Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Editorial Review of The Last War (The Cynnahu Saga Book 1)

My book, The Last War, just got its first Editorial Review courtesy of Self-Publishing Review (SPR)! Naturally I paid them for the review, but the Five Star rating was their choice, their judgement, entirely.

"A fantasy novel replete with magic, lore, and epic stakes, The Last War by Ian E.S. Adler is a classic questing adventure in the richly imagined world of Nim-Semalf. The Order of mages and the entire archipelago they protect faces invasion by the naga, catapulting five unlikely companions into the fiery crucible of destiny. Amidst ancient riddles, embattled dragon shrines, fearless storm swords, and the mysterious motives of Archmages, the fast-moving plot is enthralling, as is this new realm taking shape before readers' eyes. Built on an elaborate mythology and supported by a classic fantasy plot of ultimate victory vs. complete annihilation, this first book in The Cynnahu Saga is a knockout start to a new series." Self-Publishing Review (SPR)

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Mugglenet - Using Fantasy Literature to Cope With Mental Illness and Addiction

I typically avoid posting other people's, other Fantasy website's, posts when possible, but this is important as it ties in with much that I have said in the past regarding the power of Fantasy literature and its potential to positively impact the real world. It led the literary charge against the cross-eyed monster that is sexism, shows worlds without human racial stereotypes, and is now among the vanguard against the blind monster that is homophobia along with all other anti-LGBTG+ sentiments. Yet, as the great J.R.R. Tolkien says, "Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?...If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!" Hence it is that selfsame escapism, as described by this (linked) article on Mugglenet, that can aid those with mental health issues: "Mental health problems and addiction often go hand-in-hand to cause a variety of difficulties. But a growing movement towards comprehensive mental health care has helped to shape this world in many ways. Some people struggling with mental health concerns and addiction can turn to fantasy literature like Harry Potter to help them overcome their issues. Here are a few reasons why this is such a powerful movement that may be the right option for you."

I highly recommend reading the rest of the piece, as it affirms not only the power of the genre but, also and naturally, another Tolkien quote: "I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which “Escape” is now so often used: a tone for which the uses of the word outside literary criticism give no warrant at all. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it. In using escape in this way the critics have chosen the wrong word, and, what is more, they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter."

Is there not an argument that for the mentally ill the prison is their own minds? I am far from an expert, but if such is the case as it seems to be then it makes perfect sense that, for some, the way to escape that prison is via the most escapist of literature that is the Fantastic. The same goes with addicts, who may be inspired by the courage of the characters as they face terrors undreamt of, purest agony both mental and physical yet against all odds come out on top to find love, hope, and healing.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

I just started Sword-Breaker, volume three of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson

He was Tiger, born of the desert winds. She was Del, born of ice and storm.
I just started Sword-Breaker, volume three of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson.
One quest ended, a new quest begun and this one quite possibly has the world riding on it. Not that the world is aware of the fact, meaning Tiger and Del will have to dodge religious zealots, assassins, and most of the rest of the South to find the fabled Shaka Obre. A near impossible task by itself, much less in the equally deadly Punja desert, but when your own sword is actively seeking to kill you...

Saturday, May 7, 2022

I just finished Sword-Maker

He was Tiger, born of the desert winds. She was Del, born of ice and storm.
I just finished Sword-Maker, volume three of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson.
It was a worthy read. It passed the test. I will continue with this series... which now shall change indeed as Del's song has at last ended. Vengeance is as vengeance does, sweet the taste when eaten cold, and Del's was bellow blizzard temperatures. Mind you, I hate soul-magic, false messiahs, and evil sorcerers but, thankfully one-and-half were taken care of. Sort of.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Ghost/Spirit Dragons

A while back I wrote three posts on Dragons and then a page combining them. However, for some reason it only just occurred to me that I left out a not uncommon sub-species of Dragon.

