• Featured Novel: 'Rys Rising' by Tracy Falbe

    Rys Rising is the first of the Fantasy quartet of novels by Tracy Falble, an author whose characters represent her emotional translations of her observations about the world. The sequels --Savage Storm, New Religion, and Love Lost-- are all published.

    Check out her books in this website- http://www.falbepublishing.com/braveluck/index.html

    Here's the premise of Rys Rising:

    Too long the tabre have oppressed the rys they created, and they are about to lose control. The rys female Onja is learning to assert her magic among humans. She saves a ruined young chief and makes him her loyal servant. He’ll take the name Amar and rise to become a dreaded warlord, the terror of kings.

    Onja will also attract the sympathies of the rys prodigy Dacian. But he is loyal to the ruling tabre order and dreams of winning equality for the rys nonviolently. He holds tenaciously to his ideals even as the tabre brutally subjugate him. Will he endure more dark abuses for the sake of peace or reach out to Onja?
    Interview with Tracy Falbe

    Tell us about the world of your fantasy novel. Was it challenging to develop this world?

    My fantasy world is deeply inspired by Nature. The landscapes are vivid. The magical beings are very in tune with the forces of the biosphere. They feel the energy in the land, in the wind, and in the stars. They can see the living connections between all things and draw power from them.

    In Rys Rising the world is divided into two civilizations separated by a great mountain range called the Rysamand. The tribal kingdoms of Gyhwen have developed without the rule of magical beings. The other realm Nufal is ruled by the tabre, who developed the rys with experimental breeding cells in their remote colony within the Rysamand Mountains.

    The powers of the rys and tabre are similar. They can read minds, influence actions, and kill. They can see across the land with remote viewing. With great effort they can even manipulate flesh into new creatures and enslave souls. They are utterly superior to humans, but can be vulnerable to physical attack when they are deep in spellcasting trances.

    For the most part, developing a fantasy world comes easily to me. My imagination always embellishes my reality with magical fancies.

    The map of ancient Nufal:

    When writing about nature, do you find inspiration from observing environments from reality?

    Absolutely. Nature has inspired the human spirit since the beginning. In my life I've immersed myself in many natural wonders both tiny and grandiose. I've hiked redwood forests while looking out on the Pacific. I've stood in the sulfur fuming caldera of an old volcano. I've wondered the desert and watched the lizards scatter under the rocks. I've felt the ancient creepy soul of the swampy woods. I've paddled a canoe gently down a river and admired the turtles. I've watched a dust storm as high as the mountains bear down on me. I've cringed beneath the fury of a tornado and suffered in the choking fume of wildfires. I've heard the screams when a predator kills something in the night. I've laid awake in a tent and listened to the coyotes sing.

    What themes do you present in your novel?

    A primary theme is coping with the loss of one’s world. Change is hard and catastrophic change is even harder. My desire to explore how various characters deal with new realities is inspired by our rapidly changing world.

    Another big theme that drives my fiction is the allure of power. People or magical beings want to maintain their power or assert their power. Sometimes the better souls want to use power to protect others or to free the oppressed. Although those goals are worthy, the negative forces acting against them can drive them to do increasingly harsh things. I find the struggle between good and evil fascinating, mostly because evil has such an upper hand in all things.

    What other fantasy works have influenced your writing style?

    I think the biggest influence was Frank Herbert, who wrote the sci fi classic Dune. I loved his multiple character point of view epics that incorporated religion, economics, and the rivalries of various ruling elites. Also when I was a teen I read many Conan adventures by the famous Robert E. Howard. I always appreciated how he could paint a lush landscape with a few well crafted phrases. I also liked his primitive intensity. And like most fantasy writers, I love J.R.R. Tolkien. His stories remind me to give characters heart.

    Did you have fun writing about your characters?

    I always have fun writing my characters. Creating with words the characters that enter my mind is a great joy.

    The main human character in Rys Rising is Amar. He lost everything but is redeemed by the magic of Onja, but not for good purposes. As Amar develops he becomes tremendously cocky because he does not care if he lives and he knows Onja’s great magic is on his side.

    Onja is a young rys female. She hides her tremendous magical talent, waiting for the chance to attack the tabre who revile the rys as failed experiments.

    Another powerful rys is the male Dacian. He dreams of peacefully proving the equality of rys to his masters. In him I explore the idea of what if someone like Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. could not keep to the high road?

    Many humans also live under the rule of the tabre, and my main human character from that civilization is Cruce Chenomet. He’s a young estate lord looking for adventure. He joins the militia defending frontier settlers from savages. In him I created a hero motivated by good ideals. His character has some flaws though, mostly derived from his weakness for women.

    You mentioned about the flaw of your character Cruce. Do you believe giving characters weaknesses is essential when it comes to character development?

    I think for the most part weaknesses or flaws are essential for building genuine characters. Their strengths make them exciting, and their weaknesses make them interesting. A perfectly level-headed, sober, and conscientious person who never hurts anybody's feelings or makes a mistake would probably not make for very interesting reading. Flaws inject problems, conflicts, and mistakes into a narrative. They also make a character's strong points that much more redeeming and powerful.

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