When all that you have’s turnin’ stale and its cold,
Oh you’ll no longer fear when your heart’s turned to gold
Out of all the dozens of characters runnin’ around in my head, Kyrene (pronounced KYE-REEN) is one of the sweetest. She’s the first person we meet when diving into Zidane’s past, and at the very few, first critical moments that she is introduced, one thing is clear: she loves her son. Flaws and all, and trust me: Zidane has a lot of flaws.
But Kyrene takes everything–everything her son is, is not… Everything her entire town throws at her, from horrid insults to death threats and straight-up glares. She endured everything, right up to her [SPOILER].
Ha. You thought I was gonna say something about what happens to her, huh? Nah, bruh.
Small little whats-a-whose-it about this band. Very good, very unknown. This is just one song by them that fits into Grazing the Sky‘s universe!
More than once in this first book does Lance question his sanity. The first is when he is introduced, waking from a strange but disturbing nightmare (a tail grows from his spine shooting out his backside, if you wanna get specific, but that’s just a foreshadow of the events to come). He wakes, then begins to hear a voice. One coming from all directions, one warning of danger to come.
It is here our story begins.
So Lance is kidnapped from a hospital; so Lance awakes to find an inhuman ally. Zidane, half-Spiro and half-Razalek, promises him help. Promises his life to be saved. Lance has been injected with Spiro cells, after all, and it’s these cells that will be the death of him–if help isn’t found, now.
And it seems like Zidane is the only chance Lance has.
After this explanation, after seeing a tail on Zidane and a levitating napkin dispenser, Lance questions his own mind.
But, alas, something that Lance can’t explain is brought up.
Aspiring musician Lance awakes one night to hear a voice. Someone warning him of danger to come. Someone telling him to start running, now.
Lance has no choice but to shrug off the event as something of his own imagination, but upon falling unconscious, he is kidnapped and injected with deadly cells from a race kept hidden from humans, a race kept secret.
Zidane is a crossbreed of Razalek and Spiro, a breathing hybrid that shouldn’t exist. There’s too much hatred between the races; there’s too much bad blood in his veins. But he needs to save Lance’s life. He has too much death on his hands already.
However, Lance isn’t so easy to trust him. So, with a question, he’s teleported into Zidane’s mind and introduced to a world of magic, racism, and everlasting love. Memory by memory plays, giving Lance answers to his question. Giving him every reason to trust. He has no choice, after all.
First review: “I loved the first half of this book. I couldn’t put it down!”
If I could pick my life, have everything and anything I wanted, I would want Grazing to be an anime (produced by Bones, if you want to get specific with it).
In 2016, one of the very first things I made was a Wattpad trailer. A trailer for Grazing, that is. If I remember correctly, really reach into my mind, the story wasn’t done yet. Five years of writing and this story wasn’t done yet.
But I made the trailer, the first trailer of two. The song? None other than the Marylin Mason’s cover of “Sweet Dreams”.
So, if I had to go into the soundtrack of the anime, I would pick the spooky, haunting tune of Sweet Dreams. It’d be the first song to play, and on the first trailer as well.
In eighth grade, I decided to write out a book for school. They called the assignment “Young Authors” in which we had to write a book every year. I’d been doing the assignment for a while now, six years in fact, and I wanted this one–my last one–to really mean something.
There’d been this story in my head, since I was really little. Like, let’s say eight or so. I took the things around me–video game characters, commercials, music (music was a big one, ohmy)–and I began creating. Like an endless supply of sand and a single pair of hands, I began molding. I placed characters in situations that entertained me. And over the years, I shaped everything until it was completely original (you can read more about that here).
For most of my eighth grade year, I was alone. I had gone to a school that taught from first grade to eighth, and I had been with the same kids since second grade. Over the years, I cycled through friendships with almost everyone, and by the time eighth grade rolled around, I was completely alone.
I retreated into music. I hid away and pulled up my sleeves, the cuff of my pants. I self-harmed. Music and my current Young Authors were the only things keeping me going. The two things that kept me from that black void swallowing me and making me end my life.
In terms of songs that related to Grazing the Sky (the full-length, published version of that eighth grade story), Carry Me Down by Demon Hunter hits hard. I don’t quite listen to the song very much, since there’s so many other tunes to tune in to, but when those distorted chords ring out and give way to acoustic guitars, I find a familiar setting painting my imagination.
Roxas has died.
