Book Recommendation

Hello Fiction Lovers!

This weekend I was organizing all the books I bought over the years–which made me realize all the books I still want to get in print–and came across some my old favorites. Now I’m planning on revisiting all of the interesting characters and stories they contain over the next few months. I thought I’d share what they are with you as well in case you were looking for something good to read.

The first recommendation is Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series that gives the foundation for many of her other books. It’s about a girl, Alanna, who wants to be knight and has to pretend to be a boy to achieve that goal. I liked watching her grow up as well as the magic and battles that take place throughout the series. Pierce is very good at writing heroines and I would also recommend the other series she’s written.

The next recommendation goes to Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold. It’s the first in a lovely quartet composed of romance, danger, unique magic and monsters, and realistic characters. I believe it’s one of the more distinctive fantasy series I’ve read, in that it did have it’s own distinctive monsters and magic that tied in well together and made sense for the world. It doesn’t rely on preconceived expectations but draws the reader in under it’s own power. It is also one of the best fantasy romances I’ve read to date.

The third recommendation is Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. He also creates a unique world where heroes are reborn as gods and magic is governed by color and Breath. The story involves a reluctant marriage, fear of war, living gods, and a sentient blade. Truth be told, the cover was the thing that first drew me to the book and what really made me want to read it. The cover’s simple but beautiful, and depicts the reluctant bride (so if you’re like me, you can picture her as more than a vague impression hair, hands, and body outline).

Those are the main books I really want to re-read now and I hope you’ll enjoy them as well. Feel free to post in the comments books you would like to re-read and let me know if you have any questions! I hope you have a good week!

Science and Magic

Hello Fiction Lovers!

First, I would like to apologize for not getting this posted yesterday, but I didn’t have access to the internet, unfortunately. As for this week’s topic I thought I’d talk about the relationship between science and magic  I’ve noticed in fantasy books.

Often, it seems that science is almost omitted from fantasy with only the inclusion of medieval technology or during the few times more advanced scientific understanding is included it’s at odds with magic. I believe that this comes from a belief that magic and science can’t coexist, and I think that belief comes from the stigma we’ve experienced in our world. The social norm seems to rise up science and eschew magic as we use more and more technology. But in fantasy things don’t have to be the same as it is in our world.

I think it would be interesting to see more fantasy books where science and magic work together or where science is a variation of magic (and vice versa). They don’t have be separated, but could help explain each other or be viewed as the same thing.

I’ve been taking an astronomy class and it’s been interesting to see the change in how people used to view the sky and stars as a different place, but now we understand that the stars are like the sun and everything is pretty much made from stardust. There’s something magical about that isn’t there? And there’s plenty science still doesn’t know such as how the universe began or what dark matter actually is, and perhaps in using the two together magic could explain those things. New scientific discoveries and using more technology doesn’t have to mean the end of magic, it just means that maybe we can understand magic in a new way as well.

Of course, if you just want to use magic or science or some new process that’s fine too. I’ve done so myself and it can be interesting and create worlds very different from our own. But perhaps when magic and science do come up in a work together they don’t always have to be at odds. I think it would be a fun thing to explore.

Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great week! Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.

Story Prompt #18

Scenario Prompt:

It’s the first time a witch has ever summoned a familiar. She’s worried because all the spells she’s cast have never quite turned out the way they’re supposed to. For instance when she tried to call a thunderstorm to help with the drought last summer it lasted three weeks, not the prescribed three hours, and when she mixed a truth potion the recipient had to tell the truth through a bout of sneezes.

Story Prompt #15

Scenario Prompt:

Natural disasters had become more frequent in the area since the remains of the High Priestess had vanished from her tomb. The locals believe her final resting place was built over a gateway to the underworld and she was their protector.

-Promptuarium (Found on Pinterest)

Internal Rain

Hello Fiction Lovers!

Today I thought I would share a piece of my own writing so you all can get an idea of my style and in order to do something different than just sharing my thoughts. The first line comes from a prompt from thefirstline.com. Please let me know what you think or let me know if you have any questions.

“Internal Rain”

By the fifteenth month of the drought, the lake no longer held her secrets. The girl gave a harsh smile at the dry, cracked ground where the water used to be. She started to laugh but it quickly became a cough from the lack of moisture in her mouth and throat.

Everyone else was gone now. The village was as deserted and dead as the greenery that used to surround it. Now all that was left was the dust—enough dust to bury the world if it wasn’t always getting whipped up by the wind—and the girl and the dried lake with the corpse.

The girl could no longer remember any color that wasn’t a variation of brown, white or black. Even the sky was a light brown because of the dust. Green and blue belonged to another time like a dream when she drank from a withered cactus just to feel something wet on her tongue. Another time when the water witch stole her secrets.

