Author Archives: Azalea Dabill

About Azalea Dabill

Azalea Dabill grew up in the California hills, building forts in the oaks. She remembers the fuzzy-sweet smell of acorns and moss, the perfume of purple lupines and golden poppies, the night-song of crickets. Homeschooled, she read The Young Trailers and fantasy adventure to her siblings. Now she enjoys growing things, old bookstores, and hiking the wild. Never finding enough tales of adventure, romance, and mystery in the world, she shapes and writes crossover fantasy. Medieval and historical fantasy, and just plain fantasy.

July Jubilees

There’s a question about your favorite podcast, exciting news on several fronts, and a $20 book giveaway.

First for the exciting news.

Something funny happened. I quoted 70 authors of clean fantasy adventure in my book Fantastic Journey – The Soul of Imaginative Fiction and Clean Fantasy Adventure, coming out in September. And I asked – and guess what? I get to interview many of them on my blog! They said yes, they would love to do a short Q and A on fantasy and what it means to us as humans, and what it means to our future.

So far these authors will be joining us over the 9 week countdown until launch: RJ Anderson, Kathleen Baldwin, CJ Brightley, Morgan Busse, Patrick Carr, DM Cornish, Serena Chase, JF Rogers, Chuck Black, and the list is growing. Stay tuned to my blog or follow my Amazon Page here – author posts will be starting soon. (I’m sorry the links appear dim, I haven’t yet figured out how to get them a darker color by themselves. They are alive! LOL)

Many of the 70 authors are also going to be part of the massive clean fantasy adventure giveaway that will be happening during September launch week. We’re going to have so much fun!

But for now . . .

Here is the link for YA $20 Book Giveaway for July Jubilees. We are allowed to have little jubilees, aren’t we? Or maybe we must determinedly dare to secure them, in these days. 

And then . . .

Three questions, one involving a bonus for you:
1. If you enjoy podcasts, what is your favorite podcast about fantasy? I’d love to know.

2. Which tentative title of my book do you like best? aFantastic Journey – The Soul of Imaginative Fiction and Clean Fantasy Adventure, or bFantastic Journey – The Soul of Clean Fantasy Adventure and Speculative Fiction?

3. Would you like to apply to join my advance reader team and give me helpful advice on any pesky problems your sharp eyes see? Could you help us 70 authors: A. spread the clean adventure giveaway to all our deserving fantasy readers B. be my first vital reviewers  C. Then claim your special bonuses and my grateful thanks?

70 authors though we are, we can’t do it without you! Your support is essential to our goal to help a sometimes locked-in world discover new fantasy adventure, and christen a new book just arrived.
We appreciate you! 
Email us at fantasticjourney.dynamospress@gmail.com for your application request to join us in our adventure!

Looking forward to talking more about great fantasy adventures during these summer days!

Thank you,
Azalea Dabill
Crossover – Find the Eternal, the Adventure

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June Jubilee

Dive 1.0 ~ The Soul of Imaginative Fiction and Clean Fantasy continued …

This is a joint venture. The seventy-seven authors and their inspiring adventures we explore are beacons of extraordinary story. Most of them are lights by contrast, guiding us to enchanting lands of danger in the ocean of fantasy. With them, we learn how to identify true gems and sell them not. How to know enemies, friends, and endless possibilities with our inner eye: to touch and to taste the truths of life in realms near and far.

Never underestimate the power of anything we invite inside our mind and heart, in our world or elsewhere. False or true, foolish or wise, corrupt or clean, it transforms our inner world and our ideas and colors all that we become. We must take heed, for our journey, though fantastic, is full of danger.

From birth we carry a journal of knowledge, waiting for us to fill its pages. But knowledge can cut both ways. It can protect or destroy. For our book of knowledge to be a blade of truth that rightly divides, we must temper it with understanding gained from experience, experience written in our hearts with the living, willing ink of our blood. The experience, the wisdom, our blood and book—all begins in our Creator.

Before we embark upon the perilous realm, read what the wise who have gone before us scribed in our book in bold, glimmering hue of opalescent green, pink, and blue.

The Hidden Gems:

A Treasure to sail for:

We will open many books of fantasy to find the elusive gems. The journey is dangerous, hunting by land and sea, but such jewels leave us with a greater grasp of truth, hopeful of life, with deep empathy and a sense of wonder over treasures heaped on endless shores.

