Characters drive the plot, and the way characters interact with the plot exposes their essence. Both are necessary to tell a good story that immerses readers in a world, be it a magical fantasy, historical fiction, a far distant future or a humorous situation. I strive to step beyond sentimentality and delve into real emotions with specifics and details.
A man and a woman must work together as equals to prevent sorcerers from waking an evil dragon who would terrorize the land while rival baronies plot civil war in a gender balanced world where women and men have the same rights, opportunities and authority.
The novel contains action, battles, political intrigue and magic, as well as diverse cultures, languages, lost legends, forgotten lands, epic poetry and music whose complete scores are found in the appendix.
Characters must discover their own inner strengths and overcome weaknesses while confronting themselves as much as outside forces.
The King is abducted by magical creatures and the Queen must hold the monarchy together. While she searches for the king, traitorous nobles raise an insurrection. The story draws the character across swamps, forests and deserts as new threats arise and, all the while, the evil dragon Baras could rise.
The relationships of the characters deepen as they must come to terms with maturing and growing apart while struggling with the memories of former lovers.
There are new characters and magical creatures. The book carries forward the traditions of diverse cultural elements in a gender balanced world that were established in the first volume of the Carandir Saga.
Artist Margaret Talbot has overcome prejudice, abuse and assault to become a magazine illustrator in the male dominated world of publishing in 1901, but she dreams of painting in oils. She suffers a stillbirth that nearly takes her life and travels to a small fishing village where she meets many people.
An older woman becomes a friend and mentor. Another woman accuses Margaret of being a witch. A man carries a cremation urn containing his wife's ashes and speaks to it as if she is alive. Everyone in the village speaks to the urn as well. One young woman named Sara sings nonsense song, skips and is confused by everyday objects. Margaret fears the woman once suffered a childhood trauma, but some in the village say that Sara is a selkie, a magical being from Celtic mythology who walks on the land as a human and swims in the sea as a seal.
Through the influence of the villagers, and Margaret's own self-determination, she strives to discover who she is and what she truly wants.
In a world of the near future, every person is linked to everyone else and vast databanks through The Connection, an immense network that carries information, thoughts and emotions. Few people leave their living quarters. Service robots bring people food, clothing and any other material item desired. People don't have to meet. They can tap into The Connection through a device implanted in the brain and share their lives as if they were standing next to another person who might be on the other side of the world. Cerbdramas transmit stories directly into people's minds as if they were a part of the action. The only place people gather are retro-resorts where periods of history are recreated..
Someone commits the most heinous crime of this perfect society by disconnecting from The Connection. Police detective George Chen has his link severed so that he can enter the underground world of crime undetected. George discovers a massive conspiracy, but not the one he is seeking.
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