On Old Protagonists, and a Brand New Book
Peter’s got a brand new book out: a fantasy featuring an old man (by medieval standards.) Owain, the old King’s Champion, has outlived his swordbrother, his wife, and most of his friends… but is still going to prove to the enemies of his kingdom why you should fear an old man in a profession where most die young.
Several of his beta readers (including his wife) noted that they really appreciated a quest undertaken by a old man who defeats youth and enthusiasm with cunning and experience, instead of yet another plucky coming of age story with wise old mentor who dies. (Campbell’s Hero’s Journey was descriptive, not prescriptive!)
Thinking about it, some of the protagonists I really love and hold up to re-reading are older, with their own scars and deep backstory. Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga has Aral and Cordelia. Her Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls feature an old man and a widow, respectively. Elizabeth Moon’s Remnant Population was an utter delight with Ofelia, who was too old to care what people thought anymore. And lately, I’ve been reading some Raymond Chandler, who definitely has world-weary protagonists who had all the wide-eyed shiny rubbed off a long time ago.
What books with older protagonists do you enjoy?
Bet you’ll enjoy this one!
After decades of peace, war is threatening the Kingdom of Avranche. Its old foes are stirring, in a new alliance with darker powers. Black wings bring death and torture in the night.
Owain, former King’s Champion, hears rumors of sorcery. Visiting the grave of his sword brother, he stumbles into a deadly raid, and uncovers coded orders for a larger plot.
The kingdom’s enemies know Owain is now their greatest danger. He must race against time to find and deal with them… before they deal with him!