Ansu – a casual introduction to an evolving world

OK – first big apologies for the tardiness of this entry. Many excuses – none suffice but, well… back here now. The Haven is ready after being proofed by the excellent Julia Gibbs @juliaproofreader and Shattered Crown almost there. Been a long road – hard, twisted and challenging, but worth every mile. Being back in Ansu with Corin left me feeling I needed to expose my far-reaching goals for this forthcoming fantasy series. So for this entry my purpose is to shed some illumination and (I hope) clarity on the many shades of Legends to be.

My heart is with the Elves and with Donaldson’s giants (good old Foamfollower,) also with Lyonesse, Jack Vance’s brilliant trilogy, and the superbly clever Tigana by Guy Kay. Michael Moorcock and Poul Anderson were huge influences when I was a stripling – The Broken Sword by Anderson I think still remains one of the best (quite short) fantasy sagas ever. The sheer power and momentum of his narrative – spellbinding stuff! I would add Evangeline Walton’s evocative take on the Mabinogi (the central hub of Welsh mythology) – thought provoking and soul stirring, every page. Modern books have played their part for me too. I really like Joe Abercrombie and who can ignore Game of Thrones.

Back to Ansu – originally I was thinking magic, mystery and myth ( I loved Lothlorien – in book not film, (though I think Cate Blanchett made the ultimate Elf Queen.) But Tolkien’s world was created in a different time, a gentler more polite age set amidst a backdrop of world war and hardships unimaginable to most westerners today.

With Legends of Ansu my aim is to summon up that magic and myth I still so relate to – capture the soul of my reader – fuse this with gritty realism. My characters swear occasionally (sorry); they are coarse and don’t wash much. The good guys and girls mostly are about themselves and the bad guys…well. BAD.  My gods (there are quite a few wayward neurotic entities) are in the main capricious and mercurial, and the other (many) denizens frequenting this hectic orb, mostly self absorbed and utterly ruthless. There are exceptions – but you’ll not know who and why (I don’t). Here’s a lowdown …

The Weaver (the Big Boss HE/SHE’s off fashioning other worlds.) The Old Gods – a bunch of paranoid incestuous siblings with too much time on their hands. There’s Oroonin the one-eyed Wanderer (a sort of Odin meets Merlin) a tricky shifty player with the cosmic marbles. His estranged wife, Elanion, a remote and (in Gol perverse) entity with a high sex drive. And then there is Old Night – their big very nasty brother, defeated but not destroyed in the last major cosmic bust up.
Old story different thread. There is only really one story – just a billion billion threads.

 Then come the Aralais (vague aloof demigods of yesteryear,) and the Urgolais (their despicably slime-crawly kin) who have been at war for millenia – the final scenes of Fall of Gol hint at this. Kell (Erun Cade) is given the crystal crown Tekara (the key artifact in SC) in gratitude by the Aralais for his help in battle against their goblin hideous enemy. Then there are the other demigods.There’s that troublesome trio: Vervandi, Urdei and Scolda (the Fates of course) There is Undeyna (a sinister cross between the Medusa and Morgan le fay) And there are the Faen (the faerie folk) Sidhe like – cunning yet secretive with very much their own agenda. My principal and favourite female character in Chronicles of Corin is Shallan, much of her past (this comes to life in Glass Crown Chronicles 2) is coloured by the mystery of the Faen. Shallan is faerie through and through but earthy and real as Corin discovers – poor wee soul.

Aside all that we have a healthy collection of Dragon, wizards, winged creepy horrid things, flesh eating nastiness and very badly behaved humans. I hope you’ll enjoy it. The show started with Gol. Next up.The Shattered Crown part 1: Oracle and Island – available later this summer. Thank you JW

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