Themes always confused me when teachers tried to explain them to me in school. Probably just me. Anyway, here's a Merriam-Webster definition: "the main subject that is being discussed or described in a piece of writing."
So what are the themes of The Abode?
First let me say that I didn't set out to base this story on any particular theme. In fact, only after finishing the book did I even give much thought to the matter. However, because this is a story fraught with challenges and danger, and because the primary characters are young and innocent, several themes emerge as the plot works itself out. Among them:
Betrayal: The Abode exists because of a betrayal.
Good versus evil: This is a fantasy, so good versus evil is kind of a given.
Escape: Almost everyone in The Abode is trying to escape from within the mists. However, more subtle escapes also present themselves as with one of the adult characters who has to confront his own nature and decide whether or not to attempt to change.
Isolation: Because the children of the Abode are captive inside mists, they are by definition isolated from the "wide world." They know nothing beyond the yard of the Abode.
Freedom: The main character, the heroine of The Abode, lives in a prison-like environment with other children. Her freedom, along with that of many other characters, is an ongoing concern.
Coming of Age: I refer to this aspect of the characters' lives as finding their True Form. This is, perhaps, the most important theme of The Abode.