A Diamond to steer by:

The best fantasies are about change by conflict, where powerful truth transforms the familiar. As we walk among jewels of clean fantasy we find ourselves beckoned “higher up and further in” as C.S. Lewis so aptly says, to another world. A liberating world of transcendent beauty, mysterious wonder, and adventure beyond compare.

A Zircon to know:

The secret of purely great—not utterly boring fantasy—is contrast. How evil is portrayed and for what purpose creates soul-destroying or soul-inspiring adventure.

An Emerald to watch for:

Our definition of “clean fantasy” is that evil is not glorified, is not subtly admired by the story as a whole, is not wallowed in for shock value. Good and evil, beauty and ugliness are drawn into battle in great fantasy, and there they show their differences in a way that make us want to stand up and cheer or knuckle down and fight with all we are.

A Topaz to see by:

Morally base fantasies that glorify deception, ugliness, and futility leave us wanting to cry. The beauty of truth, the conflict of good versus evil, and the sword of justice weave through the best imaginative fiction, calling us to leave desolation behind. Though these bright threads may wind through strongholds of deepest evil, it is never a journey of deception, muddling through injustice to exalt despairing fate. Rather, they call us to fight it in the light of a sure hope. Great fantasy on a spiritual level helps remove the cloud of hopelessness from one lens we see life through—our imagination. Goodness shines the clearer as it beats back darkness.

A Thought of Gold:

Fantasy is a weaving of power that transforms a tapestry into a tale, a mirror into a portal, a string of runes on a page into a living, breathing world. Where do we gather great fantasies so we don’t waste time on fool’s gold and fatally flawed stories? How do we sort adventurous, inspiring fantasy from the insipid, the bad, and the destructive? We dive into the waves of the sea and explore the mountains of fantasy, but read a page or few of our prospective wealth before we bring it home or on deck.

Silver to seek:

Every clean fantasy holds vast secrets for brave hearts. Listen to those who sail the waves, to experienced salts who search the epic depths and chart the islands. They will be the first to tell there are undiscovered ocean vaults beneath the surface. Entire islands of mystery and danger await every adventurer seeking riches, who yearns for jewels of strong and precious story. When the dive is done and the fight is fought, what precious things will we bring to light?

A Pearl to hold:  

The alluring glamour of the forbidden, which promises life-giving water but offers a goblet of hemlock, will not draw seekers to their deaths on this Fantastic Journey. The fantasies we depict do not paint scenes of immorality, where the sweetness of stolen water conceals death. There are battles, perils, and conflicts of every description, but true intimacy stops at the chamber door, where we leave it with a nod, a knowing smile, and respect for a precious thing.

A Ruby to remember:

Epic fantasy adventure benefits us on three levels: the spiritual arena, the wide world of ideas, and the sphere we breathe in. The realm of fantasy touches all three. It conveys life deeper than sand and sea, breathes into being lands nearer than we know, shows us the adventure of love in all its facets, and transfers truth from thought and experience to our heart’s grasp.

The ocean of fantasy adventure broadens our horizons and enthralls our hearts with crystal joys and enchanting beauties on a voyage across a perilous realm. Each subchapter dives for jewels of its own. Will we discover that which is the wealth of souls?

Note: This Blog 2 Book title is coming 2020 – Fantastic Journey – The Soul of Imaginative Fiction and Clean Fantasy Adventure

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Clean Fantasy Adventure

Crossover – Find the Eternal, the Adventure

At first I didn’t know what was at the back of my dissatisfaction with so much of the fantasy on library shelves. At twenty-two, I loved the adventure, the overcoming, the beautiful places, and being the person saving the world, with the power to change things.

But I began to sense a difference between, for example, the fantasies of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, and Kathy Tyers (the only Christian fantasy authors I knew by name at that point) and stories by Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Jordan, Robin Hobb, and some of C. J. Cherryh’s work. Reading the first group of authors (on the rare occasion) left me filled with hope, looking beyond myself in a kind of wonder, in awe of what they saw in other worlds, with delight in the relationships they found.

The more I read the other fantasies the more they left me with a sense of futility, immorality on many levels, and self-centered self-reliance. Though there were threads of good in them, and the protagonists did much good, in the end everything narrowed to the darkness of self without hope beyond ourselves, which is no hope at all. “Have it your way,” is a curse more often than not.

