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Medieval Musings: Your Newsletter from Paul J Bennett

"...a depth of emotion rarely seen in fantasy novels! Couldn't put it down,and you won't either.' - M J

In this week's Medieval Musings:

  • Foreshadowing Part III - Your turn!
  • Mercerian Tales: The Call of Magic
  • Witches & Witch Hunters
  • Anna's Voice from the Audiobooks
  • Character Inspiration: Albreda
  • Upcoming Book signing
  • WIP update
  • Author Spotlight & Book Giveaways

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Foreshadowing Part III

I have enjoyed sharing just a few of the many details I have foreshadowed in my books, but now I would love to hear what you have found after reading them.

Did you read something in Servant of the Crown that you then saw come to fruition in a future book?

Or maybe you read one of the new books, and think 'I remember this being introduced in another book'?

Perchance you have a question about why something was introduced when it was?

Please take a moment to share your observations or questions via Facebook or an email. I will respond to your questions unless, of course, it is not yet written, then you will simply have to wait! 

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A little snippet from Mercerian Tales: The Call of Magic

Albreda awoke with a start. The first thing she sensed was a warmth that surrounded her. She opened her eyes to the sight of trees above her, then the sounds of breathing broke through her consciousness, and she turned her head only to see the face of a wolf, deep in slumber. She gasped, and the creature opened its eyes, looking directly at her while it raised its head, ears up and alert.

Albreda felt the pounding of her heart in her chest and struggled to fight down the rising panic. She lifted herself to a seating position, her breath misting in the frosty morning air. All around her were wolves, their bodies forming a wall of warmth...

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Witches & Witch Hunters in Merceria

In the world of Merceria, the connotation of 'witch' has two definitions. To the trained mages of the land, the term refers to a practitioner of the forbidden magic of death and hexes. To the common person, however, the term is referred to anyone who appears to manifest powers that are considered dangerous.

Those of you that pick up on details may remember that Albreda is known as the Witch of the Whitewood. Where did she get this name? You’ll need to read The Call of Magic (available soon) to find out.

Many centuries ago in Mercerian history, real witches were more prevalent, so much so that the crown appointed a Witch Hunter General to seek them out and exterminate them. So successful were these witch hunters that the position was short-lived, and for several centuries thereafter, there were very few reports of witches. In more recent times, individuals have tried making a name for themselves as witch hunters, but have had little success, most fading into obscurity.

Now scholars typically agree that the majority of witches that were executed were likely all potential mages manifesting their powers. The long term effect of this hunting was to decrease the number of potential mages to be found in Merceria. By the time of Servant of the Crown, there are very few mages left in the land.

What does your favorite character sound like?

I am very impressed with how Greg Patmore voices Anna, especially how he ages her over the books. She definitely is growing up before our eyes! What do you think?

Anna's Voice Sample

Character Inspiration: Albreda

The first reference in my game notes about Albreda occurred way back when the group came to the aid of Bodden Keep during the civil war when the Earl of Eastwood tries to grasp the crown for himself. In that session, the players led a rag-tag army that assisted Baron Fitzwilliam in defence of the north. Albreda was there merely to deliver a prophecy about the ending of the royal line. She had no part in the battle and was only present for a short while. She was described as a druid/earth mage type that kept to the woods that lay to the northeast of the Keep. Finding her character to be interesting, I decided to bring her back in future adventures.

Now, when I wrote the book, I developed her background more, adding some interesting details. In Sword of the Crown, you may remember a mysterious reference to her ‘owing a favour’ to the baron, which was then expanded upon in Mercerian Tales: Stories of the Past. In the tale, Fitz and the Witch, we see the friendship develop between Albreda and Baron Fitzwilliam. I had initially intended to tell her background within the framework of that tale, but my notes started getting longer and longer, leading to a full-blown novelette. Thus I wrote her very own origin tale in Mercerian Tales: The Call of Magic.

To make her a little different, early on I decided to make her a ‘wild mage’. Most mages in the land of Merceria are taught their magic through an apprentice/master system. Wild mages, on the other hand, learn magic all by themselves. They are said to be the most dangerous since they aren’t taught how to limit their spell use, but their lack of limits also enable them to become more powerful.

