The Civilands series begins with 13-year-old Jeannie Morrell. Unfortunately for poor Jeannie, her home has been burned to the ground with her family inside. The culprits of the crime are a power-hungry bunch called the Keagan gang. If there’s one thing this scene sets up from the beginning it’s that Civilands is a story of vengeance. However, this is not a simple tale of find your foe and slaughter them. Instead, some of the characters undergo transformations as they cope, which I like to refer to as healthy vengeance.
Healthy vengeance? Explain, strange author man…
Consider being broken up with or getting bullied in school. Both are real world problems. Either option is responded to with pain, frustration, and/or a need to prove oneself. We feel this hurt because whatever it is the person did made us feel inferior. Since no one wants to be stepped on in this way, we seek to prove we shouldn’t be again. We need to prove it to ourselves, to others, or both. The method with which one chooses to do so is the distinction I aim to make here and in my series.
Below I will highlight the two methods:
- Straight vengeance – Eye for an eye, or worse. The Keagan Gang killed my family. I’ll be damned if I don’t take them all out one-by-one. Think Arya Stark in Game of Thrones here. In a real world senario, maybe a key to someone’s car or some other form of vandalism. Bottom line: it may not bring back what I’ve lost, but damn if it doesn’t feel good releasing the anger.
- Healthy vengeance – They are miserable people and will always remain as such. What they did won’t bring them any closer to happiness, nor will it better me to strike them the way they have me. Instead, I will do everything in my power to restore my place while they watch helplessly from their pit of hell. Back to Game of Thrones, this is Jon Snow and Sam Tarly. When you get put down, work harder than anyone else. Use the pain as fuel. Bottom line: with time and effort, you’ll look down and they’ll be there beneath you. However, by then you won’t even be able to spot them anymore. Your drive will have refocused your vision. “Latera now stood above it all. There on her perch she was higher than the Riverlands, higher than … all those who had wronged her thus far” (Crimson River, Chapter 7 – What Once Was Whole).
Though the latter is a more positive behavior and a favorable response, both of these are natural. Analyzing the path certain characters will decide to take is why I love this type of story.
Next, I’ll highlight specific character relationships we see this develop in within the Murrieta Territory.
In the Civilands series
- Jeannie Morrell v. the Keagan Gang – as mentioned above, Jeannie’s family has been attacked. Her father, Adonis Morrell, helped shape the Riverlands and the Murrieta Territory as a whole. Not only was he a loving father, but was a uniter of the native V’ahani and Easterners in the region. How will young Jeannie fill the void left while also coping with her loss?
- Latera v. “the World” – Latera is a young, sheltered nurse and daughter of Riverlands Chieftain, Arkouda. The fire on the Morrells’ home sets into a motion a series of events that shake her people. What will she find about the outside world she so avoided before? What might she find out about herself?
- Dominic Turner v. Collin McCormack – Crafty illusionist Dominic Turner embarrasses Keagan gang member Collin McCormack during an escape. It is an unacceptable act and one which forms a fierce rivalry between the two. Vengeance in this duel is not focused on one side, but comes from both men as they collide relentlessly. Who will come out on top?
- Read the series for the rest 😉
Have you ever gotten your revenge? If so tell me about it below and which kind. Also, if you’ve had any thoughts on the actions of the characters mentioned above let me know about that too!
Thanks for reading as always and hope you’re enjoying the Civilands series. If you haven’t started it yet, you can do so FREE with a sign-up here!