Politics in Fantasy: the Inspiration for The Talented
Let me begin by saying, I don’t like politics. Never have. Because I value honesty and integrity highly, I find the misleading behaviors in politics abhorrent. So, why did I place my hero and heroine in The Talented right in the midst of an extremely convoluted political system? Because I wanted to explore the trials of living with integrity and honesty in a political role without actually living it myself..
Hadrian was born the seventh son of a seventh son, which uniquely qualifies him for the role of his nation’s Sept Son. The office of the Sept Son oversees the education and regulation of those who display a genetic inclination toward telepathy and telekinesis. These gifted people are called the Talented. The timing of the death of the previous Sept Son comes about in the first novel in the series, thrusting Hadrian, a young man in his twenties, into the very public role as the leader of the Talented.
Now, being the sept son would be difficult enough all by itself. But Hadrian’s faith in the Almighty makes the situation even more complex. Followers of the Almighty are an extreme minority in Pratinus, a nation that embraces a national religion that worships a goddess. Since Hadrian lives his faith in every facet of his life, his appointment draws the ire and ridicule of goddess followers before he even takes his place as Sept Son.
Through the course of the books, Hadrian leads armies, faces down kings and the goddess’ priests, and repeatedly makes a stand for what is right despite the consequences. These actions gain him both enemies and allies.
Despite his convictions, the unceasing opposition wears on Hadrian to the point he wishes to give up. That is where Zezilia, Korneli, Selwyn, and others fit into the picture. Although there are times that we need to stand alone, other time we will have others who will stand with us. I couldn’t throw Hadrian into the deep end without help. His faith and his friends help him navigate the dangerous waters of his position. The Almighty always provides a means of obedience, a way to succeed. It might not look like what we expect, but it is always there.
Part of my purpose in making politics such a huge factor in The Talented trilogy was to show that one can live by faith midst opposition and hostility. If we cling to the Lord, stay grounded in His word, and seek His council and purpose, we too can prevail despite overwhelming odds.