We will become like our friends, and books we love are friends of a kind. Bad company corrupts. This will be true until the end of time. Some may also say that to avoid bad fiction, Christian or non-Christian, we would have to go out of the world.

It is true that even the best human-authored books are a mix, with either error or other drawbacks mixed in with good adventure and great storytelling, but that does not let us off judging whether it is predominantly true or false. What desires is the story stirring in us? What is it drawing us toward?

Moral fantasy adventure displays evil at war with good. It is our responsibility to focus our hearts and minds on stories of adventures that are worthy of praise. What we fill our minds and hearts with becomes a part of who we are. Great fantasy leads to broader spiritual horizons, while corrupted fantasy leads to a narrow, poisoned soul.

It started to poison me until I regretfully changed my bookish diet. Now I am thankful I did. It is important to note, not necessarily all of the above mentioned authors’s books were the sort that darkened my mind and heart, but some of them were. It was a problem that had to be addressed. That problem led to this book.

Clean fantasy adventure is vital to our spirits.

In worlds near and far, beauty can be true, mystery can be satisfying, and battle can be praiseworthy. Enter a fantastic journey into the soul of imaginative fiction and clean fantasy adventure.

Crossover – Find the Eternal, the Adventure.

Introduction:

Fantastic journeys invite us to search beyond what we see for truth, to dig deeper for courage. The ocean of fantasy adventure broadens our horizons and enthralls our hearts with crystal joys and enchanting beauties on a voyage across a perilous realm.

Clean fantasy adventure, epic and otherwise, benefits us on three levels.

  1. The Spiritual Arena
  2. The Wide World of Ideas
  3. The Sphere We Breathe In

What difference does it make?

Why does the quest and the hero’s journey draw us all?

Would you like to know how to find the best fantasy?

Discover these answers and more. We bring up select jewels from the deep and explore mountain troves to whet our appetite for the riches of imaginative fiction. . . .

Coming this summer . . . find your next clean read in Fantastic Journey – The Soul of Imaginative Fiction and Clean Fantasy Adventure.

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Life in Troubled Times.

Gut-checking times like these encourage us to take the time to look at our focus and concentrate on what is important. My dependence on God instead of myself is of paramount importance.

Fear and uncertainty tries to chain me.

Depending on Him frees me to do what I ought to be doing: working through the fear to trust, working through the uncertainty to doing what I can, working in the certainty that this did not take Him by surprise and that He is working great changes in people through this tough time.

He loves me, and He is working in me. That is a most encouraging thought.

He loves me. He loves you.

Keep working, doing the things that need done to help others. Keep necessary things going, but don’t forget to smile at a beautiful flower, to laugh at something funny. Keep living, see the joys. Don’t let fear blind and shackle you. Enjoy good things.

“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Life even in the midst of troubled times. He is the rock that is higher than I.

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Frodo’s Journey

The fantasy readerscape is a curious place. A choosing of souls. This is a snapshot of a hero’s journey. And a dream of meaning.

After the gray, piercing mountains of hopelessness in the far North, that extreme and dangerous center-line of the world, one would suppose the South to be a hospitable place. It is – until we see Frodo striding toward the horizon, and we follow, clad like his absent halfling companions.

He walks before us, seeming unaware of my companion and I, our voices unheard by others in these lands. We see his back, always just out of reach, elven cloak rippling, concealing, his footsteps never faltering or ceasing. We wonder, but follow.

After all, is he not a hero?

Time and distance are meaningless, amorphous as a night thought. Over rolling hills, sere wastes, forest and fell, we follow. Our destination is near. We feel it in our bones. More, Frodo quickens his steps, still never looking back, though we leap and wave our arms. All is now bare dirt, rock, and ice.

Rounding a last corner, we reel back in horror.

Not to the fiery mountain have we come, nor the door to the land of the West, nor Elrond’s half-way house, nor the simplest mountain cote in Middle-earth, always ready with a warm welcome for weary travelers.

Our path has brought before us a black maw, a sucking darkness without stars. The air smells of every rot in the world. Frodo steps into the inky mist swirling along the ground, thickening.

