Who is the narrator of Ethandune?
Allow me to introduce you to Simon.
The narrator of Ethandune is Simon, a lad of fourteen at this juncture. He is Goddgofang's manservant, and in appearance is dramatically overshadowed by his master: he is prone to be tall (he may or may not have another growth spurt in him), mousy-haired and hazel-eyed, and since he has frequent opportunity to be in the sun he tends to stay tan, but his tan is usually of a dusty colour, never any kind of magnificent bronze. He still has that long, leggy, coltish aspect common in almost all teenage boys, but since his voice has broken it has become remarkably deep for someone of his size, possessing a rich nutty tone that is very pleasant to listen to - although, he does not know this - and that is his greatest physical asset. He is not ugly by any means, but he is not the sort of figure which would catch anyone's eye. He is very quietly, contentedly plain.
"I am a gypsy by birth, sir. I came into Goddgofang's service four years ago."
Writing in the first person, and writing from Simon's point of view, has created a very different feel from such stories as my crowning three (Adamantine, Plenilune, and Gingerune) where are all written in the third person and from a woman's perspective. Being a manservant, Simon has a critical eye for detail and has a naturally tender disposition, but he is still very different from any of the main characters of my other novels. He lends a decidedly masculine aspect to the story, and being written in the first person I am also able to acknowledge the absurdities of life, which I am not always able to do in the third person. This also makes for an interesting exploration of his character. In the third person, the reader is discovering the character while the story progresses: but in the first person, the character already knows what he is like and does not always feel the need to "discover himself" to the reader. Simon's personality is shown up when juxtaposed to others', and his character is revealed in the circumstances of the story, which is a new and fun style for me to explore!
To be truthful, I absolutely adore Simon - he makes me laugh (and making me laugh is a great way to get me to like you) and he gives me the opportunity to explore a relationship which was prematurely terminated twenty-eight years earlier in the timeline.
He smiled at me, and I think for some time afterward I wore that smile like a wreath of olive.