41 years old, Elizabeth Platt is a veteran of Anglic public schools and a fierce partisan of universal education. She joins the caravan crossing the Great Bridge to the mystical continent of Bharata, fearlessly protecting her beloved wagon of books and taking the side of Tori Harding as she attempts to break with convention and pursue her magical quest. She swears she will never marry but is happy to take lovers, a shocking concept to Tori as is her habit of using a “tincture” of zinc sulfate. “One rinse and there will be no conception!”
On her sojourn Elizabeth will face off with kraken, monster birds and a bloody insurgency–but nothing can compare to the horror of her own actions in one unalterable moment.
Elizabeth is outspoken, energetic and courageous. Tori Harding admires her iconoclasm but in many ways Elizabeth is part and parcel of the cultural invasion of Bharata. She truly believes in “education for all” but the schools are an Anglic machine for reproducing Anglic ideas. Her idealized school in Bharata will be much different than she had imagined, as she finds herself confronted with the limits of empire.
My latest novel, A Thousand Perfect Things, comes out August 27 in print and e-book. This is the fourth in a series of posts on character sketches from my notebook. No matter how dramatic the plot, stories are always about people first, and their relationships to each other. #SFWAauthors