by: Erica Cameron
Series: The Ryogan Chronicles
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: November 5, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Publishing ~ Teen
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Save the world or end it...
The immortal mages have risen, and they're out for blood.
Khya arrived at the Ryogan coast too late to stop the invasion. Now, cities are falling before the unrelenting march of an enemy army, and Khya's squad is desperately trying to stay ahead of them. Warning the Ryogans, though, means leaving her brother imprisoned even longer. Time is running out for everyone.
But how can her squad of ten stand against an army of ten thousand?
Calling in help from every ally she's made in Ryogo, Khya tries to build a plan that won't require sacrificing her friends or her brother. It's a tough balance to find, especially when the leadership role she thought she wanted sits heavy on her shoulders, and her relationship with Tessen is beginning to crack under the strain.
The end is coming, and there's no way to know who'll be left standing when it hits.
The world of … (World Building)
Every author of every book worldbuilds, even if they’re writing a contemporary. Worldbuilding isn’t just magic systems and alien species, it’s also backstories and family dynamics and sociopolitical outlooks. The very act of writing a book is constructing a world, it’s simply scale and workload that changes across genres.
My first lessons came from books and movies I loved, but I didn’t begin truly analyzing the means and methods until after I’d graduated college. I did study psychology, which is an immense help for this particular artform, but unfortunately, even in an undergraduate creative writing program, worldbuilding isn’t usually an offered course. Instead I read essays posted by various masters and studied books like Holly Lisle’s “Create a _____ Clinic” series of guides. After that, it was trial and error, experimentation, and research. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, for example, is an incredible look at the history of humanity both from a biological and a sociological standpoint.
However, all the research in the world isn’t necessarily enough to build a city, country, planet, or universe. Trying to mold hundreds of pieces of information into a cohesive whole is the tricky bit. The facets of a world aren’t sides like a diamond or layers like an onion—neither metaphor is connected enough. To me, everything interconnects like a particularly ancient cobweb, and pulling one filament free alters every other section of the web. The landscape in which people live impacts what and how much they have to eat which impacts numerous social divisions which impacts subcultures and social pressures which impacts individual outlooks on life, death, and the workings of the universe. Reality, be it our or an invented one, is made of relationships, both human and causal, and each one is a link in a chain or a filament in a web. This is why, when building a world, it’s so important to zoom in as well as out. The individual fibres are just as important as the overall beauty of the web.
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Erica Cameron is the author of books for young adults including the Ryogan Chronicles, the Assassins duology, and The Dream War Saga. She also co-authored the Laguna Tides novels with Lani Woodland. An advocate for asexuality and emotional abuse awareness, Erica has also worked with teens at a residential rehabilitation facility in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale.
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