I’m not sure why I find the endings of stories so much more fascinating than the beginning.
It’s not the fact, or even the relief, of a story being complete. Not necessarily the satisfaction of tied-up subplots and well-rounded character arcs. Not the excitement of the climax (beginnings can be just as exciting).
But still, as I near the release of the final book of The Reinhold Chronicles, I find myself excited and a bit confused. I never anticipated how big these stories would grow when I first started forming them eight years ago (!). The Fiery Arrow was originally a standalone book. And although by the time I actually started writing it, I knew it would be the first of a trilogy, I had no clue what these adventures would really be like.
Now, looking back at it all, I’m slightly speechless.
“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.” – Ecclesiastes 7:8
It’s an interesting thought straight from the Bible. But why? What is it about endings of stories that grips us so deeply as human beings?
I think I may be on the edge of an answer.
It’s because, in truth, the ending of a novel (or any story) is not really an end. It’s a middle. And, to a degree, a beginning of its own.
Yes, the story ends. The last page curls in on itself. The book closes. For those who have followed Arliss’s story, her tales will—for you, the reader—come to an end. But within Reinhold, within the collective imagination that belongs to those who have experienced a particular story, Arliss lives on. Reinhold lives on.
And more importantly, you live on. I live on. Forever altered (at least, I hope) by these stories.
The closing of a book happens in the middle of a life that keeps on moving. Reminding us that, although things in our life begin and end, life keeps going. Every ending leads to a different beginning.
So for those who read these books, thank you. I’ve never been prouder of or more humbled by a project than The Three Thrones. It’s a 600-page masterpiece/mess and I can’t wait to share it with you all. Because it relates to so many things that I think we can all relate to.
Rebuilding your life after the pieces fall apart…
Learning to trust God and follow the call of adventure in spite of the unknown…
Stand up for what you believe…
Find hope through new friends…
And old ones as well.
Ultimately, The Three Thrones is a story of love in the midst of war. Truth in the midst of lies. Light in the midst of darkness.
(And yes, if you haven’t been following along on social media, the book trailer is out! I’ll be doing a full post on it later, but for now, enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEy7bvy-jH8)