strange circumstances. The only teacher she had available was the island itself, which made her education touch and go. Catilen wasn’t even an experienced sorcerer when she took control of the island, which made her initial tenure all the more difficult. She had only just become comfortable with her empathic abilities, and now she had a whole new set of skills to learn – and quickly, or there would be some dire consequences.

I wanted to open this book with a contrast in how the island looks, and acts, when it’s connected to a different person. That meant asking a lot of new questions. For example, what happens to the island when the person connected to it changes? On the one hand, if its ruler changes for the better, its inhabitants would see a lot of positive impact. But what if its ruler took a dark turn? How would that affect the people just trying to live their lives?

In the short term, we don’t really think about land undergoing transformations. While it’s true that forests grow and burn, that mountains rise and erode, that rivers flood and dry up, these things usually take decades or centuries to create noticeable change. Magic allowed us to explore the evolution of our mystical island more quickly – especially considering its ruler can cause a new forest to grow in an afternoon, if they’re willing to expend the energy on the effort.

Much like the island she now rules, Catilen has grown and changed in the eight years since the first novel took place. She knows where she belongs; and she has embraced her strange abilities. She is content in a way she never has been. But sometimes, looks can be deceiving. We often build our confidence on shaky foundations. As people are prone to do, Catilen has buried events from her past, hoping to forget they ever happened rather than deal with the potential fallout. Coming events are about to remind her that she can’t run away forever.

Revisiting the toughest decisions she’s ever made in her life will force Catilen to examine who she really is and if it matches who she wants to be. And she has to be careful, because the entire island is coming along for the ride!

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The island is on a collision course with an alternate version of itself…

The island flourishes under Catilen’s rule. But Damian can’t escape the former lord’s shadow. It haunts him keenest in the form of Catilen’s seven-year-old daughter, Morulin. Damian wants to be part of her life, but fears rejection when she learns the truth about her father’s death.

With the island at her back, Catilen thought she could deal with any crisis. But when something tears the veil between worlds, she comes face to face with the man she spent the last eight years trying to forget. Worst of all, the island’s predicament has infected Catilen’s daughter with a mysterious ailment.

Catilen must put her personal strife aside, and stop Damian’s from consuming him, because saving the island’s inhabitants means making peace with Kenjiro Sentomoru.

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