Today we have a special Guest Post, part 3
Why I Write Classic Fiction
David M. Echeandia.
His new book, The Avatar of Calderia,
Book One: Awakening,
looks like a REALLY great read.
So enjoy your tour of this Epic Fantasy,
brought to us by
Fire and Ice Book Tours.
Be sure to enter your name in the
Giveaway at the end of this post.
And as always, please leave us a comment, PLP.
Genre: Epic Fantasy
A Dark sorcerer is Awakened from eight hundred years of ensorcelled slumber, unleashing an ancient and terrible scourge upon the land as he uses his malevolent powers to enslave a continent and create an empire built on blood magic and death.
Across the Luminous Sea in Calderia, a crown prince grows to manhood, unaware that he carries within him a seed of divine power that must now be Awakened, if his people have any hope of surviving the evil sorcerer’s coming invasion of his homeland.
But to do so, the human prince must help forge an alliance with other warring nations, including his blood enemies, the Elves, and their warrior princess who wants him dead. Somehow, these sworn foes must join forces, gathering other companions as they undertake a perilous journey to find a hidden talisman, solve an age-old mystery, and save their world from oblivion.
Killian moved forward to the edge of the clearing, then turned and looked at Ellianthia, holding out his hand. After some hesitation, she inhaled deeply and walked over to his side, raising her hand tentatively to press her palm to his. The Elfin princess looked up at him, his flame-red hair gleaming in the sun, his blue eyes clear and bright with excitement. What kind of power did this human possess, that he could so easily enter this sacred place, this Elfin sanctuary where even Mellisandria, an ancient Wise One, trod lightly? She gripped his hand more tightly, wondering what might happen if she let go.
They walked directly to the mound, hearing no sound save that of their own footsteps, the pounding of their hearts, and the rustle of the grass as they brushed against it in their passing. When they reached the mass of tangled vines and stood before the Stone, he felt humbled by its megalithic size and grandeur. The surface visible beneath the branches and the blossoms appeared smooth and flawless, with no sign of weathering, as if time had stood still for ages here in this place of power.
Killian did not know what he was meant to do next, but he felt drawn to walk around the Stone while it waited for him to unlock its mystery. Still leading Ellianthia by the hand, he had paced perhaps a quarter of the way around its base before he found that same palm-sized circle that he had seen in his vision, positioned partway up the side of the monolith. Knowing instinctively that this was what he had been seeking, he raised his hand toward the circle and looked at Mellisandria for final confirmation that he should proceed.
“It is your destiny,” she said, nodding once. With that, he stepped forward and placed his palm flat upon the circle.
At the instant of his touch, a brilliant flash of golden light erupted from the circle, encasing the Calderian prince and the Elfin princess. Then several gasps arose from the observers, Ellianthia’s loudest and nearest of all, for Killian’s eyes were two luminous orbs glowing with divine presence, as if the gods themselves had entered his body and now looked out through their Avatar upon the awestruck mortals gathered there. In that moment, any lingering doubts that he was indeed the chosen vessel of the deities vanished from the minds of all who had witnessed it.
Almost immediately thereafter came a deep rumbling that shook the ground and rattled the lofty branches of the trees around them. A strong gale sprang up, whipping hair and clothing about, and making them blink from the force blowing against their faces. The deep vibration seemed to be emanating from within the Stone itself as, before their wind-stung eyes, a vertical crack appeared in that flawless gray surface.
Soon, the crack became a narrow crevice running down from top to bottom, then widened steadily into a rift that grumbled and creaked with every inch of movement, cleaving the granite and snapping the vines that covered it. Then two stone doors, each some five feet in width, pivoted as if on hinges and swung outward, revealing a dark, mysterious opening into the monolith.
Killian glanced at Ellianthia, who was staring back at him with the same expression of shock written on the faces of the other Elves and humans waiting behind them on the edge of the clearing. Though the glow in his eyes had dimmed, he was undeniably the prophecy fulfilled, for all could see that the “One who will come to split the stone” stood before them. She tried to pull her hand away, but he shook his head slightly and pointed toward the opened doors, knowing that their presence was required there. Gathering his courage, he led her inside.
