Melkorka: Thrice Nine Legends by Joshua Robertson, was released on Amazon today! As a final beta reader, I got a sneak peek at the newest in dark fantasy.
Branimir Baran is a Kras, a servant creature of a magical order of humans, who unwillingly unleashes the greatest evil his world has ever known. Bran is forced on an adventure to stop this evil, an undead sorceress, from destroying all life. Not such a small task. Branimir has to really grow and stretch beyond his expected place in society and beyond his own definition of himself as he faces a series of adventures across his world.
Robertson revives epic fantasy with great world-building. I enjoyed his creatures and the way he illustrated their cultures by having the characters interact. There was even one moment that was such a surprise I swore out loud.
Bran was a little bit of a tame main character for me, but he was surrounded by some complicated magic and gives the reader a wider perspective than any other character would have been able to.
As part of this dark epic fantasy release, I asked Joshua Robertson a few questions.
- Melkorka brings us back to classic epic fantasy, with a world full of magic and unique creatures. Which of the creatures from the world of Melkorka would you want to be and why? It would sound like I was avoiding the question by saying that I have a special place reserved for all of the creatures in Melkorka. And truly, each of them have their advantages and their disadvantages. Though, if the axe was put against the grindstone, I would have to say a Highborn. The dichotomy between good and evil that is found in human beings has always been a point of interest of mine, and clearly a struggle that is relatable. The element of power (magic) that the Highborn possess makes this conflict all the more exciting.
- Branimir Baran, the character from whose perspective we experience the story, is a creature called a Kras. What other famous literary characters/creatures influenced the creation of the Kras? That is a great question! As one might suspect, the creature does have some similarities to gnomes, halflings, and dwarves that many would find in European or Norse myth. However, the Kras was primarily derived from the Krasnoludek in Polish legend. Through the years, I have discovered an appreciation for Slavic, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern folklore when building my worlds and writing my stories.
- As your first book is released and you’re caught up in the craziness of promotion, what projects do you have sitting on the backburner for later this year/next year? There are two primary projects that I am finishing up. A Midwinter Sellsword will be released this year as the first novelette in a fantasy series, The Hawkhurst Saga. It focuses on the story of a noble that is enslaved in a treacherous, subterranean city. The other story called Dyndaer, the sequel to Melkorka, continues the story. It is currently being edited and is set to be released January 2016.
- How many books will be in the series of Thrice Nine Legends? The number of stories within Thrice Nine Legends will definitely depend on the interest of the fans. Melkorka is the first in this trilogy following the specific tale of kaelandur, the copper dagger. There are two more books that will complete that story, Dyndaer and Maharia.
With that being said, a standalone novel, temporarily named Aenarfell, is currently being outlined. This exciting novel will take the reader into the events that preceded and instigated the incidents at Melkorka, introducing new races, epic battles, and the very interesting and peculiar dragons within Aenar.There are additional trilogies in the planning phase for the Thrice Nine Legends series that will each provide another exciting layer to the characters, the plot, and the fabric of the world. It is my hope that folks are excited to delve further into this world after reading
- What is your favorite ‘author fuel’? When do you do your best writing? I generally write in the evening and late at night. This requires two things: a pot of coffee and a substantial bag of Sour Patch Kids candies. [Disclaimer: No one paid me to say that.] Then, I put on some motivational, epic fantasy music from some of my favorite artists on YouTube and start crunching away at the keyboard. This atmosphere allows me to do my best writing and without distractions.
- What other talents/hobbies do you like to show off when you’re not writing? I spend most of my time working at my day job, spending quality time with family, or writing. If you include time for eating, sleeping, and proper hygiene, it is unusual that I have time for much else. Though, when I feel whimsical, or the opportunity presents itself, I like to make new friends, gab about a variety of topics, play tabletop games, and travel.
Joshua began crafting the world for the dark fantasy series, Thrice Nine Legends, in 1999. Melkorka, the first book of the series, was published in 2015. In addition, he is the author of the transitional children’s book, Bo Bunny and the Trouble. Joshua helped co-create the fantasy tabletop game, Thrice Nine Legends, based on his books and due to be released in 2015. He is also known for his flash fiction, short stories, and poems. Joshua currently lives in Alaska with his wife and children.