The Raven Queen (The Berilac Trilogy #1)

It was a chilly Wednesday twilight in the town of Merigold long, long ago, in which our author was born and collected the manuscripts for the tale that follows, when a princess sang beneath the moon. Her dance was a flail as if tied to the strings of a nameless god.

And on the other side of the hill lay none other than the Raven-hall of Caer Parvalend. Within the hig-bricked tower there sat the Raven Queen named Saija, much–bedecked with pearls and jewels. And from her tower she heard her daughter, whose name was Lydia, her ululations echoing across the field.

The Elf of Huntendroc, nobly born, 

That came upon carrack, 

To Vane he went, with ill intent, 

By name of Berilac. 

And upon the utterance of that name the Raven Queen shivered and to herself spoke, “This will not do. This will not do. Where has she been, that she may find such songs riddled with such names?”So saying, the Raven Queen threw her morph-cloak about her shoulders–the scrap of magic’d cloth was dark enough so as to look most like the night sky itself had gone shimmering about her shoulders, and as it settled she sank into it, the cloak turning to feathers, and she flew out the window in raven form, crossing the field to where her daughter danced.

She perched atop a great oak tree and thus spoke, “Lydia, I must have words.”

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Scattered Thoughts on Grimdark Fantasy

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Or, Why Fantasy Needs to Move Past Gritty Realism and Grey Morality

A few days ago, I was talking with a friend of mine who consumes fantasy novels at a rate I would not have guessed was possible had I not been witnessing it for twenty years. This is the woman who read all fourteen Wheel of Time books in about three months.

“I want to write a story about Elves,” I said. She responded by giving me a look that made me feel like a Victorian Age woman showing off her ankles.

“You can’t do that,” she told me. When I asked why, she began a lecture on how such concepts are outdated and that fantasy has “evolved” past that. She took it so seriously, and so personally, that I felt I had to at least dig into this.

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