desim42 said: Hey Cassie! Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of people who have read Lord of Shadows notice that Julian seems to be headed down a dark path, maybe even one similar to Malcolm. Despite his ruthlessness, I don’t want to believe he could be evil or cruel, I feel that even despite his at times ruthless heart, his heart is the most caring of all. What is your take on the subject of Julian’s ruthlessness and the limits he will cross when under difficult circumstances.
ontheroadtodisaster said: Hi Cassie !!!! I love your writing and it did change my outlook on the world. Are we going to see the dark side of Julian in Queen of Air and Darkness even more than we already did in the first two books and will it ever, under any circumstance be directed at Emma? And please assure me that QoAD will end in a nicely, wrapped up way and definately not with a cliffhanger . (I would love you even if it doesn’t :-) )
It’s hard to answer this question without entering Ye Olde Realm of Spoilers. I will tread carefully and say what I can.
My take on Julian and his ruthlessness is that when we meet him at twelve, he isn’t like that. He’s a pretty gentle and ordinary boy. We watch him change due to the incredible stress and trauma of the Dark War, and the first time I think we see him do something ruthless, or at least something that requires some real steel and emotionlessness, is when he kills his Endarkened father to save his siblings.
Having the care of those siblings for so many years and basically raising them has made him ruthless in the sense that he’ll do anything for them. And though he may be overprotective sometimes, he’s stood between them and the world to good effect for a long time. Without him, his siblings would have been split up and scattered to the winds. They would all be deeply unhappy and shattered to one extent or another, especially Ty.
So unfortunately what Jules has learned is that ruthlessness is effective: it protects the ones you love. And what he’s learned from his losses in Lord of Shadows is that he should be more ruthless … not less.
Absolutely Julian has a caring and loving heart. It’s just that the circle of those he loves and trusts is small and he’s very very careful about giving love or trust to those outside it. He’s very clear to Emma that the world is us versus them as far as he’s concerned because that’s what his experiences have taught him. Would he turn off every parabatai bond in the world to protect his siblings? Would he kill, and what would it cost him: would he only kill the guilty, or also the innocent?
Julian will definitely be faced with incredibly difficult choices. But keep in mind how his story differs from Malcolm's—Malcolm loved one person above all others, and in some ways isolated himself, even from his friends. Julian has never been able to do that. He’s too full of love for his family, for Emma, for Diana. He’s connected to his community in a way Malcolm wasn’t. Whatever paths Julian takes in the future, he has to reconcile those decisions with the love he has for his family and friends. Is Julian capable of cruelty and manipulation? Absolutely. But he’s also capable of great love and gentleness.
As for his ruthlessness being directed at Emma, he would never be violent or cruel to her or his family. It’s just not his nature, or the nature of his darkness.
QoAaD is a work in progress, so I can’t speak to specifics about the ways in which Julian’s ruthlessness comes out or how it affects the story. What I will tell you is that Julian uses some…unorthodox methods to deal with his emotional state.
Queen of Air and Darkness will wrap up the plot of TDA and be a satisfying end to the series. Some mysteries will be left unresolved and taken up again in the Wicked Powers, but TDA is written as a trilogy, and will be self contained as such.