This was fun, trying to capture the mood and theme of The Riddler’s Gift in a book trailer! Now I feel epic
Archive for the ‘Lifesong’ Category
This was fun, trying to capture the mood and theme of The Riddler’s Gift in a book trailer! Now I feel epic
Over the centuries, sages have attempted to pass on the spiritual truths they have discovered in their lives. The problem is that ‘knowledge’ you gain in life is totally subjective. Life is a chaos-system of the highest degree. There are so many variables that affect everyone’s actions that using one’s life to establish ‘truths’ is as hopeless as trying to define the future by the imagined ‘interaction’ of the stars.
I’m an atheist, and yet, The Tale of the Lifesong is deeply spiritual. How can I write it? Because atheism (or any ism or ity) is a point of view, and when I write, I lose myself. I am inspired.
In that state, I cannot instruct or preach. I am an instrument and the Lifesong is the music. I am not trying to offer you the Truth; I am dancing and invite you to join me. Isn’t being alive beautiful?
As to the truths that might lie within the Lifesong, I don’t think life has truths and laws, it is an organic and fluid situation … we are always required to engage the present moment, to evolve; to be alive. Truths and laws are, in a way, laziness, the natural tendency of the mind to simplify things and to find patterns in recurring events. In this respect, ‘truth’ is what we need to guard against. It can lead to narrow-mindedness, arrogance and fundamentalism.
The wisest path I can see is to reflect on one’s situation and try to consider all the consequences before acting. We are always learning, and never ‘know’ the truth of how to live. Intuition can be helpful, but when we believe our intuition guides us to Truth, we end up ‘knowing’ that the earth is flat, that witches must be burned, and that the charming conman really can save us from the impending disaster of our own spiritual annihilation.
What I suspect is that spiritual knowledge is too individual to be taught, but some people have a magic about them, acquired through the choices and actions that form their character. They’ve got it, but they can’t pass it on very easily. That’s why the wizards (the learned) are not nearly as powerful as the sorcerers (the self-taught) in the Tale of the Lifesong. And the Lifesinger simply enlivens, not claiming any knowledge for her own, but willing to share the joy with everyone.
To me, that power is worth more than all of them put together.
As a fantasy author with a science fiction slant, I’ve developed an interest in astronomy: here’s a new cluster of five review stars deep in cyberspace. Thanks to The Book Huntress (Danielle) for this informative review of The Riddler’s Gift.
If you’re studying for something like the LAMDA Speaking Verse and Prose examinations, this would be a very useful analysis of this fantasy novel. The review outlines the magic system, characters, setting and themes in The Riddler’s Gift very well, as well as making some detailed comments about the story:
“The magical system was one part science, one part high mathematics (those parts had me scratching my head a bit), one part spiritual, and one part philosophical.”
“… each person fights an intimate battle against evil [...] It might not be easy, but we can choose to do what’s right. We might fall, and fail ourselves and others, but that doesn’t mean the war is over. We pick ourselves up again to fight the next battle. So there is always hope, in the end.”
“… a story that had a shining heart, which was what stood out to me from the beginning, despite some of the very dark elements.”
Nip over to Daneille’s blog to study the review further.
As the northern winter closes in, it seems everyone is snuggling up inside … and reading books! Reviewers have recently taken notice of The Tale of the Lifesong fantasy series and are helping to spread the word.
The Slowest Bookworm mostly reads Young Adult fiction; occasionally adult romance, historical fiction, fantasy or thrillers. She’s not accustomed to tackling epic fantasy, which makes her reviews more interesting because she can form an opinion untainted by familiarity with the genre. She finally braved the mountain of words and disappeared into Eyri.
sounds of munching. a page moved. an i became an o, then a capital O, and suddenly, there was the bookworm emerging from the page, blinking, wondering where all the sprites had gone.
Now Zarost will tell you, it isn’t easy to get a worm on a hook, and this worm is crafty. Although she pretends to be idle she eats up words faster than the Wranglewrithe, so all that’s left of my copy of the review is: “… Main … Amazing … Great … In … Characters … And … Lifesong” but you can read the rest of The Riddler’s Gift review on the Slowest Bookworm’s site.
The verdict on The Riddler’s Gift? “Magical! I was hooked …”
The Happy Booker reviews mainly epic, urban, and dark fantasy and most recently, Second Sight. Well it’s no fun being a parrot (just ask Zaul) and Zarost taught me that leaving out bits can make you holy, so I’ll recommend that you read the review of Second Sight on The Happy Booker’s book review site.
