In 1999 I first came up with the idea for the world of Elenchera and more than a decade later it comprises twenty-three lands, 500+ maps (I wish I was joking!), 47,000+ years of events spread across twenty-five Shards (or ages) of history. I wanted a fantasy world that had something unique about it just as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Pratchett’s Discworld and Lewis’ Narnia all have. While I would never preach that Elenchera should be spoken in the same breath as those worlds I do feel after more than a decade of work that it has something special about it.
I love history, always have and always will. It was my favourite subject at school and whatever aspect of history I had to study I never struggled to find something of interest. When I first began building Elenchera I turned to our own history for inspiration. Reading Cassell’s World History from cover to cover I not only learned about some interesting events but I gained an understanding of how many societies have developed, their innovations, reasons for fighting wars and how every powerful empire eventually falls with the passing of time.
Elenchera is a world that begins with an almost mythical background. A world built by a god and his servants, the peaceful idyll soon gives way to war when those same servants rise against their master after his descent into evil. Gods feature in the early Shards of Elenchera but their subjects eventually learn to live without them. Like our own world, nothing lasts forever in Elenchera and while legendary rulers built great kingdoms their descendants didn’t have the means to hold them together. I’ve tried to use many of the familiar aspects of fantasy in Elenchera such as dwarves, elves, dragons and magic but each element has been carefully phased into the history and all of them suffer their rises and declines.
Magic was an intriguing aspect of Elenchera and I was conscious of having rules in place. A world where people can use magic at will is very unappealing and in Elenchera there are very few individuals that can wield it safely in the early Shards. In later centuries magic becomes more prevalent but those that dare to use it pay a great physical and mental price for harnessing such power. Magic is very much a gift from the world of Elenchera and to abuse it is sacrilegious. At the same time magic becomes a component of scientific and technological innovations that propel Elenchera’s many societies forward. I’m not certain I’ll write an Elenchera novel as a sci-fi but those later Shards are certainly very advanced in comparison to the earliest Shards.
The release of FEZARIU’S EPIPHANY is the first taste I am offering of this world. Set in the Fourteenth Shard at the height of the colonial period where East Elenchera discovers and brings West Elenchera to its knees, FEZARIU’S EPIPHANY is more about the story of a small group of characters rather than the historical context but it’s always there in the background and it undoubtedly affects the lives of all Elenchera’s inhabitants. All Elenchera novels will be written in the same vein as FEZARIU’S EPIPHANY, the story and characters more important than the world itself but each book will give the reader another opportunity to immerse themselves in the Elencheran timelines. This is a world very much rooted in fantasy but at the same time it is a very real world, difficult and uncompromising for many of its inhabitants yet possessing great beauty amongst the mountains, lakes, trees, valleys, oceans, forests and rivers.
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