More awesome prizes available in the latest contest from Spark – details are lurking here.
They're looking for both poetry and fiction and they've got a clear, classic theme:
Only ten days until Studio Ghibli’s next film Kaguya-hime no Monogatari (The Story of Princess Kaguya) is released. It’ll be a long wait for the movie to reach cinemas or DVD here in Oz, but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless.
Isao Takahata, director Grave of the Fireflies among other great films, hasn’t released a feature for a long time – and seeing the previews of Kaguya-hime, I’m equally excited about the animation style. It gives the film quite a soft look.
Back to waiting!
(Here’s a longer preview)
On my poetry blog a while back I mentioned a great idea Tess Grantham turned me on to – where you randomly select words from books as a way to challenge yourself in starting a story.
So, here, in order, are the references and words to my experiment:
pg171, line 21, word 8
Later on I’ll post the results of my brainstorm, but in the meantime, if anyone thinks they can be first to discover all 4 books these words are drawn from, and post the answer in the comments here or at my poetry blog, I’ll send them a copy of my latest poetry collection between giants!)
And to see how Tess does the exercise (properly I might add!) have a look here. Fascinating to see her take the words and roll them into lines, ideas and possibilities!
Now this might sound odd to some because there are so many great Midkemia books out there, but Silverthorn is my all-time favourite single volume in Raymond E Feist’s series.
Before writing this review I tried to figure out why it’s a favourite and I’ve come up with something – it’s partly because Silverthorn touches upon a couple more genres than other Feist stories. Aside from the fantasy core, readers experience quest, rescue and heist/secret society elements, in addition to the almost surprising horror aspects. Further, there’s a race against time that really ratchets up the tension. I often fly through this novel, it’s a bit like a thriller, with shocks and surprises aplenty.
Perhaps it is also because Silverthorn is the book where Jimmy the Hand takes centre stage – and the boy within me once again gets to follow along as a clever young thief develops into someone a little wiser. Having taken Pug and Tomas well along the path to manhood in the previous volume (Magician), Feist again gives readers a young boy to cheer on. This approach has been popular in fantasy (in all genres really) for a long time, but I often think of Raymond Feist, David Eddings and others using it during the 1980s in a kind of collective ‘tour de force’ that championed the coming of age approach to fantasy storytelling.
Obviously having a young character is a great way for an author to impart knowledge to the reader in a natural manner, but it’s also fun to experience the same awe the younger characters do.
Having said that, Silverthorn is full of a surprising darkness. Prince Arutha’s fight against cult leader Murmandamus really begins here and the mystery of the Nighthawks combined with the Black Slayers adds to the bleak tone. I doubt I’ll forget the basement or interrogation scenes either. At times the story is chilling, but perfectly so.
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Ashley Capes is an Australian writer of fiction, poetry and very occasional non-fiction.
Imperial Towers (Never Book 5) - draft 1
Moss Dragon - draft 1
Reed Lavender (working title) - draft 1
Unnamed Spec Fic - draft 1
Whisper of Leaves (sequel) - Outline