Nature and magic fuel fantasy fiction settings and plots

epic landscape

Epic adventure requires an epic setting. Read on and consider how fantasy novels blend magic with the grandeur of Nature to create powerful entertainment.

Two of the most common elements in fantasy novels are Nature and magic. They are linked to each other and exulted as ideals in fantasy worlds. This creates much of what fantasy readers find appealing in fantasy fiction because the glorification of Nature and magic is a pleasing opponent to the concrete, steel, and technology that overwhelms modern life.

Characters in fantasy novels often must cross hostile wastes, brave cold mountain passes, and lose their way in dark primeval forests. In fact, readers of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” would agree that most of the story takes place outdoors. And in Christopher Paolini’s “Inheritance” trilogy, the hero Eragon and his dragon Saphira spend long stretches of the story in deserts, forests, and mountains.

Escape into Nature

The emphasis on Nature within the fantasy genre adds to its ability to entertain with escapism. Nature is lacking from much of modern life, and imagining adventure and freedom upon the open land is a relief and a pleasure. Often while reading fantasy fiction, you can recall the security that your ancestors took from the bright crackle of a fire while camping upon a hostile plain. Or, you can summon up that natural fear of being alone among the trees when you feel that something is hunting you.

And the partner of Nature in the fantasy genre is magic. It acts as the fulcrum of the struggles in the story. Plots are often driven by rivalries between magic users, or the forces of good battle with the aid of magic against evil enemies. In fantasy settings, magic is what confers power whether it is on individuals or ruling elites as opposed to technology that empowers the real world.

In fantasy fiction, the supernatural is valid and science is little used. Exploring the wonders of a world run by magic engages readers because it brings them closer to the mysteries of Nature. Magic comes from the natural world, and depending on the story, sometimes the Gods, and fantasy enthusiasts are comfortable with magic as a source of power.

Magic acts as a nice foil to the technology that is omnipresent in modern life for most people. Technology is powerful and amazing and seems quite magical, but deep down everyone knows that it can be explained. That it is all wires and chips and circuits and software and that many people know how to make it and manipulate it. Factories spit out millions of awesome gadgets, televisions, and computer mother boards. Technology simply lacks that special exclusivity that magic has in a fantasy novel. Not everyone in a fantasy story has magical powers, and powerful items aren’t as easy to come by as a cell phone.

A Pre-Industrial Literature

The foundation of Nature and magic that holds up many fantasy settings appeals to fantasy readers because people often have a longing for a simpler world un-blighted by highways and exhaust fumes. Within Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” there are undertones in this epic that suggest a wistful regret for the loss of Nature to the rise of industry. For example, the place Isengard is described as once being green and having “groves of fruitful trees” but the corrupt Saruman spoiled the land to build an army. “Iron wheels revolved there endlessly, and hammers thudded.” Tolkien wrote.

Many authors give much effort to describing Nature’s beauty and awesome power. That which destroys Nature is portrayed as evil and rightly so. And magic is often portrayed as superior to technology because it is akin to Nature. A nice example of this is presented in Paolini’s second novel “Eldest” in which he writes how the elves sing plants and trees into accommodating shapes and shelters.

Technology is not absent from fantasy literature, but it has a lesser presence in society. Fantasy settings are typically cast in pre-industrial agricultural and merchant societies. Technology is limited to trades and crafts, which are much more pleasing and benign than real world factories and nuclear power plants.

The natural world is one of my primary inspirations. I can look at the Pacific Ocean and hear it tell me a thousand stories all at once with lapping waves and the tireless roar of the powerful water.

To dive into my imagined worlds and adventures, select a free ebook.

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Get ready for some epic summer reading

SAVE 30%Where I live, Memorial Day weekend marks the opening of the summer tourist season. Michigan is a summer tourist destination because our normally dour and hostile climate gives way to lush growth and moderate temperatures amid thousands of lakes and beaches, which makes up somewhat for the dismal Rust Belt horror show that blights many areas.

The season brings the hope for some that they can put their feet up and escape into some reading. Students weary of their studies can turn to adventure, retirees can indulge in the magical, and the rest of the underappreciated masses can dream of changing the world, if only alongside imaginary friends and foes.

Right now, if you’d like to continue reading one of my series, you can save 30% on ebooks or audiobooks downloaded from this website through May 31st.

To get the discount, type or paste the word goodread into the discount code box on the checkout form.

So, if you’ve read one of my free ebooks and want to keep going, this is an opportunity to save a little money on a lot of entertainment.

The coupon code will apply to the ebook bundles at this site as well for extra savings. Or you can browse for individual titles by scrolling down the series pages for:

Werewolves in the Renaissance

Rys Rising

The Rys Chronicles

Thank you for your support!

P.S.

