Green Rider by Kirsten Britain

It’s time again to post another book review but instead of writing about a book that I could only enthuse of I decided to write about one that gave me a decidedly mixed reaction.

Green Rider is the first book in this series and focuses on Karrigan G’ladheon, a merchants daughter. She has just run away from her elitist school as she’s treat too differently due to her common birth. What ensues is an adventure of epic proportions full of magic, colourful characters and self exploration. She comes across deceptively seductive beings tempting her to forgo her destiny and give in to them. Among this she discovers romantic possibilities with both a fellow rider and the Lord she is to serve. She’s determined to finish her task and fulfill the promise she made to a dying man.

The book intrigues me in many ways. Karrigan is a deep character with many levels and many different emotions. She longs to find her own place in the World, seperate from her family and the expectations of her father. Coming across the dying Fryan and discovering she could use the rider brooch seem like the perfect opportunity. You begin to love Karrigan immediately but I will admit that the book loses me a few times on the way. Kirsten Britain describes the World beautifully but sometimes goes into a little too much detail for my personal liking; I find myself skipping a fair few pages.

Not only does the tempo lose me but it seems that Kirsten Britain sets out from the beginning to make Karrigan suffer. She’s filled the character with so much of a noble spirit; Karrigan is compassionate, brave and all too ready to come to the aid of her friends. She’s never allowed happiness though; she’s denied the closest friendship she could wish for, she’s denied any love and she seems to suffer with unending torments. My question is: when will Karrigan get her happiness? I couldn’t say anything else bad about the book; it’s a well written, imaginative piece.

What do you think? Am I wrong? Please share 🙂

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Sometimes…

I will be the first to admit that I’m no authority on poetry but I will talk of one if it peaks my interest. I have a wonderful friend that has blessed me with her friendship for a few years now but only recently did I discover her love of poetry. She has very kindly sent a poem to me so I can  show others of her creativeness and her love for the written word. It’s called Sometimes and though it is free verse you can tell from the beginning of her love of poetry. It’s also reminiscent of a poem I jotted down in Uni called Echo:

Sometimes I go quiet,

I have problems of my own,

Things I need to talk about,

But no one to talk too.

Sometimes I go quiet,

I have things that make me worry,

But no one cares enough to ask,

They all just turn their backs.

Sometimes I go quiet,

And won’t talk to you for days,

I’m not ignoring you,

I just have things to think about.

I like the repetition of the first line of each verse. It really makes the protagonist sound like they have something on their mind. It also makes you wonder of the despair the protagonist feels as it seems she has been ignored by all. Good job Marie (Marie Sherman was Evans) and keep writing and experimenting 🙂

What do you think?

To Arms My Dear, To Arms, To Arms…

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How does one decide whether to go for an epic battle in their story or just include some subtle hints of War? Do you begin gradually or fall into the fighting with a loud clash of thunder? Do you concentrate on each individual clang of a sword or blast of a bullet, or do you focus on the effect of it on your character? I always wondered what was the best way to go around the conflict in your story and wondered where the best place to experience war in literature was. I could draw from experience of what I have both read and watched but I wouldn’t know if it was quite right for my novel.

During my novel, I Cast Magic Into the Darkness, there are moments of battle throughout to highlight the eternal struggle part of my main character will always have to endure. However, I want to make the final battle epic. This may prove hard as I want to focus both on the battle and my characters feelings towards it. The question is, which should have my main focus? The battle is raging, a variation of the traditional good versus evil as you’re not entirely sure which side should prevail, and my character Aly has to get through it in her search for Lucas. At the moment I’ve concentrated more on how she feels detached from it all and can casually walk past Death and Destruction without a sideways glance. I’m unsure whether to focus more on the pain and suffering within the battle itself as well to show that the entire World is effected by this.

