You see her in many fairy tales.

She is the herb woman who gives the heroine just what she needs to escape her fate.

The old woman in the cottage at the edge of a dark wood who advises the hero on which path to take.

She is the giver of good advice and the keeper of secret knowledge.

The wise crone who guides the maiden, helping her win love and happiness.

She is not the one who finds love and happiness herself, but why shouldn’t she be?

So often, the main characters in stories are young, especially in fairy tales. They’re just starting out on their journey in life, new to the world, to love, and to all the trials that come with it. I see that tendency changing more and more though, and that’s not a bad thing. “The world needs more variety in protagonists” to quote a good friend of mine, and I whole heartily agree! But to be honest, I did not set out with the express purpose of adding diversity to my story. In fact, I never set out with intentions of writing any particular kind of story, just the particular story that is already in my head. However, I realized as I was writing the epiloge for Lumina and the Goblin King that the banter between Hoax and the eld woman was more than just verisimilitude for Lumina’s story. Suddenly, the eld woman was no longer just the old woman living in the house at the wood’s edge. She was someone who was about to have her whole world change and she was not the only one. Hoax’s world had also been stood on its head. One, a person who for centuries had only herself to care for. The other, someone who has watched over someone else for so long that now that he has his freedom, he is lost. Once I understood that, their story grew of its own accord with very little help from me and it spoke of a deeper friendship than you have a chance to see in the first book.

Being of a certain age, and having a somewhat prickly nature myself, made looking through the eld woman’s eyes infinitely relatable for me. I also understand the trials and maelstrom of emotions that come with taking care of a child that doesn’t always see the world as others do. It will be interesting to see how many you will also feel a kinship with the eld woman as you read her story.

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