Albreda is the most powerful mage in all of Merceria, likely even more powerful than the mages of Weldwyn, as well. So how did Albreda learn her magic? You’ll have to read the story to find out more.

Upcoming Book Signing

Chapters South, London ON

June 30, 2019, 11 am to 3 pm

Drop by and pick up a free bookmark and then we can chat about your favourite characters!

Work in Progress Update

I am now 25,000 words into Burden of the Crown, and it’s shaping up nicely. Although the main story concerns the efforts of Anna and her group to deal with peace, the sub-plots are developing nicely. I’ve been working on the outline for this one for quite some time; it’s nice to finally get the words down in prose. There are a lot of old villains returning, so it will be interesting to see how many readers remember them.

Much as Nikki’s story became a thread in Shadow of the Crown, this new book seems to be developing into an Aubrey story. Of course, Burden kicks off the next five books, so there’s lots of groundwork that needs to be established, along with a requisite number of foreshadows and such.

Other than that, Carol and I have been hard at work on the editing of Ashes, the first book in The Frozen Flame series. I’m excited to bring this one to you, and it, too, has lots of little items in it, waiting for future books to expand upon.

I should mention that the new series uses a different calendar, something called Saints Reckoning. The events in Ashes are taking place roughly after Heart of the Crown. For those interested, it’s a simple calculation to convert. Saints Reckoning is 142 years later than Mercerian Calendar, so simply subtract that number to find the equivalent MC date. Why 142? There’s a reason, but I don’t want to reveal that just yet. Let’s just say that the Church of the Saints was in its infancy when Merceria’s ancestors first came to their new land.

Until next time, here is a little bit more from Ashes, Book One of The Frozen Flame Series

Happy Reading!

"Close your eyes and look deep within you," Athgar commanded.

"How do I do that?" Natalia asked. "Is it some type of meditation?"

"In a sense, yes, but it's more than that. You have to find your inner spark. I suppose in your case it would be an inner pool? To be frank, I'm not quite sure what you'd be looking for."

"What is this spark of yours like?" she asked.

"I see it as a small flame. The first time I tried this, it took me some time to see it. You have to stare into the darkness."

"The darkness? Is that your evil side?"

"No, I mean the black you see when your eyes are closed. Try to imagine the flame within you. Eventually, it should flare to life. You're already capable of casting, so I imagine it should appear quickly."

She closed her eyes, concentrating. It felt as though she was staring into the abyss, an endless pool of night. She didn't see anything but suddenly felt as though she had been bathed in water, luxuriating in its embrace. "I found it," she said, "now what?"

Natalia waited for Athgar to responded, but when no words were forthcoming, she opened her eyes to see him sitting opposite. His head was bowed and a gentle snoring sound issued from his mouth.

She leaned forward to look closer into his face. "Sleep well, my friend," she said, then kissed him tenderly on the forehead.

Author Spotlight!

Check out these featured books that are free, discounted, or new releases. The authors are returning the favour by sharing my books with their readers. 

The Master: Yarqi's Story: Yarqi believes she has finally found true enlightenment when she joins the Order of Pure Power, and she is thrilled when The Master himself approves of her progress in summoning visions, creating illusions and performing an act of Sympathetic magic that nearly kills a man.   ...More

Ren's Tale Books 1-3:An orphan boy from another world, uncontrollable magic, and a destiny to recover a nation’s honor. Ren is the first person in 300 years to develop a strong magical link, making him the focus of envy and spite. Being the strongest magic user, he is forced to set sail   ...More

Book GIveaways!

Here are some FREE books & short stories from other authors. Each giveaway is a collection of authors who want to share their stories with you. Feel free to share the links with friends and family!

  • Inspiration for Ashes
  • How does Earth Magic work
  • Gamers Corner
  • Who are Therengians
  • Cover reveal
  • Hayley's Voice
  • Newsletter Survey
  • What is The Volstrum

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Happy reading from Paul J Bennett,
Author of Epic Fantasy in the Land of Merceria and beyond!

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Medieval Musings: A Paul J Bennett Newsletter