Do you believe in spirit animals?
Many ancient cultures did. And why not? More’s hidden than seen in this life. What if shapeshifters live amongst us still––individuals with the ability to change from person to beast, or bird, and then shift back again without detection? Useful, huh, if you could master without calamity or malfunction! Stressful, too, I would imagine. I’ve dabbled with this concept in my new novel, Blood Feud. I have three characters with these particular skills, which I’d like to introduce today. First, though, I have another question. How are you bearing up during these portentous times?
Just a random thought here. Positivity is key! Have you ever wondered if there is another you on some distant galaxy, facing the same problems, and defeating them every day. Winning, laughing, and crying, smiling up at a sun that looks like ours? Asking the same questions, dreaming, hoping, wondering what will happen next? A mirror world. Everything in life is connected, and anything is possible if you allow your dreams to lift you there.
It’s easy to let your mind wander down strange corridors in 2020, the most surreal year many of us can recall. It seems that today–whatever way you turn––the gloom is growing, and a strange Orwellian vibe has filtered down amongst us. I call this shadow Sheega’s breath after the big villain in my new Ansu book. More on that witch in a mo 🙂
During difficult times I think it helps to focus on how small we are—knowing that we exist as part of a moving tapestry of kaleidoscopic light dancing through space and time. My cat understands this, but I think he’s more cosmically aware than I am. Smoogle informs me that this year’s grinding tractions are growing pains, a seismic shifting to something more profound. Something much better––but maybe that’s just him? What do you think? Back to the shapeshifting…
Imagine being as strong as a bear!
Or how about Tiger-Strong, with claws and teeth that shred and tear? Or even DRAGON STRONG, soaring high through summer skies with flames blazing from your mouth. How would it feel to possess such power? Incredible? Awesome? Fantastic, I’m sure. But what if you had that power and didn’t know how to use it? Couldn’t activate the toolset because your control manual was missing. Or, worse––the morphing happened when you weren’t expecting it and had no control over the change. Tricky, at best. Disastrous, if poorly handled. Things could get out of hand, especially if you lost your temper.
A problem shared by Savarna, her twin Vian, and the thief Finvar in my latest novel. Blood Feud initially introduces us to Jaran Saerk (a grumpy Northman with a witch to kill,) Then comes hell-cat Savarna, (A runaway-slave with an empress to kill,) and shifty Finvar Droll, (he claims he wants to be loved- but don’t buy into that.) Then there’s Savarna’s twin brother, Vian––a lot going on in his head. These desperados all have secrets they’d sooner not share. Spoiler alert: they’re shapeshifters.
So that’s what this new book is about––you ask? Dragons and Bears? Tigers? Some mythic wildlife study? Not quite… Blood Feud is the book I’ve wanted to write for some time. It’s number nine in my series, but you can easily read it as an introduction to Ansu. The characters mentioned above were not around in Corin’s day, which is a good thing, on reflection. He wouldn’t like them. To them, Corin’s time belongs to archives and study. Even the Great Old Gods have shifted and drifted, as only lost deities can. Here’s what SPR Reviews says …
‘Steeped in shadowy secrets, buried powers, and richly drawn villains, Blood Feud is the fantastic first book in a new trilogy of the Legends of Ansu saga by J.W. Webb. The lives of three unlikely heroes are thrown together to face a dark evil rising up from the past in this fast-paced and well-penned adventure.’ SPR Reviews exerpt.
In Blood Feud, I’ve blended a brooding, high action pseudo-Norse destiny-revenge saga, with a decent splash of kungfu, high-kicking Oriental spice. That resulted in my Viking dude, Jaran fighting in the armies of Imperial Shen, at the other side of the world. It’s here where the shapeshifters mentioned above find Jaran and his real problems start. Then there is Sheega. She’s not very helpful. Sheega killed Jaran’s family and stole his island––Valkador. They say she’s hidden it in a veil of mist. Sheega is a sorceress but calls herself a witch. She has a direct line connecting to Faerie HQ, where a host of sulky resentful elf-types plan world invasion.
‘This is a classic sword and sorcery fantasy tale, with murky pasts and gruff characters, sharp dialogue and gritty, occasionally gruesome action scenes. With an air of R.A. Salvatore, the prose drips with visceral imagery and descriptions, complimenting the deep world-building Webb has laid the foundations for in his eight previous Ansu novels.’ Excerpt from SPR Reviews.
Jaran needs to find Sheega and kill her before he can inherit his home. Savarna and Vian are after revenge against the empress who destroyed their world. Finvar is hiding from himself and believes Jaran is big and bad enough to protect him. Why not click the links below to find out more?
‘Webb manages to build and sustain a suspenseful sense of purpose, interspersed with release valves of humor and twists in the plot.
The creativity embedded in every aspect of Blood Feud is impossible to deny; even the basics of the world, its history and magical mechanisms have few parallels in the genre. Webb has developed an immersive world within this Ansu saga, and this first book in a fresh trilogy bodes very well for all that is still to come.’ Excerpts from SPR Reviews.
Whether you dive into the latest Ansu legend or prefer to steer clear. Stay Positive, and Strong! We are all cogs in a spinning wheel––you cannot control this, so keep rolling free. Or as Macca sang on that rooftop in London, ‘Whisper Words of Wisdom, Let it Be.’ Take care, and thanks for reading! JWW.