Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Bookshop of Halloween Horrors


Halloween, born of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, is nigh and we might all be looking for a good read to suit the occasion. I know I am!

If it's a book that goes bump in the night, there is a multitude to choose from, but there aren't all that many that weave Halloween into the pages.

Here are a few that spark my interest.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked is a classic from the archives of Ray Bradbury. If you haven't read it yet just imagine: two thirteen-year-olds, a traveling carnival and more jump-scares than the heart can handle. Oh yes, and spooky Halloween!


Another classic is Norman Partridge's Dark Harvest

Dark Harvest is set in the 60s, like Stranger Things, and packed with plenty of suspense. Why not when the town's teenagers comb the streets on Halloween, intent on killing the October Boy. The winner (aka murderer) gets the prize and leaves town, never to be seen again. Or so we think...

This one will set the stage for those trick or treat bangs on the door!


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness



The first book in the All Souls Trilogy, be ready with book two if you don't want to dangle over the edge of the cliff. The story of an academic witch in denial, this is historical fantasy at its finest, with a splash of Halloween at the (cliffhanger) ending.


Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts

This is also the start of a trilogy - Three Sisters Island. Set on said island, the series has it all: a strong female character with a terrible past, a curse, a love true-blue and a loudly ticking clock. And yes, Halloween!


A Path Begins - by J. A. White
Book #1 in the Thickety series, this story is set in colonial times. Think a dark forest. Vicious beasts. Deadly plants. Spellbooks. Secrets. Mysteries. Witches, and a girl everyone hates...

Yes, it's marketed as a middle-grade book but some might feel the content is too disturbing for that age range. Are there Halloween themes? You bet, colonial-style!

I'd love to know what your fav Halloween books are and if you plan to curl up with one at the end of the month.

Let us know in the comments!

Trick or treat,

xxKim

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Kim Falconer's New YA Fantasy Series is out March 2020 - The Crown of Bones. (Writing under A.K. Wilder)

Also, check her urban fantasy  - The Blood in the Beginning - and Ava Sykes Novel and the SFF Quantum Enchantment Series

You can find Kim on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Or pop over and throw the bones on the AKWilder.com site.

Contact at kimfalconer.com

Thursday, October 3, 2019

High Fives with Amanda: When art imitates life

High Fives from Amanda

Recently, as I crawl through the muck and mire that is revising a series (hopefully I can share some news soon 😊), I started thinking about how strange it was to be a writer. The strange things that we do to ourselves, the way is warps reality around us, the way it fundamental changes the way we look at the world, the caffeine dependency that comes along with it.

And how wrong the movies get it. Which is strange because screenwriters are writers, and yet I've never seen a writer like myself represented on film. But there are some close glimpses of the truth. An essence of what life is like as a person who lives in their head while they are living in the world.

So in no particular order, here are five movies that do get something right about being a writer.


1). Stranger than Fiction - The agony the writer feels about what she might be doing to the main character is totally on par with what I feel about the horrible things that I'm writing about with my MC. I really do feel bad some times, or grossed out that I am actually going to talk about zombie eyeballs, but in the end it really does make for a better story. 

2) Almost Famous - What we wish it was like. I wish writing was all about the glamour of research and parties and drinking and not the actuality of sitting in a cold dark room and just hammering out your thoughts. 
3) The Shining- This one probably gets right what our families think will happen to us after so many hours in front of a computer with people talking in your head. Not sure I really need to elaborate o this one. 

4). Midnight in Paris- This one is probably the closest  to what it is actually like for me when I am writing. Its disappearing into another world with all your imaginary friends and falling in love and wishing that you could just stay there instead of in the real world, where there is laundry and dirty dishes and responsibility. 

5). Young Adult- We are not that damaged, but stealing dialogue from the aisles of Target is SPOT ON as well as the constant narration of our novels in our heads. I'm always listening and thanks to my smart phone, always have something handy to write down little snippets of dialogue or weird things that people. 

Honorable mentions: In the Mouth of Madness. Misery. Writer's Retreat. All three are great for this Halloween season as well.  

If you have a Top Five list you'd like me to cultivate, please let me know in the comments below or at @pantherista

In the meantime, give yourself a high five!

Amanda Arista
Author (more bits coming soon!)

