Five Fact Thursday - Windmast Golem by Helen Henderson #fantasy #romance
My romantic fantasy, Windmaster Golem, takes the story of Captain Ellspeth and the archmage, Lord Dal, to the next generation. Kiansel, sister to the current Oracle of Givneh, is expected to one day assume the mantle and lead the temple’s followers. Her emerging powers force an impossible decision. To answer the siren call of magic requires she turn her back on her family, her heritage and the teachings of the oracle. Banishment to a remote village as healer, a position he despised, fueled Relliq’s desire for revenge. The discovery of a mythical city and an army of clay soldiers provided the means to control all mages--including the one he wanted most—Kiansel. Brodie, weaponsmith for the School of Mages couldn’t refuse the archmage’s request to act as escort for a healing team fighting a curse upon the land. But how can a man without any magic of his own fight a curse or protect a friend from an invisible stalker?
Here are Five Facts about this book:
1. The original storyline was based on a pair of twin mages, Denai and Elendl. However Windmaster Golem is not only set in the world of windmaster, as part of a series having ages of the characters syncronize was important. In the case of Denai and Elendl, even as the oldest of the planned children, the time passage required to make them suitable for the planned love interest did not compute. The problem was solved by going by to the beginning of the series.
2. A group of ancient mages created the army of clay soldiers to protect their home, Dìomhairid, the legendary city in the lake in mountains. According to myth, the city rises from the lake every 100 years.
3. Inspiration for the falaire came from a childhood picture of the author riding a Shetland pony on her family farm. The magical equines have super speed and are intensely loyal to their rider once they choose one. The head stallion of the vale herd usually selects the archmage as its rider.
4. The golem were based on the terracotta army of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. However instead of being buried, the mages’ golem awaited their summoning in underground chambers of an extinct volcano.
5. Once past the public area, accessing the library in the Temple of the Oracle requires magic. There were also protective spells placed on rooms to prevent someone from stealing the archives. To prevent researchers and students from attempting to read in the dark, magic powered sconces self-lit to provide light in the back rooms while in the main study areas sunlight was brought in by hidden mirrors.
A bonus fact: The author wants to ride falaire and spend some time in the Oracle’s library.
Tendrils of fog clutched at Brodie’s ankles. The thick haze not only dampened the sound of the surf crashing against the cliff, it hid the trail along the cliff edge. Not even the light from the gibbous moon showed anything other than shadows.
For several breaths he stood and marked his location on a mental map of the trail. Switchbacks and a sharp drop-off marked the downhill slope to the village. A tug pulled the long sword from the scabbard hanging on his back. “Good thing I have TânOer with me,” he told the night. He kept the weapon in his cottage in the main village unless being used in a lesson. “The short sword I usually carry while on the Isle of Mages is too short to be useful as a pointer.” The memory of why he had the enspelled long sword with him flickered into being. That afternoon he had shown the folly of hubris to a pair of second-season students and spent the rest of the day at the forge.
One final breath to center himself and he dragged the tip along the ground in a long arc in front of him. Step by step, he listened for the scratch of steel on dirt or the swish as the blade slid into the grass alongside the trail. Boulders filled the space from the grassy verge to the cliff’s edge, so a scrape on rock told he was no longer on the path. Every snick of steel on stone dropped him to the ground. On hands and knees he explored the area until he determined if it was a single rock or a pile of them marking a sharp turn of the path to warn the unwary to slow down.
His fingers didn’t meet more rocks, just open air.