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A Bird of Paradise

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And with that, I'm afraid, Falconry has come to an end.

I had plans to continue the series to show all the things that the TV canon promised but never delivered on. I wanted to do right by Morgana and Gwen and Merlin and Arthur. But when I came to the end of A Bird of Paradise, I found that I had already said the most important things I needed to say for the heart of the series: about Arthur and Merlin's relationship and their inability to see the truth in each other despite their closeness. Their fears and confusion and the hard process of growing up, truly opening up to another person. Of being human when the world tells you you're not; of realizing your world is a lie and finding a new one.

In the way of grand plans (as I often bite off more than I can chew), in the rest of the series Morgana was meant to begin her training as High Priestess and then to go through her own arcs to move beyond her fear and anger. To channel it into real action for the good of the community she was meant to lead and care for. Gwen's path was less defined for me, but I wanted her to stop living for other people and start living for herself, to gain the power she needed to make the world a better place. And I wanted to bring the two of them back together on equal footing.

I wanted the truth to come out, all of it. For Uther to show just how monstrous he was and for Arthur to defy him openly, and as a result lose everything he thought he held dear. The four of them were going to have to flee Camelot and take refuge in Mercia, only to find themselves caught between Uther's fire and Morgause's ice.

And then the OT4 would travel north, break the curse on the Perilous Lands and find the remnants of Old Religion, to gather those fragments to make a new, whole cloth. To gain knights and allies as they travelled south again, only to run right into trouble with the Saxons. That Merlin would have to find a way, with Balinor's help, to bring the Dragons back to Albion to drive the Saxons back. And with that, Arthur would become High King of Albion while still having no lands of his own.

The final book would have been their return to Camelot to find it a land broken by civil war. All of Arthur's worst fears would have come to pass as Uther lashed out in grief and fury. There would have been different factions, Morgause and Gedref, the heart of magic in Albion dying and the OT4 restoring it. Flashbacks to Merlin and Arthur's past lives. The rebirth of the Old Religion. Uther's death. And then finally peace and the Golden Age beginning.

I apologize to my readers that I can't write all of that, but I hope you can be satisfied with the first four books and this brief glimpse. It was a pleasure having all of you along for the ride, as far as we could go.