Elfhame – Anthea Sharp – Review #Fantasy #Fairytales

Elfhame – Anthea Sharp

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Mara is a girl with adventure in her soul, and she wants more than her mundane village and boring suitor can offer. Her life is one of few future prospects save a dull marriage, hard work and popping out children. She has no special skills of which she is aware, save more intelligence than usual, courage and a curious nature.

Prince Bran is the heir to not only the Hawthorne Throne, an-end-of-the-world prophecy, but he’s a fearsome Dark Elf. His life is filled with duty, war and magic. He is taciturn, a powerful sorcerer and fearsome warrior.

These two are linked – by a prophecy one has lived by and the other is blissfully unaware of. Aside from that, they have little in common.

Fate has her way and our two fine heroes meet; there are deceptions, battles with unpleasant monsters, surprises, unlikely friendships and a rollercoaster ending.

Told like a fairytale, the story is engaging (I read it through in a couple of hours as I couldn’t put it down), and the characters are great. Mara quickly captures the readers – feisty and brave, a bit naive but knows her own mind and is not afraid to say so. She is not a wallflower.

Bran is a sympathetic character – doing his duty and fulfilling a prophecy that will save his people, despite his own reservations, safety and happiness. The elves are seen by the humans as alien and ‘hideous’, with strange and mythical ways; the humans are viewed as primitive and weak. And both factions are proven wrong.

Well-crafted and filled with adventure this fantasy tale is definitely one for readers of mythic tales and fairy tales. Younger readers may find the monsters and the battles unsettling but this is a good read for any age.

5 stars.

New Release – Here Be Elves Bundle

Here Be Elves

Out now!

A shapeshifter who spies for the fey conquerors of the mortal world fights her urge to help an oppressed human child. Her duty points one way. Her inclination, another. How will she choose?

The only elf able to stand in for the big guy—Santa himself, away on sabbatical—can’t be found. His cohorts hire an elf PI plus partner—Diz and Dee—to track down the necessary missing fellow.

A faie knight, banished from the realm under the knowe, loves the bright world and the mortals who dwell there. But the faie king wants his knight back, and he prefers tricks and cheats for tactics.

A healer mage discovers a young man dying of fey magic on the steps of her perfume shop. Battling the fairy queen to save him puts her heart at risk.

Celtic elves, dangerous and beautiful. Scandinavian elves, mischievous pranksters. Norse elves, warriors and consorts to the gods. Santa’s elves, practical and plucky. The Fair Folk beguile imagination with their mystery, allure, and hints of madness.

Consort with the fey in the 13 tales of Here Be Elves—magic, myth, and mayhem await you.

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Featuring

The Merchant of Elves                                               Robert Jeschonek       

The Case of the Missing Elf                                       Annie Reed    

Elf Saga, Book 1: Doomsday                                     Joseph Robert Lewis  

The Shining Citadel                                                    A. L. Butcher 

Forty Years Among the Elves                                    Stefon Mears  

Hidden in Mist                                                            Chrissy Wissler          

Blood Silver                                                                J.M. Ney-Grimm        

Hidden in Myth                                                          Chrissy Wissler          

By the Chimney With Care                                        Kristine Kathryn Rusch         

Jar of Souls                                                                 Lisa Silverthorne        

Kirwan’s Son                                                               Marcelle Dube

Myths and Magic                                                        Kevin Partner 

Destiny                                                                        Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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Swift Six Character Interview – Ozena Lyn – Fantasy/Bundle/Dark Fantasy

 

Name: Ozena Lyn

Which book/world do you live in?

I live in Erana, as the humans call it. My home was Szendro, until it was destroyed by slavers – that’s in the Shimmering Forest.

The books I am in are called The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles, and The Shining Citadel.

Tell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.)

I’m an elf, specifically a Forest Elf; elves were once the dominant race in Erana, but since the Plague, and the rule of the Order of Witch-Hunters the elves are lower than cattle. We are not free, and have no rights. Forest Elves tend to live in more traditional way, deep in the forest, or the wilderness but even there we are not safe. The Order or the Slavers can and do come at any time, believe me.

I am a huntress and archer by profession, and now a tracker. My father was the same, before he was killed many years ago. My mother was a craftswoman.  Except for my sister and some more distant kin I had no family in Szendro but, in such communities, all elves are kin. We must be, for if we do not unite we will fall.

Many of the humans treat elves very badly, as I have said we have no rights under law and so maybe treated however the human wishes. We cannot move around the land without the required papers and with the consent of our owners.  I am lucky, my human is kind and gives us much freedom.  But many elves are not so fortunate.

I’m an adventurer – why should I recruit you to accompany me?

I am an archer adept, and a tracker. I was my old tutor’s best student – so he said. I won’t say I never miss, but it’s rare. I’m a fair swordswoman too. These days I know about poisons, stealth, concealment and how to kill efficiently. Once I was an innocent, naive you would say. That was before the Slavers came. There was not much to threaten us – except the odd bear or wolf. We were complacent.  That will never happen again.

Archos (my human) tells me we would never have found the Shining Citadel without my skills. And the journey through the mountains and forest was very arduous.

Tell us about your companions?  How do they see you?

Well, I hope Olek loves me! He does get exasperated, I know that. He is far more worldly than I and a good deal older. Sometimes I don’t understand the ways of the world beyond the forest, but I’m getting better.

Lord Archos – I haven’t a clue. We live in his house so I guess he likes me. Sometimes I feel second after him in Olek’s eyes. I know who he’d choose if he had to. Although I guess Olek has served Archos for more years than I have been alive – their bond is strong.  Archos is not easy to live with. He is wise but often rather arrogant and he has a terrifying temper. He’s never used it on me, but I’d not like to truly cross him. Archos has powers beyond which not many can stand and, so I have been told, mages are passionate. That passion and emotion can fuel the magic. Most mages are weak and timid. They are treated even worse than elves – magic is forbidden – on pain of death, you see.

Archos is an Archmage – and revered by my society but often I feel rather stupid around the mages – Dii and Archos. They are far better educated and have seen so much more than I have. Magic is mysterious and dangerous – I can’t hope to understand it.  I think he sees me as a child or an indulgence for Olek. I am very grateful for all his kindness but he is not an easy man to be around.

Dii and I are friends, she is kind and gentle. I can’t imagine what she’s been through. Dii will take my side sometimes if Archos and I disagree.

Th’alia – who joined us on our adventure to find the Citadel – does not like me. She is rude, not just to me but to everyone. I know she suffered at the hands of the Order but so has Dii, and Dii does not behave in such a way. Th’alia is supposed to be an Eltenda – a lore keeper and historian – but she thinks the old tales and the myths of our past are foolish. She does not believe and scorns those who do. She is highborn – nobility – and I am ‘just’ a hunter from a small village and humble stock.