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Romance In Fantasy Fiction: Endless Love In Teresa Frohock's "Where Oblivion Lives"

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Intro: #RIFF #YOR

Excitement reigns right now because this is the eighth (infinite eight!) instalment of my Year of Romance (#YOR) post series on Supernatural Underground. Specifically, that is, Romance in Fantasy Fiction (#RIFF) and most specifically of all, romances that I've enjoyed over many years of reading. #JustSayin' ;-)

This month I'm staying on track with my intention to switch between older and newer works, and featuring Teresa Frohock's Where Oblivion Lives, which is Book One in a new Los Nefilim trilogy.
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Teresa Frohock's Where Oblivion Lives (Los Nefilim Series) — Diago, Miquel, and Endless Love

Firstly, a little about Los Nefilim. Teresa Frohock's series, set in 1930s, pre-Civil War Spain, began with a series of three linked novellas, first published individually and then collected in one volume as Los Nefilim.

(You can read my post on the novellas here.)

I've said before that it's hard to categorize this series: it's historical fantasy, but it's also decidedly supernatural and paranormal in focus. It's also urban fantasy, being primarily set in Barcelona, but also has a distinctly noir-thriller ethos, with horror overtones.

Los Nefilim's central premise is the eternal conflict between angels and demons, in which the nephilim — the hybrid offspring of human pairings with the supernatural beings — serve as foot soldiers in the war between the higher powers. (The 'nefilim' of the series title is simply the Spanish form of 'nephilim.') In Teresa Frohock's story, begun in Los Nefilim and continued in Where Oblivion Lives, the cosmic conflict both mirrors and intersects Spain’s descent into Civil War.

The nefilim are not immortal, but are eternally reborn to serve in the war-without-end between heaven and hell. For this reason, the nefilim's maxim, "Watch for me" is both invocation and prayer, farewell and blessing, but may also be a curse.
The characters at the center of the Los Nefilim series and its incarnation of the eternal war are Diago and Miquel. Diago and Miquel are both nefilim and their love has endured down centuries and across lives. In Where Oblivion Lives they are married, both part of Los Nefilim's Inner Guard,  and raising Rafael, Diago's son from an earlier relationship in his current incarnation.

(How Diago and Miquel find and rescue Rafael from the demons is told in the linked novellas of Los Nefilim.)

One of the things I really like about Diago and Miquel's relationship in Where Oblivion Lives is that it is presented without commentary or explanation — beyond the story of their love and its evolution, that is. What's important about Diago and Miquel in this story is not that they are gay, although very clearly they are. But authorial commentary is unnecessary because their relationship, like every other aspect of this engaging story, speaks for itself.

Having said that, the story does reflect what it means to be gay in  a world that doesn't accept such relationships. The core of the story, though, is who Diago and Miquel are, as individuals and as a couple. Also their part in the larger Los Nefilim picture (which can be murky — this is heaven vs hell and immediately pre-Civil War Spain, after all.) What matters, too, is their commitment to each other—the endless love spanning incarnations—and to their son, Rafael, as well as to their friends and fellow nefilim. In Where Oblivion Lives this is chiefly illustrated through their loyalty to Guillermo, the leader of Los Nefilim—and his to them.

If challenged to come up with a single adjective to describe Diago and Miquel, the word would be "fidelity." They are faithful to each other, to Rafael, and to their values, even where those values cut across some of Los Nefilim's traditional loyalties and behaviors.

So if you like historical fiction and supernatural/paranormal fantasy, noir thrillers, dark fantasy and/or horror, together with lovers whose fidelity and commitment fuel an endless love, then I think you'll find a lot to like in Where Oblivion Lives and Los Nefilim. 

Note: It's not necessary to read Los Nefilim first to "grok" Where Oblivion Lives but it may give you a deeper appreciation of the world and the story.

Teresa Frohock
Disclosure:
By way of disclosure, Teresa is a fellow Supernatural Undergrounder and friend-in-writing. I obtained my reading copy via our publisher-in-common, HarperCollins Voyager and my editor, the awesome Kate Nintzel.

 .
Helen Lowe is a teller of tales and purveyor of story, chiefly by way of novels and poetry; she also blogs and occasionally interviews fellow writers. Her first novel, Thornspell (Knopf), was published to critical praise in 2008. The second,The Heir of Night(The Wall Of Night Series, Book One) won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012, and the sequel, The Gathering Of The Lost, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Legend Award in 2013.Daughter Of Blood (Book Three), was published in 2016 and Helen is currently completing the final novel in the series. She posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog, monthly on the Supernatural Underground, and is also on Twitter:@helenl0we.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Crown of Bones Cover Reveal


Heyo everyone,

Ready to Raise. Your. Phantom?

