If you’re one of my hard scifi readers, this week my writing has taken me off that path a bit.
I will return. (scramble, scramble)
Currently, I’m writing about one of my favorite characters–Angel. Angel is the offspring of two aliens who live on Alysia in seclusion. These are Enjelise that at one time protected the humans of Alysia and now have “evolved.” Modeled on our concept of angels, Angel doesn’t have wings like his parents, but he has been tasked with protecting Richard Steele’s daughter, Tempest, and it’s quite the challenge.
And fun to write about.
While I was contemplating what to blog about, I recalled Sharon Shinn who wrote a whole series on a planet where angels ruled.
Often as an author writes, great creative ideas seem to pop out of nowhere. I loved writing about the Enjelise and was rolling right along with them when I remembered Sharon Shinn and her series, and was surprised at how much they unconsciously influenced me.
Where do we get our inspiration from? Sometimes I think an idea or concept is rolling around out there in the ether just waiting for creative people to harvest it, and at other times it’s buried in the subconscious and bubbles to the surface when needed.
Well, I was bubbling.
So I wanted to at least mention this author in case you’re inclined to this style of story.
Because I am.
I first read Sharon because the title of a particular book was so compelling, and then the reviews were also good.
The Shape Changer’s Wife was such an intriguing title I wanted to read the book to see what the author would do with it.
So authors, your title is important. It should draw in a reader.
I enjoyed the story of Aubrey who decides he wants to learn more than his current University’s training offers and seeks out the most accomplished wizard of shape changing, Glyrenden. Odd events and and dark rumors cause Aubrey to try to figure out what is going on in the wizard’s household. Often Glyrenden goes off for long periods of time and leaves his wife, Lilith, alone. She carries a sad secret and Aubrey tries to help her. As he helps her, he discovers a lot about himself.
Because I liked that story, Sharon Shinn’s name came onto my radar screen, and then I discovered her Samaria Series. Samaria is a world dominated by angel like creatures that are beautiful, have wings, live high in the mountains and sing. Once each year the reigning Archangel and angels gather with the lesser humans and sing a chorale praising Jovah so that God will not smite the planet. The praising must be a duet of the Archangel and his wife.
Gabriel is the newly selected Archangel who will be elevated at the next celebration. Several challenges face him. First, the previous Archangel has created a division of poor and rich upon what had been an egalitarian society. The world is worse off, but Raphael doesn’t want to relinquish his power and step down and plots to thwart Gabriel’s election. Meanwhile Gabriel has delayed in seeking a wife and when he finally visits the oracle to learn who she must be, he finds out his chosen is a slave in an oppressed culture who dislikes the angels and is quick to tell him what is wrong with the world. Neither one is happy about the choosing and would rather marry another, but to save the planet, they try to make it work. However, Gabriel’s delay means he has only six months to do that.
The clock is ticking…and no one is co-operating.
An interesting love story with several twists and turns.
The series continues with the second book in the series, Jovah’s Angel and concludes with the Alleluia Files.
With the Alleluia Files, Shinn takes a fantasy series and sharply twists it into science fiction. Here’s where I had forgotten Shinn’s book and when I saw her name recently on a new series, it all started to resurface. In The Alleluia Files, a rebel Jacobite, Tamar believes the “God” of their world is more technology than deity and searches for the files of an angel, Alleluia, who proposes that a satellite ship circles Samaria controlling the weather and interacting with the angels when they sing, fulfilling the role of “God.” The current Archangel, Bael, is out to squash this idea and has ordered all Jacobites killed. But Tamar teams up with Jared, an Angel with an open mind, to discover the truth. This is an interesting finale to the trilogy.
Sharon Shinn flavors her stories of Samaria with bible references and weaves a complex world of angels and humans, of love and conflict that you may enjoy.
I also want to commend her Twelve House series. Here she revisits magic and shapeshifters. I loved The Thirteenth House, Reader and Raelynx, Mystic and Rider and Dark Moon Defender–to name a few.
And recently out, her new Elemental Series, Troubled Waters, the first in the series, came out in April 2013 and the newest offering is Royal Airs out last November. In this series she works with the five elements that control everyone’s life in her created society. The society is full of court intrigue and dangerous liaisons and could take place in any of the European courts from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.
Once again, an intriguing world with magic and romance, danger and dark deeds.