“I would recommend this to anyone that wants to be utterly swept away into a story of epic proportions. I was quite honestly blown away by this book …”
Finally, Fantasy Book Review is on a mission to find the Top 100 Fantasy Books Of All Time. I would respond ‘I haven’t written them yet!’ but I’d better step quietly away from the whistling precipice. I’m glad to have impressed the reviewer enough for Second Sight to be selected to stand beside The Riddler’s Gift in their hall of fame and jostle merrily for position with the great names of fantasy.
You’ll find the review of Second Sight and other spellbinding fantasy novels on their website.
They made an interesting comment on similarities. “If you are a fan of Stephen R Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant books then you will find much within that pleases you, especially if you wished they were slightly more light-hearted!” I found much to admire in Donaldson’s writing. It’s not a conscious decision to ‘write like him’ but I do try to take the best of what I’ve read and infuse my writing with the themes that excite me. Thanks to Donaldson, Hobb and Pratchett (and many others) I have a rich world of fantasy literature to draw upon for inspiration … but the Tale of the Lifesong is my own.
“An epic tale of justice, forgiveness, beauty and temptation.”
Amazon waved its magic wand, and my weighty fantasy novel became instantly weightless, inkless, paperless and available immediately to customers around the world. Yes, the Kindle version of Second Sight is now out, for only $7.99.
It joins The Riddler’s Gift (the first novel in the Tale of the Lifesong fantasy series) which has doubled its ebook sales since the release of the Kindle in the UK. Small sales figures when compared to the printed version, but this is the new wave. From a fantasy author’s perspective, ebooks are a shining light in a treacherous forest of dead trees, logistics monsters and bookstore dungeon masters.
Science fiction and fantasy are terrible genres to print: they are traditionally longer books and so they require bigger print runs to bring the unit costs down, they cost more to move around, they take up more shelf space, yet they sell for the standard fiction price. So the market pressure is to produce shorter fantasy; exactly what fantasy readers don’t want.I love epic fantasy and I want my fantasy novels to be big. I intend to continue writing that way.
A story is a world: if it’s worth telling, it’s worth telling in full, so you can get totally lost in its ideas. Ebooks enable fantasy authors to write to any length, and by cutting out so much of the publishing cost, they can be priced cheaper than printed books. With Amazon’s 70% royalty option, more of the money can get back to the authors, which means they can begin to make a living out of writing great fiction … and fantasy will flourish.
For that to happen, more people need to buy ereaders, many more. Amazon needs to reduce the cost of the Kindle even further to open the floodgates of demand. Publishers must drop the price of their ebook versions to stimulate buying and to prevent piracy. Yes there are development costs, but the potential market at a lower price point is massive.
Will Kindle (Amazon) beat the iPad (Apple)? Quick answer: yes, in the fiction market, because many many people already buy books on Amazon, and Apple has to build its own market against a brand that is established as being the cheapest and most convenient. Overall, I think the market will be divided: the iPad is great for textbooks, comics, newspapers, graphics, and exciting apps like virtual-reality overlays, mapping, astronomy, whatever. It’s got the cool factor. But the idea of a basic book, something you carry around everywhere for a quick read remains a special treat. The Kindle is lightweight, easy to read and has a one month battery life. It’s simple.
It’s the future of the fantasy novel.
Writing fantasy? It would be more fun to simply read the latest sparkling fantasy novel from Trudi Canavan, Patrick Rothfuss or Joe Abercrombie. But instead, I wrestle with words, because I believe I am crafting something different, something inspiring; something that must be written.
When it is done, I can’t judge if my book is good, because I wrote it: I stand inside the sculpture; I am the music. So I rely on my readers to evaluate the work and spread the Lifesong by word of mouth.
I sent a review copy of Second Sight to SFbook a while ago and I was really looking forward to Ant’s review, because I knew from his excellent review of The Riddler’s Gift that he could appreciate the deeper visions of the Lifesong. Even so, I was blown away by his five star rave review:
“Greg Hamerton is truly one of those rare breed of storytellers, where you forget the words written on a page and simply find yourself within the story and the characters around you – your friends and enemies.”
“… this is high fantasy at its very best. Quite simply breath-taking …”
He analyses the twisted paths that Ametheus takes, the darker nature of the story and the parallels with Tolkien within fantasy fiction.
Ant over at Sfbook.com runs an impressive site crammed full of science fiction and fantasy book reviews. In the 5 star review class, there’s a great selection of top fantasy books, like David Gemmel’s Legend, Robin Hobb’s Assassins Apprentice and Stephen Donaldson’s Lord Foul’s Bane. So I’m in the best company … Sfbook awarded five stars to The Riddler’s Gift.
“There are moments in this novel that are sheer magic … ”
“A very unique and individual style, I am at times reminded of Robert Jordan’s work alongside JRR Tolkien’s but only really in passing, The Riddler’s Gift is very much on its own …”