What’s your most heroic exploit to date?

Finding the Shining Citadel! I was so worried we would never get there, we were lost and in trouble. We could not return home. It was finding the Citadel, find a way out of the forest or die trying. I still cannot believe it.  This place is both the past and the future of the elves – a great city cloaked in magic with hundreds if not thousands of years of history. There are elves – well not living ones there but one day Lor’Arthinis will be great again. It’s a secret if the Order finds out they will try and destroy it.

What’s your greatest failure?

My sister.  You’ll have to read to find out more. Please don’t make me talk about it.

Where do you think you’ll be in a decade?

Dead, probably. The fight we undertake is dangerous. I doubt all of us will live.  If I am still alive I’d like to be raising a family in safety and freedom. Elves have little – but we do have hope. We must, or fall entirely.

Do you have a great love? (This could be a person/trait/item)

Olek. The elven men in the village were all rather dull in comparison.  But they are all dead now, or missing.  Olek is so worldly; deadly and kind in equal measures. He taught me to be brave, that a woman and an elf can be equal to a man and a human.  He has shown me the world beyond the Shimmering Forest, and I know I will always be safe with him. Because of Olek, and to an extent Archos, I am far more confident, far surer of my skills.

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Book Links

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I

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The Shining Citadel

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Heroic Tales

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Author Bio

British-born Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a  A. L. Butcher) is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.  She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

 

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Review – The Shepherd’s Crown – Terry Pratchett

Review The Shepherd’s Crown

5 Stars

Not perfect but extraordinary.

The last book in the Discworld Fantasy series was always going to be a book which made the reader emotional. Sir Terry Pratchett was, perhaps, one of the greatest British Fantasy writers and his books are funny, intelligent, witty, evocative and adventurous. The Discworld series has brought me many happy hours, and I am sure will continue to do so. I can happily read them over and over and always find something new, always chuckle at the rapier wit and always loose myself in the pages.

The first Pratchett book I read was Reaper Man, lent to me by my boyfriend for a long train journey. I was laughing so much I had tears streaming down my face. I am sure everyone on the train thought I was mad. I think the Discworld got me into fantasy big time.

Since then I have enjoyed every book in the series, watched the screenplays, animated plays, directed an amateur production of Maskerade, and even collected the diaries (even the clown one and I hate clowns). Discworld was a big part of my reading life. I was terribly sad to learn of Mr Pratchett’s death far too young from such a terrible illness. That said he has left a great legacy, and maybe his public fight against the disease which took his life but not his creativity, or his spirit, may bring the disease and its research to the fore.

The Shepherd’s Crown is a book of endings, of uncertainty and then determined inevitability towards the future. Many of the other reviews of this book speak of an air of frustration, the sense of things being left unfinished and I agree. All of those are there, and yet there is also the sharpness, the wit and the sense of adventure one would expect from a Pratchett book.  Characters die – and the Discworld is left rather emptier without them. Just as the literary world is left rather emptier with the death of Terry Pratchett. I must confess I had a bit of a cry over this one.

So enough of the eulogy, what about the book? Firstly it isn’t perfect. It isn’t QUITE as polished as some, but it doesn’t matter. After all very few authors can write quite so many books, and certainly not pen a book in the last few months of a terminal illness. The book is still complete enough to be enjoyable and it’s a fitting final book. A path travelled with familiarity and fondness but still a few rough patches is still a worthy path to take.

The story picks up after Wintersmith and the banishing of the elves – the elder witches return, and sacrifice is there. The fight is not without cost. It is more for the younger audience but death, duty, life and love are all covered. The Witches again do battle and the MacFeegles are, as always, mischievous and crafty in a very lovable way.  Tiffany is character with many qualities, and they are all tested. Granny Weatherwax’s conversation with Death is poignant one can’t help thinking of the Reaper Man waiting at the door, and bowing his head to the author as well as the greatest witch.

It’s not Pratchett’s greatest work, but despite the rather rushed ending, the not quite perfect character of Geoffrey and his intriguing goat who isn’t explained, it’s still a Discworld novel. It’s still a damn good read, a bit darker, a bit starker, a bit less full of life and a whole lot sadder, but yes it’s still a great read. I think the circumstances of the book’s very being give an air of the extraordinary.

Mind how you go, Sir Terry. You’ll be missed.

Character Interview Number Twenty-Nine – Dii’Athella

 

Tell Us About Yourself
Name(s): Dii’Athella, or just Dii. I’m told it means Flower of the Dawn in the Elvish language.

Age? I’m not sure. About 25 summers or so, I think.  I was never allowed ‘birthdays’ as you call them. Elves live longer than humans, even in captivity, so for my people I am quite young. Unless, of course, hardship or disease takes us. I’ve heard of elves living several hundred years but that is very rare these days. There is magic which prolongs life, but it is little known, hard to cast and the price paid very high.

Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m an elf, and a Forbidden. In the land of Erana that means I am a slave, or at least I was. Elves have no rights, we are property. We have no recourse to law, our culture is nothing but fragments of a lost glory, and we cannot move freely. I am also a sorceress. Although that, too, is illegal. The Order of Witch-Hunters deem magic to be wicked, and elves to be the bringers of the greatly feared Plague. I’m a mage, my blood flows with magic. Even in hiding that is so. Either one is magical or one isn’t. I cannot change that any more than my Elven birth.

In my former life I was used as the plaything of rich men. I was given or sold to them, to pleasure them. My Keeper thought it amusing to have an educated slave – it brought me even lower I suppose. Literacy is not common, especially amongst elves. The Order of Witch-Hunters don’t encourage knowledge and people thinking for themselves. This leads to questions, and the seeking of answers about the world. For them, this is bad. I love to learn. Ignorance helps to divide us. Knowledge is power.

Now I am a healer, herbalist and a scholar. I am also a rebel and a traitor, or so you’d say. That is correct yes, when one fights against the established rulers? If so, then I am proud of it.

There is more, but you’ll have to follow my adventures to discover that.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Red curly hair, tattoos, slender, beautiful (so I’m told).

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? Morals in Erana are not quite the same as in your world. We have love, honour, friendship, trust and all those things but there is no law, save what the Order decide. It is not law for it serves not the people, it serves the Order and slavers. I am, by my birth, my magic and my race a criminal and so I break what passes for law in our land.

