WARRIOR WITCH Character Discussion: Alex

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.

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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!

The Ending of WARRIOR WITCH 

6 thoughts on “WARRIOR WITCH Character Discussion: Alex”

  1. I actually liked the Tristan/ Alex interaction. I didn’t expect there to be mooshy touching things. Lol your grown ass man comments. So funny. I’d like to see more about Alex still, like a short story when he was younger and maybe went to check out the mountain that used to hold his father. I dunno. 😛

  2. So I will readily admit I was one of the readers that grappled with Alex a bit – both in relation to Arcadia and his interaction with Tristan. Not in that I expected him to be taken along with Cecile – agreed he is a grown ass man with a life 🙂 -but more in the vein of at the end of his life, he will end without either of his parents and maybe more poignant is that Cecile will have an eternity without him. As an older young adult reader (26), the thought of her choosing eternity with her husband over the chance of being with her child again (assuming a sort of heaven exists), was where I had some difficulty. For Alex and Tristan I did wish for a little more – not a big gushy scene which I know wouldn’t have fit Tristan or what I imagine Alex to be like as a product of his parents – but just some other reassurance or connection. I’m sure that a contributing factor was that by the end of the book I was an emotional wreck. And overall I did love the closure the book gave me.

    1. Hi Rachael!
      It’s okay to grapple with elements of the book! Just because I have reasons for writing things a certain way doesn’t mean you have to like or agree with them 😀 You raise a good point that I didn’t discuss in the post, and that was Cecile’s choice to stay in Arcadia. Obviously, her days in the human world were at end as she was dying from illness, so her choice is Arcadia or the potential human afterlife.

      After Tristan brings her over, he says, “Our bond was what kept your soul from going…elsewhere, but it could be broken if that’s what you want.” She asks, “How long CAN I stay,” to which he responds, “Forever.” But nowhere is it written that she HAS to stay forever, or that Tristan’s offer to let her soul go on is a one time deal. For the first time in their relationship, Cecile is able to make the choice of what she wants to do without massive consequences looming over her head. She speaks of the last burden being lifted in knowing that Alex and the others suspect she’s in Arcadia – that’s she done all she could for those she loves, including them not being unnecessarily aggrieved over her non-death. But that isn’t the same as not missing them or not caring about what happens to them – more an acknowledgement that the days of her holding everyone’s fate in her hands are finally over. Which I think would be an enormous relief for someone who has lived the life she has lived.

      Cecile could stay in Arcadia for a year, one hundred years, or forever. The choice is hers. Maybe she remains for Alex’s lifetime, watching and sharing those moments with Tristan, then she decides to move on. Maybe she doesn’t. The reader can imagine whatever he or she wants of Cecile’s future.

      xo
      D

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