Who saves the people who save the world?
It sounds like a question you might ask about a superhero movie, right? But that’s exactly the question I asked myself when I sat down to write Death Match. As the Pale Horseman, he’s got a lot of power. [Insert great power, great responsibility quote here.] Unfortunately for the people around him, Lazarus’ good intentions don’t always translate into smart decisions. Like everyone, he makes mistakes.
In Shallow Grave, he was warned against getting close to people because his new powers would make him a target. He found out there were consequences for choosing to ignore that advice and things haven’t really let up for him since.
Between having his body taken over by an Archon, and his temporary stint as the Summer Knight while trying to cure himself of the ghoul virus, he’s had a rough couple of months. Running from one realm to the next, saving both Earth and Faerie hasn’t left him much time to consider how that affects other people. Usually, he wouldn’t care. He’s been the pariah of New Orleans’ magical community ever since getting out of prison.
And then I threw a monkey wrench in to his life named Emma Knight.
Poor Laz isn’t used to relying on other people, or having other people step in to try and save him. Yet that’s exactly what Emma has done. She made a choice at the end of Knight Shift, the consequences of which kicked off the events of Death Match.
More than the relationship between Laz and Emma, I knew I wanted to explore what it meant to be a Horseman on a larger scale. Laz spends all his time just trying to save New Orleans, but the Horsemen are really supposed to be working to keep the balance worldwide. That means a larger burden has been placed on the other three Horsemen. Well, the two left anyway. In Death Match, you get to meet Pestilence and War both, and neither is particularly impressed with Laz’s accomplishments.
Of course, introducing two more Horsemen also meant introducing more gods. The tournament was the perfect place to take a snapshot of their world, hinting at alliances and old, bad blood between various gods. I had a lot of fun trying to get different pantheons to work together, particularly when writing about the Norse gods. I hope you enjoy my take on them.
Death Match is available for pre-order on Amazon now and will be out this Friday. You can check it out here. Full disclosure: I get a small commission if you buy through that link. If you’re interested in reading chapters as they’re finished, you can read them by becoming a patron on Patreon.