Monday, 22 April 2019

Two Top Ladies


The female fantasy fiction authors I love the best.

Juliet Marillier

Sara Douglass and Juliet Marillier - When I see a book with their name on it a thrill runs through me. Why? Because they write bold, multi-layered stories featuring strong, female protagonists.

With winged creatures, mysterious birth stories,  Druids, faery creatures and more - both writers expertly engage the reader in stories which pick you up and don't let you go. Its always a wild ride!

Juliet Marillier is Author of The Sevenwaters Series, The Bridei Chronicles, The Blackthorn and Grim novels, Hearts Blood, Cybele's Secret and Prickle Moon and the upcoming Warrier Bards Series beginning with Harp Of Kings.
Prickle Moon Short Stories and the haunting Flame of SevenWaters
Her books are intriguing, exciting and chock-full  of magic realism, mystery, family struggles, romance, good versus evil and elemental magic.
A  member of Obod - the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids , Juliet  is also a passionate rescuer of dogs and always has a posse around.

Whether male or female, protagonist or antoganist, Juliet's characters are always beautifully layered. Backstories create a depth of character that is a signature of her style, such as Blackthorn in Dreamers Pool or Bran in Son of the Shadows.


Another fascinating aspect is her love of history and the intriguing use of historical characters such as Bridei, King of the Picts as well as his Druid, Broichan. Weaving  a tale around real-life figures is a monumental task and one that Juliet fulfills with expertise in The Bridei Chronicles.

If you would like to learn more visit her webpage or Friends Of Juliet FB page! 

        Sara Douglass wrote 'big' storylines. Mystical creatures, magic, but not so much magic realism as magic fantasy. The Axis Trilogy begins with a gritty tale, BattleAxe involving  many a bloody battle between humans who worship a cruel god called 'Artor' and the Winged Icarri people, who are  reviled as filth and demons. Long-buried prophesies awaken and turn men into gods and gods into demons.


Demons are a main feature in many of Sara's novels - sometimes the demons are in fact angels as in The Nameless Day:Book One of the Crucible series 


Sara was fascinated  by medieval Europe in particular the horrific events in the 14th century with the onset of the Black Death which wiped out millions throughout Europe.

 Sara Douglass passed away on September 27th 2011, after a long battle with ovarian cancer, leaving a magnificent legacy in the books she wrote. Stories which remain as sought after and popular as when they were first published. She was 54 years old when she died.  The same age that I am as I write this blog.


From that first fateful day when I picked up a copy of her book Enchanter, I always wanted to tell her how much her books  meant to me.  I can now honour her by recommending her books, and her memorial page, maintained by her dear friend Karen Brooks.

Sara's Memorial page is her own personal blog, and it is  wonderful  to read of her self-sufficiency journey, her cancer journey and many other things close to her heart. 

It allows us all a glimpse of the amazing woman behind the books. Read it for yourself and try not to cry at the poignancy of the life she lived and the legacy that lives on:

http://nonsuchkitchengardens.com/




Everything Old is New Again..With apologies to Peter Allen)


... a message from beyond the veil.

I love it when I check out the book section of an Op Shop (Oxfam Shop or Goodwill for those of you not living in Australia!)

There is ALWAYS a little treasure hidden on the book shelves! Todays find is (DRUM ROLL please):

Ursula Le Guin's VOICES  and DREAMING AGAIN - 35 new stories in Australian Fantasy Fiction with SARA DOUGLASS!    Now, call me crazy, but I think Sara is sending me a message of approval from beyond for my post regarding her wonderful novels and life. 

 The story in this anthology seems aptly named in light of my recent blog on her life and death THIS WAY TO THE EXIT .

I think this proves beyond a doubt that Sara Douglass had and continues to have, a wonderful sense of humour. Vale Sara and thank you for sending this gem my way!