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TOP TEN REASONS FLAME AND FORTUNE WILL BECOME YOUR FAVORITE FANTASY

Posted on October 17, 2012

10. Bounty Hunters. Let's hear it for all the Boba Fetts and Bossks out there. Even IG-88, he's worth mentioning, right? I've always loved bounty hunters and having our two main characters hunt down mortal children and deal with them in their own special way is a great set up for the series.

9. Fire elementals finally get their due! What the world really needs is a protagonist with the ability to ignite every time he sits down. Well, maybe the world isn't ready for posterior combustion, but Flame can spread his fire through his elbows, shins, feet, hands, shoulders and head. He's got magical khakis that keep him from lighting fire to where he rests his backside. Otherwise no doctor's waiting room furniture would be safe.

8. A were-elf no less. Fenris Fortune is a werewolf and an elf. He combines the gentle, artistic side of his elven heritage with the ferocious, wet fur demeanor of his werewolf aspect. He's a pointy-eared fellow with a nasty curse. Watch him vacillate between the two extremes. Because we all know vacillating is such a gripping dramatic hook to behold. Which will truly deliver a victory in our saga? Is his greatest weakness his ultimate strength? You read it and do the math.

7. Seeker's Sanctuary. Imagine a capital city where heroes are celebrated all over the place. Overrun with statues and monuments for the noble who have done a good deed, no matter how small, and you get to tour a city where throwing a stick means knocking into some well-intended statuary. And do Flame and Fortune make a mess of things with all that finely chiseled stoneworks just standing precariously about? You bet.

6. Maleeka is a dream character. A small light sprite tucked away in her lantern should want to just hang on a hook and shed light to events and goings-on in a tavern. Does this little will-o'-wisp want to do that? No, she craves adventure. She wants to see the world. And when she joins up with Flame and Fortune, three definitely doesn't make a crowd. This charming gal is one of my favorite female characters. I dare you to read about her exploits and not fall in love.

5. The metric system. While this tale is quite the high adventure, it is not without its humor. Whether it be in the dialogue or the characters' actions or the fact that all the units of measurement are in metric. The epilogue explains the reason why. And it gives me an excuse to issue the battle cry of: Tally ho to liters of adventure! Just think of the gimmicky selling point of branding Flame and Fortune as the United States' first metric fantasy. Not at all clunky a branding, huh?

4. Really creepy magical quandaries. Oh boy, you want unnerving magic, then watch the sorcery-filled pickles Flame and Fortune find themselves in. Abandoned cottage in the woods raise your suspicions? It should. Inside, our heroes encounter one of the most inventive fiendish plots to trap a man you'll ever see. If you don't believe me, take Piers Anthony's word for it. He loved this perilous scene and singled it out quite favorably on his website.

3. Goblins get bad-mouthed too often. Hey, look I can't say I'm a fan of goblins, but why must they always be so vilified. Find out what happens with our special goblin and see if he has a chance to become a positive spokesperson for goblinkind. It could go either way what with the how he conducts himself in the narrative.

2. Magic carpets, rampaging trees, magical hybrids, seedy taverns, and more! The worldbuilding and sense of place in Flame and Fortune measures up to the best fantasy settings out there.

1. A nod to Indiana Jones trilogy. Can you tell I am a child of the eighties, here? First allusions to Star Wars and now this. Flame and Fortune wags a big how-do-you-do to Harrison Ford's well regarded whip-smart role. Yep, lurking somewhere in our tale is a scene inspired by Indy's python phobia. Wait until you see how that plays out. You'll never look at church service and communion the same again.

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