Imagine if you will for a moment a medieval fantasy drama being brewed in a cauldron: throw in a measure of How to Train Your Dragon, add a dash of Game of Thrones, sprinkle in some of The Hobbit all topped off with a liberal dose of a King Arthurian legend, leave to simmer on a medium heat for few chapters and then you might have replicated Dragon Ascendants by Paul Vaughn.
So let’s get on to the plot, the setting and the highly descriptive cast of characters without creating spoilers for you.
Dragons, shadow-bats, elves, dwarves, bandits, skulduggery, betrayal, magic, fear, treachery, family discord, sibling rivalry, disappointment, parental disapproval, forgiveness, redemption and, lest I forget (although, how could I?) a very good measure of graphic violence – it’s all in there – so what more could I want from a fantasy novel? Perhaps a little romance? If it’s in here I missed it.
The action is all set in a mystical land, named the Luminess, which at first visit seems almost idyllic. That is, until the conflicts of this land are slowly revealed in the following chapters.
In these mountains live the elves, which have been there for centuries happily mining the gems hidden within. Their lives are occasionally interrupted by an assortment of other species, some for good cause some for ill.
Also, as within most fantasy novels, there is a power struggle between the forces of good and evil. From my reading, I felt that we are to consider these two grouping; one under the ‘command’ of the dwarf burrow’s hereditary leader, named Meerkesh, (representing the forces of good) and another under a very angry rogue elf, with unexplained issues, named Fearoc (representing the forces of evil). Such is the power of the latter, we are led to believe that the world has, or is about to, come to an end for the dwarves.
But I am not totally convinced as to which side is really the good and which that of evil is. In this strange land, where sapphires, ruby stones and diamonds are used as currency and the internal ‘politics’ seems to be driven by greed and ruled by bloodshed. On the one hand we have a population that apparently eats nothing other than apples, whilst the baddie mainly feasts on his conquests, we have quite a lot of axe wielding violence, bloodletting, beheading, dragons blinding by fire and melting of opposite forces during this fight between good and evil. Both sides seem as driven by bloodlust as the other. And this interesting dichotomy lends to some thought provoking reading.
This novel left me begging for more. More answers, more character development, more world building. I want to know! Ah, the mark of a good writer I suppose. I look forward to the next book in Paul Vaughn’s Luminess Legends series.
Pages: 217 | ASIN: B07B8STMY4
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In Sir Princess Petra’s Mission, Petra’s father sends her on a mission where she is expected to fail so that she can stop having fantasies of adventure and become a proper lady. The book is beautifully written, did you set out to create a story rich in kindness and morality, or did that happen organically?
Before I began to write the story, I did tons of work creating the characters. When I felt the characters were fully rounded and as well-known to me as friends, I began to write their adventures. It was, also, important to me to have noble characters doing noble deeds. So, the story was written and developed with noble values in my mind, but the characters seemed to develop the story organically because of who they are.
Princess Petra is a strong young woman. What was the inspiration for the main character’s traits and dialogue?
I’ve always believe that gender was never an issue to accomplishing what one’s heart desires. Petra’s character was created out of that belief. Petra is a strong young lady, and I am sure those traits come out because of my upbringing with a strong mother figure who has, and still is, accomplishing great things in life whether those accomplishments are male or female orientated.
What were some themes that you felt were important to highlight in Sir Princess Petra’s Mission?
Believing in oneself is the most important theme Petra instills throughout the series. Also, kindness, acceptance of others, standing up for what is right, bravery, and friendship were important themes to bring out in all the characters.
What will the next book in that series be about and when will it be published?
The characters haven’t told me yet what the next book is about yet. They have mentioned that they like the title Sir Princess Petra’s Quest. I’m hoping we’ll have created the 4th book for publication in later 2017. In the meantime, I have a new book, based on these characters, releasing in early 2017. The book is entitled The Dragon Grammar Book, and it’s an-easy-to-understand grammar book for middle grades through adults. The book is kind of quirky (well, if you think fantasy characters giving grammar lessons is quirky), and a fun and easy way to learn grammar.