It's here. The Crown of Bones cover reveal. Thanks to all for jumping in on the Instagram puzzle reveal giveaway. That was amazing fun!

Watch for another giveaway here, as the time draws closer.

Title: Crown of Bones
Author:  Kim Falconer writing as A.K. Wilder 
Release Date: March 3rd, 2020
Add to your Goodreads TBR.
Pre-Order: Amazon  | iBooks |B&N | Kobo

Crown of Bones Synopsis:

In a world on the brink of the next Great Dying, no amount of training can prepare us for what is to come … 
A young heir will raise the most powerful phantom in all of Baiseen. 
A dangerous High Savant will do anything to control the nine realms. 
A mysterious and deadly Mar race will steal children into the sea. 
And a handsome guide with far too many secrets will make me fall in love.
My name is Ash. A lowly scribe meant to observe and record. And yet I think I’m destined to save us all.




* * * 

Kim Falconer's New YA Fantasy Series is out March 2020 - The Crown of Bones. 

Also, check her urban fantasy out now - The Blood in the Beginning - and Ava Sykes Novel and the SFF Quantum Enchantment Series

You can find Kim on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Contact me also at kimfalconer.com

xxKim

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Puzzle Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Crown of Bones puzzle hunt cover reveal and giveaway.
I'm so excited to point you all in the direction of EntangledTeen's cover reveal of my next book! The cover is spectacular and finding the pieces on the Instagram tour puts you in the running to win a copy, fresh off the press.

The Giveaway

It’s all happening on Instagram. You simply follow and copy a puzzle piece from each of these influencers below, screenshot the puzzle piece from their insta, then post on EntangledTeen to be in it to win.

Details live on the 18th on my Instagram, a.k.wilder, or Entangled's or any of the book Divas below. The influencers participating are:   

What the Cover Won't Be

I can't divulge the Crown of Bones cover until September 25th, but I can tell you what it won't be like. Here are a few of the early drafts from the Entangled Art Department.

These drafts were created with the w/t of The Bone Throwers, now the series title.

I hope you like the official cover as much as I do. Drop back here on the 25th to see it, or take the Instagram tour and be in it to win.

Fun Jigsaw Puzzle Facts

Image III

The origins of jigsaw puzzles go back to the 1760s when European mapmakers pasted maps onto wood and cut them into small pieces with - you guessed it - a jigsaw. But the name 'jigsaw' wouldn't be applied for another 150 years. Before then, the puzzles were called 'dissecting puzzles'.

Not exactly a name that flows off the tongue...

Image III is 'Europe Divided into its Kingdoms,' a1766 puzzle drawn by London cartographer John Spilsbury. It's known as the world’s very first jigsaw puzzle.

More Facts

Jigsaw puzzles are good for the brain, waking up both left and right sides. The left side sorts the pieces logically while the right side visions the finished product and works intuitively. 

And how long does it take to make one? Guinness Book of Records has 15-year-old Deepika Ravichandran as the fastest puzzler on the planet, logging in at 13 minutes and seven seconds to complete the official Guinness puzzle on May 9, 2014. 

* * * 

Stay tuned! I'll be back on the 25th with the full cover reveal just for Sup readers.

Thanks for all your support!

* * * 



Kim Falconer's New YA Fantasy Series is out March 2020 - The Crown of Bones. 

Also, check her urban fantasy out now - The Blood in the Beginning - and Ava Sykes Novel and the SFF Quantum Enchantment Series

You can find Kim on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Contact me also at kimfalconer.com

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

High Fives with Amanda: Five Awesome things about Back to School

Hello there!
I know, its been forever, but enough about me, let's talk School. As you might know, I have a Bean who will be in Kinder this year, so we are full on uniforms and backpacks and carpool lanes. As a new mom to this new clutter, there are a few things that are actually GREAT about Back to School and I thought I would share as they have drastically changed my life and my writing.

Top Five Awesome things about Back to School.

1. Germs. New school, new germs! Well after the past three weeks of stomach flu and head cold, I am ready for whatever Germ-pocolypse those scientists can muster up. I'm convinced I can survive everything with the immunity invested in me by the petrie dish that is Kindergarten.

2. School supplies. For a writer, this is the best time of year. This is when the post-its are all BOGO, in every shape and size, and in all the new fall colors. You can get a hundred pencils for three dollars. You can find compositions notebooks for next to nothing. Erasers shaped like Unicorns- no problem. Its like Christmas for writers. This is when you need to make your list for your families to check twice.