I have killed, although I try and avoid it as I am a healer. I have stolen to feed myself, although I am not sure apples count. I have harboured criminals, I have lied and I have stood by whilst others died. I have led people into traps, but they were Witch-Hunters and deserved it. Morality is relative to one’s position. I cannot afford to follow the ‘moral code’ the Order espouse. I spent enough time as a slave, and in the Order dungeons to know that.

I am devoted to my family – my real family – not the bastard who stole me and raised me in his house.

I am kind, and I will defend my friends before myself. I like to help people. Archos told me it is because I was so eager to please as though not to be beaten, or worse. A lonely child longing to be liked. I have no idea if this is the truth but I suppose it explains a lot. It was a way to protect myself and now is habit.

I think I am trustworthy and discrete. When one’s life is a lie then one gets used to keeping secrets.

Would you kill for those you love? Yes. I would also kill for a cause I love. Freedom.

Would you die for those you love? Yes, and technically I have. Or close enough.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?

Weaknesses:

I don’t think I am very brave.

I am emotional – I suppose it is because of my earlier life. There are all these awful memories in my head and I can get upset about things. Archos says I am strong, a survivor. I don’t see it. Sometimes my emotions get the better of me.

My magic.

Strengths:

I am clever and resourceful. I had to be.

I’m kind and except for the Order I don’t tend to hate.

I learn fast.

My magic.

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? Archos. He saved my life. He is kind, clever, fascinating and unbelievably desirable. Mages tend to be passionate and we are. He does not treat me simply as another elf. Finally my life has some worth.

Olek – Olek is like a brother to me. I trust him with my life. He’s amusing, he is loyal to Archos. They have a special friendship, very close with much shared between them. He was with Archos long before I came to live in Tremellic and they value the friendship. Thus so do I. Olek is very complex. One of those people who is not what he appears.

Ozena, my dear friend. She has also suffered much at the hands of slavers. But she is feisty and speaks her mind, far more than I. I suppose I was used to not being allowed to, or no one caring what I thought. Ozena is much bolder. When we first met she stood up to Lord Archos, challenged him on points and won the argument. Not many people would dare, or if they did dare they would most likely regret it. Archos still chuckles about it. I think he likes the challenge.

Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? I have a raven, well to be precise she’s a Spirit Bird – a familiar you might call her. Ethnii chooses to be with me and I am honoured. She’s named after the Goddess of the Sky. She has some magic of her own, and she is very clever. The Shaman Kherak Var gave her to me, as a protector.

There are several horses too, plus goats, chickens, and such like in the manor grounds and the paddock.

I was never allowed a pet in my old life. My….foster brother had dogs but I was not allowed to pet them or make a fuss. I used to put crumbs down for the mice and sometimes the squirrels would come to my window but they don’t count, I suppose.

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? *Looks sad.

My childhood? You want to know about that? It was difficult… cold, frightening and devoid of much love. Malana, my Keeper’s mistress tried to be kind and protect me but she was often as frightened of him, or sometimes would do nothing so she would not be beaten.  I was often hungry and I was used….

I never got to know the parents who brought me into the world.

Do you have any phobias? Being returned to the Witch-Hunter dungeons. I’d rather die than return there.
Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.I know Shadowplay – at least a bit. Not many people do.
Tell Us About Your World

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. Erana is a world of magic. But it is a world in which magic is forbidden. It is a world of inequality, martial law and prejudice. Yet it is a world of possibilities if one is brave enough or fortunate enough to find them. It’s an old world, full of surprises and strange creatures. Parts of it are very beautiful. Tremellic is a secluded valley close to the Jagged Peak Mountains, it is very fertile. The plains I have not seen very much. Then, of course there’s the Shimmering Forest.  The forest elves say it is alive, I don’t mean in the usual way, I mean sentient and cunning. There are many myths about the ancient forest, not all of them are simply myths.

The Tree of Always – the oldest tree in that part of the forest is supposed to be the mother of all the apple trees which grow. The tree is so old it has seen the elves rise and fall, it has seen the world change. Is it really the oldest? Who knows, there is nothing living to disprove it.  There are many lost magics and lost creatures – hiding from the scourge of magic until such time as it is safe to return.

Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. Officially not really. The humans nod in the direction of the gods when it suits. There are temples to Syltha – the goddess of healing and the gods in general but it is more a vague belief, hedging one’s bets you’d call it. Racial memories perhaps.

The trolls are the most spiritual – they have gods and spirits for pretty much everything. Our neighbours, the Var tribe, worship the Goddess of the Sky, called Ethnii’a by them or Kal Rean by the trolls. I suppose you could say she’s the mother goddess. She’s powerful and capricious. Her children are the sun and the moon.

Archos is….well that would be telling, let’s just say he honours to Sky Goddess above others.

There are minor gods, demigods and nymphs. These are, or were, magical beings from the early times. There are but a few left and those in hiding. We found a nymph, Oeliana in the Shimmering Forest. She guards the forest pools.  There are elementals too. Creatures of magic which are the essence of the world, the essence of magic. Once they were common, but even an elemental can be hunted and slain. Once they were worshipped and honoured, now if they are remembered at all it is with fear.

 

I think the forest elves have many local spirits and gods, but as I’ve said their culture is almost gone so it’s hard to tell. The city elves cling on to the old beliefs – they have little except faith and hope.

The Witch-Hunters don’t encourage belief in the gods – that’s close to magic for them, but I’ve been told individuals may belief, all be it vaguely. The gods exist, or existed. Acknowledgement is another matter.

Does it affect my behaviour? Of course. I’m a mage, we KNOW the gods are real, we KNOW the magic is real and won’t be tamed. We tend to follow the Lady of the Skies and the goddess of healing. I’m a light mage so of course I honour Syltha too. It pays to honour the local gods – after all one may need their assistance. Magic is magic.

Name and describe a food from your world. Once we had roasted Salamander. Olek eats anything so he liked it. No one else did. Giant Salamanders spit acid and they are disgusting and slimy. Not the best meal. We didn’t have much choice. I learned long ago one will eat anything if one is starving.

We have many forms of wine – some from grapes from the warmer lands, and other fruits such as blackberries, rosehips, and elderberries.  There are cider orchards too – both pears and apples.

The trolls eat a seed bread. It is much flatter and harder than other bread, like a cracker from your world. Wheat doesn’t grow that well in their lands but there are the hardy mountain grasses which provide a kind of flour.  It is easy to store and doesn’t go stale.

Ozena tells me her village ate mainly what could be gathered or farmed from their goats. Milk, goat cheese and yoghurts. They have hunters too – so wild pig, deer and birds are on the menu.

