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Mik-el in The General's Mistress

A reader asks, "Will there be more of Mik-el in The General's Mistress? I hope so?"

Yes, Mik-el is back. A new look for a new century, but he's definitely in the book. And here's his first scene.



That night I dreamed. In my dreams I climbed from my bed and walked through Paris, through misted streets like the ones I knew waking.

The only thing that was different was that it was too fast. I had only to think, and I could hear the river running, see the lights shining out of the windows of the Tuileries. It was early spring and the night was warm, with a mist rising off the Seine. I was alone.

“Why am I here?” I asked.

Nothing happened. A soft breeze pressed against my face.

“Why can’t I remember?” I whispered.

I walked along the quays. Ahead of me Pont Neuf stretched, cool and reflected in the water. I walked out onto the bridge.

A man stood at the railing, looking downstream. For a moment I thought it was my father – the same brown queue, the same breadth of shoulder. Then I realized that he wore the uniform of the Army of the Republic, a sash around his waist. I would have thought it was some friend of Victor’s if not for the odd shadow behind him, like folded wings.

“Why don’t I remember?” I asked.

“You can,” he said, and turned. He was young and tired, with a homely ordinary face. “You can remember any time you want to.”

I went over and leaned my elbows on the rail beside him. “Why?”

“Because you asked for the Gift of Memory. And I promised I would never take it from you again.” He leaned companionably beside me. “It’s good to see you.”

“You came with him, didn’t you?” I asked.

He nodded. “With Michel, you mean? My namesake?”

I nodded. “I know him, don’t I?”

“What do you think?” He looked at me from under long lashes, pretty as a girl’s.

“I’m afraid to,” I said. “If I do, I will never be safe again.”

“Probably not,” he said cheerfully. “He does get into a lot of trouble.”

I looked out over the quiet water. “This river isn’t the Seine, is it?”

This time he grinned. “No.”

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
cypherindigo
Jan. 19th, 2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
Lethe?
jo_graham
Jan. 19th, 2012 02:36 pm (UTC)
Exactly! Lethe.
lesleysmith
Jan. 19th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
That last line sent shivers down my spine ... is there a confirmed release date yet, Jo?
jo_graham
Jan. 19th, 2012 02:38 pm (UTC)
I'm glad it's shiverable! :)

The release date is October -- I don't have an exact date yet. However, there will be some few advance review copies available in the summer, and there will be a contest here to win one, if October seems too long to wait!
_illumina_
Jan. 19th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
Seconding the shivers! I had goosebumps from my elbows to the top of my head! I love these moments. I love that she can _almost_ remember!
jo_graham
Jan. 19th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
Almost! She can almost remember. I'm glad it gives you the shivers.

She could remember if she truly wanted to, but she doesn't want to -- yet. But Mik-el does, of course. He remembers everything.
_illumina_
Jan. 19th, 2012 08:22 pm (UTC)
I can't say I blame her, it would send you a bit loopy remembering all that!

Argh, I still get the shivers on second and third readings!

Seriously, the minute it's up it'll be pre-ordered.
jo_graham
Jan. 19th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
It would send you loopy to remember! And the burden of memory isn't to be taken lightly. Wouldn't it be a mercy for people who have suffered to have the slate wiped clean? To get a fresh start in a new life with no memory of the horrible things they witnessed or that happened to them? What could be a greater mercy for those who lost their lives in pain and suffering than to be released from even the memory of it?
cadenzamuse
Jan. 19th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
Aaaaaaah! *shivers* At what point did she ask for the Gift of Memory? Is it in Stealing Fire (which I haven't got my hands on yet)?
jo_graham
Jan. 19th, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
Yay for shivers!

She asked for the Gift of Memory between Hand of Isis and the Ravens of Falkenau. No, we haven't seen how that happened yet. :) But she could remember if she wanted. She does not have to drink from the river of forgetfulness. If she wants to know, she can. But there are reasons why one might not want to. Can you imagine being a child with all the weight of adult lifetimes on you?
_illumina_
Jan. 19th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
Now this is a story I want!
linneasr
Jan. 20th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
Didn't Charmian go right back to life (becoming the little street rat, Lucia I think her name was) and recovered her memories of her life as Charmian, when she encountered Marcus Agrippa in the Pantheon? Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I read the end of that scene.

So did the request for the Gift of Memory happen during that extended session with Isis and Osiris?
jo_graham
Jan. 21st, 2012 11:44 am (UTC)
Yes, that's what happened at the end of that scene. I meant that somewhere in the thousand plus years between Hand of Isis and the novella Ravens of Falkenau was when she asked for the Gift of Memory. I think it's after Slave of the World and before The Messenger's Tale, but I don't know that story yet! :)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )