Dear readers, tonight with us is a young woman touched by magic – in a world where that is punishable by death.
She is here to tell us about her struggle to survive in a dangerous and dysfunctional city, about the great Labyrinth, and of the Relic Guild – a secret band of magickers sworn to protect it.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
Horrible. Labrys Town has some nice places and the denizens make the most of what they have, which isn’t much, to be honest. And when you have as little as me, you don’t get to visit the nicer places much and life can be a little dangerous. When you’re stuck at the centre of a giant maze that doesn’t end, there’s not much chance of getting out, and folk tend to turn on themselves.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
I never really had many possessions, but I have plenty of fond memories of my mothers. They treated me like I was the most important in the Great Labyrinth and wanted so much more for me in life. I think they’d be proud.
What do you do now?
Well, that’s a little tricky to answer, given the secrecy surrounding my profession. Let’s just say I’m an agent of the Relic Guild, and ask no more.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
It was all terribly hush hush, but I guess a lot of it is common knowledge now. The Genii War was over long before I was born and everyone thought the Genii were dead. But then the last of them, Fabian Moor, appeared in Labrys Town, and it wasn’t for any good reason. He was going to rip everyone’s world apart. That was when I joined the Relic Guild. There weren’t many magickers left at that point, but we found a way to break out of Labrys Town and we tried to stop Moor finding his master. That was the real threat.
What did you first think when you met Fabian Moor’s master?
That no one was going to live through this. Iblisha Spiral, Lord of the Genii – they say only the Timewatcher is more powerful than this man. And I believed it. The raw presence of him, the scale of higher magic he radiated, I felt like I’d burn my eyes just looking at him. By releasing Spiral from his prison, Fabian Moor lit a fuse that would detonate . . . everything. And he didn’t care.
What was the scariest thing in your adventure?
Trying to keep faith when nothing was as it seemed. Knowing that no matter what we did, we’d have to live with the aftermath. A million humans live in Labrys Town and they only had a handful of magickers looking after them, because the Aelfir had no interest in humans, the Thaumaturgists had disappeared, and the Genii wanted them all dead. A million denizens. The Relic Guild couldn’t save them all.
What is the worst thing about your magic?
Not being able to control it. I mean, I have medicine which helps, but it only serves to repress my magic and if I’d taken it much longer I probably would have driven myself mad. It’s hard to hide the kind of magic I have. It places everyone around me in danger.
What is the best thing about it?
Accepting it, finally gaining control, learning to celebrate it. I had a lot of help from some good people.
Tell us a little about your friends.
Friends? Well, Samuel is difficult to get along with, but I feel safer when he’s around. We all do. Never known a man who can shoot a gun like he can. Van Bam is a cool head amidst chaos. He always knows what to do. Hillem and Glogelder are closer to my age and they’re good fun, though Glogelder can be an idiot. As for Marney . . . seems strange that she and I went through so much together while I still don’t feel like I know her at all. Friends? Yeah, I’d call them that.
Any romantic involvement?
With any of this lot? No chance! As for the future . . . It’s complicated but never say never, right?
Whom do you really hate?
Hamir. He has been around forever and he’s full of secrets. He’s too closed, no one knows anything about him, and he gives me the creeps. You don’t even want to guess what he gets up to in that laboratory of his.
What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?
Beer, purple, and doing nothing. Seriously, I dream of a time when I don’t have anything to do but sit around being lazy. But Labrys Town never sits still, so what can I do?
What does the future hold for you?
Taking care of the denizens and rebuilding Labrys Town. It’s going to be a long struggle. Fabian Moor and the Genii have a lot to answer for.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
I found my father. I’ve been watching him while now, but haven’t worked up the courage to approach him yet. He doesn’t know he has a daughter.
Edward Cox is the award nominated author of The Relic Guild trilogy from Gollancz. He has had three novellas published, along with a host of short stories, reviews, articles and poems, and has lectured in creative writing at the University of Bedfordshire and Uxbridge University.
Edward currently lives in the English countryside, where his wife and daughter defend him from the daily attacks of giant spiders. When he’s not sleeping or eating, he likes to pretend to be a ghost, but has, as yet, failed to convince anyone. His favourite pastimes include reading, punching clocks, and dining out on winning the 1987 national roly-poly championship.
Join us next week to meet a world famous trombonist – who found himself in fourteenth century Scotland. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.