Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be bringing you all a guest post courtesy of Ty Arthur author of the recently released Light Dawning.
Ty was kind enough to allow me to post a book excerpt for Light Dawning which I posted on Friday last week. If any of you missed it and wish to check it out you will find the link below:
In my youth, fantasy was a life line to a different set of worlds, allowing escape from less-than-ideal conditions in the real one. Whether it was quests for elf stones, a young Elminster gaining the attention of the goddess of magic, or a wheel that just kept on turning, those stories of the fantastic offered a much-needed respite in universes were the impossible routinely occurred.
Unlike in hum drum reality, the good guys could always be relied on to achieve victory over the bad guys. Although primarily based around spinning epic yarns of swashbuckling adventure for simple wish fulfillment, there has always been a section of fantasy that chose to offer an extra layer beneath the surface story.
I distinctly remember those moments of realizing certain monolithic organizations in books like Jeff Grubb’s The Gathering Dark or Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series were clearly reflecting real world groups. It like I was in on something special that no one else really knew was there, seeing this whole secret foundation underneath offering more than just afternoon entertainment.
From then on, I was always on the lookout for books that did more than just provide another romp through fantasyville with a group of chosen one heroes somehow beating the odds and tackling the big bad villain. When I finally got serious about writing my own stories years later, it was clear that each story would need to say something beyond just being a description of events taking place in a fictional universe.
For most of my short stories, that meant taking some event or idea that had impacted me personally and fleshing it out in a more stylized way, adding in elements of sci-fi and horror. With Light Dawning, however, I wanted to take that concept one step further, and turn the basic fantasy staples entirely upside down.
There’s an awful truth lurking in fantasy that isn’t explored nearly often enough: a sudden influx of the supernatural wouldn’t make the world a better place. Quite the opposite – every problem experienced by our species would be exacerbated, significantly, if tomorrow people suddenly had the ability to fling fireballs, erase memories, or call down the wrath of a pantheon of gods and goddesses.
I can’t help but think of the more bleak aspects of life in the urban sprawl of the Shadowrun RPG setting, with corporate wage slave wizards toiling endlessly for CEOs who don’t care about them, and racism only increasing, rather than going away, with the addition of elves and trolls. In a fantasy world where supernatural elements have always been present, it seems more likely to me that magic and divine power would be used primarily to oppress and conquer, rather than to achieve peace or freedom.
To get a proper grimdark feel, I stripped out anything from Light Dawning that felt like classic high fantasy: shining heroes who are destined to save the world, farm boys who will fulfill an ancient prophecy, a magic MacGuffin that can protect the main characters when necessary, and so on. In an effort to match the bleak origins of this particular story, from there I threw in a cosmic horror twist on the universe’s deities, who almost certainly don’t actually care for their worshipers or even desire anything that sane humans could actively comprehend.
The result is a bleak, claustrophobic setting where the marching of armies and the goals of some dark god or other aren’t nearly as important as the character’s viewpoints and choices. When the whole world is gone mad, and there’s little to no hope of survival, how does each of the characters decide what’s most important? Will they hold onto some set of principles and morals even though it might mean their demise, or will they instead do anything to keep breathing a handful of days longer?
Although a grim tale of gods and magic in a city occupied by an aggressive empire, Light Dawning is also a portrayal of how people react in the real-world instances where life cuts you off at the knees without warning. It’s my hope that somewhere out there in the vast sea of fantasy readers, there will be those who read my book and get that same sensation I had long ago of everything clicking into place as two halves of the whole suddenly snap together.
Once known as the City on the Hill and revered far and wide for its independence and boundless opportunity, Cestia has become home only to the damned. Surviving under the brutal occupation of a southern empire for three long years, the oppressed populace has lost hope of liberation, turning instead towards an increasingly desperate rebellion willing to commit any atrocity for a chance at freedom.
As total war approaches, four lost souls trapped behind Cestia’s walls are on a collision course with fate, destined to either save the city or see it utterly destroyed while calling on forces beyond mankind’s comprehension. For good or ill, the light of a new day is about to dawn.
Light Dawning by Ty Arthur is out now!!!
About Ty Arthur:
Ty Arthur gets to meld his passions with his work while freelancing for the likes of Metalunderground.com and GameSkinny. His debut sci-fi/horror novella “Empty” was released in early 2016, with many more dark tales still to come. Arthur writes to exorcise his demons and resides in the cold, dark north with his amazing wife Megan and infant son Gannicus Picard.
Ty Arthur can be found:
- Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Ty-Arthur/e/B0727MRVF8
- Official website: https://tyarthur.wordpress.com/
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12585427.Ty_Arthur
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