Sir Princess Petra has already attained her knighthood in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu and her non-princess-like talent certificate from Talent School, neither of which pleases her father and mother, the king and queen. The king writes up more silly rules in the royal rule book to deter Sir Princess Petra from her knightly ways and useless talent, and turn her into a real princess once and for all. Will the king finally succeed with this newly written, ridiculous mission for Petra?
Posted in Interviews
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Deity’s Soulmate tells the story of Gardenia, a young goddess on her rite of passage. What was your inspiration for Gardenia’s character? Did you take anything from your life?
Gardenia is a character who was born when I was a freshman in high school. Since, I started creating her when I was a teen, it explains her childish traits that are present. I don’t think that if I started writing her in college, she would be that childish. I took my love of dragons and gave it to her.
I liked the in depth knowledge of Greek mythology you used throughout the story. Why did you choose to weave Greek Mythology through the novel?
I came to the United States when I was nine years old with no English (except for ‘cat’ and ‘dog’) and therefore it was difficult to find friends with a communication barrier. I spent a lot of time in the library of the elementary / middle schools, reading and trying to grasp the English language. Most of the books that I’ve found were about witches of Salem, dragons, ghosts, and on Greek mythology. One time, in class, my elementary school teacher, said that we would be creating a festival where we would be dressing up as ancient Greeks, cook their food, and enjoy ourselves. That was my first time when I enjoyed the ancient culture through the help of my teacher. After that I started doing research on the subject and like adding the Greek Mythology into my writing, brings back good memories. One of the stories that I am currently working on includes Ares as the main character.
I enjoyed the budding cross-species romance between Gardenia and one of her teachers. Was this a romance that was planned before writing or did this happen organically as you were writing?
It was not planned. The idea came to me after I wrote the first banter between them. It clicked in my mind that they would be perfect for each other and the best part… one of the twins gets romance! I mean seriously, normally twins are side characters, and in my novel, one of them becomes very important. It made me happy to explore the possibilities of the romance.
Gardenia decides to spend the next 100 years with dragons. Why do you think it was important for the characters development to have dragons as teachers?
In stories, dragons tend to be scary or friendly. They are considered to be all knowledgeable which worked in my favor, coming up with that idea. I wanted to depict dragons as a race more ancient than the gods and to show that they tend to keep to themselves after communicating with the younger race. Also, if dragons exist (and they do somewhere), I would totally love to be their student because they live long lives. Whenever knights kill dragons in stories, it sounds ridiculous to me because dragons are bigger, stronger, and more cunning. Having them quiet and take an educational role makes more sense to me.
Deity’s Soulmate is book 1 in the Goddess Training Trilogy. Can you tell us more about what’s in store for Gardenia and the direction of the second book?
Don’t want to spoil the ending of book 1, but Gardenia will really understand what it feels like to wear a different skin. Her lessons will continue, with an introduction of never before seen characters, and a battle that will determine the relationship between dragons, gods, and the Fates. There will also be more illustrations depicting the new characters that will have to do a lot with Gardenia growing up and becoming the goddess who she should be.
Zeus’s Daughter 100 years of punishment. Gardenia didn’t ask for it. Yet the Fates brewed their plans ever since before she was born. On the day of gaining knowledge about what humanity truly is, Gardenia decides to do something stupid… create a galaxy without permission. Out of that childish choice, something breaks inside of her and she decides to spend her 100 years with dragons. After searching the stars, Gardenia finds her first teacher and then the next and the next. However, what does one do when one falls in love with your family’s adversary? When one falls in love with a dragon? And what if the Fates are ready to make their move? Imaginative, amusing, and adventurous, the Goddess Training Trilogy Book 1 is a tale that will possess you to want to travel the stars.
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