We’re kicking fantasy week off with a true queen of the genre: internationally bestselling author Trudi Canavan! Her ‘Black Magician Trilogy’ has been rated as the most successful debut fantasy series of the last decade. Her 2009 book The Magician’s Apprentice won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel. Hailing from Ferntree Gully in Victoria, Trudi is back with Angel of Storms, the second blazingly unique instalment in her new trilogy ‘Millennium’s Rule’. Ina dark labyrinth of parallel universes, magic is a warped and hazardous thing, as Trudi reveals in our Q&A.
How would you convince someone who’s never read a fantasy novel before to try one?
First I would find out what kind of books they already like. Fantasy is an endlessly varied genre, so there’s bound to be a book or series with a leaning toward what they’re used to. There’s every kind of fantasy from literary to dark to romance. Or if they want to read some fantasy fantasy from the ‘core’ of the genre, knowing what they like to read I can give me an idea of the writing styles they embrace, whether a fast paced adventure or a mythic tale told with rich prose, a story completed in a single books or an epic sustained over several, or something in between.
Angel of Storms is set in a universe of many worlds, between which sorcerers can travel. But each world contains a different amount of magic, so what they can do in one world they might not be able to do in another… including leaving that world. The main two characters both believe they have found a safe place in this universe, and understand how it works, but they are about to find out they have it all wrong. While Angel of Storms is a second book in a series, the story can be picked up from this point.
Why are you passionate about the fantasy genre?
It is the exploration of the impossible that fascinates and excites me in fantasy. I love that an author can make one or several impossible ideas seem real for the length of a novel – or several. Magic most of all interests me, in particular imagining how magic might affect the development of societies and ecosystems. Making the unreal feel real to the reader is a greater challenge than you might think, as it means knowing a great deal about the real world in order to then extrapolate from that how the unreal one might work.
What do you strive to achieve with your fantasy books?
I’m trying to achieve several things at once. Some are obvious: an enjoyable, pacey story with characters readers will love. Some are subtle: to prompt a reader to think about something, perhaps the nature of loyalty or whether a weapon is evil or the person who wields it. I hope to create a story that is entertaining, but with more below the surface if the reader cares to look. I want the reader to think about the story and characters long after they’ve finished reading. Which is what I look for in the books I read.
Blurb for Angel of Storms:
Tyen is teaching mechanical magic at a school respected throughout the worlds. News arrives that the formidable ruler of all worlds, long believed to be dead, is back and enforcing his old laws – including the one forbidding schools of magic. As teachers and students flee, Tyen is left with no home and no purpose… except the promise he made to Vella, the sorcerer imprisoned in a book. Tyen must decide what he is willing to do to free her.After five years among the tapestry weavers of Schpeta, Rielle’s peaceful new life has been shattered by a local war. As defeat looms, the powerful Angel of Storms appears and invites Rielle to join the artisans of his celestial realm. But what will he require in return for this extraordinary offer?
Escape to a new world. Discover the magic of Trudi Canavan.
*WIN Angel of Storms on our Facebook page! 10 copies are up for grabs now.*