Thursday, March 17, 2005

What the books are about

I've been trying to figure out a way to describe what my books are about that doesn't read like a jacket blurb, but also doesn't give away too many of the surprises. I'm going to launch a web site later this year that will contain the prologue to The Amber Wizard, but it's kind of large to put into this blog, so for now I'm going to resist going that route.

First of all, The Amber Wizard and its sequels are epic fantasy in a "medieval" tradition. I realize this is not everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine. I will describe Foreverness sometime soon, which is a young adult dark fantasy set in the here and now (southcentral Pennsylvania, to be precise) with lots of religious implications and musings about God's plan for the world. So if you're looking for me to write a plain old mainstream novel, sorry! I read them occasionally, but the idea of writing one definitely isn't my cup of tea. Even if I tried to write something "normal," my twisted brain would drag something weird into it. That's just how I am.

The Amber Wizard, at its heart, is about the consequences of one's actions and how terrible crimes can resonate and affect the world centuries after they occur. The main character, Gerin Atreyano, is a prince and heir to the throne of the kingdom of Khedesh. He's young, brash, arrogant, and talented. He learns that he has the ability to become a wizard -- which were once a separate race of beings, and whose interbreeding with non-magical peoples has caused their powers to fade until they now stand on the brink of their own extinction -- the likes of which have not been seen for nearly two thousand years.

A mysterious divine being appears to him on several occassions to make cryptic pronouncements about the power -- and powerlessness -- of the gods, causing him to wonder if he's drawn the attention of the gods themselves upon him.

While in summary it sounds kind of generic, the details in the book -- and the larger story that will play out over the next several volumes -- are pretty unique for this kind of fantasy. What exactly is mankind's relationship to the gods? Is there one god or many? What kind of events would cause a former polytheistic priest to create a new religion dedicated to One God alone, and why would such a new idea spread across the world like a wildfire? Is evil an external, incarnate force, or does it live only in the hearts of mankind?

In The Amber Wizard, Gerin faces a terrible dilemma. There is a force of death at work in his world, created by an act of his own making
that went horribly wrong -- the use of forbidden black magic to summon the spirit of a dead wizard. Many are dying, and more will continue to die unless a proper balance can be restored. But the only way to correct the balance is by the sacrifice of an innocent, one who must be pure. And it must be done by Gerin's hand. He will also uncover the secret of an ancient crime so ghastly it will forever change how he sees the world.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I wondered... I'm glad you explained a bit more about the book. I'm anxious to read it now. It sounds a bit like my mother's book: The Knights of the Red Feather Labyrinth by Sally Franz. It's on Amazon if you want to check it out. It's the first in a series of children's books with life lessons and a lot of spiritual allegory. Probably a little less direct in questioning the nature of religion and a lot more monotheistic in nature, but set in the future with interplanetary travel and lots of magic, shapeshifting and divination. Anyway, if you care, that's the scoop...

So I wanted to let you know, I've checked your blog every day since it began for updates and was pleased to find a new post today. Keep posting. I know I'm not the only one who's reading!