If you’ve been following me for a while then you know just how much I LOVE Rachel Vincent’s Shifter series.
This coming week she will release her final installment to this beloved series with ALPHA.
I’ve already devoured Alpha through the lovely promotion done by NetGalley. You can read my review HERE. While I wasn’t a fan of the ending, because of the fact that it was ENDING, I really enjoyed Alpha.
Rachel was so kind to add The Cozy Reader as a stop on her Alpha Blog Tour. Below she discusses the lovely and ever increasing in popularity, love triangles.
Rachel Vincent on Love Triangles
Love triangles. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t deny they’re a large presence in romance, as well as in genres which typically have heavy romance subplots, like my Shifters series. Now normally, I’m a path-not-taken kind of girl. So why, Rachel, you might be thinking, did you decide to take the Shifters series down the love-triangle path?
The simple answer is that I didn’t. Not originally.
I come to urban fantasy by way of horror and high fantasy, rather than through romance, so when I started Stray, I had no idea there were genre expectations for the romance subplot. And what little I may have intuited probably came through movie watching. I didn’t know that love triangles were a common “thing.” I didn’t know that romances were supposed to have happy endings. I didn’t know that what I was writing would eventually be shelved in the romance section of your local bookstore (if you’re in the US).
And I didn’t intend for the whole Marc/Jace thing to be a major focus of the books. So imagine my surprise now that “Who is she going to pick?” has become the question I’m asked most often. By far. You guys are really serious about this! ;)
So what did I intend? I intended for Faythe to have options. Choices. If you’ve read the series, you know that freedom and independence are two of the big themes. Faythe is a feminist living in a staunchly patriarchal society, and while her father is one of the more liberal Alphas, most of the others—even his allies—are not so eager to give the few women in their society such extreme freedoms of choice. Because they’re needed to repopulate the entire werecat species.
So it was really important to me for Faythe to know she has options, even if no one else recognizes that fact.
I’ve heard from a lot of people who seem to think that the love triangle aspect is the true fantasy element in my urban fantasy (Evidently the shape shifting doesn’t count!) because no one in real life could possibly have two such wonderful men interested in them. But that, I believe, is not true. I’ve known many people (and have, on occasion been one of them) who had romantic interest from more than one person at a time. How many people from your high school got more than one invitation to prom? How many girls (or guys) were secretly (or not so secretly) crushed on by their sig. other’s best friend? Or some stranger? How many junior high (or college girls) are in love with an entire string of boys they’ve never even spoken to?
Does everyone act on more than one interest at a time? Of course not. But some do. Even in real life. Especially at Faythe’s particular position in life.
By the end of the series, it’s easy to forget that Faythe is only twenty three years old. In the beginning, she’s stubborn and impulsive, fighting for her freedom before she really has the means to defend it. But a couple of books later, we have a better view of the society she grew up in and we come to understand that freedom isn’t just going to be handed to her. She’s going to have to fight for it, and fight she does. She takes on enormous responsibility and makes decisions knowing that someone’s going to die, no matter what she chooses. So it’s easy to forget that most people her age have no idea who they want to spend the rest of their lives with, and of those who have made that decision by twenty-three, more than half (in the US, at least) will later change their minds completely.
So let me pose a question (in good, clean fun) to all the Marc/Faythe/Jace skeptics out there, criticizing Faythe for “dragging” this out: do you think it would be responsible to make a decision of this magnitude—a life-long promise—without thoroughly exploring all of your options? Wouldn’t that be doing a disservice to both men involved? If you were Marc/Jace, would you want Faythe to commit to you without knowing for sure what she wants? Wouldn’t that be worse than taking the time to explore the issue properly?
Okay, that was more than one question, and since you can’t tell my tone from a type-written essay, let me assure you all that I’m smiling as I write this. I love all the discussion and dissenting opinions. ;)
That said, do I mind it if you prefer one guy over the other? No! I love that! I also love that the opinions so far are almost split down the middle. And I’m thoroughly amused by all the people who love one or the other the most because “he’s hotter.” I may be the writer, but you guys have some great imaginations! ;)
Thanks so much for having me Jessica!
"Yeah. And if you try to stop her, she'll ground you till your thirty." -from Alpha, pg 437
If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy of Alpha yet, (why not!?!) then this is your chance to enter to receive a copy!
I’d like the winner to have this book as soon as possible so this will end in just a few days! To enter please head over to The Cozy Reader and see the details.