Blurbs are all well and good, once you accept they exist solely to entice the prospective reader into reading the book. Over 60 years of reading I have encountered worthy blurbs and also some of the worse tosh ever; the latter can be divided up as written
By someone in the publishing company who never actually read the book but as an imagination and an outline to work with.
Ones which endeavour to shove the premise of the book down your throat making all sorts of claims such as ‘This will change the way you think’ (guaranteed for me to instantly rebel, suspect this is someone’s propaganda designed for sensationalism and thus resolving me to seek out reasons why I will not ‘think’ this way)
Written by trope making you wonder if the author really did fill the book with stock characters or plots.
These are faintly forgivable as after all the publishing house wants to sell books.
A blurb should give some measure or originality or at least let the prospective reader understand what they are letting themselves in for. However a blurb is short and even the best crafted will fall short. This article is something of a journey into the content of the narrative highlighting style of writing, themes and intentions. This, hopefully, will give a prospective reader a rough idea of what they are in for.
The books are essentially feel-good. I might as well get this out of the way now. The good, or more likely sensible will win over and there will be no uncertainty, nor evil types supposed to have been vanished, lurking ready to come back, they get knocked down and that is the end of it. There is enough misery and injustice in the real world, these books are a safe area. Not that the heroes have an easy time. Life is hard out there, but they will prevail. There is enough room for ambiguity, flexible morals and roguishness in a generally uplifting story too.
Thus these may suit those wishing to try out Fantasy for the first time, those who like an easy read (albeit with involved plots) and some who wish time out from some of the expertly written harsher books in the genre.
The tales are for adults. The action, and adventure contains some gore. There is humour which tends to the bawdy or acerbic side; satire upon either the genre, stock villains which abound in fiction, or the populists movements polluting our politics and there is banter. The three central characters are women and the tales are sympathetic to women in general as in my experience a large portion of the female population throughout their lives show some measures of heroics or pragmatism which most men could only dream about.
Romance of any adult sort leads to sex and not the other way around, this is reasonably explicit and is meant to present tenderness and joy between a couple. Any signs of possible sexual abuse tend to be a flag that the would be perpetrator is about to meet a justifiable painful dose of retribution. Similar attempts at violent intolerance of any sort, bullying and exploitation meet similar conclusions. I have an agenda. So what? Evil does not get any sort of reward or let off in these works.
Let uplifting and positive prosper. As I wrote earlier….feel-good.
Fantasy books which involve nations, governments and nobility tend towards complicated plots with an interaction of various group and many characters. This series is no different. To this end there is a list of characters in the second volume to assist the reader, as matters get very tangled. The connections between the various parties are byzantine and mirror many episodes in history. Also bearing in mind historically there are plenty of examples of mighty empires being humbles by lesser nations or ill-equipped folk in these books there are no overwhelming unstoppable hordes, not are there any Lords or Sages of Prefect Plans, things go wrong in war & politics, Hubris, Circumstances and Nature usually having the last collective say. The main conflict in the second volume mirrors experiences of the Napoleonic French in Spain; the Germans in Russia and Yugoslavia in WWII, the Western Powers in SE Asia in the 1950s to 1970s and The USSR in Afghanistan in the latter decades of the 20th Century.
Important to this layer will be the experiences of the individuals and their reactions, as it is people who cause events
Style of Narrative
To my perspective the layout of the punctuation, positioning of sentences, paragraphs can add to the story, without having to add an extra layer of description thus ‘…..’ & ‘-‘ abound signifying pauses and sudden interruptions.
Paragraphs stop abruptly.
A new and individual sentence appears standing alone.
To emphasise a quick change of thought or sudden observation.
Whereas some editors apparently hate italics, since these books are self-published I can do as I please. In consequences italics are used to illustrate thoughts, an prominence of one word and sometimes sarcasm.
Accents turn up, in particular with characters from the city state of Elinid (London) and in the case of central character Arketre Beritt a LifeGuard, from the princedom of Sudd-Hengestatia who lapses into her southern drawl at intense times.
A variety of words from other languages have been used and mangled to fit names or local dialects, this being a very common feature of languages in any case. Again in Volume One and Volume Two there are lists of unfamiliar words or phrases and their meanings.