A shaft of chill freezes my heart. That curly-headed figure, cloaked in tattered grey-green, turns at last.

It is not Frodo.

My companion raises an arm, pointing, feet stuttering back wildly. “It isn’t me! That isn’t me!” he shrieks.

It is. And then that face changes, and it is me. Grinning: without amusement, pleasure, or kindness. It is the “me” I chose at every turning of the path, every point of decision.

We’d struggled not toward the fiery mountain, but the unending, icy clutch of self-trust. Self without the warmth of my better self – a spark from Another – guiding and channeling the strength of our hearts, keeping our feet from the guiding-pole of the world that kills by self-deception.

The Frodo that was not, stared at us. Without heart, almost without mind; without hunger but for one thing – us.

The weight of that malevolent gaze drove me to my knees. Shaking my head violently, sweat stinging my eyes, I tasted the bitterness of the lies I nursed along our way.

In desperation I sprang up and turned, gripping my companion’s hand. I left my back to the death beyond death. To the darkness that had our names, that could swallow every name on earth and remain unchanged: a brooding, mindless, insatiable hunger.

A light grew before us, where improbable grass met the warming dawn. A breeze stirred my hair, kissed my face with a touch of fresh hope. Was return possible?

Our packs were empty, and we were empty of every warmth of heart and spirit. Frodo never chose this path under my deadly cold feet, never chose to trust only himself. Despite Gandalf’s advice in the movie.

In the true tale, in a life-giving scene left out of the second-hand telling, Frodo chose quite differently. He knew he had not the strength to do it alone, and dared not put his trust in himself.

What I tell second-hand, the true-teller shows.

“A great barrow stood there.

”’Where are you?’ he cried again, both angry and afraid.

”’Here!’ said a voice, deep and cold, that seemed to come out of the ground. ‘I am waiting for you!’

”’No!’ said Frodo; but he did not run away. His knees gave, and he fell on the ground. Nothing happened, and there was no sound. Trembling he looked up, in time to see a tall dark figure like a shadow against the stars. It leaned over him. He thought there were two eyes, very cold though lit with a pale light that seemed to come from some remote distance. Then a grip stronger and colder than iron seized him. The icy touch froze his bones, and he remembered no more.

“When he came to himself again, for a moment he could recall nothing except a sense of dread. Then suddenly he knew that he was imprisoned, caught hopelessly; he was in a barrow. A Barrow-wight had taken him, and he was probably already under the dreadful spells of the Barrow-wights about which whispered tales spoke. He dared not move, but lay as he found himself: flat on his back upon a cold stone with his hands on his breast.

“But though his fear was so great that it seemed to be part of the very darkness that was round him, he found himself as he lay thinking about Bilbo Baggins and his stories, of their jogging along together in the lanes of the Shire and talking about roads and adventures. There is a seed of courage hidden (often deeply, it is true) in the heart of the fattest and most timid hobbit, waiting for some final and desperate danger to make it grow. Frodo was neither very fat nor very timid; indeed, though he did not know it, Bilbo (and Gandalf) had thought him the best hobbit in the Shire. He thought he had come to the end of his adventure, and a terrible end, but the thought hardened him. He found himself stiffening, as if for a final spring; he no longer felt limp like a helpless prey.

“As he lay there, thinking and getting a hold on himself, he noticed all at once that the darkness was slowly giving way: a pale greenish light was growing round him. It did not a first show him what kind of a place he was in, for the light seemed to be coming out of himself, and from the floor beside him, and had not yet reached the roof or wall. He turned, and there in the cold glow he saw lying beside him, Sam, Pippin, and Merry. They were on their backs, and their faces looked deathly pale; and they were clad in white. About them lay many treasures, of gold maybe, though in that light they looked cold and unlovely. On their heads were circlets, gold chains were about their waists, and on their fingers were many rings. Swords lay by their sides, and shields were at their feet. But across their three necks lay one long naked sword.

“Suddenly a song began: a cold murmur, rising and falling. The voice seemed far away and immeasurably dreary, sometimes high in the air and thin, sometimes like a low moan from the ground. Out of the formless stream of sad but horrible sounds, strings of words would now and again shape themselves: grim, hard, cold words, heartless and miserable. The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered. Frodo was chilled to the marrow. After a while the song became clearer, and with dread in his heart he perceived that in had changed into an incantation: Cold be hand and heart and bone, and cold be sleep under stone: never more to wake on stony bed, never, till the Sun fails and the Moon is dead. In the black wind the stars shall die, and still on gold here let them lie, till the dark lord lifts his hand over dead sea and withered land.