Tremellic has many farms – sheep and goats, pigs for bacon and a few cows for their milk. We have makers of cheese, a few hunters now and Archos is contemplating getting some deer to add to the food stores.

Our housekeeper makes divine honey cats. Oats, butter, honey and sometimes fruit. She has a secret recipe.

Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? You need ask after all I’ve told you?

Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another? The humans blame the elves for the Plague, for the ills of society and for, well, being elves. The trolls tend to keep themselves to their mountain villages but do sometimes trade. It’s not that they don’t like the other races, just most humans either haven’t seen one or have odd misconceptions about their ways. Foolish ideas such as trolls eat people. They don’t, well not unless they get REALLY hungry. Something about a seven foot tall horned warrior who can shapeshift into a bear or a trollish shaman who can predict the future seems to worry many people. A lot worries the humans.

The elves are generally too oppressed to trust anyone much. The humans enslave them, and the trolls are distant. Once the elves, trolls and humans worked together.

Tremellic is probably more forward thinking than anywhere else. That is Lord Archos’ doing. He sees the advantage of alliances with trolls and elves. What’s that phrase on your world? ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’ The Order are strong, they rule by force after all – so any alliances against them is valuable.

On rare occasions trolls will marry an elf or human. There are a few half trolls around. Half-elves are common – usually an elven mother – willing or not. Half-elves are slaves as much as elves.

Then there are the fae and the keres… Which shouldn’t exist but do.

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Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links:

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II

The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III

THUNDERCLAP.

As Book I has just been re-released here’s the promotional Thunderclap. Please support, like and share.

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(For further links please see the links on the linky pages.)

 

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres.  She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.

 

Blog: https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414.A_L_Butcher

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Twitter:@libraryoferana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

 

Character Interview Number Twenty-Eight – Mirandra

Tell Us About Yourself

Name (s): Mirandra Var, Shamania of Varris, daughter of Kherak Var, and daughter of the storm.

Age: 30 winters.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Female troll, blonde hair, grey eyes, slate grey skin, horns.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? I must behave with honour, I must be wise and courteous, and the good of the tribe outweighs my own. Trolls value kin and alliances highly and these relationships must be maintained. I should not turn away from those who need help, guests are welcome and shall be accommodated.

I should question all, expect little and give much.  A Shaman’s door is never closed to her people, for who knows when guidance might be needed. Knowledge is power.

Honour is most prized by the Trollkind. A troll without honour is not a troll.  I am Shamania, it is my duty to maintain the hour of the tribe. It is better to die in the service of others, or a worthy cause than to live as a coward. That is what my brother says, and I agree.

Would you kill for those you love? Yes, if it is the correct thing to do. It would depend on why and whom, however. I have fought with monsters to protect those for whom I care. I would kill for my tribe at need.

Would you die for those you love? Oh yes.  If my death would save them I would go to the Goddess without regret.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?  Strengths – I have more magic than I received from my mother alone. I am unique amongst my tribe, for I carry a little of the elemental magics. I have been taught well.

Weaknesses – I am young among my people and have little experience.

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? My brother Talfor, he has always been there for me and now his wife, the elf M’alia for she is courageous and clever. M’alia sees things from another point of view. She makes Talfor happy and that makes me happy.  My mother, although she is now with the Goddess Ethnii’a, Kherak was a remarkable woman, although sometimes hard she was fair and wise.

My father and his wife. I did not know my father until recently, he was not part of our lives. It is common amongst the Trollkind for women, especially Shaman, to raise children without a man around. We are matrilineal and Archos knew not of my existence but as my mother was in her last years she agreed he would be a good ally for the War Which Will Come, and so now we are learning about one another. The Lady Dii’Athella, the Lady of the Light, is a good friend, she visits when she can. My mother cared deeply for her.

Thain. I will leave you to discover who Thain might be…after all a woman needs some secrets.

Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? I have a horse, Tempest. He was a gift from my father, Mir’Rillith, known as Lord Archos of Tremellic to the elves and humans. We trolls rarely have horses, for they do not fare well in the mountains. Tempest is lively and bold. He is a trollish horse now, and he knows it.

Do you have a family? Tell us about them. My mother, Kherak, my brother Talfor and his wife, my father Archos – Mir’Rillith and his wife, the Lady Dii’Athella.  We are trolls, and elves and men, and we are strengthened as a result. Soon I must find a consort, for I must bear a daughter so that when the time is ready she may rule when I have joined the Goddess.

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. I have blonde hair – blonde is very rare among our kind and it is seen as a blessing.

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. My home is Varris, in the Jagged Peak Mountains. It is on a small plateau, and very beautiful.  We are safe from the Order of Witch-Hunters there, but they are known to take trolls, for they hate all whose blood flows with magic. The world of Erana is a dangerous place, for my kind, for elves and any who are magical. Yet there is beauty in it, for the land remembers when the magic flowed, and the stories tell of a time when we were free.  We must preserve these tales and the hope which goes with them.

Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. The Witch-Hunters pretend they do not believe in the gods but call their names often enough. There are many gods, and minor gods of Erana. Our tribe reveres Ethnii’a Goddess of the Sky, above the other gods, for she sends the rain, her sons the moon and sun warm us and light our way and her daughter Sendrillia guards the sacred waterfall which marks the way to the Temple of the Sky. Sendrillia was cursed by wicked magic and turned from woman into a flower. If one honours the goddess’ daughter correctly, with petals from the flower which grows high in the mountains, the waterfall may be crossed on the Path of Rock behind the curtain of water. If one does not honour her, one will get very wet and cannot cross.

We are blessed for one of Ethnii’a’s servants – the Avi Tam, an air elemental, visits the Temple. She was entrapped by a wicked creature and freed and now she blesses us. One must honour the gods, for one never knows when one may need their assistance. The elves share many of our gods, often with different names but the humans tend to be faithless, unless they are mages of course. Mages know that which is true, not the lies of the Order of Witch-Hunters.

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? We travel to Khar’atuk, my place of Proving. I must endure and survive my ordeal to be deemed fit to leave. Khar’atuk is far from our lands, in the lands of our kin. The Emerald Valley is people by humans, who are not friendly to us. Khar’atuk is an old ruin, a labyrinth from the past times and filled with danger.

Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? *Laughs. You need ask that question? Of course there is magic, although the Witch-Hunters seek it out to destroy wherever they can. Magic persists. I am Shamania, my mother and grandmother, and her mother, and hers were Shaman, my father is a sorcerer, and my brother a shape-changer. Does that answer your question, human?

