In which the editor waxes poetic about why you should read Shards of History
I encourage everyone who reads fantasy to pick up Shards of History. The responses from life-long fantasy readers have been extremely positive. But perhaps even more flattering is when I say, “why not try it?” to someone who rarely dabbles in speculative literature and they come back and tell me they’ve finished the book in a single day and they want me to publish a sequel. Now.
Above anything else, Shards of History is strong and fresh. The heroine is young but driven. The world is unique. The prose reads effortlessly — which anyone who’s ever tried to write knows is the result of enormous effort and skill on the writer’s part.
Shards of History presents us with Malia, a young woman strong enough to fix the sky. A woman who doesn’t whine or cry when a giant (metaphorical) chasm opens in front of her, one that first engulfs her personal life then threatens to destroy her entire society.
And what an interesting society it is. This novel is what we call a second-world fantasy in that it is set in a world that is not, nor was it ever, our world. But it doesn’t take much to realize that the inspiration for the Taakwa has its roots in southwestern Native American cultures far more than any bygone European culture. So much of second-world fantasy rests on the setting of pseudo-Medieval feudalism that this alone makes the world something of interest, but it doesn’t stop there.
The Taakwa are matrilineal. This is not a female-dominant society; they might seem societal equals to men until you consider their walking traditions. When in a group, women always walk a few steps ahead of the men. Women still do the majority of the cooking — and every time Malia cooked, it made me hungry: I started wondering when someone was going to make me some pecan crusted trout with tomatillo sauce!
Then there’s the Maddion, or the Outsiders as the Taakwa know them. The Maddion arrive on the valley’s borders with swords, soldiers, crossbows, and dragons. They’re here to ride their dragons into battle, take what they want, and kill anyone who stands in their way. They’re a society where women are of absolutely no consequence, and yet even here we see family struggles play out. Some things are indeed universal.
And of course there’s the Jeguduns. The winged beasts — part feathers, part fur — who live in the cliff face surrounding the valley. Ferocious, terrifying, misunderstood. They’re the only link the Taakwa have to the truth of their own history, yet it’s that very gap in memory that makes the Taakwa fear and revile the flying Jeguduns.
It’s a fabulous, fresh new world, ripe with conflict and consequence, with a heroine you can love and root for.
I love this novel. I don’t take on projects I don’t love — there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Or at least, there’s not enough hours to do it right, and I try my hardest to do right by each project I fall in love with.
At World Weaver Press, we take each project into ourselves. We bond with it in a way that die-hard fans (fans of any book) are all too familiar with. We want to share it with all of our friends, tell everyone who asks how our day is going about the great new novel we’re reading. We realize we may be a bit overwhelming, but we won’t apologize for it—we’re in love.
Posted on September 10, 2012, in fantasy, from the editor's desk, new, World Weaver Press and tagged Eileen Wiedbrauk, fantasy, fantasy readers, fiction, heroines, literature, Rebecca Roland, Shards of History, World Weaver Press. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.