If you happen across this page after the sale ends on May 31, 2017, contact me and ask for a discount. I’ll send a fresh code.

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Making progress on my new novel

runebones

Chapter by chapter, I’m approaching the completion of my next novel, Werewolf Castle. It will be the third part in the Werewolves in the Renaissance series.

From some of the reviews left online by readers of the earlier werewolf novels, I’ve gathered that people are quite interested in Thal’s father, Sarputeen. We get to know more about him in the second book, Journey of the Hunted, but in the third installment, Sarputeen will be playing a large role.

Although he’s a werelord like Thal, meaning that he has full control over his shifting with a magic fur and spoken spell, he’s a sorcerer as well. In the excerpt from Chapter 19 of the work in progress that I’m sharing below, you’ll see that Sarputeen understands magic that goes far back into prehistory. When he’s developing a strategy for his war against Tekax, he decides to consult the rune bones.

Excerpt from Werewolf Castle work in progress

Sarputeen opened a drawer and removed a leather bag. Simple stone beads strung on strips of leather adorned the bottom of the bag. Objects inside the pouch clicked quietly against each other. “I will cast the rune bones,” he said.

Mileko perked up with interest. He had never witnessed his master perform this magic or known that he could do it. He had heard old stories that told of such things, but such divining was an art from antiquity.

Thal knew nothing of such things, and he leaned over the desk as his father poured out the nine pale discs. Lines carved into the yellowish bone-like material divided the circular faces into three sections. Each section held a symbol.

“May I?” Thal asked reaching for one. His father nodded and he picked one up. One crude design looked like a vulture or maybe a hawk. The simple skull next to it was less ambiguous, but he did not know what the third symbol could be.

He flipped the disc over and studied the symbols on that side. Within the etched lines he thought he saw a rain or tear drop, wavy lines, and a flower. Baffled by the symbols, he considered the material. Age had worn it smooth, but it looked to have tight rings like a tree.

“Is this bone?” Thal asked.

“It is cut from the tusks of a great beast from a past age,” Sarputeen said.

Thal looked up, astounded by the possibility. “This is far more than some boar’s tusk,” he said.

“I wouldn’t presume that this came from a boar. The mentor who taught me in the casting of rune bones told me that he took them from a shaman’s tomb hidden under a hill. They are old beyond our ability to reckon it,” Sarputeen explained.

Thal passed the disc to Mileko, who accepted it reverently, and picked up another one. “How does this work, Father?”

“Essentially, you pose your question and then select three rune bones from the bag without looking at them and cast them and then interpret the combinations of symbols. That will be the answer from the spirit realm,” Sarputeen explained.

“How do you know what the symbols mean?”

“I can explain what each rune signifies, but understanding their messages is an art that takes much time to teach, and you will only learn it if your heart is open to knowing.”

“And you believe in these runes?” Thal asked.

“I did not say believe. I said know,” his father corrected. “If you listen to the spirit realm, knowledge can be received, and then you know. Others might believe what you know.”

As I work on the conclusion of this trilogy, you can start the series for free by downloading the ebook Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale.

If you’ve already read my werewolf novels and are waiting for Werewolf Castle, I’ll continue to apply myself to its creation. Perhaps you’d like to read one of my other series The Rys Chronicles or Rys Rising in the mean time. You can start those series with free ebooks as well.

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Tracy Falbe complete fantasy works 2016 – ebook value bundle

It’s been known to happen. Someone enjoys one of my novels so much that he or she buys all of my novels.

The low price of ebooks makes this a trifling indulgence, especially if you go for the ebook value bundle of my complete fantasy works as of 2016.

The bundle contains:

  • Union of Renegades
  • The Goddess Queen
  • Judgment Rising
  • The Borderlands of Power
  • Rys Rising
  • Savage Storm
  • New Religion
  • Love Lost
  • Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale
  • Journey of the Hunted

Altogether, these ebooks would be $32.69 at normal retail price. Only at my website can you get the bundle of 10 novels for $19.99.

If you’ve read one or more of my free ebooks and decided that my fiction really satisfies, then load up your ebook reader and have hours and hours of entertainment.

If you’ve read all or most of my work and really liked it, consider giving my novels as a gift.

Gifting of digital items is enabled at this site by my SendOwl download service. To send an ebook or audiobook as a gift:

  1. Select “yes” for gift at top of checkout form.
  2. Enter details about recipient
  3. Set a delivery date unless you want immediate delivery
  4. Include a message
  5. Pay for it!

Tracy Falbe Complete Fantasy Works 2016

(10 Novel Value Bundle of The Rys Chronicles, Rys Rising series, Werelord Thal, and Journey of the Hunted)

$19.99 USD

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Payment processing system accepts many currencies and digital delivery is worldwide.

