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King's Quest: Kingdom of Sorrow

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KQKingdom of Sorrow

This is the second of the three official King's Quest novels. Kingdom of Sorrow was written by Kenyon Morr (pseudonym of Mark Sumner and Marella Sands).

BackgroundEdit

This novel takes place before the events in the first novel. Rosella is but seven years old and the kingdom is still in good shape. The book, in the beginning, gives enough backstory for the non-gamer to understand the gist of life at Castle Daventry.

In spring, Daventry suddenly finds itself trapped in unnatural cold weather and snow, a second winter, a curse of endless winter. Graham and Valanice are invited to the Old Wood of the fairies where they learn that Ahi'aorina, the Queen of the Old Wood - the very essence of Spring itself - has been kidnapped by the giant Dunstan.

It is up to Graham to track down the kidnapped queen and set things to right. He meets a variety of different characters with a variety of good and mediocre characterizations on his journey. Graham is accompanied by a wandering minstrel.

NotesEdit

  • The date that the Kingdom of Sorrow took place is based on the fact that Rosella is seven in the book, and the story takes place during 'late spring'[1] or at least should be, the land is being affected by the continuing winter (a few pages later Graham contemplates that spring should be almost on them[2]. Still later that they were trying to find the Birthday Beast who had eaten the first buds of spring in the rose garden[3], Valanice states that it is the 'first of spring'[4]). Valanice later comments that she doesn't remember it snowing this 'late in spring'.[5] On the way back from Sorrowing Court, they travel through spring, and start seeing the first summer birds on the way back to Daventry[6] (suggesting that the story was moving into summer, but still in edge of spring). Karn had entered his glamour manarvel and apparently had intended to remain there a complete year in order to gain untold power (which also suggest he was waiting until summer to escape). According to information in KQ3 and See No Weevil the twins birthday occurs in the Fall. This would mean the story takes place during the first spring after Rosella's seventh birthday.
  • Graham thinks about Alexander early in the story, thinking he would be about the same age as the ten year old William if he was still around. In fact, he would be the same age as Rosella since they are twins (seven years old). However, Graham is technically correct (even if a bit awkward in phrasing), seven is about ten years old. Also under the circumstances he was alone with a boy who reminded him of his own son (Rosella in that moment hadn't even crossed his mind).[7] He is not saying that Alexander is older than Rosella, or that they aren't twins. Graham does not have a lot of experience with children in the castle besides his daughter, and William. He is just contemplating that his son would be a young adult much like the other child. William represented how his son might be and act if he was still around. The book (and the novel series as a whole) is actually clear that Alexander was kidnapped as an infant, and is likely twins to Rosella.

Behind the scenesEdit

According to Ken Williams, Sierra had little to do with the books beyond licensing another company the permission to write them.[8], through special arrangement. The series were also mentioned in InterAction Magazine as a way to experience the magic of King's Quest without a computer, that would allow readers to follow their favorite characters in an all new adventure-fantasy stories.

According to the copyright page, while the book is copyrighted to the author/s (as well as to Sierra On-Line), all original characters introduced in the story are copyrighted characters of Sierra On-line. Sierra's name and seal appears on the back of the book.

In the novel Graham is described as having a blond hair and a beard, although cover art does show him with the correct dark hair color (it is a strange editing issue), discussed further in Graham's wardrobe. Of course, it might explain how Rosella has blonde hair (if both parents have the recessive trait). Noteably, it was not uncommon for people to dye their hair and beards in medieval and renaissance times (and things have changed little).[9], and even further back into ancient times.[10][11] So Graham having dyed his hair and beard blonde (or dying his hair dark from 'light blonde, white or grey') at some point would actually fit into cultural norms of the time. Note: Not to make this too complicated but Graham's hair color depending on the game or interpretation includes dark/black, light to dark grey (KQ1AGI, KQ2, KQ4, KQ5), light to dark brown (descriptions and some artwork), red (KQ5 NES), blue to dark blue, yes blue (KQ5 NES and KQ1SCI), platinum/blonde/silver/white/light to auburn blonde (KQ8, Kingdom of Sorrow, King's Quest Companion 1st Edition cover, King's Quest Companion artwork (1st and 2nd editions has 'light' blonde-like hair)) Of course in KQ6 for the Amiga, Graham's hair has a kind of yellowish-pink tinges to it.

Fairy Tale & Myth inspirationsEdit

Imps and lots of them. Much like lesser goblins. Helpful gnomes, a giant and a troll (sort of like the Kings Quest variety). Fairies, and fairy queens (the most detail about fairies in the entire series), pixies, and other fey creatures (several traditional myths referenced here)... Endless Winter concept comes from a number of fairy tales (including Chronicles of Narnia).

Ferryman who cannot be cheated (again another reference to traditional boatman myths including Charon and Aken, with possibly that of a bridge troll). The giant spiders a concept found in Hobbit (as well concept appears in King's Quest 3, King's Quest 5 and King's Quest 7), but these spiders have manners, and are largely friendly. Since the two spiders are interested in 'stories' they maybe inspired by the African spider spirit Anansi, or keeper of all stories.

Glass Mountains appear in a number of fairy tales. One story can be found in the Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, The Glass Mountain. On which grew a tree with golden apples, which would allow the picker into a golden castle where a princess lived. Many had tried to climb the mountain, most had slid and fallen to their doom. One boy uses the claws of a lynx to help climb the slick mountain edges. Another story The Drummer collected in Grimm's Fairy Tales, were the stories name tries to find a way up a glass mountain to rescue a princess that had been captured there by a witch. The mountains side were slick causing the climber to slide back down.

Karn Megiddo is largely a Mordack style wizard. His name appears to be a reference to Megiddo as in Armeggedon or valley of Megiddo.

The efreeti, more or less a Dungeons and Dragon's version of an Ifrit djinn. The efreet are genies from the Elemental Plane of Fire, which are said to be made of basalt, bronze, and congealed flames.

ReferencesEdit

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