“He heard behind his head a creaking and scraping sound. Raising himself on one arm he looked, and saw now in the pale light that they were in a kind of passage which behind them turned a corner. Round the corner a long arm was groping, walking on its fingers towards Sam, who was lying nearest, and towards the hilt of the sword that lay upon him.

“At first Frodo felt as if he had indeed been turned into stone by the incantation. Then a wild thought of escape came to him. He wondered if he put on the Ring, whether the Barrow-wight would miss him, and he might find some way out. He thought of himself running free over the grass, grieving for Merry, and Sam, and Pippin, but free and alive himself. Gandalf would admit that there had been nothing else he could do.

“But the courage that had been awakened in him was now too strong: he could not leave his friends so easily. He wavered, groping in his pocket, and then fought with himself again; and as he did so the arm crept nearer. Suddenly resolve hardened in him, and he seized a short sword that lay beside him and kneeling he stooped low over the bodies of his companions. With what strength he had he hewed at the crawling arm near the wrist, and the hand broke off; but at the same moment the sword splintered up to the hilt. There was a shriek and the light vanished. In the dark there was a snarling noise.

“Frodo fell forward over Merry, and Merry’s face felt cold. All at once back into his mind, from which it had disappeared with the first coming of the fog, came the memory of the house down under the Hill, and of Tom singing. He remembered the rhyme that Tom had taught them. In a small desperate voice he began: Ho! Tom Bombadil! and with that name his voice seemed to grow strong: it had a full and lively sound, and the dark chamber echoed as if to drum and trumpet.

Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo! By water, wood and hill, by the reed and willow, By fire, sun and moon, harken now and hear us! Come, Tom Bombadil, for our need is near us!

“There was a sudden deep silence, in which Frodo could hear his heart beating. After a long slow moment he heard plain, but far away, as if it was coming down through the ground or through thick walls, an answering voice singing: Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow, Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow. None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master: His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.

“There was a loud rumbling sound, as of stones rolling and falling, and suddenly light streamed in, real light, the plain light of day. A low, door-like opening appeared at the end of the chamber beyond Frodo’s feet and there was Tom’s head (hat, feather, and all) framed against the light of the sun rising red behind him. The light fell upon the floor, and upon the faces of the three hobbits lying beside Frodo. They did not stir, but the sickly hue had left them. They looked now as if they were only very deeply asleep.

“Tom stooped, removed his hat, and came into the dark chamber, singing: Get out, you old Wight! Vanish in the sunlight! Shrivel like the cold mist, like the winds go wailing, Out into the barren lands far beyond the mountains! Come never here again! Leave your barrow empty! Lost and forgotten be, darker than the darkness, Where gates stand for ever shut, till the world is mended.‘” – The Fellowship of the Ring pg 193 – 197

Instead of waking no more except to despair under the dark lord’s hand, the creature of the maw is banished, till the world is mended. Frodo is freed. We alone do not have the strength for our moral battles. We must go to the One who has won them all, and sets us free to new life.

Pardon my telling. It is necessary in these days as the sun goes down in the West, until the mending.

Did you know that villains place ruthless trust in themselves alone? More than the minds of great kings and long schemers are clouded. Truth-tellers are now rare as Faramir. Who, contrary to a comment on the movie, did exist and yet lives. Not under that name, but I have seen him. Even in our land.

Frodo chose goodness. Despite any cost. Hope, beauty, and bravery brought him, along with many other heroes, to a good end. Though the way was fraught with real peril.

Some things are worse than mere death. Frodo knew it well. And it is not Frodo behind me, aching to consume all I am or might ever be.

But our path need not end here, swallowed by the death beyond death. Frodo showed me that. Turning from the maw, I have given our fate to Another. Ahead, the Light illumines a path without deception, though with both torturous places and fair. Places where my cowardly, untrue self will die, and my true self will rise to great deeds, and do exploits.

My companion follows my forward step. We choose, and have been chosen. To One, victory is due, never to might of thew.

Life is ahead.

