Dori is the unlikely guide for Julian and his crew as they navigate the dangerous politics of Seaside’s Valley. She is a woman on a mission and the only thing standing in her way is that she can not for the life of her remember what that mission is.
Vague notions of days gone by plague her in her waking hours. Her dreams are wrought with confusing imagery and distorted voices. She has an understanding of what’s to come but can never really put it all into words. She knows that the time is soon coming when she will be asked to do something great or perhaps something terrible and that knowledge scares her to death.
Sensing calamity in every doorway, long knives in every shadow, and a gut feeling that tells her that she could be the cause of tremendous suffering, Dori hatches a plan to gain the kind of allies that may yet save her from whatever fate has in store for her. Throwing in her lot with the clever but untested Julian, Dori finds more than allies in her struggle against her own inner demons, she finds friends that help her to master herself along the way.
Author’s Notes: Dori is a complex character and perhaps the one that is most difficult to talk about without spoiling a great deal about the later half of the book. She’s a bundle of secrets and mysteries wrapped up in double-talk and allusion. My initial readers of the book were split in regards to how they felt about her at first, but as the chapters went on and the mystery was unraveled, they came to like her growth as a character.
Without spoiling too much, Chapter 3 begins with an aside that dates back almost a thousand years and shows Dori to be alive back then and in the midst of something important. So the reader, should he or she be paying attention, will quickly realize that Dori is very, very old. They will know that she is tied to important magic users in another City State and that her mother was a powerful Wind Mage. My intent is for this kind of background information to set the stage for her eventual rise and assumption of her power. The world as it exists in Master of the House is kind of stagnant. Things are on the verge of immense change and it is people like Dori who will be at the forefront of this.
To put it bluntly, Dori is symbolic of the magic that still resides in this world just beyond the fringes of perception. Magic is something powerful in these stories but I want it to be something rare at this point, something so potent that it’s a game changer. I think supernatural powers in a world like this should not be taken lightly. Dori is the lens through which the reader gets to understand this point. I want to say more on the matter but for fear of spoiling the later half, I’ll leave it at this…
Dori is a thousand years old.
She’s the daughter of one of the most powerful Mage to ever walk the realm.
There are a thousand voices shouting at her in any given moment.
As the saying goes, “The bonds of friendship are truly tested when it is time to share the burden.”