In my new Georgian fantasy romance series, THE ELVEN LORDS, there are seven magical scepters that the elven lords used to open the gate to the world of man. The scepters long to return to their home world of Elfhame, and using their magical connection to the dragon-steeds, aid the English in taking back their home world through their magical connection to the sentient dragons. In book one, THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER, the scepter communicates that need through the dragon Ador, and the dragon in turn begins to influence the half-blood son of the elven lord, Dominic, in their quest to return home.
It didn’t occur to me that the scepter might be a character until I started writing book two, THE STORM LORD’S DAUGHTER. My warrior hero, Giles Beaumont, has an enchanted sword (or cursed, depending on your point of view) that quivers at the scent of blood and flies to Giles’s hand when battle is near. Like the scepters, the sword has wants and needs…and develops a personality even stronger than the scepters’. I then realized that the influence of the scepter permeates throughout THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER, although it doesn’t appear in too many scenes, and when it does, it is nothing but a cold lump of ancient jet-black stone. They may not be fully fleshed characters, given that they are inanimate objects, but I think the fantasy element allows them a sort of awareness of the world around them, and combined with their needs and desires, may certainly qualify them as characters.
So can inanimate objects be a character in a novel? I believe that, with magic, anything is possible…but I will let you decide for yourself when you read my upcoming series, THE ELVEN LORDS.