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Medieval Romance in Spring

This is the Romance Giveaway I committed to a while back that looks like it has some interesting reads. Don’t forget to sign up for a chance to win a gift card for the book of your choice! And the ebooks in the giveaway are free, for a limited time.

Then below is a clean Christian Romance Giveaway with a $20 gift card prize. Be the lucky winner! This one just started today.

Seriously, spring is in the air. The clouds are passing, sunlight is staying a little longer, the robins are seeking worms. New life is around the corner – take advantage of warmer days and plant spring in your heart with thankfulness to our Maker. And don’t forget to thank the special loved one who adds romance and true love to your life.

There are more forms of love than Eros, as a man loves a woman. If you have never read the original story of Valentine, I suggest you do. Or get it at your library.

A happy Valentine’s to all!

Azalea Dabill

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure

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New Books to Read

Here are some fantasy and other reads new to me and maybe to you. My most recent clean fantasy adventures have been Jeff Wheeler’s The Hollow Crown, Morgan Busse’s books, and I’m working on getting K. M. Weiland’s Wayfarer and Jeff Wheeler’s The Silent Shield.

The Silent Sheild Fantasy Adventure

And Morgan Busse has a new release coming February 4 2020. The first two in the series, Mark of the Raven and Flight of the Raven were excellent, now the third is coming, Cry of the Raven. Don’t miss it! Great fantasy adventure.

Cry of the Raven Morgan Busse

But there’s more. I’m part of a giveaway for a $30 Gift card and free ebooks thru January 30th.

Some of them are rated moderate for fantasy combat, like mine. Others you will have to use good judgement whether they are clean or not. There are a couple of these I’m looking forward to checking out.

I committed to this giveaway believing it was for pretty clean reads only. I’m keeping my word to share it now, not realizing beforehand what genre some of the books would be. In future I will stick to clean genre giveaways only. Enjoy the clean reads included!

I’m can’t wait for Cry of the Raven! This author I know is good, a great writer of adventure.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure

All the best to you,

Azalea

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2020 A New Year Ahead

There are new doings in the wind. In my life and yours. What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

On my end of things I am looking forward to sharing with you the two books I’ve been working on. Bits of the journey, that is. I don’t want to give everything away! Spoilers live up to their name.

My Blog to Book project on Clean Fantasy should be coming this year, as well as the last stories of the Falcon Chronicle series gathered in a third volume, Falcon Dagger. I will also be on the hunt for free books and giveaways from other authors for you to sample.

On a personal note I can’t wait for spring. I walk outdoors year round, but spring walks bring beauties and adventures all their own.

Some things all of us can look forward to in 2020:

  1. Growth 2. Learning 3. Enjoyment 4. Good things 5. Helping ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country focus on these.

Reading widely (with discretion) gives you all these benefits and more.

I wish you all the best this year of 2020. To your life, and days of happy reading!

Azalea

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure

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2017 Most Anticipated Fantasy or My Best Books To Be Read (TBR)

I’ll make this short and sweet so you can get on with your book hunt for your best reads for 2017. Just a couple things.

This is my personal TBR list, and I’m adding to it all the time. In my head if nowhere else. And, if you haven’t seen my post from The YA Shelf, 39 Most Anticipated Fantasy Books of 2017, don’t miss it. I did not move those TBR books to this list – no need to repeat myself and weary your eyes. So make sure you check out both lists!

Happy reading!

A Branch of Silver, a Branch of GoldThe Orphan King: Book 1 in the Merlin's Immortals seriesA Throne of Bones (Arts of Dark and Light Book 1)MORGARTEN: The Forest Knights: Book 2Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles Book 1)The Gift: A NovelDarkness Brutal (The Dark Cycle Book 1) by [Marks, Rachel A.]Divine Summons: The Windrider Saga Book 1Dare (The Blades of Acktar Book 1)Dawn Apocalypse Rising: The Windows of Heaven (Volume 1)The BloodheartShadows: Book of Aleth, Part OneThe Unraveling of Wentwater (The Gates of Heaven Series Book 4) by [Lakin, C. S.]ExileWayfarer (Tales of Faeraven)Son of Truth (Follower of the Word Book 2) by [Busse, Morgan L.]Knife (No Ordinary Fairy Tale Book 1) by [Anderson, R.J.]A Time to Die (Out of Time Book 1)

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150 – 175 Best Fantasy Books or Your 2017 Guide to Epic Fantasy: Post 1

Fantasy and the 7 Senses

You know the five senses that we all use.