For my main character, I couldn’t quite bring him from my mind to the page during my eighth grade year. Zidane was much too close to me, and what would people say? How odd, how weird, it was that I had kept this character in my head for almost ten years now. These characters were like friends, and they would grow to become like children in time.
So I couldn’t put down the full story. But I knew, if I had had the time to write out the watered-down-version that was The Shadow Thief, I knew our main guy Roxas would eventually die. And his caregiver, the one person that truly cared, would carry him down the church asile.
And thus the lyrics would ring out.
Will you carry me down the aisle that final day?
With your tears and cold hands shaking from the weight?
There’s a section, in this song, that paints a clear picture. In Grazing the Sky, Zidane is a mixture of Razalek and Spiro. Razalek is basically a magical elf-race; Spiros are born from beasts and take on a more human form later in life. Because Zidane is a mixture of these two conflicting races, nearly everyone in his life has looked at him a little differently. Either outcasted or inspected, Zidane just doesn’t get a break. His birth-father is Razalek and (for reasons unbeknownst to the reader) absolutely abhors Zidane.
There’s a scene in Grazing where Zidane, after being separated from his family and being with humans for over ten years, comes to face his father once more. That hatred surfaces, for both sides, and walls began to build. Confessions leak out. People begin to change.
For every word we never spoke, We have a tear to cry For every silence’s like a wall between a better you and I
There’s so many little things. If Grazing ever becomes a movie/anime, this song just might be going in as part of the original soundtrack.
The main romance in Grazing is between Zidane and his childhood friend, Zooka. They meet at an orphanage as kids, experience heartbreak and death together (second time for Zidane), and later grow to become weapons/soldiers/medics.
While living his childhood, and before meeting Zooka around 8 years old, Zidane is forced into becoming a thief. It’s his only means to survive, and the person that saves Zidane from the brink of death ends up becoming his worst nightmare. The fact that Zidane is a mixed-blooded freak is literally beaten into him.
Zidane tucks inward, and all the pain from his life is molded into a hardened anger towards everything.
Enter Zooka. Enter a young girl with no memory, no recollection of her past or her name. Enter an orphanage with a spiritual caregiver and enter people who care about Zidane. Enter a single hug from Zooka, who takes “the badness away”.
Zidane vows to never steal again, something that was so ingrained into his very being.
Enter MOCT; enter an underground, human-made system that Zooka and Zidane are drafted into for security.
Zidane and Zooka split, career-choice wise. When they become fourteen, they go from general education to a MOCT specality. Zidane chooses SWAT with a concentration in sniping; Zooka forces herself to become a general medic.
While attempting surgery on a cadaver, Zooka falls faint and, upon waking, confesses she’s worried she’ll never get over her fear of blood. Zidane is there to pick her up again, and at the age of fifteen, they share their first kiss.
So if you see me losing faith…
The faith is always there, between both of them. Faith to do better, be better.
But there is one last connection with this song. And we go back to Zidane’s past, which makes up a huge chunk of the book. Lance, our main guy (you probably forgot about him, haven’t you?) is teleported into Zidane’s mind, and Zidane promises to answer Lance’s questions.
Why are you… you?
What made you who you are?
Why are you helping me erase these Spiro cells from my blood, assuming they’re there in the first place?
In the beginning, we are introduced to Zidane’s mother, Kyrene. She ends up dying, her last breath uttering Zidane’s birth name.
And if you see me losing faith in what it means to die
Death surrounds us. Whether it is a bug squashed outside or a bullet through the brain, death is something… we can’t quite escape.
In my defense, I’ve been busy creating! I’m now on YouTube publishing visual audiobooks, which are fun to make. But that’s not the point of this post.
I’ve been revisting my main story, a series I’ve been developing since I was eight (18 years ago! whoo-wee). After some good time away focusing on music-based short stories and random oneshots, I’ve dived headfirst into the world of Grazing the Sky and fallen in love once again with the characters, concepts, and general vibe.
I have a master playlist for GtS. Over 600 songs complied over ten years. A lot of it is stuff I listened to in middle school: 10 Years, early Three Days Grace (Saint Asonia 2, anyone???), Rise Against. This last band is incorporated into the first book of Grazing. The main character, Lance, wears a RA hoodie for a good portion of the book and cites the band as one of his main influences for his own music.
If my fingertips and brain are up for it, I’ll set my playlist on shuffle and produce one post a day for a week, talking about various songs and how they relate to each story.
So cheers, and let’s see how much we can discuss. On shuffle, of course.