For the Gray
For the Gray is the second book in the Girl in Glass trilogy.
The threat of civil war within Tanelorn no longer troubles the nation but war is coming. The Gnoll hordes to the north, the Dragonkin to the south, and the implacable Rock Lord to the west have united thanks to influence from faraway nations that view Tanelorn as a threat.
If the nation is to survive someone must convince the orcs of the Five Nations, the elves of Acanthus, and the dwarfs to agree to help, but the Gray Lord is unwilling to take an active role in events. It is once again up to Mike, Rhia, and Marianna to rescue the nation.
They race against time to gain the alliance of the nearby nations even as the invasion begins.
There are two main themes in this novel.
The overt theme involves how a nation should conduct itself to gain the friendship and trust of neighbors. Tanelorn is a state that doesn’t believe in attempting to influence the nations around it, even when doing so would seem to be beneficial. The Five Nations is the most powerful of these neighboring states and, in case of war, the most able to help Tanelorn. The Five Nations is broken into five tribes with disparate interests and if they are to aid Tanelorn in its time of need all five must agree to help. I attempt to examine how a non-interventionist policy effects people with different desires; politically, economically, and militarily.
The more subtle theme is the nature of honor. Rhia Buffalorider desires to be a Gray Knight and in order to achieve this she must do something heroic and be invited by someone who is already a member of the order. This is her single and driving goal. But what is it that defines someone as a Gray Knight? This is a journey Rhia must make and an idea I explore over the course of the novel.
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Marianne is a young woman traveling with her friends Mike and Rhia. She was originally raised by a doting father but when he died her life fell apart at the hands of her cruel mother and step-father. She was rescued by Mike and Rhia and now struggles to find her courage in dangerous situation.
Mike is a young half-elf who travels with her companions Rhia and Marianne. She was born to a good family but ran away to find her own life.
Rhia is an older teenage girl traveling with her friends Mike and Marianne. She left home as a young girl and came to Tanelorn with the sole goal of becoming a Gray Knight. The war between Tanelorn and Grelm presents her with an opportunity to prove her bravery and fulfill her desire.