Today I’m pleased to welcome Melissa Douthit to my blog today with her blog tour stop for The Firelight of Maalda-Book 2 in the
Legend of the RaieChaelia.
I’ve read both Prequels and am now working on Book 1. Stay tuned for the review of these.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy what you read here.
Excerptfrom The Firelight of Maalda,chapter: The Secret of Portalis,pages 88-89:
“It’s clever,” she remarked.
“No, it’s scientific,” Aemis said expertly as he turned backto his workbench.
Dekkar rolled his eyes. “Ever since I explained that word to him, he keeps using it,” hewhispered to Ben.
Jeremiah snorted. “Youshould feel special,” he said. “Beforethis, everything was ‘ingenious.’”
Chalice glanced over to see if Aemis had heard but he didn’tseem to be paying attention. He was tooengrossed in his work. What a strange character, shethought. She turned to Dekkar. “What is scient … I don’t even know what hesaid.”
“Scientific. It is anadjective meant to describe something that is characterized by the methods andprinciples of science.”
“Uh, okay … what is science?” Chalice didn’t mean to sound rude but it was almost as if Dekkar wasspeaking a different language.
“Science is a word our ancestors defined as the study of thestructure and behavior of the physical world through observations andexperiment,” he said and she cocked an eyebrow as to say: Huh? “In other words,Chalice, it was their way understanding the world and how it worked, breakingit down into finite pieces, observing those pieces in experimentation andexamining the results in terms of cause and effect. By doing this, they believed they couldcontrol their surroundings, or become gods of their own world so to speak, andalthough their capacity for rational thought was exceptional, it limited theirworldview.”
I’ve had several people ask mewhat the book’s blurb means: A story thatunites the real with the fantastical and turns science into magic.
So, how does it unite the realwith the fantastical? Those who haveread the first book, The Raie’Chaelia,have been calling the story an epic fantasy, or a high fantasy, comparing it toJordan’s or Tolkien’s world, but it is neither. It is not an epic fantasy but rather a futuristic fantasy set in thisworld. This becomes apparent in The Firelight of Maalda, when Chaliceand Jeremiah visit the Archive in the chapter called The Secret of Portalis. Thesecond book touches upon themes that are really related to our world and theproblems in it. These themes are thereason why I began writing the trilogy in the first place. I wanted to see if it was possible to takethe harsh realities of our world and juxtapose them with problems in afantastical world. I wondered: How would the heroine and hero react toproblems and dangers that are real for us today? How would it compare with their own problemsin their world? Would it be just asfrightening?
How does it turn science intomagic? Throughout the book, the readerwill hear echoes of modern science, or more accurately modern physics. For those who have studied it, particularlythe theories laid out by Albert Einstein and more recently, Edward Witten, theyunderstand that modern physics has really gone beyond the circle of empiricalscience into the realms of philosophy and religion, even the fantastical,giving it a magical quality. Therefore,it was easy to use the principles laid out by these theories as magic in thestory.
But, in my humble opinion,this story is first and foremost a story of love, where the heroine has tochoose between doing her duty for her people and following her heart. The two main characters, Chalice andJeremiah, knew each other as children. When they meet again, they remember the friendship they shared as kids. It begins to grow and blossom into somethingstronger throughout the first book, coming to fruition at the end. In so many other YA stories I’ve read, ameet-cute is usually between two strangers who fall in love, but I wanted thisone to be different. The Vanishing, a prequel to book one, isparticularly romantic because Jeremiah feels something deep down, somethingmissing from his life that he describes as a hole in his chest, and thenfinally learns what it is when he sees her again. That is, his heart remembers (The Vanishing, page 51):
She studied him for a moment and then,suddenly, her face lit up in recognition. “Oh my gosh, no, I do remember!” sheexclaimed. “Jeremiah?!” she asked and he nodded. “Jeremiah Maehbeck! How couldI have forgotten?!”
He smiled as she said the words andcaught a twinkle of joy in her eye at seeing him again. Then he suddenlyrealized what had been missing in his life this whole time. After all theseyears, he finally understood the emptiness inside of him and realized whatcould fill it – the only thing that could fill it. It was her.
Contest for Free Kindle:
Entera drawing and win a free Kindle by answering the following question:
Whatis Chalice’ internal struggle?
Toanswer the question go to this link and fill in the information (place answerin Message field):
Contestends March 10, 2012. Winner will be announced March 11th on MelissaDouthit’s Blog.
The Firelight of Maalda onAmazon and B&N:
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