What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) The trolls are matrilineal. I suppose you would call us city states, as a Shaman will rule a town or towns. There is no ruler of all the trolls. I am sure, where you to ask the Order of Witch-Hunters they would claim they rule this land, trolls included. They merely think this is so.  I am unfamiliar with their command structure, I try to avoid their notice. Witch-Hunters rarely dare to attack trolls, but it is known.

Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another? We have Trollkind, Elfkind and Mankind. But there are truly the magical races – the elementals, the fae, the dragons and keres.

The humans fear the elves – for they are blamed for the Plague, many humans fear the trolls – we are seen as barbarians, where in truth it is the humans who would fit that description. Most people, be they elves, men or trolls do not know of the elementals, the dragons, the fae and the keres. My father tells me the fae should not exist – their Realm is closed to us. They have wicked magic – the raising of the dead, they feed on fear and shame, on lust and anger. Certainly they are rare, which is fortunate. I have never seen a great dragon – but my grandfather did.

Elementals – they exist. One at least walks among us….

thestolentower1563x2500 Larger print

And here’s a Thunderclap Event for Stolen Tower. http://thndr.it/1GxUUlp

 

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

The Shining Citadel (briefly)

The Stolen Tower – the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III

What stalks the land cannot be, but is.

Where magic is outlawed a troll Shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra vows to find her missing kin, sort friend from foe, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds, she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails there will be no tribe to lead.

http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Tower-Light-Beyond-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00U8A9044/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stolen-Tower-Light-Beyond-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00U8A9044/

Author name: A. L. Butcher

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

 

Character Interview Number Twenty Seven – Ephany

Tell Us About Yourself

Name (s): People call me Ephany, just Ephany.

Age: *shrugs. I do not know. It is not important.

Please tell us a little about yourself. Wouldn’t you like to know….?

I am a female half-elf, I work for the House of Thieves, and answer to the Thiefmaster, who in turn answers to the Oncoming Storm and the Shadowdancer. Have a problem with that? Hard luck to you. We are everywhere, we watch from the rooftops and the alleys. We are the Shadows.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. That depends what I am doing…

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? *Laughs loudly.

I do. It is not the same as yours, I dare say.

Would you kill for those you love? *Laughs even louder.

What do you think? I have. I do. I will.

Would you die for those you love? Yes.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths – I have been taught swordplay and shadowplay by the best there is. I do what is necessary to further the aims of the House of Thieves.

Weaknesses – why should I tell of something that can be used against me? That is just foolish.

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? The Thiefmaster, of course. There is a young man I care for too – Gregori. At least for now. My life is dangerous and it is difficult and risky to get too attached to others. We die, we disappear and so love is at best snatched where it can be. There is affection, let’s put it that way. If I wish for a lover I take one. Why should I not – men do..

Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? I do like animals, but aside from my pony I have no pets. I move around a good deal and often have to hide. The pony belongs to the thieves, really. Animals do not judge, they have no prejudice. They are not wicked, that is the territory of people.

I do not like people who mistreat animals, they are slightly higher up the ladder of scum than the Order of Witch-Hunters, but not by much.

Do you have a family? Tell us about them.

My mother was a courtesan, my father is a thief and an assassin. I have skills from both parents. I may have siblings – I do not know. The House of Thieves is my family.

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? I was raised in a whorehouse, one of the higher class ones, but a whorehouse nonetheless. I know how to pleasure a man, and for that matter a woman, and sometimes this is a better form of persuasion than a knife. It is certainly a more enjoyable one, and usually longer lasting.  Do not get me wrong. It is my body and I use it as and when I wish, with whom I wish. My mother taught me diplomacy in the bedroom, my father taught me the… persuasion of the shadows. The skill set from my father is a little more direct.

Do you have any phobias? Phobias are a weakness. Why should I be afraid of the dark, when the darkness is my friend? I have no illusions and thus no fear. I am the shadows, I am the nightmare, I am the fear.

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. I once emasculated a man who liked to rape elves. He did not enjoy eating his own balls nearly as much as I enjoyed feeding them to him.

 

Tell Us About Your World

The world of Erana is dark, deadly and dangerous. We are ruled by martial law which is both corrupt and pervasive. Elves and half elves are not free. We have no rights, no protection under law, we are property. We are nothing. That at least is what the Order of Witch-Hunters propound. It is, of course, bullshit. One day they will find this out.

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? I go where the Thiefmaster commands. However recently I have escorted Lady Mirandra of the trolls to the Emerald Valley. Trolls know little of traps and ruins.

Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? Erana is a world of magic, but magic is forbidden. Magic persists, it cannot be imprisoned, despite the best efforts of the Order. The Society of Hidden Secrets is proof of that. I am proof of that as an adept. I have magic in my blood which….enhances my abilities. The Order are fools, but they are powerful fools, with the law, such as it is, on their side.

Most humans fear magic, they do not understand it and they are too ignorant to learn. The Witch-Hunters keep it so.

Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some. *Shrugs. I have fought with monsters which do should not exist but do. I do not know exactly what they were, except bad news.

That is a very strange word – supernatural A being beyond the laws of nature? Nature has many laws and many creations, that we are too ignorant to understand them is not nature’s fault – it is ours. Nothing is beyond nature – it is merely beyond our comprehension. If you are asking whether my world has magical beings then yes, of course. Does not yours?

Within your civilisation what do you think is the most important discovery/invention? The bow. Many have fallen to it. I think it is the ultimate weapon of war.

 

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links:

The Stolen Tower

http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Tower-Light-Beyond-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00U8A9044/

The Shining Citadel (briefly).

http://www.amazon.com/The-Shining-Citadel-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00D4CF6W8

Author name: A.L. Butcher

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

 

Author Bio: A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genre.  She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’.

Blog: https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414.A_L_Butcher

Amazon. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Twitter:@libraryoferana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

Here’s a THUNDERCLAP for Stolen Tower. Please support.

http://thndr.it/1GxUUlp

Character Interview Number Twenty-Eight – Eriale – Fantasy

Please tell us a little about yourself. My name is Eriale Bareny. I’m seventeen years old. I’m a mage, almost an Adept, which is the highest rank for a mage, although I haven’t applied for the Adept license yet. I live with my mom and dad in our manor. Our family belongs to the minor nobility of the kingdom.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Short, skinny, pale, long black hair, gray eyes.

Do you have a family? Tell us about them. I love my family. My mother and father are my best friends. My father is also a mage, an Adept, and he is my mentor in magic. He owns a magic school, and I help him tutor the younger students.

