Characterization


Characters I Love: Althea and Markon  

More adorable characters from W.R. Gingell! Althea and Markon are the two main characters in Twelve Days of Faery. Althea is confident and competent, magnificently understated, and somehow adorable rather than intimidating. She’s kind and funny and endearing, while remaining supremely focused on her mission. She’s quite understandably fascinating to Markon (and to the reader), and she’s a wonderful example of a “strong female character” who isn’t written as a physically rough-and-tough sex symbol with too much attitude. Markon is the point-of-view character, and he’s immediately likable. He’s overworked, beset by annoying visiting dignitaries, and deeply upset by the curse […]

Twelve Days of Faery cover image

Playing Hearts cover image

Characters I Love: Jack

 Did I mention I’ve been loving W.R. Gingell’s work lately? I have. All of her characters are delightful (except the horrible ones, who are horrifically horrible). Jack is the son of the Queen of Hearts. Jack is a self-centered, untrustworthy liar, shallow and prickly and sarcastic and utterly, completely delightful. He’s disappointing and brilliant, and he makes the story infinitely more personal to narrator Mabel. And Mabel is his equal, impulsive and brilliant and dangerous in her mounting terror at the Queen’s evil manipulations. Playing Hearts is a novella, but there is so much story crammed in a relatively short […]


Why is the Labyrinth movie so great? 1

I occasionally post on Quora.com, a question and answer site. Recently someone asked why Labyrinth is so great. You might already know that I love Labyrinth. But let me tell you more, because this movie is dismissed far more quickly than it deserves. Someone else had already given a short answer that mentioned the fantastic story and David Bowie, but I will go deeper. I don’t like the sequel manga and I think it derailed some of the fantastic symbolism, so my answer below is going to pretend it doesn’t exist. In my mind and in my answer, I’m treating the movie completely as a […]


What I’m Reading #2

This is some of what I’ve been reading lately:    The Legend of Eli Monpress series – Rachel Aaron – I just finished Spirit’s End. If you’re looking for a break from grimdark, you should really check out this series. There’s plenty of death, destruction, and high stakes, but it’s told from a lighter perspective, with characters worth loving and rooting for. There is real loyalty and self-sacrifice, along with some really fantastic and inventive magic. As a random aside, I have no idea why the covers are so different. They’re obviously part of different editions, but I don’t know why. The second […]


Guest Post: Mentors with a Twist

I’m hosting guest authors through most of April and May, as I am swamped with Awesome Con DC and welcoming Baby Boy Brightley into the world. This guest post was written by AC Smyth, the author of Crowchanger and Stormweaver.    Mentors with a Twist Think of a mentor in fantasy and where do your thoughts go? I’d take a bet that for a lot of people the first person they think of is someone like Gandalf, or Obi-Wan Kenobi. Maybe Albus Dumbledore. The mentor is a grey-haired man in a long robe, right?Well, maybe that used to be the case, but I think […]