I was trying to quote this, but decided to reblog it I haven’t done that before. I hope I’m doing it right. Check out this review of Another World’s Song!
The Mushrooming Prologue
While working on the latest installment in The Astralasphere Spiral, I realized that the prologue had gotten a bit out of hand. I wonder if this happens to other writers. It happens frequently to me. This particular little mushroom is a glance back in time at the events surrounding Lycian’s birth and gives us a glimpse of Benth as a young boy. (Benth plays a key role in the next book, so I wanted to show how their lives intertwined even before Lycian was born.
Since the prologue really ran away with itself, I’m publishing it as a short story on Amazon. It should be available within the next few days.
Jahern is a character in the epic fantasy series, The Astralasphere Spiral. In Another World’s Song, he is introduced as Lycian’s Primemaster, the first master of an apprentice. Mage Jahern was also the Primemaster of Taven, Mylinka’s father, who is the Guardian of the Astralasphere.
Stern, arrogant, and stubborn, Jahern is a hard man. He is an antagonist because he’s abusive to Lycian, but he’s complicated. In his own way, he loves Lycian. Jahern is the poster child for cognitive dissonance. He clings to his comfortable beliefs even when he’s faced with new evidence.
I don’t have a drawing of Jahern, but if I could pick anyone to play him, it would be the late, great Peter O’Toole. He had such range! If you love historical dramas and have never seen The Lion in Winter, you should really check it out.
Here’s a longish-haired O’Toole. He needs ivory horns and beige cloak.
The title for Under the Shadow comes from a song composed by a Gailfen woman named Ruvella, one of Mylinka’s friends. The motif of weaving and needlework is important throughout the series, because the major Gailfendic deity is Jairra, the sun goddess who weaves the tapestry of life. In “Loom Song,” there’s the idea that Jairra weaves both good and bad into one’s life. If you’ve ever seen a loom, you know there are fibers that are stretched vertically (I stretched them across cardboard as a kid) and these are called the weft. A new fiber is threaded through, over and under, these stretched threads. The pulled thread is called the weft (or, sometimes woof.) Like a life, the thread dips down and rises up, now overwhelmed, now overcoming, over and over.
So Ruvella sings:
“So these are our lives,
And so these are our lives,
And lo, these lives are ours,
And though these threads be tangled and worn,
The Weaver’s stitch is sound,
As under the shadow and over the light
Our lives are wrapped and bound.”
Under the Shadow tests Lycian and Mylinka. They find themselves in light; they find themselves in darkness. How they cope with the plunge into shadow reveals much about their temperaments and who they really are.
Lycian from “Under the Shadow”
Under the Shadow: Book Two of the Astralasphere Spiral, follows three main characters–the two protagonists (heroes) Lycian and Mylinka, and the antagonist (villain) Asfret. Today, we’ll meet Lycian.
Lycian’s story begins in Another World’s Song: Book One of the Astralasphere Spiral, when he is the young foundling of a mage named Jahern. Although Lycian has an ability for magic, Jahern has decided that he is a wyrm–one born to magic who isn’t allowed to use it because of some curse. Wyrms are often deformed or have some outward manifestation warning of their cursed status. One of Lycian’s horns is crooked. (All Gailfen have horns, but most are symmetrical.) He also has purple eyes. Unfortunately for Lycian, they are considered a bad omen, for the demons locked in the Void also are reported to have purple eyes.
Lycian is far from being a demon, however. He tends to be honest and kind, sometimes to his determent. He loves animals and champions the downtrodden. Always, he tries to look for the good in others.
In Another World’s Song, Lycian became fully aware of his power and began learning how to use it. In Under the Shadow, he must learn how it should not be used. To me, this seemed like an important part of growing up. It’s one of the struggles not just mages, but all young adults, have to face as they come into their own. We all have power, we have only to face it.
Epic Fantasy for the Fans
This is another amazing review for Under the Shadow. There are a lot of details in this one! I loved that she included an excerpt from the book. That is a description of Jahern’s private, hidden laboratory that he deserted years ago when he went into self-exile. Jahern is Lycian’s primemaster.
Both Lycian and Mylinka suffer greatly in this story and learn much of their history, something I dare not divulge. Suffice to say there must be a Book Three.
There will be a final installment, which should release around the first of next year. Thank you, Blue Haven Press!
Source: Epic Fantasy for the Fans
Map of the Outskirts of Anjlith
This is a map of the outskirts of Anjlith, where Lycian lives in Under the Shadow: Book Two of the Astralasphere. To the right is the Garden of Lost Heroes, the massive, ancient graveyard where Lycian lives in an empty crypt with Quin and the wolves from Durnineh. (No, Lycian isn’t a vampire. He lives in a crypt because he was hiding from warmancers, and it seemed like a nice place.)
To the left, you can see Anjlith’s city wall. Anjlith is beautiful.
“Many claimed it was the most beautiful city ever built by Gailfendic hands. Long before the time of Gahlad, the great white stones that composed the castle had been mined from Mount Ilyandaire, where Jairra first touched the world, and the tall, elegant towers had been wrought with the skillful craftsmanship of long dead artisans and the magical words of an ancient mageking.”
But shadows fall even in beautiful places. Lycian, who has always held an idealistic view of Anjlith, discovers this truth in this second installment of The Astralsphere Spiral.
This is another beautiful map created by illustrator Oscar Paludi.