My mother is a healer. Both my parents were married before. My father’s older daughter from his first marriage, my half-sister Tamara, is the queen of our kingdom. She’s much older than I’m and a pain in the butt, very ‘royal’, if you know what I mean. Her husband, Axelor, the king, is a much nicer guy. When they married, he was pretty far removed from the throne. Nobody thought he would inherit. Only a tragedy made him king. It happened a few years after they got married – I was twelve at the time.

I also have a half-brother from my mom’s first marriage. His name is Toller, and he’s a healer, like my mother. He is also much older than me, but we’re buddies.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? I’m a very powerful mage. My father (and mentor) says that I might be the strongest mage on the continent. I can do anything with magic. In fact, my father says I do too much with magic, even things that could be done without it, like drying my hair after washing or getting a ribbon from another room. I disagree with him. Of course my hair could dry without magic, but it’ll take too long – I have very long hair, almost to my knees. And I have magic to spare anyway, so why not use it productively?

My weakness – my relationship with people, I suppose. I’m usually awkward in company. It’s much easier for me to deal with magic than with people – often I don’t understand them. I spent all my time studying magic, so I never had friends growing up. Now, I have to learn some useless things like small talk or flirting (my mom said I should learn to flirt a little) but I’m not sure why I should bother. With my magic, I can help people. Did flirting ever help anyone? Or empty chat? But both my parents consider those my weaknesses, so I’m willing to learn.

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? My magic manifested when I was three. At first, my dad had to be with me always, to control my magic; I was too young to do it myself. Later, even after I learned to control it, I sometimes got in trouble because of my magic. I always tested it, tried to find the limits. Once, when I was seven, I think, I flooded the cellars of my parents’ manor. It was a mistake, of course, in the alignment level of the spell, but my dad got mad. He grounded me for a month. Another time, I made my mom’s ball gowns dance by themselves, and I danced with them. I was nine. We danced a polka, and it was fun, but my mom panicked when she saw it. Of course, dad grounded me again. Eventually, I learned the hard lesson: I couldn’t use my magic for pranks or practical jokes – ABSOLUTELY NEVER! My magic is too strong for that. Of course, sometimes I still do, but I’m careful now, so my dad doesn’t learn about it. And I know my limits now. I’ll never hurt anyone or damage anything with my magic.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? Yes. I suppose my moral code is like most other people’s: don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie, the usual. The ‘don’t steal’ clause is a bit flexible though. I would never steal from a friend or from poor people, who can’t afford to lose anything, but a rich merchant who gets richer by deceiving others is a fair game.

But there is one prohibition that’s sacred to me as a mage: Don’t use blood magic! Blood magic is the magic one can derive from the pain and death of other creatures, human and animal. It’s easy power, but it’s dirty. Mages who use blood magic are evil.

My father taught me to use and recognize blood magic. With my level of power, I need to know, but I always feel nauseated whenever I perform anything reminiscent of blood magic. Some spells come close, they’re on the borderline, and as an Adept, I must know them, but I’ll never use them if I have a choice. Fortunately, there is usually a choice in magic, a selection of spells one can apply to accomplish the same goal.

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. This fact is mostly about what happened in this book, Almost Adept. The book is about me, but I wasn’t planning to leave home and go on adventuring. It was a piece of bad luck. I just finished my studies and was going to apply for the Adept license but I got into a scrape and had no choice but to disappear for a while. You see, it’s about this guy, Gordin. He is a duke’s nephew. We danced together at a few balls. I liked him and I thought he liked me, but he only pretended. First, he insulted me behind my back, and then he humiliated me in front of his friends, almost raped. I’m no wussy; I’m a princess, well, kind-of anyway, so I had to retaliate. I turned him into a muttonhead.

Of course, it was only for a week and only his head. His body remained human. I really intended to give him a ram’s head, but I miscalculated (it was a spur-of-the-moment spell), and he got a ewe’s head instead. His family was furious. Maybe they wouldn’t be so angry if I gave him a ram’s head, but still. I had to flee until the furor died down.

I probably shouldn’t have used my magic on him. I should’ve broken his nose instead or kneed him in the balls, but I was angry. I should control my temper better; that’s another of my weaknesses, I think.

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. I live in the kingdom of Varelia. My brother-in-law, King Axelor, is a good king and popular. The commoners love him; I heard it myself when I sneaked to a marketplace last year. People said that our laws are reasonable and our roads are safe. Of course, they complained about the taxes, but who isn’t?

I saw beggars too but not too many. Maybe they hid from me, or maybe I just didn’t go to the right places. Later, I saw terrible poverty and suffering during my travels through other kingdoms. I hope my own country is better. I’ll definitely check it out when I return home. Maybe I can do something to improve everyone’s life. I have so much power I should be able to do some good. As my dad always says: “With power comes responsibility.”

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? I have distant relatives, my mother’s cousins, in the Roodiman Empire, so that was where I headed after the muttonhead disaster. I stopped in Grumesh at my father’s request, for some magical guild business, but then things got complicated. I became embroidered in their freedom fighting controversy and I met the most wonderful man, Kealan. And then I had to challenge a blood mage to a duel. Scary stuff, but it happens, when one is an Adept. I’ll get to Roodim eventually. I like traveling.

Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? Of course. I told you already, I’m a mage. People in our world use magic for everything: weather adjustment, harvest enrichment, sending and receiving messages, honesty control in gaming houses and in court, building inspection. Lots of different applications. Mages work for hire like anyone else. And like any other profession, mages have a guild which governs the members’ conduct. I’ll apply for a guild license as soon as I return home from my trip.

What form of politics is dominant in your world? Mostly, it’s monarchy. My country is a kingdom, and so are most of our neighbours.

Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another? Yes. There are elves in different enclaves around the continent. They live in most cities and in big forests like Sisiry. Their university in Pereyaslon in Sisiry is famous for its magical studies faculty, and the city itself is very beautiful. I visited there with my father once, when I was young. There is also a huge autonomy of dwarves in the midlands of the Roodim Empire, and trolls live in the swamps all along the northern crescent. I think we’re all getting along okay. At least, there haven’t been any wars between races for several centuries. Of course, not everyone likes everyone else, but you can say the same thing about humans. Humans always wage wars against each other. Stupid, if you ask me.

Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. I like elven legends most of all. Some of them talk about another race – letuns, the elves with wings. According to the tales, they lived here a long time ago, until humans started hunting them for their wing membranes. Then, they all flew away, to another continent, but nobody ever proved it. No human ship ever reached that continent and returned. Maybe it’s just stories after all, but every elf I’ve ever talked to says it’s the truth.

