Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Character Interview: Alexander from The Son of Ares by Andrea Stehle

Where are you from? Did you have a happy childhood? I was born on a world controlled by the Olympians.  Because I was the son of a gardener in New Athens, I was expected to become a gardener, too.  No one cared that I wanted to learn other things or attend The Academy with the children of the elite. The worst (& best) thing about my childhood was the day the Daughter of Athena determined I was the next incarnation of the Son of Ares.   The Athenian Council decided I was too dangerous to be allowed to live.  In fleeing for my life, I actually found a freedom I would never had known as a gardener in New Athens.

Where do you live now and what do you do for a living? Is there something you'd rather be doing? I am now the leader of the followers of Hermes.  (They took me in after my escape from New Athens.)   I founded the city of Metropolis, which has become a haven for the rejects and outcasts of all the other Olympians on Arcadia. I struggle every day to keep the dream of humanity alive and yet there are times I wish I had an easier life with less responsibility.  (Maybe even a garden.)

What's going on in your life right now? I led the defense of Metropolis against an assault by Hephaestus’ automatons.  I am working on establishing a treaty with Hera’s Amazons, so they will quit sending assassins to kill me. Most recently I found myself fighting a desperate battle with a mythical monster known as a manticore. (I still don’t know which Olympian sent it.)

Is there someone special in your life? Despite being on the opposing side in the struggle with the Gods of Arcadia, I find myself attracted to Ardella - the Daughter of Athena.   She is as strong-willed and fearless.  Although she chooses to work with the Olympians, I can see a noble woman with a passionate nature that could be harness for the good of Metropolis.

How did you meet? What's her family like? Ten years after Ardella’s announcement ended my life in New Athens, I found the Daughter of Athena kneeling at my feet begging for the life of her brother.  Rafe led the automaton attack against Metropolis and is imprisoned below the citadel awaiting execution.  It should have been a moment of perfect revenge, but I found myself admiring her courage and wanting to help her. 

What's keeping you two apart?  Rafe’s execution is a problem.  Ardella wants me to spare her brother’s life.  The citizens of Metropolis demand he be punished for his crimes. (22 men died in the automaton attack.)  Ardella and I grow closer every day, but I can only stall her brother’s death for so long.  The day he dies – I lose any hope of a future with the Daughter of Athena.

What one thing could you do that would make you feel like the relationship will work out? I would need a different world – one where the Son of Ares and the Daughter of Athena could live together in peace, or at least be on the same side in the struggle.

Gods of Arcadia   (sci-fi mythology)
Eons ago the Gods ruled over the dawning of ancient Greece.  From the heights of Mt. Olympus they bent mankind to their will.  Fortunately, Olympians are immortal and easily bored.   They discovered no amount of manipulation of human history could bring mankind into the fold, and so they took the only option left to them – they started over.
Transplanting a small group of humans to the distant world of Arcadia, they created a new and perfect utopia – at least for the Gods.  Each Olympian reigns over a cult of followers in a personal city-state where their word is law.  For two thousand years the Gods and mortals have lived in harmony, except once every hundred years when the Son of Ares is born to upset the delicate balance of their world.  The Olympians have learned to live with the chaos and deal with Ares’s progeny.  However, the Gods of Arcadia will soon learn they have underestimated the latest incarnation of the Son of Ares.
Ardella was the chosen of Athena and blessed with gift of empathy to save Arcadia from the evils of the Son of Ares.  When her twin brother is captured, she hurries to the enemy stronghold of Metropolis to save him.  She pays a terrible price and soon learns things that could change all she though she knew about the Gods of Arcadia.

Coming in November:  Son of Ares (Book 2)
Alexander was just a gardener in New Athens until the day Athena’s empath determined he was the Son of Ares and he found himself the most hated man on Arcadia.  Swept away by the forces of destiny, Alexander became a single-minded champion in humanity’s fight against their Olympian oppressors.  His capital city of Metropolis became the home for misfits, outcasts and exiles who refused to live by the rules of the Gods, but it was built on a fragile foundation - could it endure.

Before he can realize his dream for humanity’s future, Alexander must face riots in Metropolis, an angry Amazon Queen, the machinations of Hermes and a very dangerous mythical monster known as a manticore.

Excerpt from Son of Ares

“Tomas,” Alexander called to the young raider just descending the ramp. 
The dark haired teenager was tall and thin.  He had appeared alone at the gates of Metropolis two years ago.  He claimed he was an orphan, but would never say what sect he had come from.  Since Metropolis was a place of new beginnings, Alexander had never pushed the issue.  Still more boy than man, he was not really useful as a raider, but he had unusually long legs and was one of the swiftest runners in all of Metropolis.  Tomas’ speed had earned him the favor of Hermes who often employed him as a messenger.  This was fitting since that was exactly the task Alexander had in mind. 
“Yes, Strategos?” Tomas answered.
“Run to the citadel and sound the bell to convene an assembly.  Don’t let anyone or anything stop you!” Alexander ordered.
Without hesitation Tomas turned and raced toward the gate with a grace and speed that once again astonished the Strategos.  It was as if he were flying, carried by the legendary winged sandals of Hermes.  The Son of Ares shook his head and for the first time since he had learned of the riot, allowed himself a smile.  No wonder Hermes was so fond of the gangly youth. 
“The rest of you with me,” Alexander called as he started toward the gates.
“I hope it isn’t as bad as it looks from here,” Kern commented as he returned to Alexander’s side.           
“I shouldn’t have taken so many of our best raiders with me.  I knew it was a trap,” Alexander muttered as the two comrades strode through the cyclopean walls into the unknown chaos of the city.
“You were expecting an Amazon attack on you, not the city.  Taking a caravan ship full of raiders with you was a smart precaution.  You had no idea what would happen in Metropolis while you were gone,” Kern sympathized. 
“I should have anticipated all possibilities and left someone behind with at least a little common sense,” Alexander scoffed.
“I still don’t understand.  Why would the Council play Lady Ardella’s message for the people knowing their anger would turn to violence?” Kern wondered
“Because the Council of Hermes is made up of idiots!” Alexander replied.
“Kern!  Kern!” the small ragged boy running toward them cried. “You’re here!  You can save her!”
“Logan, what is it?” Kern asked, kneeling to catch the terrified child in his arms.
“They’re hurting Amazons.   I told them she’s wasn’t an Amazon, she was my Mom, but they didn’t listen.  Please help her,” he begged.
“Don’t worry Logan.  We’re here now.  Which way?”  Kern responded.
“That way,” he said, pointing toward the closest column of smoke, “By the sign with the snake lady.”
“The Medusa tavern,” Alexander said, knowing that was where the Amazon spy Kendra had worked.

Andrea Stehle is the Latin teacher at John Paul Stevens High School in San Antonio, Texas.  She has loved classical mythology since she was a child and earned her degree in Classics from the University of Texas.   Andrea is the mother of three, beautiful daughters who have each been an inspiration for her Gods of Arcadia series. You can find more about her and her work at or or

No comments:

Post a Comment