But now the witch was dead; her life gone as the final drop of the lake got soaked up by the sun. The girl slipped over the dried lake’s rim and skidded and stepped her way to bottom of the deep depression. In the middle of the lake, at the deepest point when it was full, lay the corpse. It was a shrunken thing. Pale grey skin stretched taut over frail bones and faded into fish scales at the witch’s waist. The witch had a tail where a person’s legs would be and scales had flaked off to look like tiny dew drops on the cracked ground. The witch’s corpse was curled in, around something that it held tight to its chest.

The girl snarled and dropped to her knees. She pried back the corpse’s fingers, ignoring any pops and cracks that got swept away in the wind. As soon as she made a big enough opening the girl stuck her hand in and pulled out a glass marble. Within the marble a rainbow swirled. The girl stared, entranced, for a long while, trying to remember the names of all the colors. A slow smile curved the corners of her mouth. Then the girl brought the marble to her lips and swallowed it. She knew the moment it entered her belly; a relaxing coldness flowed out from her stomach to suffuse her from the tips of her toes to the crown of her head. The girl bent her head back and laughed, this time without coughing.

Finally, she had her secrets back. Now she longer had to only tell the truth and avoid revealing questions. Now she had her old, secret power returned.

The girl tested out her ability to lie.

“I will never forgive you for taking my secrets,” she told the corpse.

“I don’t blame the villagers for leaving in the night,” she told the ground.

“I’m not lonely,” the girl murmured in the dust.

The girl rubbed her aching eyes. There wasn’t any moisture to squeeze out of them. The girl lowered her hands to stare at the witch, “Why did you leave me?”

The witch’s corpse was slowly being covered in dust. The girl bent again and tried to brush it off, but the wind just replaced what she removed. The girl scowled in frustration. The coldness started to well up in her fingertips. She concentrated on the feeling until it became an unbearable buzz.

The girl stood and then swept her hand through the air above her head. The air grew damp and heavy carrying the scent of rain. Lightning cut through the dust and thunder rolled moments later. The girl concentrated on the coldness in her fingers again before sweeping her hand back through the air. Lightning and thunder, and then she felt something on her face. The girl wiped it off and looked at the water on her fingertip. Then another droplet fell, and another and another until the ground began to darken from the rain. The water poured down and the girl didn’t take pleasure in the sudden end of the long drought. This was her last secret the witch stole: the ability to make the world cry for her because tears hadn’t wet her eyes since the day she was born.

Story Prompt #13

Character Prompt:

There’s a magician who lives in the city and everyday they take a walk to a garden just outside the city. The magician never stays for very long, only for a few minutes at most, before returning to the city.

Why does the magician walk to the garden everyday? What does he/she do there? Is important to their past or in a future event/meeting? What is the magician like (personality/looks)?

Feel free to post anything this inspires in the comments or let me know if you have any questions!

Story Prompt #4

Character Prompt:

Write about a character who wants to become the best griffon rider in the country but who somehow gets on the bad side of every griffon they meet. The character has yet to even touch a griffon without getting snapped at.

I hope you have fun with this prompt and feel free to post anything it inspires in the comments or contact me if you have questions.

Book Recommendations

Hello Fiction Lovers!

Today I thought I’d recommend some of my favorite books to read since there’s little better than sitting under a tree reading a book when the weather is warm, or snuggled up under a blanket with a  book when the weather is cold and rainy. Here they are:

  1. The Name of Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Many of you have probably heard of this book but I couldn’t make this list without it. It’s a frame story where a man tells the story about he became a legend. The book is full of worldbuilding that sucks you into the story and nuanced characters. I just have one warning for those who haven’t read it yet: the book is part a trilogy and the third book isn’t out yet. Still, it and the second book are worth reading now even with the wait.
  2. Naamah’s Kiss by Jacqueline Carey. This book is also part of a trilogy but all the books are out. It follows the story of Moirin, a girl and then woman who has both the magic of her people and the blessing of the goddes of desire. There is sex in the book given the nature of the goddess’s blessing, but the book is more about Moirin discovering who she is and what it means to have a destiny. It’s full of magic and intrigue and complex characters that makes it hard to put the book down.
  3. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. This book, I will admit, I listened to on audible (it was narrated by Jennifer Ikeda) and it was very enjoyable to listen to. There were a few times I cuaght myself doing extra chores just so I had an excuse to listen to it longer. I believe it is also part of a trilogy. The book takes place in the real world, but also includes witches, vampires and demons. It blends science and magic together in an interesting way as well as having new explanations on how vampires and demons came to be and why they are the way they are.

I hope you’ll find something new you’ll like to read out of these three books! Feel free to comment if you have any book recommendations of your own or contact me if you have any questions.