Monday, September 16, 2013

The next Tolkien

My favorite authors throughout history have made the list by pulling me into a world of escape. They create characters I can relate to and imagine having in my life; they make worlds with landscapes, vivid development, and maps; they have a magic system that is completely reliant on the terrain; they even sometimes create their own language. In other words, they are completely self-sufficient and complete universes. Every character serves a purpose and the dynamics of a functioning relationship. That was the majesty of Tolkien and his Middle Earth. That is what I feel building with Silevethiel.

Silevethiel by Andi O'Connor

Make sure to keep a Celtic and Spanish dictionary next to you. Her elven language has structural similarities to Spanish and her names have pronunciation similar to Gaelic. While the floweriness can trip you up sometimes, I find it to be a positive to the creation of an (what I have deemed) "authorverse." But I'm also just a sucker for the old Irish religion and culture.

Her writings were wise at many moments, and it would do modern readers well to pay attention to the advice given. It could certainly stretch outside the main character into today's society. I believe that makes high quality literature.There is also something pure about the Elven sect in fantasy that feels greater than the world we are in today. There societal structure and cultural interaction with each other is an achievement of purity and intelligence. I would strive to have a society like that. I find most authors who introduce Elves into their writing have some pretty profound advice to give us mortals. Plus, the dynamic between good and evil in this story is vibrant and fresh (hard to achieve in the multitude of fiction out there).

The action of the novel moves smoothly without a glitch. I caught myself holding my breath a couple of times. The pacing didn't feel rushed or drawn out. The plot dynamic laid out for future events seems plausible and not too tired for the genre. I was left wanting at the end of the book, good when there is a sequel coming. My hopes for the upcoming novels would be: sticking with the incredible pacing and character development, not too much focus on the love story, intensive submersion in the magic system, and no continuity errors.

Here is to the ever mysterious Sherlock Holmes!

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