3. New for no reason. Need a pencil for Back to School- sure! But sheets? Pillows? Fridge? Coffee pot? Everything is on sale. Need a new organizer for your spirals- bet that is on sale. Need a mirror locker- bet its on sale! Back to School helped me get new journals AND new pants, just because we are going back to school and you can't go back to school in last years pants. Duh!

4. Forces a schedule. With the new carpool times, the Bean and I are on a pretty tight schedule and I find that I like it. She HAS to go to bed at 8:30, which means I have exactly from 5:30-8:30 to love and squeeze and feed and bathe her in an orderly fashion. There is no stay-up night (except on Saturdays) and there is no movie watching on a Tuesday. Our lives have become nearly predictable, which is great for my post-830 brain when I can sit down and actually get some writing done.

5. Time is precious. Please don't read the above as stifling. Its not. It has helped me realize that Time is a precious commodity. Those thirty minutes we get for dinner- you better damn well believe there isn't a screen in sight, because those minutes are now precious and might be the only ones I get to spend with my kid sitting and talking and telling stories. Back to School has brought me a sense of awareness that my kid is growing up and I won't let that slip past me. Knowing that I can focus on her now, because I'll have time to write later, has only purified my attention on those two times of time which are special and deserving of my attention.


So there you have it: the best things about Back to School.


If you have a Top Five list you'd like me to cultivate, please let me know in the comments below or at @pantherista

In the meantime, give yourself a high five!

Amanda AristaAuthor

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Romance In Fantasy Fiction: A "Beauty & the Beast" Riff In Julian May's Saga Of The Exiles

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Intro: #RIFF #YOR

I'm excited to get to to the 7th instalment of my Year of Romance (#YOR) post series on Supernatural Underground. Specifically, that is, Romance in Fantasy Fiction (#RIFF) and most specifically of all, romances that I've enjoyed over many years of reading. #JustSayin' ;-)

Today's feature is a series that was pretty big in the 1980s (or so I believe!), just to stay on track with my intention to switch between older and newer works. 

That series, as the title above has completely given away is Julian May's Saga Of The Exiles, or as I think of it, The Many-Colored Land Quartet — The Many-Colored Land being the title of the first book in the series.

Julian May's Saga Of The Exiles — A "Beauty and the Beast" Riff with the Tale of Katlinel & Sugoll

In point of fact, there are many romances in Julian May's Saga of the Exiles, some of them more central to the main story than that of Katlinel and Sugoll  — but I've always liked their particular riff  on the Beauty and the Beast romantic theme. And as I've said from the outset, this post-series is all about my favourites. :-) 

First, though, I think I have to provide a basic outline of the Saga of the Exiles storyline. In the not-too-distant future, humanity has become part of a Galactic Milieu of civilizations with psychic capabilities. Human beings who cannot adjust to this enlightened new world order, are permitted to time-travel back in time to the Pliocene Era, approximately six million years ago, in quest of a simpler life.

There's only one little problem. Unbeknownst to everyone in the 22nd century, there are already two other cultures present on Pliocene Earth: the Tanu and the Firvulag. The Tanu resemble a cross between Celtic sidhe and the Norse gods, while the Firvulag are more closely aligned with races such as dwarves and goblins, ogres and dark elves. Both are highly magical beings and committed to an aeons-old battle for dominance, part of which is expressed through ritualized combats.

At the outset of the story, the Tanu are controlling the arrival of human time-travellers into the Pliocene. Those who have no psychic or magical capabilities are enslaved for labor, military, and reproductive purposes. Those who do possess such abilities, however, are co-opted into the ranks of the Tanu, some of them rising to high positions.

Katlinel, also known as Katlinel the Darkeyed, is the daughter of a Tanu father and human mother, and one of the Tanu elite in terms of power. Sugoll is a Firvulag, but of a subtribe known as Howlers, whose dwelling place and sensitivity to radiation has led to hideous mutations. As the leader of the Howlers, Sugoll is seeking a solution to reverse the mutations. Part of his qualifications as leader are that he is the most powerful but also the most grotesquely mutated Howler...

Although Katlinel and Sugoll are on opposite sides of the Tanu-Firvulag divide, they meet during the truce and Fair that precedes one of the major ritualized combats between the two species. In it, Sugoll uses his magic to manifest as a handsome prince, a magic too strong for Katlinel to completely penetrate, although her own abilities lead her to recognize it as illusion. Regardless, the two fall in love and Katlinel, defying the Tanu-Firvulag divide. goes to live among the Howlers and work to reverse the mutation effect.