Another worry is that I will make the fighting itself sound corny and stereotypical. I don’t want my novel to bore people with language such as “she lifted her sword” or “her sword hit his sword.” I suppose this is part of the challenge however, making all the language used for all points throughout the novel sound interesting and be able to hook the readers. As utterly childish as this is going to sound a good source for battle transitioned into the modern Worlds audience is Xena: Warrior Princess. I never really realised before how good it is with developing their characters and by integrating believable battle scenes. In the literary World a good source of battle placed into a fantasy novel is Green Rider by Kirsten Britain. She’s able to show the uncertainty of her main character while having to introduce battle into her characters World, she having never done it before. It’s hard to establish that kind of balance but again it is all part of the challenge a writer faces.

What do you think? Thank you 🙂

Love, Lust and the Bard

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How do you create a convincing love story? How do you portray the unending emotions and the passion that ensues? Don’t get me wrong, writing a romance or an ‘adult fiction’ book is the furthest thing from my mind but I have started to wonder what makes a convincing romantic strand of your overall narrative weave.

In I Cast Magic Into the Darkness, my characters Lucas and Aly have a deep love bordering on a soul connection but I worry that I put too much emphasis on this. I’m writing the novel so that the emphasis is on this connection they have. Since Aly is the current, and penultimate, reincarnation of the Angel of Death she is fated to bring Death and suffering to everyone she loves so the fact that nothing has happened to Lucas so far is a miracle to her and she’s desperate to hold on to that. I fear I am constantly repeating myself on different aspects of the relationship, I am unsure how to balance it as I only want it to be part of the main focus instead of the entire main focus.

Another aspect I’m unsure of in my novel is the love scene. I have tried to write it showing the beauty of their coupling and the obvious love they have for one another. It is quite a descriptive part of the writing but I used soft and delicate vocabulary to show it wasn’t just some random sordid love scene thrown in there for the Hell of it. I worry it sounds corny though, almost stereotypical in a story revolving around a couple and the connection they share. I will keep on with it in my editing process however. It’s just something else to concentrate on while I try to establish the bond they share 🙂

A great example of a romantic fantasy filled with destiny is Christine Feehan’s Dark Carpathian series. She adds in so much wonderfully fantastical aspects to her story that it is not so obvious that the stories mainly revolve around a Carpathian seeking their lifemate. A great example of a story with romantic notions is Holly Lisle’s The Secret Texts series (book review of the first book Diplomacy of Wolves to come soon). This story mainly centres around Kate Galweigh, who is a shapeshifter, and the plight of her family and everyone she comes into contact with. This story mainly has a fantasy theme running through it but the aspects of love are still there.

Have you had the same problem? I don’t want my novel to be repetitive; I want the love my characters share to be outstanding but not over take the entire novel. Could anyone give any advice? 🙂

Inspiration In All Forms

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My time at the moment is taken up with editing my novel. I find it an interesting process and I will admit that things do seem to be coming together. It flows with vivacity and fantastical nature. I just wish I had more to time to do it as an hour here and there stifles me quite a bit.

While editing I find myself thinking back about the different aspects of life which have inspired me to write. I have always been inspired by my wonderful mother; we share the same taste in literature and she has always spurred me to achieve my dreams in life. Another wonderful inspiration is my friend Jex, a fellow writer and again someone who spurs me on to achieve my dreams. It’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off and to experience our writers jaunts to Costa Coffee, or the Yummy Cupcake Company. I’m blessed to know people like these and happy to tell every one of their influence.

A main inspiration of mine I want to concentrate on today is the artist Luis Royo. I actually stumbled onto his work by accident. I was doing the typical student thing of trying to find posters for my Uni room when I found a gorgeous one of an Angel in a ball gown manacled at the neck.

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I was entranced by it so took it home. Only after researching it did I realise that it was Luis Royo’s artwork. He puts so much life into his work and you realise that you will begin to fall in love with his art. I have had so many idea’s come to me from just looking at his art that I felt it was worth a blog post at least.

I cannot even begin to describe the effect his work has. Looked at with an indifferent eye you may see only that his work is intense erotica and be put off by this. My suggestion is that you look closer; look at the layers to his pieces, look at the colour he uses and the contrast featured so often in many of his works. I have seen soft pieces from water nymphs to the contrast of beauty and the beast. Every work will get you thinking and inspire you in different ways.

