I am excited to have Gillian Bronte Adams as a guest this week on my blog. She is a fellow fantasy writer and friend (and has the most gorgeous red hair!). She is here to share a snippet from her latest novel, Out of Darkness Rising, and one of the ideas behind her story, what if you never saw the sun? So without further ado, here is Gillian!
The Sun Yet Rises
A little over a week ago, I could have sworn the dark of Mordor was descending upon us. I happened to glance out the window at work and watch the world turn from gray to black in a matter of seconds. Less than a minute later, it was pouring.
Had I not feared looking like too much of a dork, I might have given into the temptation to announce in a properly woeful voice that “Doom is upon us.” As it was, I merely whispered it to myself and cast baleful glances out the window.
For almost two weeks, a rainstorm had been camped out over my little town, and life was dim, gray, damp, and dreary. I would wake up tired, head in to work tired, slog through the mud at the barn tired, and try to plan my day around the weather only to be outsmarted at every turn. By the time I made it back home—tired—I was weary and dispirited.
Had the Lady of the Green Kirtle been present, I would have been all to ready to nod along and slip into a dull listlessness as I denied the very existence of the sun. Had Faramir appeared, full of dauntless hope that this darkness would not endure, I might have laughed—but it would have been a cheerless laugh, for the clouds and the gloom and the damp seemed here to stay.
More than anything, I wanted to see the sun.
For the villagers in my novella Out of Darkness Rising, it has been nearly a thousand years since anyone caught more than a glimpse of the sun through the heavy murk surrounding the Island. Bright sunlight, blue skies, and clear, crisp mornings are but a thing of legend, no less mythical than tales of a forgotten King. It was a key element of the story, but I wrote it in there without truly giving it much thought beyond the simple logistics.
It wasn’t until I experienced a taste of it (albeit a small one) that it truly struck home.
Can you imagine never seeing the sun?
Never stepping out into a brightness so cheerful it warms your spirit. Never feeling its heat bathing your skin. Never squinting before a light so true your eyes cannot take it in.
Light and darkness are not uncommon themes in Christian fantasy (or general market fantasy, for that matter) because they are not uncommon themes in Scripture. There are countless verses that reference light and darkness, but two of my favorites became theme verses for Out of Darkness Rising.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)
“God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, who no one has seen or can see. To Him be honor and might forever. Amen.” I Timothy 6:15b-16 (NIV)
Those verses seeped into my thinking as I was writing Out of Darkness Rising and came back to mind while I was bemoaning my measly two weeks of storm clouds. Then one afternoon, while I was curled up in my desk chair working on a project (i.e. staring pensively off into the distance) my brain registered what my eyes had already seen.
And not peeking-through-the-clouds, soon-to-be-smothered sunlight either. It was honest-to-goodness, blazing glory of the sun! In no time at all, I abandoned my desk chair and my project and took to the trails to bask in the daylight.
Perhaps I am spoiled living where I do, where rainy days are not infrequent but sunny days are rarely far behind. Perhaps I should not be complaining. But the dreary, gray days seemed to sap the energy from my limbs and my mind, like I was stumbling through a thick fog for days on end. With the reappearance of the sun, I felt more alive than I had in the previous two weeks.
It was truly glorious thing!
And I couldn’t help being reminded of this scene from Out of Darkness Rising, when Marya catches her first glimpse of the sun.
“At his command, the dark mist covering the Loch fled, scattering before a warm breeze. Blue sky shone clear overhead, and for the first time in centuries, the villagers were able to behold the light of the sun. Light. Marya reveled in the wondrous sight, her unaccustomed eyes watering at the intensity. She took a deep breath and then another, filling her lungs with new, clean air.”
How about you? Can you imagine never seeing the sun?
GILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. She is the author of Orphan’s Song, book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.