One of the significant aspects of the Beauty and the Beast storyline is that as the story, and their relationship evolves, Sugoll ceases to resort to illusion when with Katlinel. Their love is strong enough for him to appear as his true self in every way. An important part of that is because his character and personality resemble his illusion-self and Katlinel sees to the heart of that truth.

Although their relationship is not the most important one in the series, it is nonetheless significant. I've always liked it, too, because Katlinel and Sugoll are the first individuals to step beyond the traditional enmities and bridge the Tanu-Firvulag-human divisions that are core to the book's conflicts. And although there are other relationships in the series, theirs is one of the most truly equal and also based on a positive expression of power, to an end that transcends personal loyalties and ambitions.

In fact, Katlinel and Sugoll are definitely one of the power couples you'd most want to be around in the Pliocene — and maybe in any era. Again, #JustSayin' ;-)


List of Year of Romance in Fantasy Posts (so far):



Helen Lowe is a teller of tales and purveyor of story, chiefly by way of novels and poetry; she also blogs and occasionally interviews fellow writers. Her first novel, Thornspell (Knopf), was published to critical praise in 2008. The second,The Heir of Night(The Wall Of Night Series, Book One) won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012, and the sequel, The Gathering Of The Lost, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Legend Award in 2013.Daughter Of Blood (Book Three), was published in 2016 and Helen is currently completing the final novel in the series. She posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog, monthly on the Supernatural Underground, and is also on Twitter:@helenl0we.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Are You Game?


The Witcher, based on the novel series of The Witcher by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
When I think of how diverse, well crafted and emotionally charged video games have become in the last decade, it's no surprise to find popular novels have found a home on this platform. Take Harry Potter, first up. There are dozens of games under this title! You can check out all the HP games here, rated from worst to best. The Lego one cracks me up.

Harry, Ron and Hermione in LEGO Harry Potter 

But a novel doesn't have to be an NYTimes bestseller to provide a jumping-off point to explore deeply complicated political ideas through computer gaming. From Ayn Rand to the Ming dynasty, here are a few games you probably didn’t realise were based on literary works.

Enslaved: Oydyssey to the West
The 16th-century Chinese story, 'Journey to the West,' was the jumping-off point for a post-apocalyptic action video game, 'Enslaved: Odyssey to the West,'  

Then there's the Slovenian novel 'Alamut' published in 1938 where we learn 'nothing is an absolute reality, all is permitted.' Players of 'Assassin's Creed' (an action-adventure stealth video game published by Ubisoft using the game engine Anvil) will recognise the spirit of that line seen throughout the franchise: 'Nothing is true, everything is permitted.'

Fan art posted in r/assassin's creed by u/Sketchy-Linez

But the odd thing I'm finding as I look at the fantasy-book-to-game model is the absence, or very little at least, of urban fantasy representation complete with kick-ass heroines. With all the popularity of shows like Supernatural, the X-Files, Buffy, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and more it just feels like there’s a lot of room for the gaming industry to explore. We know there are plenty of books out there that would be fabulous jumping-off points.

I can think of a few just looking at our Sup author's backlists!

Let me know your thoughts? Any book in mind you'd love to see turned into a game?

***




Kim Falconer's New YA Fantasy Series is out March 2020 - The Bone Throwers. 

Also, check her urban fantasy out now - The Blood in the Beginning - and Ava Sykes Novel and the SFF Quantum Enchantment Series

You can find Kim on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Romance In Fantasy Fiction: Friends and Lovers, Maggie Stiefvater's "The Raven Boys"-Style

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Intro: #RIFF #YOR

At six months in today (hurrah!), you're probably getting familiar with the drill: i.e. that 2019 is my Year of Romance (#YOR) on Supernatural Underground, and specifically Romance in Fantasy Fiction (#RIFF)  which is what we all read, right?! Right! (Even if not exclusively. ;-) )

I'm also alternating between older and newer works, just to mix things up a bit and also give a feeling for romance in Fantasy over time, using the Lord of the Rings (mid 1950s) as a benchmark.

And now the 'housekeeping' is over, onwards to this month's book, which is also a series but I'll be honing in on the first and second books, Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys (2012) and The Dream Thieves (Book #2, 2013.)


