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How did the general storyline and character developments come about in the Empire Trilogy?

From: Raymond E. Feist
Date: 05 February 2010

It evolved.  At first I had only two ideas.  First, I wanted to do a strong female protagonist, but not a "chick in chain mail"  (though I guess Sandreena sort of falls into that category).  Second, I love the idea of the reluctant hero, the person who does all sorts of big things for small reasons.  Everything Mara does is to protect her House, and it turns the Empire upside down.  I stole the opening from English History, when Alfred the Great was dragged away to be king minutes before being ordained a monk, to become the only British monarch to have "the Great" added to his name.  Everything he did was simply to protect his kingdom from the Danes.

The rest of the story evolved as Janny and I got deeper into the culture and one book (Servant) became two books (Daughter and Servant) then I almost got my head handed to me when I said, "Wait! I know what the third book is!"  She said, "Third book! What third book?")  I said, "Mara so upsets the balance within the Empire, it has to be Mara vs. the Great Ones of the Assembly," and Janny sat back and said, "Damn.  Yes, there's a third book" and that's how Mistress came about.

Best, R.E.F

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