For those of you who’ve read WOMAN KING and DARK HORSE, Sunday’s presidential victory would have been cause for champagne toasts all around. Gabriel Laurent, Olivia’s bon vivant of a father, would no doubt have been the first to open a bottle.

Emmanuel Macron’s victory over the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen was a much-needed triumph against a never-ending wave of nationalism pouring out of the United States and Britain. And yet, we’re still left with the sobering thought that 35% of the French electorate voted for a candidate whose views are clearly xenophobic and divisive. Le Pen’s father started the party straight out of the Vichy government and its roots in the Nazi Party, although buried deep thanks to modern political strategies, are not hard to spot.

If the Council, the organization Olivia works with were real, it would be going into overdrive to find a way to hold the European Union together and rid the world of this poisonous fever that seems to hold sway over the hearts and minds of so many.

And what to say about the US?

We barely had time to celebrate France’s victory, before Trump was at again, firing the man responsible for investigating his ties to Russia under scandalous circumstances eerily reminiscent of Watergate.

For Olivia this is the Council’s worst fears coming true. Trump’s campaign was won on a platform of fear. The president is ousting his opposition within the White House and his minions are seemingly gaining momentum. A wave of populist anger is fueling politics in the US and its taking our country to a dark place where traditional institutions are no longer trusted.

Who will be the hero in this story?

To an empath hoping to use her supernatural abilities and power to protect the world she loves, these events are signs that there is not enough good magic in the world. I joke that events are so strange, they couldn’t possibly be fiction, but if this was book three, Trump represents a tear in the fabric of the universe, a disturbance of the balance between good and evil. (Credit to Ursula Le Guin for my inspiration here…) Olivia’s nemesis, Stoner Halpert would be Trump’s right-hand-man, or chief of staff, a Steve Bannon figure.

These days, it’s truth that is stranger than fiction and worse …. dystopian fiction that has come to be true. All that remains is to see how the story will end and whether there will be a hero there to save us.

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