This post is part of a series of posts discussing characters and events in WARRIOR WITCH. They will all contain serious spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book, I’d suggest holding off on reading them. I’m even sticking a giant image of the cover below so that you don’t accidentally see anything you don’t want to.
There is always a reader reaction to each novel that totally surprises me, and in the case of WARRIOR WITCH, it was the reaction to Tristan and Cécile’s son, Alex. LOTS of people have messaged me about him, so if you are one of them, don’t think I’m picking on you in particular. The first and foremost question I’ve received is whether there will be a series of novels written about him.
The answer to that is probably not. At the end of WARRIOR WITCH, Alex is about twenty-nine or thirty years old, so he isn’t exactly good material for a YA novel. And if something novel-worthy had happened to him in his younger years, Tristan probably would’ve mentioned it! But you never know… maybe an idea will strike me, and I’ll have to write a novel about it!
The second reaction is why bother with a baby at all given this is a YA novel. Most of this stems from my desire to remain true to the characters I created, which is something I’ll talk about in length in my post on Marc. The idea of having a child was something that Tristan and Cécile brought up continually in STOLEN SONGBIRD and HIDDEN HUNTRESS, particularly their fear over what would happen to it. Having a child at some point was obviously something both of them wanted, and to take that from them (after I already took so much!) seemed really unfair.
The third reaction, and this one is what has REALLY surprised me, is the number of people who thought it was cruel that I didn’t bring Alex to Arcadia to be with his parents. I…. Hmmm. This one really threw me, because he’s a GROWN ASS MAN when Cécile crosses over. He has a life in the human world – friends, family (Fred, Joss, Sabine, Chris, etc.), a career, and he’s in a serious romance with Aiden and Zoé’s daughter. Taking him away from all that so he could hang out for eternity with his PARENTS and a bunch of strangers seems a heck of a lot crueler to me. Sure, it would’ve been nice for Tristan to spend time with him, but no good father would put his own wishes ahead of his son’s happiness. And we’re going to assume that Tristan is a good, albeit absent, father.
The third reaction was to Tristan not voicing more loving words towards Alex when they finally meet. I admit, I waffled a bit when I was writing this particular section. The reason I didn’t have Tristan express a whole bunch of loving sentiment was twofold. One, it would’ve been out of character for Tristan. He isn’t exactly the best at expressing his feelings, and for him to give a big sappy speech would’ve been breaking character. Two, I think if he’d done so, it would’ve made both Tristan and Alex really uncomfortable. They’ve never met before, and to Alex (the grown ass man) his father looks like a teenager. To hear a big “I’m so proud of you speech” would’ve felt a bit weird. So instead, I had Tristan try to convey his emotions to Alex by making it very clear that he’s been watching over him the entire time. Alex has been raised with a lot of love in his life, and he knows his father didn’t leave him by choice. It mattered much more to him that Tristan was there for Cécile in her final hour than hearing a bunch of sentiment that, in his heart, he already knew. Plus, the always savvy Sabine has figured out that Tristan intended to bring Cécile over to Arcadia, and knowing his beloved mother was finally able to be with his father would’ve made him really happy.
Comments are open for anyone who has more questions!