• Hero or Villain?

    09 October 2021

    All these years later, Kurda Smahlt remains one of the most devisive characters in my Cirque Du Freak series, or indeed in any of my books. Some fans can't bring themselves to ever forgive him, and view him as a villain of the highest order. Others are more sympathetic, and accept that while his actions were misguided, he was trying to save the vampire clan from annihilation. I like that he can divide opinions so sharply -- it's a mark of how interesting a character he was. In books, most writers tend to paint their cast as either heroes or villains, but real life isn't always like that, and I enjoy when a fictional creation reflect the same kind of complexities that many humans present in the real world.


    The drawing of Kurda was done by a fan called Renee, and I think it perfectly captures his tragic qualities. Whatever else you might think of Kurda, he was a man who thought a lot (sometimes, perhaps, too much) and suffered deeply -- he believed firmly that needed to embark down the path that he did, but it always pained him that he felt compelled to walk such a blood-drenched route.


    The two cosplaying photos were shared with me by another fan, called Tuku, and I love how they highlight Kurda both at his highest point (shortly before his investiture) and lowest (shortly afterwards). Again, the pain shine through, and whenever I think about Kurda, that's what strikes me the most about him -- his pain.


    Even in death... MAY he be triumphant????




    The fourth volume of the Cirque Du Freak manga omnibus goes on sale next month. Kurda isn't in that section of the story, of course, but if you've never read the manga adaptation, the first three volumes of the omnibus are still fairly fresh off the presses (Kurda featuring majorly in Volumes 2 and 3, which cover the Vampire Mountain story arc), and you can find out more about them, including where you can buy them, in my monthly newsletter: https://darrenshan.com/news/shanville-monthly




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