Countdown to DRIFT & DAGGER: Mal's Travel Log

One of my *favorite* things about DRIFT & DAGGER was taking the story all around the globe. Unlike SALT & STORM, which focuses on a very small island, DRIFT & DAGGER hops from one world capital to another. I loved getting to research the history of these cities and tried to bring them to life through Mal's eyes--which meant combining real-world facts with imagined backgrounds true to the fictional world.

Here's a quick tour through Mal's Travel Log!:


"Standing still—even for only a few minutes, even here on this street corner in Boston at night, the stink of mud and grass and animals from the Common drifting toward me like fog—has me nervous enough to want to bolt straight for the docks."

Where our story begins (and, conveniently enough, where I live). In Mal's Boston, the rugged Dock Square butts up against the softer circles of the Boston elite. It's a convenient home base for many hunters (not sure what a hunter is? Check out last week's DRIFT & DAGGER glossary!) and the city Mal is most comfortable in. When he's looking to relax and unwind, he'll head to a raucous corner of the city known as the Black Sea and his favorite bar, the Crow and the Stone.


"The moment I step off the train and the soot-thick air of London floods my nostrils, I relax into the familiar patterns of the city."

Considered by most to be the capital of the world, London in the 1850s is in its heyday. When Mal arrives, the famous Great Exhibition is just wrapping up, and Mal and his partner, Boone, can't resist a visit. In real life, the Great Exhibition spotlighted some of the world's most amazing achievements in science, art, and technology. In Mal's world, that means a hefty showing of magical skill, too.


"The closest I came to death was in Paris, and although it happened on a hunt, it had nothing to do with the normal dangers of hunting."

When I began researching Paris, I came across a young gentleman's travel diary, where he wrote about the sights, sounds, and smells of the city in vivid detail. I was especially captivated by his account of the Paris markets and used them as inspiration for the famous hunters' markets where Mal and Boone come to buy, sell, and get information.


"Other cities in other countries have banished magic, but Constantinople is the most famous for it, with its bloody wars against magic folk going back centuries." 

ow known as Istanbul, in Mal's world, Constantinople is an elegant capital with a complicated past. As the seat of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople is one of the few cities in the world where magic is a crime and anyone found performing magic will be immediately arrested. This makes it a prime location for those who want nothing more than to eliminate magic forever.


Next week: Something pretty