Ghost/Spirit Dragon: As their name implies, these are Dragons who died and came back after a fashion for much the sames reasons human shades return; unable to accept death, unfinished business in the material world, or an emotion so powerful it cheats death. Generally rare as few Dragons have such issues and fewer necromancers are mad enough to try and raise one, Spirit/Ghost Dragons are either beyond reason and, much like a human ghost, more interested in haunting and punishing intruders than talking, or highly intelligent and thoughtful
– having learned something from death itself and/or whatever mistake or mishap killed them (okay, maybe mishap is too light a word seeing as Dragons very rarely die accidentally, but I am sure you get the point). I guess one could also technically include Bone/Zombie Dragons in this category, but I do not since they are no different from regular mindless undead things and last only as long as their rotting flesh and bones do. What do Ghost/Spirit Dragons breathe? Typically pale, ghostly fire of course. What did you expect, ectoplasm?

Friday, April 29, 2022

I have self-published The Last War: Book One of the Cynnahu Saga

The red ship has landed! The crimson-eyed captain reveals himself! All my life I have been a Fantasy reader, and since 2016 a Fantasy blogger. Hence my excitement in announcing that today I join the hallowed ranks of Fantasy authors for, dear readers, IT IS OUT! The first book of the Fantasy series I wrote can be found and bought on Amazon; just search for The Last War: Book One of the Cynnahu Saga.

A scream cut across the sky...

Long ago a horrific war was fought between the native Dragonkin and invading humanity, a war that shattered into islands the continent on which they struggled. Now the descendants of the victorious humans must face a different yet still very old threat as the mireborn Naga, the snake-folk of Nag Isle, are again amassing their Black Fleet to send against them. An ancient prophecy speaks of a time when the Archipelago of Cynnahu must fight its Last War against the Naga, a time when five individuals – Traveler, Orphan, Survivor, Student, and Lord – will set sail to rediscover the secret of the Elder Song.

Myrriden, the footsore mage and single father.
Sakura, an orphaned and homeless girl seeking vengeance.
Volcan Darkrod, the enigmatic Fire Mage.
Emrys, Myrriden’s nervous son.
Archmage Hoth, the unflappable Leader of the Cynnahu folk.

Guided by an ancient riddle recently uncovered by the famed Loremaster Aneirin, these chosen five must a run a race of swords, spells, and dusty scrolls - for while the Elder Song was crafted to summon the primeval power of the Dragonkin, it has, down to its very name, been forgotten. Will the courage and wits of two eleven-year-olds and three vastly different mages be enough to free purposefully hidden secrets from forces older than the Isles themselves and reunite the scattered Song while fighting a desperate war on land and sea? Only one thing is certain: humanity stands at doom’s edge and time is against them.
This book has been a long time coming, its seeds first planted when I read Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle as a child and first sprouted as unremarkable writing exercises in my high school's Creative Writing Club (which I eventually became President of). Honestly, I did not even intend for them to become a book. I just liked the character and enemy I created on the spot that first CWC meeting of my Sophmore year and stuck too it until the other club members became familiar with the world I had accidentally created and asked me if I was going to write a book. Well, as they say, the rest is history.

For several reasons - each of which is too long to get into now - I chose to self-publish. So PLEASE, I beg you, write good Amazon reviews for The Last War once you finish it. Also, Would you all believe I got the cover custom made for only $35 and from a Ukrainian company no less.

I hope you all enjoy it (and again write good reviews)!

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

My father and I just finished In the Serpent's Wake by Rachel Hartman, sequel to Tess of the Road.

My father and I just finished In the Serpent's Wake by Rachel Hartman, sequel to Tess of the Road.
A classic Hartman book is, by definition now, simply a classic. The first two Seraphina books put racial tensions and religion on center-stage alongside love, self-acceptance, and roots and results of hatred to save the world and bring peace to humans and Dragons. Tess of the Road was a journey out of choking self-despair born from rape and fought uphill against religious-based oppression of women and mental manipulation, a journey not only the World Serpent of legend but also, without knowing it, a way to face her demons and love herself again while being herself.
In the Serpent's Wake continued Tess' journey and, like spark to tinder, she set the fires of truth ablaze (in addition to some actual fires) by doing what is right instead of what is easy while sailing archipelagos suffering colonization and all the oppression that implies. A journey of facing down the last of her demons, seeking forgiveness when necessary, showing those blind to the truth that comfortable neutrality and denial allows human evils to flourish; and, of course, finding the Polar Serpent to save a friend.
Farewell and lots of love to Tess and Seraphina Dombegh, Pathka, Kikiu, Jacomo & Marga, Hami & Spira, and all of native nations of the archipelagos. Luck to you as you continue your own stories.