Book Review: Fires by Tom Ward (published by Crooked Cat Books)
This thriller is quite dark but kept me interested and is very relatable. It is set in modern times in a bleak, industrial city where the lives of two strangers, Guy and Nathan, become inextricably linked as Guy fights fires and arsonist Nathan likes to set them.
Imagining my own races was exciting and creatively satisfying, as was devising my own world, complete with different ecologies and environments. But both required quite a bit of research to make sure my fantasy world and its inhabitants were grounded in some semblance of reality! Here I detail some of the research I did for my epic fantasy novel Melokai.
Wondering how to say Peqkya? Well, here’s a short pronunciation guide for some of the tongue-twister names of characters, peoples and places in my epic fantasy novel Melokai, book one of In the Heart of the Mountains trilogy.
In Melokai, book one of the In the Heart of the Mountains trilogy, life in Peqkya is based on the philosophies of the Stone Prophetess Sybilya. These ten maxims are ingrained in everything a Peqkian does and they each feel the presence of Sybilya within them. Melokai Ramya repeats Sybilya’s Sayings often to herself.
Reading and discussing the epic fantasy novel Melokai by Rosalyn Kelly for your book club? Here are fifteen questions that should help to get the conversation flowing.
1) What were your first impressions of Melokai? Did it hook you from the start or did it take a while to get into?
At the time of Melokai, Ramya is thirty-two years old. Born in Riaow, the capital of Peqkya, she was placed in the pen led by Kafya, as Peqkian custom dictates ‘No baby will ever know it’s parents and no parents will ever know their baby’.
From an early age, Ramya showed great promise as a warrior and entered the profession at age fifteen. She quickly became known as the greatest warrior in Peqkya due to her skill at chariot warfare, multiple opponent combat, and archery, as well as her endless energy and how she never seemed to tire in a fight.
Ramya liked her tongue. She wasn’t ready to give it up, not yet. The Melokai rolled it around her teeth, touched it to the roof of her mouth and brought it down with a satisfying cluck.
She glanced at Chaz. The scholar’s mottled black and white hands cupped his face, his body rocking with the movement of his horse, eyes glazed. They continued through the circular streets of the city in silence, both soon to lose the ability of speech, but neither with anything to say.
Book Review: Blackwing (The Raven's Mark Book 1) by Ed McDonald (published by Gollancz)
This epic fantasy has received glowing reviews and is a big contender for ‘best fantasy book of 2017’. And rightly so, because it is a great read. Captain Ryhalt Galharrow is an older, experienced, battle-scarred soldier employed to hunt down spies and traitors, who invariably run into The Misery. This is the name for the wasteland that lies right outside the city walls, which was the site of a huge battle between the Republic and the evil Deep Kings. The magic wrought during that war – and the powerful weapon used – blasted, twisted, and generally screwed up the area, but also drove back the Deep Kings. For many years, these Deep Kings have been reluctant to attack again for fear of this weapon.
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