Featuring a guest post from N. K. Carlson, author of YA fantasy Water and Blood
Clashes on a pirate ship, battles on a castle wall, and an ancient secret unfolds. When life or death is at stake, one side must make a sacrifice to win.
After fleeing the Elven capital, Reith and his friends must race across Terrasohnen to warn the dwarves of the Shadow’s long reach. Each new revelation brings even more questions and Reith has so much to learn about Shadows and his mysterious sword. Time is against Reith. Death stalks him in the desert, mountains, and sea, and the ever present darkness looms large over all.
Will they reach the dwarves in time to prevent more death? Or will the Shadow’s destruction be too great, consuming everyone in the kingdoms of Terrasohnen?
Excerpt from Water and Blood
“So, if a fight is coming, what then? What does find me mean?” Reith asked.
“I have no idea,” Romulus said. “I have a suspicion that the Voice belongs to a Guardian of Light, or even the God of Light. You have a destiny, Reith.”
“All chosen by the God of Light for one task or another ask that question. It is beyond our wisdom. The God of Light has purposes and plans we can know nothing about. He has written the story of Terrasohnen on the world, and we are following along as best we can, though the ending is hidden from our eyes. But as for your question, I do not believe the God of Light calls someone unless he purposes to accomplish something in and through them.”
“So you think I will be successful in whatever this is?”
“I don’t think it, I believe it. I have faith in the God of Light. I think he or someone speaking for him is speaking to you, so I trust that he will be with you.”
“Easy for you to say,” Reith said, “You’re not the one facing fighting and finding.”
“Perhaps not finding, but certainly fighting.”
They rode on in silence for a few minutes.
“You promised to return the favor,” Reith said. “Tell me about you.”
“I am Romulus, firstborn son of King Koinas, heir to the throne of the elves. My mother died seven winters ago. I am the only remaining child of her and my father. He shall be furious that I have gone, but it is for the best. I was raised in the palace of Sardis and had the greatest tutors in history, mathematics, law, military strategy, astronomy, jousting, archery, and swordplay. As prince, I felt a great concern for my people, that all would be treated with fairness and justice. I have taken an interest in hearing the grievances of my people against one another and against the crown, which I did my best to decide equitably. I know rulers do not choose their monikers, but Romulus the Just has a nice ring to it. I hope to live up to it. And now, I am afraid that the greatest threat to the kingdom and my people is my father, and so I am on this quest beside you, fleeing from his wrath to a foreign land to beg for aid.”
“Sounds bleak,” Reith said, not really knowing what to say to the prince.
“It’s not as bleak as one might think. The God of Light is with us. We saw that at the funeral pyre for Kydar. And when the God of Light is with us, who can oppose us?”
Q. What elements of classic fantasy most inspire your writing?
There are two elements of classic fantasy that most inspire my writing: geography and magic.
One of the first things I do when I pick up a fantasy novel is to turn to the map page and look at the world. Geography is one of the main drivers of story and conflict in fantasy. It’s no different in our own world. How many wars have been fought over land and the resources they contain? How many wars have been avoided because of insurmountable geographic barriers, such as huge mountain ranges?
When I first had the idea for The Chronicles of Terrasohnen, before I really spent much time putting words down in an outline or a draft, I drew a map. I knew that for my fantasy world to make sense, it needed a cohesive map. I knew too, as a student of our planet’s history, that the geographic shape of my world, the oceans, lakes, rivers, mountains, forests, deserts, and plains, would drive my story along. By drawing a map so early in my planning, I allowed the map itself to give shape to my narrative. I knew the cool places in the world that I would personally want to visit, so I created plotlines to send my characters to those places.
The second element is magic, and I am using that term in the broadest sense. In essence, magic is the supernatural element of the story. That can be actual magic, like in Harry Potter. It can be gods, like Aslan in Narnia or Percy Jackson. It can be magic creatures, like in Or it can be supernatural beings, like the Dark Powers and the Guardians in my series, The Chronicles of Terrasohnen.
If you have a cool map with a strong supernatural element, that gives you the first steps toward a great universe, where all sorts of interesting things can happen to characters.
About N. K. Carlson
N. K. Carlson is an author living in Texas. Originally from the Chicago area, he graduated from the University of Illinois before studying at Logsdon Seminary, where he graduated with a master of divinity degree. He has published two books.
The Things that Charm Us and the Smelly Gospel (which was co-written with Drew Doss) both came out in 2020.
His love of writing began in elementary school when each student was given a blank white book to fill with a story. In college, he took an interest in blogging and writing novels.
N. K. Carlson will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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