It's hard to answer. One reason is that... you're just not supposed to. A good book is usually about a lot of things. Some of which are true only for the reader. The act of reading a book is a private artistic collaboration. The writer may lead the way - the story is a recipe, tying emotions to sight, sound, and scent create the sugar and spice - but the reader bakes the cake.
So, any talk from a writer on "what's it really about," must walk a pretty fine line. At best it's "what do I think it's about?" And even that might be saying too much, so I'll be very careful.
A surface level description of this story might be...
"A mysterious artifact, the Signet Ring of a long forgotten country, has the quality of bestowing upon anyone who wears it, total recall of every lifetime he or she will lead from that moment forward. The King's X is definitive proof of a long suspected notion - all human bodies are masks for immortal spirits. We can not truly die. The makers of this ring have known this as fact for unknown millenia. They possess the cumulative knowledge of thousands of lifetimes led, experience and wisdom beyond measure. They have kept the truth secret from a world they continue to rule from shadow, like Shepherds over sheep. Long ago the King's X was stolen. The secret is out. The makers want it back before it can be told. The great Thief is hunted from lifetime to lifetime."
That's a pretty decent overhead view. But that might wind up meaning a lot of things to a lot of different people. So I'm not going to say what I think it's really about. But I will give a little insight into what made me want to write the story in the first place.
The collective myths and legends of the world are filled with examples of similar things happening over and over again - the breaking of one simple rule, the theft of one forbidden thing, and the consequences such acts bring.
"You may have free rein of the house, my dear" says Bluebeard, "But whatever you do, do not open that closet door."
In the garden of Eden there was no death. There was however, a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And one rule. Of course, that rule was broken, an Apple stolen, and a taste of the fruit shared. And Genesis goes on to tell us of the results. "The wages of Sin is... Death." Oh my...
And this kind of thing happens a lot in just about every culture's mythology. Expulsion from paradise, loss of immortality, suffering and misery, and often it gets so bad there is a flood to wipe the world clean and start over again. I'm speaking in general terms, of course, and I won't go into detail here, but creation stories are eerily similar all across the world. This person Here has cataloged quite a few for us. The Babylonian "Noah" who appears in the tale of Gilgamesh (the oldest known recorded story) is particularly interesting. And if you are interested in this kind of thing, I'll also plug my favorite website for research - Sacred texts. They have a copy of... everything.
But back to our story...
So, the theft of some forbidden thing has left us cast out of a land where there is no death. In other words, we're all gonna die. I think I speak for us all when I say, "Oh, crud."
Well, now that Pandora has done the one thing she wasn't supposed to do and opened the box, what now?
What happens when you die? Is it nothing? Is it something?
Heaven? Hell? Oblivion?
Let me just cut to the bottom line. You don't know. And neither do I. We may have opinions, but we don't have facts. We may have beliefs, but we don't have knowledge. We may have hopes and fears. But we seem to be prevented from having more. Almost like there was a wall, a glass ceiling, or a veil.
And so we are left to pick something to believe in and hold on tight. In this way, belief becomes a security blanket, a comfort in the darkness, and we become children with a problem. We come to fear challenges to our beliefs because without them... the unknown may be too terrifying to face.
Ever try to take away a toddler's security blanket? That's where we are. Motivated by fear of the unknown, driven by a primal need to hold on, to clutch whatever it is we believe, whatever it is we so desperately hope to be true... we will fight, we will kill, we will go to war. This is what we, as a species, do.
But what if we are better than that? What if there were something else to fight for besides what *I * believe or what *you* believe?
What if the thing that is really on the line is our birthright? Our citizenship in Eden, where there is no death?
What if the reason we don't KNOW for certain what happens at death... is that someone doesn't want us to? What if someone who knows very well who and what we are, keeps the truth hidden from us?
What if you could know, beyond any need for security blankets... that no one dies. That we all come back, over and over again with a purpose. In the same way that children go to 1st grade for a time, then leave it. They come back to school in second grade for a time. Then they leave it. Come back for third grade. Then leave it.
If you could KNOW all that for certain... what would your life be like right now? What would be your concerns? What would you be working on? How fearless and how great would you be?
And what would you be willing to do as a black sheep? What sacrifices would you make? What punishment would you endure from the Shepherds... to get the word out to the rest of us?
Watch this from our good friend Plato...
And here is page 1, from King's X.
All that you are, all that you have ever been, the King’s X will reveal…
A lifetime is an arc of lightning. Potent. Unique. Impermanent. What happens when we die? Is it nothing? Is it something?
So much is hidden. So much forgotten. What knowledge remains falls to us in ancient stories of a time lost in shadow. Stories of jealous gods and tormented thieves. Prometheus and the stolen secret of fire. Eve, the Tree of Knowledge, and the taste of forbidden fruit. The clever Raven, who tricked the Sky to steal a piece of the Sun.
Long ago the King’s X was stolen from its makers. The Thief is hunted to this day. There can be no rest, not even in death. Because to carry the King’s X is to know a truth long hidden, forever outlawed, and all but forgotten.
No one dies.What follows is a story of secrets, forbidden knowledge, and stolen fire. This is a story of the King’s X. One of many.