Very true. So the novel is about this particular resource?
Yes, but the story is also about people involved with the qherrique, in and out of Amberlight, and what the presence of such a power does to people at the personal and the social level. It's about self-discovery, enlightenment, and finally, the righting of injustice at a more than personal level, not always by conscious choice, and not all by human agency.
So the theme is the use of power and resources?
When my first two readers, to whom the book is dedicated, finished Amberlight, one of them, Justine, immediately said, "It's a battle of the sexes." She was then doing a PhD on the battle of the sexes in SF. I realized that that was in the mix, but that's not what I would have said was its theme. So I'll leave that one for the people who, I hope, will read the book.
When I began reading Amberlight, I had to read it aloud at first in order to get caught up in its stream. There's also that touch of high fantasy which makes the story almost oral. I can imagine a bard of old speaking it.
I did like that part. My first fantasy novel was actually meant to be recited aloud by a hearthbard, a "song" as he would call it. And I had a helluva time keeping the editors at that house from altering the punctuation so it would be orthodox, and not set up to mimic a two-part, balanced-halves, Anglo-Saxon poetry line.
I'll tell you a secret. I generally don't like high fantasy with all those coined hyphenated phrases, but I do like when an author puts a new spin on an old style or revitalizes an ancient theme. From what I've seen Amberlight does this, so I accepted those hyphens.
That's a relief! The hyphens being okay, I mean. I probably learnt adjectival compounds from Old English, or else from Gerard Manley Hopkins, but they're intrinsic to my style because they're so compact and you can tell so much with one. And probably because I began writing (as opposed to story-telling, which I did orally before I could write) in poetry, where they're much commoner.
Ooh, I love Gerard Manley Hopkins. Once his rhythms and stresses get into one's mind, it's hard to remove or forget them.
Amberlight, who knows why, was intensely based in the rhythm. I messed with it at my peril, even in draft. A lot of the Juno edits turned on finding a way to improve clarity while not losing "the beat." Luckily, my editor Paula Guran wasn't just patient with cries of, "But the rhythm's out!" but also good at finding alternatives.