Author David M. Echeandia is giving away two (2) $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Cards (winner’s choice) to two (2) luck winners!
Title: The Avatar of Calderia
Author: David M. Echeandia
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Series: Book One: Awakenings
Release Date: December 6, 2013
A Dark sorcerer is Awakened from eight hundred years of ensorcelled slumber, unleashing an ancient and terrible scourge upon the land as he uses his malevolent powers to enslave a continent and create an empire built on blood magic and death.
Across the Luminous Sea in Calderia, a crown prince grows to manhood, unaware that he carries within him a seed of divine power that must now be Awakened, if his people have any hope of surviving the evil sorcerer’s coming invasion of his homeland.
But to do so, the human prince must help forge an alliance with other warring nations, including his blood enemies, the Elves, and their warrior princess who wants him dead. Somehow, these sworn foes must join forces, gathering other companions as they undertake a perilous journey to find a hidden talisman, solve an age-old mystery, and save their world from oblivion.
Why I Write Classic Fantasy—Part I: Wizards, Sorcerers and the Wonders of Magic
For many of us, fantasy is the first literature we are exposed to as young children. Think fairy tales—Cinderella, Snow White, and the Brothers Grimm, and whimsical fiction such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland—all stories about imaginary lands full of wonder and magic, where things happen and people behave in unusual (and otherwise impossible) ways that are limited only by the creativity of the storyteller. While some leave these stories behind as they age, others of us never outgrow our love for fantasy, though we may graduate to more adult, complex themes and characters. I enjoy reading many different kinds of literature; yet, when I found myself running out of books to read and decided to write my own story, I chose my first love: classic fantasy.
Sometimes called high fantasy, classic fantasy frequently includes “sword and sorcery” tales set in an imaginary world, often epic in scale and filled with heroic themes and characters caught up in a titanic struggle of good vs. evil. Early on, I was influenced by such iconic authors as Tolkien (The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings), and C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia). More recent inheritors of the mantle of classic fantasy have included Jordan (The Wheel of Time), Eddings (The Belgariad), Martin (A Song of Fire and Ice), and Carey (Kushiel’s Legacy). These works contain a number of beloved elements common to classic fantasy, many of which I incorporated into my Avatar of Calderia Trilogy, partly as an homage to the genre. Here, I will briefly touch on one of my favorites elements: Mighty wizards, Dark sorcerers and the wonders of magic.
Writing fantasy gives me license to create a world outside of the constraints of normal reality, and few things are more fun and intriguing than writing about alternative realities in which the wonders of magic exist—places where awe-inspiring powers can be invoked and supernatural feats can be performed, often by otherwise ordinary people, in ways that alter their existence and shape the world around them. The notion of wielding such power, of controlling and manipulating the forces of nature in ways impossible in the “real” world, can be heady and intoxicating, and also frightening, because of the potential for great good or great harm. Writing about it takes the childhood game of “If I could wave a magic wand…” to a whole new level.
With magic, I can pit mighty wizards and Dark sorcerers against each other in fierce arcane duels fought with terrible fire, lightning and thunder spells. I can give a character the truly god-like power to heal grievous wounds or bring someone near death back to life, or to harness the basic elements of nature to literally move mountains. Some authors develop their own beautifully intricate, unique systems of magic, while others (such as me) spend more time focusing on the “what” rather than the “how” of conjuring. But either way, it’s fun to indulge these grandiose fantasies while living in a mundane “muggle” era where many of our legends and myths have been forgotten, and most magic has been reduced to a stage act in Vegas. For me, the thought of magic has always fascinated me, and I try to write about it in a way that captures the wonder and awe that I feel, in hopes that the reader will share at least some of the same thrill.
There is much more to say about magic, but I will leave that for another time. You can read about some of my other favorite elements of classic fantasy if you follow along on this blog tour. Happy reading.
Killian moved forward to the edge of the clearing, then turned and looked at Ellianthia, holding out his hand. After some hesitation, she inhaled deeply and walked over to his side, raising her hand tentatively to press her palm to his. The Elfin princess looked up at him, his flame-red hair gleaming in the sun, his blue eyes clear and bright with excitement. What kind of power did this human possess, that he could so easily enter this sacred place, this Elfin sanctuary where even Mellisandria, an ancient Wise One, trod lightly? She gripped his hand more tightly, wondering what might happen if she let go.
They walked directly to the mound, hearing no sound save that of their own footsteps, the pounding of their hearts, and the rustle of the grass as they brushed against it in their passing. When they reached the mass of tangled vines and stood before the Stone, he felt humbled by its megalithic size and grandeur. The surface visible beneath the branches and the blossoms appeared smooth and flawless, with no sign of weathering, as if time had stood still for ages here in this place of power.
Killian did not know what he was meant to do next, but he felt drawn to walk around the Stone while it waited for him to unlock its mystery. Still leading Ellianthia by the hand, he had paced perhaps a quarter of the way around its base before he found that same palm-sized circle that he had seen in his vision, positioned partway up the side of the monolith. Knowing instinctively that this was what he had been seeking, he raised his hand toward the circle and looked at Mellisandria for final confirmation that he should proceed.
“It is your destiny,” she said, nodding once. With that, he stepped forward and placed his palm flat upon the circle.
At the instant of his touch, a brilliant flash of golden light erupted from the circle, encasing the Calderian prince and the Elfin princess. Then several gasps arose from the observers, Ellianthia’s loudest and nearest of all, for Killian’s eyes were two luminous orbs glowing with divine presence, as if the gods themselves had entered his body and now looked out through their Avatar upon the awestruck mortals gathered there. In that moment, any lingering doubts that he was indeed the chosen vessel of the deities vanished from the minds of all who had witnessed it.
Almost immediately thereafter came a deep rumbling that shook the ground and rattled the lofty branches of the trees around them. A strong gale sprang up, whipping hair and clothing about, and making them blink from the force blowing against their faces. The deep vibration seemed to be emanating from within the Stone itself as, before their wind-stung eyes, a vertical crack appeared in that flawless gray surface.
Soon, the crack became a narrow crevice running down from top to bottom, then widened steadily into a rift that grumbled and creaked with every inch of movement, cleaving the granite and snapping the vines that covered it. Then two stone doors, each some five feet in width, pivoted as if on hinges and swung outward, revealing a dark, mysterious opening into the monolith.
Killian glanced at Ellianthia, who was staring back at him with the same expression of shock written on the faces of the other Elves and humans waiting behind them on the edge of the clearing. Though the glow in his eyes had dimmed, he was undeniably the prophecy fulfilled, for all could see that the “One who will come to split the stone” stood before them. She tried to pull her hand away, but he shook his head slightly and pointed toward the opened doors, knowing that their presence was required there. Gathering his courage, he led her inside.
About the Author:
I was raised on the East Coast, enduring the freezing winters and loving New York pizza by the slice, the kind you fold in half and start eating with the hot melted cheese dripping down into your mouth. Now a psychologist, I live here in the California sun with my wife and daughter, and assorted pets. I don’t regret leaving the cold weather behind, but I do still miss the pizza.
I have been enamored with science fiction/fantasy since I was (as my southern grandmother used to say) “knee-high to a grasshopper.” Thank the gods for ebooks, because I ran out of room to store my collection many moons ago. I enjoy reading, RPG’s, canning homegrown preserves, old time radio, more reading, and Scottish Highland Games (middle name is McMaster). I actually had a kilt of my clan tartan made, and I’ve been promising myself to learn how to play “Scotland the Brave” on the bagpipes. Perhaps one day…
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