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Work in Progress Excerpt from Werewolf Castle

castle-1479795_1280

Today I’m sharing an excerpt from my work in progress Werewolf Castle. It will complete the trilogy I have planned for the Werewolves in the Renaissance series.

At the end of the second book, Journey of the Hunted, I established that Thal and his father Sarputeen would pursue the destruction of Tekax. He and Sarputeen have a long history of rivalry, but their conflict had been dormant for decades. After Thal became a werewolf, Tekax sent assassins to kill him so that Sarputeen would never have the power of his son on his side.

In this excerpt, Mileko, who has studied as Sarputeen’s protege, has gone to spy on Tekax and been captured. Tekax hopes to turn Mileko against his master…

~~~

“And Sarputeen must be overjoyed to have his son back with him,” Tekax said and watched Mileko very closely. He detected a genuine hint of resentment, and the insight thrilled him. When Mileko showed no sign of answering, Tekax pressed the issue.

“Suddenly, his son is here, and he has no need for you anymore. He sent you on this foolish mission to spy on me to get rid of you.”

Mileko did not believe it, but he thought that he should play along.

“He places much value on Thal,” he admitted diplomatically.

Janfelter said, “When I was walking back here, I took care to ask many questions while still near Zilina. They say that you were his protégé. What are you now?”

Tekax raised his eyebrows, very interested in the response. Mileko hated how Janfelter’s question provoked him. Since Thal had arisen from the forest, Sarputeen had only thought of him. He had dispatched Mileko swiftly to guide him to Vlkbohveza, and Mileko had endured many difficulties in the company of his master’s unruly son.

And Sarputeen had barely thanked him for completing the task that would have ruined others of lesser skill. Indeed, Sarputeen had barely spoken to him since Thal had arrived at his castle. To be fair, the need to dispatch a spy had been urgent, and Mileko was surely the best agent for that purpose. Despite that reason, Mileko was forced to face the bald fact of his jealousy. Would Sarputeen have time for him again? Would he place all of his attention on his son? Uncomfortably, Mileko suspected he knew the answer.

Jealousy, resentment, insecurity, none of these things mattered compared to what Tekax might offer him. Mileko’s needs were simple, and, no matter his feelings about anything else, he respected Sarputeen’s judgement, and his master had warned him long ago that Tekax brought only wrong into the world. Janfelter proved that.

Wisdom demanded, however, that Mileko appear tempted.

“I am what I have always been. A man with talents who does as he pleases,” Mileko finally answered.

“Would it please you to do the work of men and not animals?” Tekax asked.

“So, you would give me my life in exchange for my service?” Mileko asked.

“I may forestall your execution until you prove yourself,” Tekax said.

Deep foreboding jiggled Mileko’s stomach. He realized that Tekax gave no one life. Worse yet, in the presence of such a notorious sorcerer, he suspected that agreeing to anything with Tekax might involve the application of dark magic. Sarputeen had never bound him with such a thing.

Tekax reached out with his bony fingers. His nails were unpleasantly long, thick, and yellow. He traced a nail down the center of Mileko’s chest as if pondering how to approach a surgery.

“How many men serve Sarputeen?” he asked.

“Two if you include me. And Thal of course. Perhaps a dozen men from his village might fight for him,” Mileko answered.

Janfelter chuckled, and Tekax looked a little insulted. “And he dares to think he can act against me?”

“You tried to kill his son. Do you expect a different reaction?” Mileko said.

Contempt deepened the wrinkles on Tekax’s narrow face when he frowned. “His beast powers don’t frighten me,” he said.

“Evidently not,” Mileko said. Nervously, he watched Tekax drag a finger around his navel. Then, the sorcerer lifted himself up a bit with his cane and leaned over Mileko’s head. He laid a hand on his forehead, feigning tenderness.

Softly, he said, “I know it’s not easy to give up your loyalty to him. He possesses a glamour that makes others love him. This I know. But I could make you forget all of that. I could lead you to many great glories.”

The hand was hot on his head, almost burning. The totality of his vulnerability barreled into his consciousness, crushing him with the dire truth of his situation. He clung to his previous life like a wild cat being torn down from a tree by manic dogs.

“It’s time to move on. I can teach you so much more than Sarputeen,” Tekax whispered…or did Mileko hear the words in his head?

He shut his eyes and rallied his discipline. He must not let this snake slither into his soul.

~~~

To begin reading this series, go download Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale for free.

 

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Entries open for $15 Amazon gift card giveaway

Blog tour for The Rys Chronicles

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium has launched the promotional blog tour for The Rys Chronicles.

This is the first epic series that I wrote and published, and it’s time to drum up new publicity for it. Thousands of readers all over the world have enjoyed this series since I completed its publication in 2007.

If you’re looking for a new epic fantasy full of interesting characters and magical challenges, you can read the first book, Union of Renegades, for free. After downloading a copy, go over to the Silver Dagger Scriptorium and enter the giveaway drawing for a $15 Amazon gift card.

Over the next two weeks, as more bloggers join the tour, I’ll update this page with links to those blogs so that people can discover blogs written by avid readers.

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7 people can get Union of Renegades audiobook for $2.99

lucky-7-audiobook-sale

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I is also an audiobook, which means fans of epic fantasy who don’t have time to read can listen to a great story.

Union of Renegades is normally $8.95 in audio format, but this special coupon code for my website will let you buy the mp3 files for only $2.99.

But the coupon code only works for the first 7 people to use it at checkout. 

Visit the audiobooks page at Brave Luck Books and add Union of Renegades to your cart.

At checkout, enter lucky7 in the discount code box and proceed with payment. You’ll then get the .zip folder with the mp3 files.

Please note that Union of Renegades is also available at iTunes and Audible, but I don’t control pricing there and this coupon code does not work at other retailers.

About Union of Renegades
In this opening novel of The Rys Chronicles you’ll meet a man scarred by bad deeds who answers the call of a heroic cause. An unconventional heroine will tug at your sympathies as she bravely faces adversity with all the strengths and vulnerabilities of her womanhood. And overarching it all are the rys. Their magic makes them superior to humans, but they are not above employing humans in their deadly schemes.

Listen to an audio excerpt at Brave Luck Books.

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Blog Tour with Giveaway coming up for The Rys Chronicles Box Set

Blog tour for The Rys Chronicles

Book Bloggers can start signing up for a blog tour that has just been scheduled for The Rys Chronicles Box Set: The Complete Series.

Sign up here.

Tour dates:

October 18 through November 1st.

Thank you to The Silver Dagger Scriptorium for getting this event rolling. Blogs that sign up have a chance to attract attention with my giveaway drawing. Participation will also increase followers for the tour hosts.

Prizes Offered:

  • $15 Amazon Gift Card
  • The Rys Chronicles 4-book Paperback set (ships within US only)
  • The Rys Chronicles Box Set ebook x3 (international)

Join my email list to be updated when the tour starts and the giveaway drawing opens for entry.

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See my television interview at APN TV Media on these Michigan cable channels

 

Today, my nearly hour long interview at Author Publishing Network TV hit APN’s YouTube channel. And tomorrow, the interview will show to Michigan cable television viewers on Comcast 21, 916, Charter 187, Buckeye 69, and Deerfield 22.

APN is a literary book network, and its interviews show on Tuesday at 8 p.m. and Wednesday at noon. This represents my first television appearance. I had a truly wonderful time recording the interview with the APN hosts Steven Hill and Michelle Meiring at the studio in Monroe, Michigan.

Cable television viewers in Southern Michigan will have a chance to get to know me and meet the hero of my newest fantasy series, Werewolves in the Renaissance.

You can watch the interview right here, and, if you have any questions, contact me through this form.

Werelord-Thal-300

The Werewolves in the Renaissance series begins with the novel Werelord Thal. The setting is 1561 Bohemia, and Thal’s mother cast the werewolf spell upon him so that he could avenge her torture and death at the hands of witch hunters in Prague.

People who enjoy ebooks, can read Werelord Thal in its entirety for free.

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Two 5-star reviews for Journey of the Hunted at the UK Kindle store

Journey of the Hunted: Werewolves in the Renaissance

I’m grateful to the two readers in the UK who took the time leave 5-star reviews for Journey of the Hunted: Werewolves in the Renaissance 2. They bought the ebook from the Kindle store, and both expressed their eagerness to read the next part of the series.

Despite my recent health challenges that have delayed the writing of the next book in the series, Werewolf Castle, I am working on that novel. I’m currently 13 chapters in, and I’d like to believe that I could publish it in 2017!

Over the years, I’ve noticed that my ratings from UK readers tend to be the best. Perhaps people in the United Kingdom are very polite, or perhaps my writing is particularly dazzling for them. Either way, I’m grateful to have entertained a few people.

Journey of the Hunted picks up the story exactly where it left off in Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale. Altea is recovered enough from torture to travel. She and Thal emerge from hiding near Prague along with Mileko and their musician friends. Mileko has been sent by Thal’s father, the sorcerer Sarputeen, to guide him to his father’s castle.

As the title implies, Thal and his company shall be hunted. Bounty hunters eager to collect the huge price on Thal’s head after his killing spree clog the roads, but a new enemy appears. He is Tekax, a sorcerer who has long been in the east aiding the Ottoman Turks, but now he had returned to Central Europe to pursue his old vendetta against Sarputeen. He intends to kill Thal and sends his loyal servant, the werewolf Rotfeng, to hunt him.

Ebook $2.99

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My ebooks are also distributed at these online retailers:

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Paperback $12.99 + Shipping

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