Why did you drop Melliandra’s story without resolving it?

I've had a number of people write to say I "dropped" Melliandra's story or left it hanging, but I honestly didn't. Melliandra's life will continue after this book, and I will write the story of her adventures, but her role and her own story goals in the Tairen Soul series were completely resolved in COCF.

Melliandra's story goal was FREEDOM - for herself and Shia's son. She achieved her goal. She would never have sought refuge w/the Fey. She already told Shan she believed the Fey would kill her for being Eld. It's also important to remember that she didn't free Shan out of kindness. She freed him solely so he could kill the High Mage and set her free from the Mage Marks that enslaved her. (And killing Maur could well have cost Shan and Elfeya their lives, so there was no altruism on Melliandra's part. Her arrangement with Shan was a barter, his freedom for hers, with deadly risk on both sides.) To have her act in any other way than she did (escaping with Shia's child and forging her own path towards freedom) would have been completely counter to her personality, her goals, and her very strong, very mistrusting survival instincts. Melliandra's story in this series ends on COCF p. 443, exactly as Melliandra wanted it to end:

"With Shia's child and one other cradled against her chest and a little girl with eyes the color of a not-eilissi sky clinging to her hand, Melliandra Maureva, descendent and slave of the High Mage of Eld, drew a shaky breath and took her first, hesitant step into freedom."

Everything Melliandra has ever wanted throughout the series is resolved in that one paragraph. Everything. Freedom - for herself and Shia's son. And she gets a bonus - more children, including a little girl with eyes the color of a bright blue sky (the sky she equates with the freedom she's long dreamed of), and a companion, Nicolene.

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Was the girl toddler that Melliandra and the Fey woman rescued at the last minute significant in some way?

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Why had the High Mage determined Melliandra had no magic at a very young age when she clearly had great power?

In LORD, Rain mentions that some Fey don't come into their powers until later. Melliandra didn't come into her power until this book. (Remember, Vadim also didn't know Ellie had magic either, though granted, her parents hid all signs of it from him.) Melliandra is a young teen, just coming into adulthood, and that physical maturing is bringing her magic to fruition as well.

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What was the significance of Gaelen having “Shia's eyes?”

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Is Melliandra Gaelen’s shei’tani?

Gaelen is bloodsworn to Ellysetta.

A shei'tanitsa bond cannot form where other bonds hold sway.

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Surely, Shannissoran V'en Celay would want to see to the wellbeing of the little girl who risked so much to save him. Why didn't he look for her?

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Did Melliandra ever make it to the Fading Lands?

No, Melliandra did not make it to the Fading Lands because that wasn't where she was heading. She's going north, to the Mandolay Mountains.

Someplace remote and inaccessible.

Someplace she hopes she and the children will be safe from both Eld and Fey.

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Why didn’t Ellysetta just heal all the dahl’reisen the way she healed Gaelen?

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Are Kieran and Kiel the shei’tans of Lillis and Lorelle? Will you be writing their story?

Elfeya seems to think something's brewing there.

As for their story, we'll have to wait and see.

It's percolating, but I don't have anything definite yet.

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Will you be writing more books set in the Fading Lands?

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Will you be writing Bel's book? Gaelen's?

The short answer is: yes, to both.

The long answer is: Bel's book is already underway and Gaelen's book has a preliminary plotline. I started Bel's book several years ago and was going gangbusters on it, but got pulled off to work on SEA KING. Now, Bel's book is one of three (3) Fading Lands projects that I'm working on in addition to JAGUAR KING (3rd Weathermages of Mystral book). Bel's book, most likely, will come after the other FL projects due to the Elloran timeline. (When stories/timelines are linked, I prefer to write them in order.)

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