Why I Write Classic Fantasy—Part III: The Great Quest
This is the third in a series of book tour posts about why I love to read and write classic fantasy. Earlier, I observed that fantasy is perhaps the first literature genre we encounter as children, in fairy tales that depict imaginary lands full of wonder where mythical creatures abide, magical things happen, and the impossible is possible. Though I enjoy many other kinds of literature, my childhood love for fantasy has never waned. So, when I grew tired of waiting for more books to read and decided to write my own story, I chose classic fantasy. The Avatar of Calderia is an epic fantasy trilogy, a sword and sorcery tale writ on a large scale, set in an alternative medieval era world where magic is alive and well, and valiant heroes and malevolent villains meet in the ultimate battle of good vs. evil.
My role models have been iconic authors such as Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, as well as Jordan, Eddings, Salvatore, Feist and Carey, among others too numerous to mention. A good classic fantasy contains certain quintessential elements and themes that inspire me to read and write about it. In previous tour posts (3/10/14 and 3/13/14), I talked about two of these beloved elements: wizards, sorcerers and the wonders of magic; and mythical races and magical creatures. Now I will touch on another of my favorite features: “the great quest.”
Every epic fantasy worth its salt has, or should have, at least one great quest. I looked it up. It’s a rule. At some point in the story, the hero and/or heroine embark on an arduous and perilous journey in search of some artifact, person or arcane knowledge that is absolutely critical to their survival and their hopes of prevailing over the forces of evil. After gathering a complement of disparate but hardy companions (each with his or her own special skills and abilities), they set off into the unknown, traversing difficult terrains and fighting inclement weather and hostile inhabitants, as they pursue their distant goal.
The great quest is truly one of the elements of epic fantasy that I enjoy most. It allows the author (me) to introduce the many different places, characters and cultures that make up the larger world, as seen through the eyes of those travelers who (like the reader) are witnessing everything for the first time. I want the reader to become part of the adventure, to join me in experiencing the wonder of new discoveries and surprises along the way. The time spent on the quest also allows me to develop the intertwining themes, plot lines and relationships that will advance the overall story. During the journey, deep bonds are formed and trust is earned among the quest companions, as hardships are shared, and enemies are encountered. On occasion, love blooms (which is good, because I’m a sucker for romance). If and when the quest is ended and the battle is won, there is a special feeling of camaraderie born from having overcome and survived the challenges together—a memory to treasure.
I’ll briefly mention two signature moments of questing that I love to write about. One is the campfire scene, where companions gather in the evening after a long day on the road, to eat, rest, heal their battle wounds (if necessary) and talk. I can almost taste the stew put together with trail bread, wild herbs, vegetables and jerked meat or freshly hunted game, as it bubbles away in the cooking pot dangling over the lit coals. I actually get hungry just writing about it. Another moment is when the weary travelers find shelter at an inn, shed their cloaks, and get toasty by the crackling fire, while tavern wenches bring warmed wine or ale and great platters of steaming food. Later, there’s the vicarious pleasure and relief the reader can feel when the character sinks down into a hot tub to soak, easing sore muscles and luxuriating in the warmth when the dust and grime of the road is scrubbed away. Can clean clothes and a soft bed be far behind? It’s almost worth making the trip just to have that moment. You can check out another of my other favorite elements of classic fantasy if you follow along on future stops of this tour. Happy reading
I was raised on the East Coast, enduring the freezing winters and loving New York pizza by the slice, the kind you fold in half and start eating with the hot melted cheese dripping down into your mouth. Now a psychologist, I live here in the California sun with my wife and daughter, and assorted pets. I
I don't regret leaving the cold weather behind, but I do still miss the pizza.
Connect With The Author:
Author David M. Echeandia is giving away two $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Cards (winner’s choice) to two lucky winners! Enter with Rafflecopter. The giveaway runs 3/5/14 – 3/20/14 (Midnight Eastern Time).