And then, there is this famous saga about a dragon-shifter, who turned into a human at will and loved a human girl. That one is definitely a myth; nobody could turn a man into a dragon and back. The transformation spell is brutal and requires tons of magical power. Trust me, all the stories of shifters – dragons or wolves or pythons – are just that: stories. No scientific descriptions and no chronicles ever mentioned even one real case. The same with vampires – dozens of tales but not one proof that they exist.

Dragons are real though, even if I’ve never seen one. We don’t have dragons here. They live on another continent and can’t cross the ocean, but sailors sometimes bring their scales or claws as souvenirs. Once they brought a mummified head of a dragon, and it traveled as part of a freak show. I saw it. It was disgusting. I’d like to see a living dragon. Maybe I should sail to their land. I know dragons have magic, at least some breeds of them do, and I wonder what I could do with their magic. Maybe I could talk to them.

Sometimes, I think maybe the stories of letuns and dragons have merged somehow, maybe they’re the same.

 

Author notes:

Eriale is the protagonist of Almost Adept, a fantasy novel by Olga Godim.

You can find the book

 

Olga Godim’s website is: http://olgagodim.wordpress.com

 

You can also find her on

Character Interview Number Twenty-Seven – Arael – Fantasy/YA/Children’s Books

Name (s): Arael

Age: 9

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. “Tall, with red hair, green eyes, and pointed ears.”

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? “All elves have a moral code.  We care for our world and the creatures who live in it, and do what we can to protect both.  The elders believe this includes killing those who threaten it with their harmful and disrespectful behaviour, but I personally believe that killing is never the right thing to do.  I know for a fact that there are many other elves who agree with me.  It is unfortunate that these elves are not among the elders who write and enforce our laws.”

Would you kill for those you love? “I do not think so.  I would most certainly try to avoid doing so, and would hope that I was strong enough to stick firmly to my beliefs that killing solves nothing even when placed in such a situation.”
Would you die for those you love? “Perhaps.  Though I hope I shall never need to find this out.”

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? “I have given this some thought, but I still have no idea.  I think it is common to struggle to admit to your weaknesses, and I do not feel that anything stands out as being a strength where I am concerned.”

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? “The person I am closest to is my identical twin sister, Derwyn.  We have rarely been parted throughout our entire lives so far, and we are best friends as well as being siblings.”

Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? “I love all animals; we elves generally do.  We have no pets, since we do not believe in forcing animals to be kept in cages.  Animals should be free.”

Do you have a family? Tell us about them? “As I already mentioned, I have an identical twin sister named Derwyn.  As I also already mentioned, we’re very close, and we’re best friends as well as being siblings.   I have no other siblings.  My Father is the elven king, and my Mother his queen.  This, as you might imagine, means they are often quite busy and have little time to spend with Derwyn and myself.  When we are a few years older and it is time to prepare us for the day we will rule, they will pay more attention to us.  In the meantime, my sister and I have a governess, who is responsible for both our education and our care, though she is generally so relaxed in her observations of us outside of lesson time that we can escape for hours at a time without her noticing.  This is how it works if you are a member of the royal family, though I dare say the governess is supposed to be more observant than she is.  I am unsure whether it will be Derwyn or I who take our Father’s place, but I hope it will be her, since I feel she is better suited for the task.”

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? “I was 5 years old the first time that I saw a human find his way in to our world through one of the magical doorways.  I watched him be killed for the crime of being a human.  I had seen no sign of violence from this man, and yet he was killed.  I felt it was wrong, but when I confronted my Father he just told me the stories of the old wars as though this made it acceptable for the human to be killed.  I swore that day I would do all I could to avoid it happening in the future.  I have since discovered that many other elves feel the same way about it.  This is why we did not report it when the human child, Polly, entered our world.”

Do you have any phobias? “I fear that the elders will turn us in to violent beings with their law that humans should die for simply entering our world.”

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. “I can not swim very well.  With the lake separating our tree town from the mainland we elves are taught to swim at an early age.  But I just can not get the hang of it.  I can just about keep myself from drowning, but that is the best I can manage.  My sister, Derwyn, is a strong swimmer, like almost every other member of the elven population over the age of 3.  But not me.  It is one of the few ways we differ.”

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live.

Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. “My world has no religion.  We care for animals and nature, because you have to care for your world if you wish to live a healthy life in a healthy world, and especially if you wish to leave a healthy world behind for your descendants to survive in.  But we do not believe in any God, Goddess, or other spiritual being.”

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? “Elves are free to travel where they wish in our world, though being the elven princesses my sister and I should officially not travel out of sight of the tree town unescorted.  Nobody would dare to stop us if we revealed who we were, but we tend to wear plain clothes when we sneak out.  The only people who would dare to stop us if they recognized us would be our parents, and they are generally too busy to notice unless we are gone too long.  Oh, and our governess, though it generally takes her some time to notice we are gone unless we miss lessons.  The only time we travelled very far was when we went with Polly to look for the purple pumpkin.  Every other time we have remained within a couple of hours walk of our home.  It was only our knowledge of geography from our lessons that allowed us to easily know which direction to take with Polly.”

Name and describe a food from your world. “Most of our foods are just like those from the human world, but we do have a couple that are unique to our world.  I shall name and describe my favourite berry.  It is called a silbery, and is a very sweet fruit.  As the name suggests, silberries are silver.  They look just like silver strawberries, and taste like a cross between a strawberry and a kiwi fruit.”

Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? “I have read that many people believe that elves are magical.  This is not the case.  There were once magical elves, just as there were once magic users in the human world, but they are all gone now.  There are still some magical items in our world – such as the purple pumpkin – and those items can be used to perform magic.  The purple pumpkin, for example, grants wishes.  As for how magic is viewed in our world… For the most part people do not think about it.  We know the magical items exist, but until we need their magic we spare them very little thought.  There are also the magical doorways, which appear randomly to connect our world to other worlds.  These are viewed as being very dangerous, due to the risk of being stuck forever in a world that is not your own, and are usually avoided by any elves who see them appear.”

What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) “We have both a royal family and a council of elders.  Officially it is the king and queen who rule, but it is common knowledge that they make no decision without the approval of a majority of the council of elders.”

Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another? “The only race in our world is elves.  Once other races shared our world, but after the great wars they were banished, and none visit now.  A few humans have strayed in to our world through the magical doorways, but since humans were the cause of the great wars all those years ago, any human who enters our world is put to death.”

Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people.“The most well-known legend is the legend of the doorways.  The legend says that there was once an elven wizard with so little patience he poured his magic in to the soil in which he had planted seeds to make them grow immediately, just so that he could avoid having to wait for nature to do the task in its own time.  His attempt worked, but it had an unexpected side effect; it created ripples in the universe that created magical doorways to other worlds.  But these doorways were unstable, and those who found them and passed through them found themselves trapped in a world that was not their own.  Sometimes people would search for years before being lucky enough to stumble upon another doorway, and there was no guarantee it would be one back in to their own world, since it could lead to another world entirely.  These doorways allowed other races to enter our world, and many stayed, and were welcomed at first.  But when the humans’ numbers grew they wanted to claim the world for themselves.  The result of which was the wars known as the great wars, which led to the elven population shrinking considerably, and all other races being banished from our world forever.  Legend says each race was sent through a different doorway when one appeared next, starting with the humans, and that those races each claimed a world for themselves.  Most of us avoid the magical doorways now, but sometimes curious humans will stumble through a doorway, and from the first time this happened it has been the law in our world that any human entering our world should be put to death, since they were the cause of the great wars that divided the races and worlds.”

What is the technology level for your world/place of residence? What item would you not be able to live without? “We have no technology, and there is nothing I could not live without that nature does not provide.  As long as I have food, water, and shelter, I can be happy.  Though, of course, I would prefer to also have my sister, Derwyn.”

Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some. “The answer depends who you ask.  Some would say that it does, because they would consider elves to be mystical beings.  However, since elves are the only humanoid race that populates our world, we do not consider ourselves to be either supernatural, mystical, mythological, or any of the other words I’ve heard are used to describe us in other worlds.  So, as far as we are concerned, it does not.  However, others may disagree.”

Within your civilisation what do you think is the most important discovery/invention? “I think that the most important discovery is the purple pumpkin, since without it Derwyn and I would have had no chance of saving Polly before the elders learned she was in our world.”

***

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

Arael is one of the main characters of the story “Quest For The Purple Pumpkin” in the “Wyrd Worlds II” anthology.  Get your copy at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/478114

Author name: Victoria Zigler

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/toriz

Facebook author page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler

Blog: http://ziglernews.blogspot.com

 

 

 

Character Interview Number Twelve – Admiral Ruznak

Tell Us About Yourself

Name (s): Ruznak.  Some call me “Admiral” Ruznak, but I don’t really think I’ve been to sea recently enough to keep that title.

Age: Ninety-six.

Please tell us a little about yourself. Well, what’s there to tell?  Oh, sure, I may be the last surviving refugee from the Borden Isles after their rebellion, and I might be the foster parent of Euleilla, the new wife of Sword Prince Maelgyn, but really?  I just own a small town inn.  I’m nothing special.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. I’m a one-legged ninety-six year old man with — what do you think I look like?

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? Well, yes, but nothing so formal.  I mean, I think that the Borden Isles rebels had a real point, but committing treason and rebelling from the mainland wasn’t the right way to respond.

Would you kill for those you love? I would and have.  Don’t let my old age fool you — I’m more than capable of doing so again.

Would you die for those you love? I’d like to think so.

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? I do love my foster children, and wouldn’t ever value any of them over the others.  All of them work in my inn.  Well, all of them but Euleilla — I suppose she’ll be living in Sopan now that she’s married His Highness.

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? After the Borden Isle rebellion died down, I settled into the simple life of an innkeeper.  I was only fourteen when the rebellion started, so I suppose that counts.

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. People think I named my inn the “Left Foot Inn” because I lost my left foot, but they’re wrong.  It was my right foot that I lost.

Tell Us About your world

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. I live in Svieda, the third or fourth largest Human kingdom in the world.  We’re situated between the first and second largest human kingdoms, however, so our borders aren’t as secure as we like.  We do have some natural defences, though — the south is all coastline, and there is only one safe road through the Mar’Tok mountains — but we’re in a pretty tight spot.

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? Me?  Well, I travelled from the Borden Isles to my current home in Rocky Run.  My foster-daughter Euleilla has already done more travelling than I ever will.

Name and describe a food from your world. Eh, I may run an inn, but most of the foods I serve are pretty simple — breads and stews and the like.  However, when my foster daughter and her new husband recently visited, they brought a delightful drink they discovered in the Dwarven lands; Mo’Kah Tea, I think they called it, but it isn’t like any tea I’ve ever drunk.  Smooth and rich, and best served sweet.

Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? Yeah, we do.  Different countries think of magic differently; Svieda is one of the most mage-friendly countries in the world.  Our whole feudal structure was developed in order to encourage the development of mages.

What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) Well, we have all kinds.  Svieda mixes equal parts feudal monarchy and republic.  Bandi is largely a republic, but Mad Lady Phalra rules as a dictator-for-life… and since she’s an immortal elf, that’s a pretty long life.  And Sho’Curlas?  Well, it claims to be an ‘alliance,’ but it’s really nothing more than an empire ruled by the puppets of its own mad elf.  And who knows what’s going on in Poros?  They change governments week to week.

Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another? There are five major races — maybe six, if you count the Golden Dragons — and a few minor ones.  Used to be more, but a lot of the races the Elves manufactured have died out.  The Merfolk are the hardest to get along with… or the easiest:  They only care about the sea, and so as long as you stay off the water you’ll never have to deal with one.  The Nekoji get along amazingly with the Dwarves, as do most of the lesser races.  We Humans… well, some of us get along with everyone — Svieda’s recent alliance with the Dwarves of Mar’Tok and the Nekoji of Caseificio should prove that — but some of us… well, some human poachers are still enamoured with Nekoji skins, so that should tell you something.  The Elves… well, after thousands of years of living, most of the Elves are insane, so who knows what they think about everyone else?

Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. Eh, we Humans don’t have many of either — we’ve got histories.  Try the Elves or the Dwarves, though — they’ve got lots.  The Dwarves, well, most of theirs are about their own people — the fabled Dwarven Axemen, or the long-lost Sea Dwarves.  The Elves, though… the Elves talk mostly about the wars of their ancient kin against their nameless enemies, and their creations.  And the insanity of other Elves.  And the way things were ‘better’ in the old days.  Of course, most of them are insane, nowadays, so just about any story they tell of the past has to be looked at as myth or legend, at best.

Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Lessee… Humans wield human magic, but most people think that’s fairly commonplace and not so mystical at all.  The Merfolk shapeshift, but only when they’re near water.  There are all kinds of things unique to Dragons — they’re the only creatures truly immune to magic; even the Dwarves are slightly susceptible to it.  The Elves… well, it’s not a common term, but I’ve heard them called “Biomancers” before.  That’s real freaky stuff — especially the living weapons they’ve made — but they apparently aren’t as good at it as their ancient kin.
Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears.

In Treachery Forged (and future sequels)

Author name

David A. Tatum

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

http://www.fennecfoxpress.com