And we explore fantasy adventure with all of them: Sight, scent, taste, hearing, touch. (Inside our minds, of course.) And of course intuition, the 6th sense, is never far from reach in a great fantasy story.

But I think there is one more sense.

Fantasy brings together the six senses into a whole and creates a 7th. The seventh sense is one you can discover often if you dive deep into fantasy realms and keep your eyes open.

The greatest fantasies create at moments a unique experience, a kind of sense not to be found anywhere else in the universe we can see. Except in bits and pieces; a kind of joy-filled truth caught in goodness or day dreams or dreams of the night, where odd things that strangely fit are often found.

This 7th sense grasps gleaming facets of truth that we could not see before. It touches them, tastes them. Not first examined by our reason, but felt deep in the actions and reactions you experience while captured within fantasy characters. Inside the kind, the evil, the young and the old, the weak and strong men and women and creatures of fantasy. It happens without your noticing it, while you are enthralled by the hero or heroine you find in many hearts, sometimes growing from a single weak seed. It makes you revolt against evil, also often growing unseen, battling within.

We are so often blinded by our familiar world it usually takes a moving deed, a circumstance, or a state of being in an unfamiliar setting or against a stark backdrop for us to see truth clearly. Such clearness can be startling.

Such was the case for me. Not long ago, I was moaning that there were not very many good fantasy fiction books from the faith sector of our world. Not that I dislike general fantasy, far from it, I admire their authors’ skill very much. I only wish more of us imitated the high bar of storytelling without deserting high moral quality.

I was shown how wrong I was to moan. Patrick Carr’s Shock of Night, Anna Thayer’s Knight of Eldaran Trilogy, Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga, C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters (a novel delightfully re-read) all kept me up late into the night. Sure, there is definitely room for more faith-based fantasy where adventure is never sacrificed, but I’ve discovered treasures everywhere over the long years—from epic fantasy to dieselpunk and beyond. If your heart is hungry . . . 

I want to share my otherworldly discoveries on my lifelong venture into best fantasy novels with you.

Join the quest, and find your next adventure! There will be at least 70 posts in this series, and who knows what we may find?

If you don’t want to miss a single grand adventure, sign up in the side bar, where special treasures are reserved for those who seek them.

We’ll venture into worlds unseen where your heart will beat fast at necessary sacrifice, thrill with the triumph of downtrodden hearts against overwhelming odds, and draw lines of right and wrong in blood. You will laugh in side-splitting humor, cry with loss, fight against evil and rage against its seeming victory. But in the end you will come back to peace, hugging gems to your breast. And for those who can see, there is a light going before you.

Follow it.

Let no wall of ignorance, busyness, or other unworthy reason bar you from your next journey to unearth . . .  what, I cannot tell. Prepare to use your seven senses.

Crossover: find the Eternal, the Adventure.

 

Here’s a minute taste of one journey waiting for us on my best books shelf, seeking its place in future posts like The Romance – Exploring Treachery and Trust.

From Victoria Hanley’s The Seer and the Sword:

Torina looked at the boy, at his heavy curling hair and remote, wild eyes.

“If he is my slave,” she asked, “does that make him my own?”

“All your own.”

“I can do whatever I want with him?”

The king nodded.

The princess shivered. “What is your name, son of a king?” she asked.

“Landen.” The boy’s manner, still that of a prince, contrasted oddly with his dusty rags and bruises.

“Vesputo,” Torina said.

“Princess?”

“Cut his ropes, please.”

The commander looked to his king, who inclined his head. A blade was drawn. Vesputo severed the ropes carelessly, trailing fresh blood. Landen rubbed his wrists as Torina stepped closer to him.

“My father fought your father.” She said it very softly, speaking as if no king or soldiers looked on. For her, they must have been forgotten.

Landen looked at the ground. A pulse in his neck beat, like the heart of a newly hatched bird.

“Landen,” she whispered. “I never had a slave.”

The boy stood quietly.

“And I never will,” she continued, lifting her chin. “Papa,” her voice rose. “You gave him to me. I set him free.” . . .

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