Maggie Stiefvater's "The Raven Boys": Friends and Lovers, Never Apart From The Others

'Friends and lovers, never apart from the others' is a misquote from the Bread song, Friends and Lovers (according to the interwebs, "ever apart..." is correct) — but the misquote is the way I've always heard it, possibly because it's so apt for when pairing-off happens among a group of friends. (Just saying!)

It's also encapsulates the sense of the relationships within Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys, particularly in the first two books, where the relationships within the group shift between friendship and romance, in a way that is reasonably realistic (imho) of teen and young/new adult experience.

The main point-of-view character, at least in the first book, is Blue, who although technically without psychic powers of her own can amplify those of others, including the power to see and guide the dead (i.e. a psychopomp.) Initially reluctant, she becomes friends with the four "Raven boys", Dansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah. All four boys are students at the nearby Aglionby Academy, which has a raven as its school crest.

Although the storyline of one (ie 'unique' or 'special)' young woman becoming part of a 'band of brothers', with no corresponding female friendships, is a little dated now, it is compensated for in The Raven Boys by Blue's very female-centric home environment, which is made up of Blue's mother, Maura, and two other female psychics.

And I did particularly enjoy the interplay of friendship and romantic relationships in this story, which as noted above, I thought reasonably realistic. The central characters are all interesting, too, and different from each other, sometimes in difficult and challenging ways, which means that the journey of the four books is really a journey of these five characters and their intersecting lives.

In fact, I would say that it overshadows the working out of the plot premise, which is to find and wake the magician Owen Glendower*, who Dansey, the leader of the Raven boys, believes traveled or translocated to the Americas from Wales. Whoever wakes him is supposed to be granted a wish, which is Dansey and the Raven boys' initial motivation for their quest.

The initial romantic attraction, although for a long time it remains a 'friendship-with-frisson' because of a concern for the dynamic and balance of the group, is between Blue and Dansey, and it is Dansey that draws Blue into the group. Yet there is also a time when the relationship between Blue and Adam skirts a potential romance.

The second book, The Dream Thieves, is centered more on Ronan and his powers, but as the book evolves his relationship with Adam evolves with it, so that by the third and fourth books (Blue Lily, Lily Blue; The Raven King) the potential and actual romantic relationships have consolidated as Ronan and Adam, Blue and Dansey.

Not that it is by any means plain sailing. Ronan is probably the wildest and most disruptive character among the group of friends, but Adam has his demons and is also a difficult personality. In fact, one of the interesting aspects of the story is that Blue, Ronan, and Adam are all loners, which makes negotiating the ties of the group but also cementing romantic relationships difficult for them.

In Blue's case, this is compounded because she believes that anyone she kisses in a romantic sense will die — a barrier to romantic relationship that is compounded by what she secretly knows of Dansey's probable future and fate. And although Dansey is the leader and the glue that holds the group — and the quest for Owen Glendower — even that role is challenged in the end...

That's all I'm going to say about the story as regards plot, but in terms of romance in fantasy, if you like a story that interweaves a number of characters and storylines together in a shifting web of friendships and romantic love that is both delicate and strong as tempered steel, then The Raven Boys may be the story for you.

And just btw, aren't those covers gorgeous?! :-)

*Note: Owen Glendower is a real historical figure from the late 14th, early 15th century British Isles, who fought a guerrilla-style war against Henry IV after he usurped the throne from Richard II. He was believed by many to be a wizard. The rebellion failed but Glendower was never captured, which doubtless added to the accounts of his powers. An American connection is not part of his legend, however, but associated with Prince Madoc in the late 12th century.


List of Year of Romance in Fantasy Posts (so far):

March: JRR Tolkien and The Lord Of The Rings Effect
April: Laini Taylor's Daughter Of Smoke and Bone – "My Enemy, My Love"
May: Patricia McKillip's Riddlemaster of Hed – "Constancy Amid Tumult"
June: Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven – "When Your Ship Doesn't Sail"
July: Katharine Kerr's Daggerspell (Deverry series) – "Love At First Meeting"
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Helen Lowe is a teller of tales and purveyor of story, chiefly by way of novels and poetry; she also blogs and occasionally interviews fellow writers. Her first novel, Thornspell (Knopf), was published to critical praise in 2008. The second,The Heir of Night(The Wall Of Night Series, Book One) won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012, and the sequel, The Gathering Of The Lost, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Legend Award in 2013.Daughter Of Blood (Book Three), was published in 2016 and Helen is currently completing the final novel in the series. She posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog, monthly on the Supernatural Underground, and is also on Twitter:@helenl0we.