For every book we release, we'll feature an interview with one of its major characters. This week we sat down to chat with Princess Pleasance from The Merry Band. (Well, she was supposed to have been with the Merry Band. . . .) Read below to see what the poor kidnapped Royal had to say.
Thinklings: You’ve been a hostage for some time now, and we know it’s been far from, well, pleasant. What’s the absolute worst thing the rebels have made you do?
Pleasance: Oh, that’s simple. Tolerate their existence. Force me to listen to their absurd babble while gagged so I have no means to correct them. Ruthlessly kidnap me--twice. Be dunked in a river while bound up. Be used as an ashtray by an extremely rude Principal. Be hung over battlements while they threatened to cut off my head. Be thrown over said battlements into a very deep gorge. Be forced to cope with that odious wretch Dullard trying to be nice to me. Be trapped in a boat so I could be hurled over a waterfall! And, of course, I have been denied my Narrative glory, forced to deny the presence of my true love . . . well, Bumpkin, but . . . you can’t have everything, I mean . . . If only his breath didn’t smell so . . . but that’s beside the point! I have been heartlessly dragged away from my beloved role as Islaine, for which I have trained and prepared all of my life! And they have made me do that! They have made me stay away! I’ve had no choice in that, absolutely none! I just want to make sure that’s clear! Anyway, we’ve barely started, I haven’t even touched on what’s become of my clothes or my hair. You may want to make a list; this might take some time. . . .
T: Has your opinion of any of your companions changed?
P: Changed? My feeling about my kidnappers changed? What could possibly change my opinion of those two loutish oafs and that appalling Barmaid? And as for that traitorous swine Dullard, who has cast aside all pretence at decency and dragged me back into this monstrous situation--well! I mean . . . I suppose, if I must, I could concede captivity, vile as it is, hasn’t been as horrific since he became involved. Certainly, the food is better and I’m far more comfortable since he took charge of my bonds. It’s nice to feel like a person again, since he does at least speak to me rather than treating me like some object to be tossed around. It’s very odd, some of the things he says—well, they do make a strange kind of . . . No! That doesn’t matter; I still despise the diabolical wretch, completely and without question! He dragged me back into this hell, it’s entirely his fault, and absolutely nothing he says or does will make any difference to my hatred of him! What are you implying?
T: If you had your way, what would you change about the rebellion itself?
P: I would erase its very existence from this Realm and restore sanity! I’d destroy it utterly! I’d abolish it! All this nonsense about detaching ourselves from our Narrative selves, not living the lives we are supposed to—it’s ridiculous! The Narrative defines us, who we are meant to be, how we live, whom we . . . marry. Well, I suppose there’s that but . . . No! The whole thing, out of the window and gone! I want it stopped, all of it. I do. I do.
T: Is there anything scarier than the prospect of being eaten by a dragon?
P: How can you even ask that? What could possibly be worse than being mulched up into pieces and swallowed by some rancid monster? And what it would mean—my Narrative character Islaine dead, having never fulfilled her destiny, having never saved the Six Kingdoms or ridden into danger to find her true love, never having that unbreakable connection with her beloved partner made at all . . . Well. Picturing a world in which those things have never happened—that is terrifying. Truly, it is.
T: What would you do if you were the one with a detached head, or arm, or leg?
P: I would take the opportunity to beat that appalling, mealy-mouthed, moaning weasel of a Disposable around the skull with it! Provided it didn’t do too much damage . . . to me, obviously!
T: How do you feel about the Taskmaster now?
P: I feel that if the Taskmaster can’t take better care of the Principals under The Narrative’s care, then why have them? The Taskmaster needs to buck up and sort this out! Honestly, if all it takes to outwit The Narrative is Fodder and his little horde, what in the Realm is the Taskmaster playing at? It really does make one wonder about the state of the chain of command here! The Taskmaster needs to do better!
T: Thank you, Pleasance, and we certainly hope you get a Happily Ever After.
You can read about how it all began in our interview with Fodder, the leader of the rebellion, here.
The Merry Band is out now! Read this "fresh, frenetic, and genuinely funny" book (Terrence Saville) here!