I realized something as I wrote War of Nytefall: Lost, but I wasn’t able to really flush it out because of the story. I tried to investigate this a bit in a few scenes and it was on the border of Clyde’s growth arc. Yet, I couldn’t really get this small fact drawn out into the open as much as I wanted:
Mab looks to the past and Clyde looks to the future.
This does come up a bit, but I felt like I could have done better if the story wasn’t so focused on Lost. It could be in my favor since things heat up in War of Nytefall: Rivalry though. Part of the issue could be that the characters themselves weren’t entirely aware of this fact. They butted heads unless there was a present problem to tackle. So, they get distracted from this problem once the womb-born, Lost, and the Uttukku make trouble. Yet, it does linger in the darkness and stems from a fight where the characters want different things.
- Mab wishes for things to go back to the way they were before the Great Cataclysm. She is a thief at heart and that’s the life she wants to hold onto. Ruling Nytefall or being a soldier don’t appeal to her. If her friends weren’t involved, she would have gone off on her own already. You can even see that she’s the only member of the gang who has gone back to her roots. Mab takes every opportunity to pull a heist, which is why her four-story house is filled with more treasure than most royal vaults. Seriously, I realized at one point that Mab actually be one of the richest people in Windemere and nobody knows it. This is her pride and joy too, but it revolves around returning to their past life.
- Clyde is all about the future. In his mind, the past can’t be reclaimed because he isn’t that man anymore. As the first Dawn Fang, he has all of the others to think about, so he has to change from being the leader of a gang to the ruler of a kingdom. Even more daunting, Nytefall’s influence is steadily going global. Clyde would love to focus on heists and is even a little jealous of Mab, but he knows that he’s responsible for everything that’s happened. Not to mention, he fears losing his humanity, which takes on a similar view as a mortal would when thinking about death. In fact, Clyde is almost certain he’ll lose control one day and that will be it.
So, you have two people who have strong feelings for one another, but are focused on different time periods. Mab wants to return to their roots while Clyde wants to forge a new life with what they have. This is something that will have to be worked out over the course of the series if they’re going to have anything more than a friendship. This is at the core of their fighting too because Clyde has broken promises about going out on heists with Mab. It’s to the point where she doesn’t really believe him when he talks about joining her.
The biggest challenge here is how to make them find common ground. It can’t be done without sacrifice. Preferably, this would have to be done on both sides. Maybe Mab can reduce her heists to spend more time with Clyde who lets her be more influential over Nytefall. The two things stopping this is Mab’s pride and Clyde’s desire to not force her into anything. He’s actually still uncomfortable about dragging his friends into the war and ruling a kingdom. Of course, the two don’t really bring this up to each other. I have to admit that I haven’t figured out why that is just yet. For some reason, I can’t get the characters to talk about it.
What does the future hold? Well, that is spoiler territory, but the Mab/Clyde relationships is a key part of their evolution. Considering War of Nytefall: Loyalty begins with her sneaking into enemy territory to break him out of prison, it’s clear that this isn’t going to be a low level subplot. The biggest challenge is going to be finding that middle ground because they can’t focus on two different two periods for eternity. Not without having to go their separate ways and that would be a disaster.