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The Enchanted World: Fairies and Elves, A Forgotten Tome

So once upon a time there was a certain author who was stumbling upon YouTube for irrelevant information (that’s me), and as though it were fated, this author stumbled upon a video with less than 30 views at the time. The video was titled something along the lines of “Enchanted Worlds Books…”. In essence, this video was composed of a gentlemen leafing through a rather large tome.

At first, this anonymous author thought nothing of it. But then the man in the video opened the book, revealing a myriad of classically painted art with fancy text printed over it. From that moment on, the author was interested.

An odd way to start a blog post, I know, but what’s even odder is that this story is true. Just thinking about it this way reminds me of how easily I could have just skipped this obscure video, and have missed out on this rare gem of a series.

Luckily for you, my curiosity has a habit of showing itself in the oddest moments. But what the hell is this book? Well, I’m glad you asked.

The Enchanted Worlds series of books is among the more unique pieces of literature you could find. From the peculiar size of the texts themselves to the stunning art that garnishes most of its pages. But what is truly unique about this book is the kind of narrative that it is telling.

Just by reading the title you could fool yourself into believing this was just another run-of-the-mill mythology encyclopedia. But the moment you fathom this is the moment your are a hair’s breath away from dismissing this as generic drivel. But it’s not.

Elves and Fairies is a title broad enough for it to give the vibe of an academic work, which in one sense, is a vibe provided by this book. A lot of knowledge of particular subsets of mythology from all over Europe is present here, and you can learn a fair bit from it. But that isn’t ALL there is to it.

This story is more akin to a collection of folklore compiled into a manuscript. Except that…it isn’t!? Well, I guess it kind of is but–its weird is all.

The stories compiled in this book are about Elves and Fairies (what else were you expecting?), and it tells of their encounters with the human race over the course of ancient and medieval history. You have tales of forbidden love between the two alien races, tales of fairies whom would snatch infants from villages, tales of people turning into swans, and much more!

The reason I say it’s strange is because it’s hard to tell whether this book tries to present itself as a compilation of stories told by ancient people or as a compilation of fictional stories inspired by ancient mythologies. The stories present here have just the right amount of lack of detail and tropes to fit in with common fairy-tales we hear, yet, the tales are so different from the ones we are used to listening to, that one can’t help but speculate if the writers made them up on their own.

It’s a very peculiar experience. If I had to summarize it in one way, it would be this. This book chronicles the dealings of Fairy-Kind with the Mortal world through the views of many European cultures, all the while giving you a neat index of historical beliefs regarding these beings. I don’t think I’ve read anything like it either, and I don’t think you have either.

I ask that you please give this a shot, I’ve only read one book but my imagination is already enthralled. As for the price…would you believe me if I told you that a good portion of these books are available used for only a cent on Amazon? A cent.

With those kind of prices, how could you NOT get it?

As always, this has been the QuestingAuthor. Keep Writing, my friends.

Amazon Links to early books in the series:

Wizards and Witches

Fairies and Elves

Ghosts

 

Image:

goodreads.com

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Reccomendation: Legend of the Galactic Heroes

Legend of the Galactic Heroes is an oddball in terms of its actual existence.

This is a series of novels that’s being released on amazon, with twelve separate volumes making up the whole of the series. You may be asking yourselves, why these novels are worth mentioning, especially considering their appearance. One would be fooled into thinking that this was just a standard space opera with the usual dose of melodrama and epic fight scenes in space, of which there is no lack of in this book. But when I said this book was an odditity, I was not jesting.

The Legend of the Galactic Heroes series has some rather unique traits to it. Being among the tiny sliver of Japanese genre fiction that manages to make it all the way into the west, the fact that more than one of these books are already released in English serves as a sign. And while the name might attest otherwise, the status of the characters in these books as “Heroes” can be dubious at best.

When I bought the first volume “Dawn” I was expecting just a fun sci-fi book that I could pick up every now and then, but before I knew it, I was binge reading the hell out of it.

When you first start reading you’ll see that the description in the books are rather sparse, but the quality of those scant traces of vivid text are superb in how they’re presented. The books flow like your reading a historical documentary of a fictional universe, and this works miracles in its advantage. The Omniscient narrator employed by the author, Yoshiki Tanaka, is used to portray the thoughts of both friend and foe in grand intergalactic battles. The author frequently zooms into small microcosms of the prolonged engagement between the Galactic Empire and the Free Planet’s Alliance, allowing the reader to see various perspectives from major players in the way to minor characters in the background, giving the chance to watch how each of their motivations stack against those of the others.

But the writing style isn’t all there is to the book.

When you’re first hooked by the brief but effective prose, you’ll grow to meet the two complex leads of Reinhard von Lohengramm of the Galactic Empire and Yang Wen-Li of the Free Planet’s Alliance.  These two characters are given the largest share of time alloted to them in the books, and for good reason. What really made me stay with the books glued to my face was how the personalities and views of these two serve as foils to one another.

Reinhard is a noblemen whose defining characteristic could be identified as ambition. And despite being complex himself, he’s the closest thing to a standard protagonist in this kind of story, but he subverts a great deal of tropes related to that archetype. Reinhard is ruthless in how he seeks to accomplish his goals, that glorious act he plays when around other people is just that. An act. When one reads his thoughts in the books and sees his actions, you will see that behind that mask of gold is a calculating, Machiavellian mind that plans out everything with pure precision. But Reinhard is contrasted by his counterpart in the Free Planet’s Alliance, Yang Wen-Li.

An aspiring historian turned soldier, Yang loathes participating in military campaigns. His pessimism about war contrasts with Reinhard’s optimism in using war to achieve one’s goals. Yang would take any opportunity he has to leave military service, ironically, he’s the best Admiral to take command of the fleets in the Free Planet’s Alliance. While Yang is just as calculating as Reinhard, if not more, he has none of the nobleman’s ruthlessness. Despite his occupation, Yang’s character toys with pacifism quite often and he resorts to the least damaging forms of engagement in the battlefield.

These two present opposed worldviews of a single a universe, that shed light on the corruption of the political and military class, and this isn’t even counting the dozens of other characters with similar depth. The horrors of war are not spared for either side of the conflict,and in addition to stunning scenes of combat in space, there are even more of the Powers that Be conspiring behind the curtains.

I would urge all of you to read these books, considering the fact that the more people who consume them, the higher chances we have of more being localized. And we all want that don’t we? *Wink*

Buy on Amazon: 

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Vol 1: Dawn; here

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Vol 2: Ambition; here

Featured Image: Source

 

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