I’m thrilled to welcome Ann Aguirre back to Almost Grown-up today, as a part of her blog tour for the conclusion to her Razorland series, HORDE! The Razorland trilogy is a kick-ass post-apocalyptic series, and I can certainly say that Horde is a strong conclusion.
While reading Horde, I was struck by the various fighting styles used– and how Ms. Aguirre suited them to her different characters. I’m going to hand the floor over to her to speak about that a bit more.
The fighting techniques in the Razorland series are not any one martial art used today. For instance, Deuce’s combat style is a fusion of kali knife fighting and Krav Maga. If you’ve read the short story, Foundation, you know how the enclave began. (If not, then you should read it!) As a result, they had a variety of survivors from the bunkers that united with the people who had already been living below the city; the population of the latter was comprised of burnouts, dropouts, drug addicts, the mentally ill, alcoholics, and others disenchanted with modern life for other reasons. While it’s possible that martial artists could’ve been among their number, it’s unlikely, given that practicing such a pastime requires certain discipline.
Therefore, as their society evolved and they became more martial to defend their territory, the styles came from whatever someone remembered or could invent. A lot of lore was lost when they went underground, so some of the strikes would have no modern counterpart. Fade, for example, uses what I call survival style, and when he’s actively in mortal peril (or Deuce is), he basically turns into a berserker. Adrenaline drives his strikes and he’s more resistant to pain. Stalker, on the other hand, fights with a blend of kung fu and silat. If you’re not familiar with the latter, you can find some videos on YouTube; it’s a knife-fighting technique from Malaysia.
In contrast, Tegan learns to fight from James Morrow, a character introduced in Horde. Her style is a modified version of old Japanese bō staff fighting. With her weak leg, she can’t manage a lot of the more acrobatic maneuvers, but the style is adapted successfully for her use, permitting her to defend herself better and to feel like she’s a full member of Company D, not just a medic. Since Morrow grew up in a more civilized environment (you’ll know what I mean once you read Horde), he had access to resources and knowledge that had been lost elsewhere. So his fight training was less savage and more formal and stylized, like the gentlemen in England who took up boxing. Likewise, James Morrow learned to fence, so he’s the closest thing to a proper sword fighting in the whole series.
It was great fun figuring out how each character would fight. Another new character introduced in Horde is a bit of a brawler and he prefers his guns, so it made sense he’d be more of a wrestler, a grappler, and still another new character combines pistols with kickboxing; I’m particularly proud of that. And his significant other is all about the crossbow, and she prefers the high ground. At this point, I’m not naming names of all these new people but I hope the teasing make readers eager to make their acquaintances. I’m sure eager for everyone to get their hands on the final volume. I’m dying to find out what people think of the finale.
In your opinion, what’s the coolest fighting style?
So, readers? What *is* your favorite fighting style?
Horde will be available October 29, 2013, but you can preorder from:
In the meantime, you can check out other posts about the Razorland series on Almost Grown-up!
Also, don’t miss out on the chance to win a COMPLETE set of Ann Aguirre’s Razorland books! Simply enter via Rafflecopter below!
And you can catch up with the rest of the blog tour here.