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When I Decided To Write A Fantasy

Ian Conrey
Ian V. Conrey Author Interview

Haelend’s Ballad is an epic fantasy novel that follows an ensemble cast that are trying to survive in a war torn land where fate conspires against them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Definitely history. Our own world is full of war and atrocities, and yet we often only see one side of the story. But when we look at these historical events from various perspectives, we see a much more complex (and often darker) reality. When I decided to write a fantasy, I felt that having a large cast from different backgrounds and perspectives would be the best way to reflect that reality.

Your characters are intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

On one level, I simply wanted my characters to be real. I wanted them to be flawed, multi-faceted, and to sometimes just make really bad decisions. They needed to wrestle with their own sins and as well as the sins other against them, and that, in turn, should impact the choices they make. On another level, music was a big influence that helped shape each of my characters. I listened to a lot of early American ballads and classical composers, as well as more recent musicians such as Mumford and Sons, Radiohead, and Josh Garrels. Every character represented something that spoke to me in that music.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The biggest theme is probably suffering (how it impacts our worldview, the decisions we make, etc.). Other themes include the consequences of racism, nationalism, and political/economic corruption, as well as the power and freedom found in forgiveness, love, and self-sacrifice.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m currently working on a series of short stories that explores some of the mythology and other events in the world of Haelend’s Ballad. Also, I’ll be collaborating with my cover illustrator at the beginning of next year to create a series of illustrations for a hardback edition of Haelend’s Ballad that I hope to release at the end of 2022.

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“Some call me Murderer, others call me Lord. I’ve been called Savior and Enslaver. But no one has ever called me Child.”
A young man signs his own death warrant when he joins an already failing militia. A teenage girl is haunted by her childhood abuse and begins to crave the very things she hates. A childless mother finds herself on the run as a convicted murderer. Yet they are all unaware that their own fates are tied to a young orphan who has drowned and come back to life in a foreign land where he will be the death of everyone he meets.
Hælend’s Ballad is a tale about what happens when men and women from two colliding cultures realize they may not be on the right side. Heroes are villains. The persecuted are oppressors. And when rumors begin to spread that the world is dying, the darkness of their own hearts betrays them.

Haelend’s Ballad

Haelend's Ballad by [Ian V. Conrey]

Haelend’s Ballad is an epic fantasy novel that drops readers into the middle of a war between the kingdoms of Daecland and Sunder. I feel like the story is influenced by colonial establishments, as seen in the etiquettes and ways of thinking of wealthy colonists. However, the clandestine movement, Silent Hither, and the dark horses are also making headway in Sunder, working hard to retrieve their land from the pale-faced Daecish. In the midst of the brutal wars and their horrifying repercussions, the harbinger of the long-sung events in Haelend’s Ballad, the apocalypse of evil, and the resurrection of the world are starting to emerge. The men at war who lust after influence are ignorant of the bitter day of reckoning that awaits them, accompanied by the bane of all evil.

With the author’s knowledge and experience in history & theology, and interest in ancient mythology, he has effectively used those subjects to flesh out the essential elements of Haelend’s Ballad. Religious contemplation is prevalent in the story as we see the characters in the novel, in times of confusion and crisis, question, contemplate and request the existence and grace of God.

The novel creates vivid images of war and its hideous consequences for everyone. I also liked the realistic portrayal of the picture of a country in the shackles of colonizers, with only the wealthy enjoying the evolution of their homeland. While depicting the barter system, invasions, and wars, it has also portrayed the dawning of technological advancements, such as the printing press, camera lens, steam engine, and voltaic power.

I was a bit confused at first as there was a large number of things to take in; events, characters, town. So as not to get confused later amid the eruption of complex plot twists, I had to note the names of characters and their towns. The map of Everwind and the World at the beginning of the book, however, amazed me and helped me visualize the kingdoms to a great extent.

While Haelend’s Ballad does not give the reader all the details upfront, as the story progresses the many characters and their interconnected fate reveal a deep backstory. I appreciated the details used to setup scenes whether it was the children in the orphanages or the violence and gore of war.

Haelend’s Ballad is a captivating story with something new and exciting in each chapter. The story explores an intriguing link between actions and consequences. Children and sensitive readers may be uncomfortable with some shocking scenes, but mature audiences will be engrossed in this epic fantasy novel.

Pages: 800 | ASIN: B091BSWD8D

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