One of the most prominent themes in The Moreau Witches is that of loyalty. Loyalty to the Church. Loyalty to family. Loyalty to revolutionaries. Loyalty to the nobility. Loyalty between lovers. It is this loyalty that saves the lives of many of the characters, but not without casualties. After all, what is a paranormal murder mystery novel without a death or two?
Perhaps the most important symbol of loyalty in The Moreau Witches is the blackened castle walls of Château de Lamoreaux. In the novel, the castle is the family seat of the Moreau Family, and home of the current Marquise de Lamoreaux, who weathered the French Revolution behind its walls as its then, Seigneuresse—a title lost after the French Revolution.
Even the walls of a mighty fortress are not immune to fire, however, and the peasantry put this knowledge to good use. It was the loyalty engendered by the Marquise—more commonly known as Mamie—that saved her life.
Readers are first introduced to this castle in chapter fifteen, through the eyes of Eli Bernard and the Marquise’s grand-daughter, Mademoiselle Madeleine Moreau. Some of the wording has been changed for brevity and to remove spoilers.
Madeleine turned to look at him, savouring the sheer wonder upon his face. “Welcome to my home, Eli. Isn’t it beautiful?”
“It is, but is there a reason the walls are blackened?” he asked. “Is that from fire?”
“Yes,” Madeleine answered. “After the storming of the Bastille, villagers from a neighbouring town came to Lamoreaux and set the castle on fire. I suppose they believed they were doing the villagers here a kindness, but they were mistaken. When everyone else had been starving on mere bread and vegetables, Mamie had seen to the needs of her people.
“The villagers did not forget her kindness, nor her wisdom. And so, they drove the outsiders from the town, put the fire out, and rescued Mamie from the blaze. When Mamie repaired the damage done by the fire, she decided to keep the blackened stone walls facing the village as a reminder.”
“A reminder of what?” Eli prompted.
Throughout the novel, this theme of loyalty is replicated a thousand times over as the characters band together to bolster each other’s weaknesses with their strengths, from the lowest servant to a baron’s son.
However, no group works in perfect harmony forever. What happens when loyalty to the group comes at too great a price for one’s personal ambitions— for love, for freedom, for salvation? What then? Does the group remain unified to its joint purpose, or do the fragments begin to show?
The Moreau Witches is on its second round of external edits, which will be completed by British writer, Rosetta Yorke. We are still on schedule for publishing by this Halloween, October 31st 2018. I’m also looking into making pre-order available by early October at the latest. If you have any questions or suggestions, I’m all ears!
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