What inspires you to work? Who gives your projects life and meaning?

I intend my next post to be about my novel, I just don’t know what yet. Is there anything you’d like to know about it? 🙂

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Good morning 🙂 I hope everyone had a literary filled World Book Day. I managed to get home after my shift at work and immediately took up my book I decided to read. I make it sound like a chore I had to do but this book is a delight to read and fueled my passion for writing as a child.

Wild Magic is the first book in Tamora Pierce’s The Immortals Quartet. The entire series spans many places from Galla to Tortall to Carthak even to the Realms of the Gods, but this book mainly focuses on a harrowing journey from Galla to Tortall for the main protagonist Veralidaine Sarrasri. The book begins focusing on a different charater, Onua Chamtong of the K’miri Raadeh, trying to sell her horses at market and find the new assistant she desperately needs. Things seem to be going badly until the last day of the fair where she is approached by a thirteen year old Daine (the main protaganist of the series.) Onua is unsure whether to hire Daine as she looked like a runaway but is informed, in a heartbreaking manner, that Daine has no family only Cloud her plump pony. She ends up hiring Daine and what follows is an adventure like no other filled with colourful people, magic and danger. Daine develops in startling ways; she is an accomplished archer with no equal but you learn gradually that she is able to talk to animals. Numair, a powerful mage that becomes her teacher, teaches her to heal animals as well. This is a blessing for Daine as she has always wanted to take after her mother and heal, but as her mother had the Gift (a form of magic granted to some at differing strengths focused on different things)  for healing and it appeared Daine had none she felt like such a disappointment. It turns out Daine has powerful Wild Magic with animals and Numair knows how she can focus it.

You see Daine and her newfound friends battle through so many hardships and alot is revealed about Daine’s past that you can see is both heart breaking and character building. The end of the book leaves you wanting to read more but also happy with what has happened so far; it only intensifies the enthrallment that takes over you and the need to read more. The tone of the book seems almost lighthearted and flows at such a natural rate; the book is aimed more for the young adult audience and so nothing is terribly difficult to read, but you find yourself in love with the series from the charming characters to the scenery set, from the magic to the dragons and from the bonds of friendship to the love you can feel eminating from the book.

This series is set in the same World as her previous series, The Song of the Lioness, which features the adventures of Alanna the Lioness and how she came to be the King’s Champion. Alanna does appear in The Immortals Quartet and I felt like I wanted to concentrate on this book first as Daine has been prevailant in my long reading career and has influenced my own writing. If you get a chance please read this series, you will not be disappointed.

What do you think of the series so far? 🙂

A Distraction I Can Live With…

Distractions are fateful things; both wonderful and notorious in the insidious way they creep into your brain and take over. These can come in oh so many forms; watching a film, playing a game or spending time with a brand new loved one; I’ll admit, I have been lucky enough to experience this recently :). This time however I have experienced a distraction I can live with. Much like my fellow writer Jex, I have found myself recently distracted by a brand new story idea. Below is a brief synopsis:

Snowflake, the Crown Princess of the Winter Court, is on a journey. Her father Frostfall, King of the Winter Fae, is taking her to the High Court, a place dominated by all four seasons. They must travel there during Summer, the most perilous time for her people, to meet the man she is betrothed to against her wishes; Goldbloom, Crown Prince of the Summer Fae. She did not know how this would possibly work, they were complete opposites.

Snowflake has to endure many hardships and tests along the way. The Fabled War, foretold battle of all the Fae peoples, is almost upon them and Snow must adapt, become more mature and survive to be able to attain her true destiny. For she is one fated to a greater destiny than all others…

I really want to start this story. You know when you have the whole story set out before you? I don’t want to lose the images. However, I still have Aly in my Angel of Death novel, I Cast Magic Into the Darkness, talking to me and I really must finish her story first.

What do you think? Does my new story idea sound interesting?

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