Thursday, November 16, 2023

Three Fabulous Reasons To Love Kim Falconer's Books


Kim Falconer
Kim is currently recovering from a hospital visit -- and although she will be back very soon, I'm standing in for her today. And can think of no better topic than 3 fabulous reasons I love her books.

Reason 1: Worldbuilding

Whether you know Kim as Kim Falconer or AK Wilder, I think there can be no question: from her Quantum Enchantment and Quantum Encryption series, through The Blood In The Beginning, to her current trilogy, the addictive Amassia series, Kim is a maestra of speculative worldbuilding.


In the Quantum Enchantment books (#1 is The Spell Of Rosette), Kim splices technology with magic, and romance with adventure. The story spans Earth and a parallel planet, Gaela, contrasting climate change and environmental degradation with the beauty and abundance of Gaela where the inhabitants have made different choices. 

The Blood In The Beginning also contrasts worlds, but this time the nitty-gritty of mixed marshal arts and (near-future) LA nightclubs are juxtaposed with a deep ocean realm, where readers meet Kim's supernatural Mar for the first time.

In the far-future, fantasy world of Amassia,  Kim (writing as AK Wilder) has produced another tour-de-force with a world that is steeped in magic, and where the ecology and landscape are colorful and traverse the tropical to colder climes. The societies, too, are culturally and ethnically diverse -- and once again, readers encounter the time-and-distance traversing realm of the Mar.


Reason 2: Heroines

If you love stories with strong engaging heroines, then it's hard to go past Ava, the MMA-trained bouncer of The Blood in the Beginning, or Ash, the insightful scribe who holds her magic-wielding friends together through edge-of-the-precipice adventure in the Amassia books. 

With "best-supporting" characters like the enigmatic Kreshkali in The Spell of Rosette and Salila, the capricious and sometimes bloodthirsty Mar of the Amassia books, Kim's storytelling is made for readers who like their fantasy heroine-centric.


Reason 3: Action and Adventure

I was tossing up between adventure and romantic elements for my third reason. But although Ash's relationship with the handsome, mysterious, and kickass Kaylin is key to the Amassia series, and a tall man dressed in Armani, smelling of cologne and faintly of blood, kicks off the action in The Blood in the Beginning, fast-paced action and adventure are a hallmark of Kim's books.

Ash & Kaylin

In The Blood in the Beginning, when Ava's bouncer job turns dark she must run and fight for her life in a desperate contest with supernatural forces. 

Crown of Bones (Amassia #1) also delivers rapid-fire adventure when Ash and her friends' routine journey to a school for magic users (savants) becomes a breakneck flight across wild country, in which they must dodge armies and elude magical traps -- action that is far from over when reach their destination.

And the adventure continues in Curse of Shadows (Amassia #2) with pirate attacks and sea pursuits, savants and phantoms, magical traps and battles amid snowy wastes that make the story hard to put down.


 So there it is, dear Supernatural Undergrounders -- three fabulous reasons to love Kim Falconer's books. If you feel I've missed the best reason, feel free to let me -- and Kim! -- know with a comment. 

And if you want to discover more and support Kim at the same time, consider buying the book, requesting it at your library, and/or posting a review online -- or all three! :-)

~ Helen Lowe


About Kim Falconer

Kim Falconer, currently writing as AK Wilder, has released Crown of Bones, a YA Epic Fantasy with Curse of Shadows as book 2 in the series. Currently, she is working on the third book, out in 2024.

Kim can be found on  AKWilder TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Throw the bones, read your horoscopes or Raise Your Phantom on the site


About Helen Lowe:

Helen Lowe is an award-winning novelist, poet, and lover of story. With four books published to date, she is currently completing the final instalment in The Wall Of Night series.

Helen posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog, monthly on the Supernatural Underground, and tweets @helenl0we.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

The Band-of-Brothers in Helen Lowe's "The Gathering Of The Lost"

So here we are, November 1 (eek!), with Halloween just behind us, Guy Fawkes immediately ahead, and Thanksgiving and Christmas hoving-to in the near-distance.

If you feel breathless reading that, I can assure you that I felt exactly the same as my fingers flew over the keyboard! Still, when the year is fleeting by and all the festivals and end-of-year commitments snowballing, what better time to relax with a little bookish and Fantasy 'verse blogging?!

The Wall Of Night series

In my case the 'verse is The Wall of Night world (for which the series is named), which I'm revisiting in the context of my 2023 post theme, which is -- of course -- the "band of brothers" in Fantasy fiction.

Last month I shone the spotlight on The Heir Of Night (The Wall Of Night #1) and today it's time for Book Two, which is -- ta-da! --

The Band-of-Brothers In The Gathering Of The Lost

When it comes to our theme, The Gathering of the Lost is band-of-brothers central. 

Book One, The Heir Of Night, ended with the two main characters, Malian and Kalan, vanishing into the wilds of the world of Haarth.

The world of Haarth
In The Gathering of the Lost, the ongoing story takes readers to the realm of Emer, famed as the home of the heavily armed Emerian knights. Starting with the castle of Normarch, a center for squires training to be knights. 

In last month's post, I spoke of how it "takes time, as well as adverse circumstances, to bridge division and create bonds of brotherhood." The squires of Normarch have been training together, and toward knighthood, for several years. So when adverse events strike, they have the skills and discipline, as well as the cohesion and motivation, to answer the challenge.

For those that survive the fighting and melees in Normarch -- which also include magical trials and combats, of course -- the bonds of brotherhood emerge stronger. Bonds that are then tested again when the newly made knights ride to the capital, Caer Argent, to compete for fame and glory in the midsummer tournament. Only to encounter plots, treachery, and dark magic, as well as contests of arms.

Events that end testing their loyalty to each other and the bonds forged in the Normarch years, as well as to the realm of Emer. 

As you can no doubt guess, too, The Gathering of the Lost is also bromance central in terms of the depth of the young knights' friendships and the trials they must overcome. But not only bromance. There may just be romance, too, with both springtime and starcrossed loves featuring in the mix. 

And yes, Malian and Kalan are definitely part of the action -- although being exiles with many enemies, they are very often disguised or traveling incognito. ;-)


Previous Posts:

February: Honing in on 2021Celebrating the "Band of Brothers"
March: Celebrating the "Band of Brothers" in Fantasy #2
April: Celebrating the "Scooby Gang" #3
May: Celebrating the "Band of Sisters"
June: From Band of Brothers To Bromance!
July: Sister Acts: from the "Band of Sisters" to True Sisterhood
August: When Brotherhoods -- and Bros -- Go Bad!
September: "The Band of Brothers" -- A Few More Fantasy Favorites
October: The Band-of-Brothers in The Heir Of Night


About the Author

Helen Lowe is an award-winning novelist, poet, and lover of story. With four books published to date, she is currently completing the final instalment in The Wall Of Night series.

Helen posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog, monthly on the Supernatural Underground, and tweets @helenl0we.