Tag Archives: magic

War of Shadows Is Now In Stores!

Blaine McFadden is back, and the bad guys are badder than ever! Broken magic. Power-hungry vampires. Evil mages. Battling warlords. War of Shadows is now in stores and online in trade paper and ebook—my darkest and grittiest adventure ever!

War of Shadows

War of Shadows

War of Shadows is Book 3 in Blaine McFadden’s Ascendant Kingdom’s Saga. Here’s the recap: Blaine “Mick” McFaden has scored a victory and restored the magic, but new threats rise from the wreckage of the kingdom of Donderath. While the magic remains brittle and undependable, warlords both mortal and undead vie for power, fighting for control of the ruined Continent. McFadden and his unlikely band of convict heroes must choose their allies wisely as renegade talishte take long- awaited vengeance and powerful mages seek to control Donderath’s next king. Blaine McFadden must protect those loyal to him against the coming storm, and find a way to bind magic to the will of mortals before it destroys him, because time is running out …

And since a picture says a thousand words, this is the book video

There are a few days left on the Goodreads giveaway

You can find an excerpt plus links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, Chapter/Indigo, Waterstones and Kobo here: https://www.ascendantkingdoms.com/books/the-ascendant-kingdoms-saga/war-of-shadows/

What Reviewers are saying about War of Shadows

If you are an epic fantasy lover, then this is a series you should try!—Exploding Spaceship Reviews

Packed with action, politics, magic, and monsters, this is epic fantasy writ large—Barnes & Noble

“War of Shadows is a rousing adventure full of action, intrigue, danger, and suspense. It’s epic fantasy at its best, filled with vivid magic but grounded by real human emotion.”
—Aaron Rosenberg, author of the bestselling Adventures of DuckBob Spinowitz series

“This book kept me reading long past my bed time. As always, Gail Z. Martin delivers Epic Fantasy as it was meant to be read: gripping, action packed, and larger than life. A delight for any fan of the genre!”—Rachel Aaron, author of The Spirit Thief

“A vivid, engrossing tapestry woven from epic heroism, post apocalypse struggles, perilous magic and darkest fantasy. A distinct and distinctive achievement”.
–Juliet McKenna, author of The Tales of Einarinn

“Which of these things are on your epic fantasy checklist: Intense action in the first few pages which then carries right through to the last? Vivid battle scenes? Characters that combine the best of classic archetypes with fresh new twists? Snappy dialogue? Exciting world building? If you’ve checked even half of these items, then you owe it to yourself to check out Gail Z. Martin’s War of Shadows. It’s heroic adventure at it’s rollicking finest.”
–Charles E. Gannon, author of Fire With Fire

“With a large cast of satisfying characters, Gail Z. Martin masterfully presents an epic struggle between the forces of life and the forces of death in a world of broken magic.”
—James Maxey, author of Greatshadow on War of Shadows

“High mage magic, thrilling battles and heart-thudding adventure – yet another superb fantasy tale from Gail Z. Martin!”
– Andy Remic, author of The Iron Wolves on War of Shadows

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Are magical objects cheating?

by Gail Z. Martin

Imagine that you live in a world where magic is commonly known to be a force of nature.  People and other creatures have the ability to work magic, large and small.  Some natural places concentrate (or repel) magic.  In such a world, is it really such a stretch to believe that natural and created objects could possess their own magic?

I’ve heard some people claim that giving a character a magical object like a ensorcelled sword, a spelled amulet or a rabbit’s foot that really is lucky is cheating.  Funny, but no one ever says the same when a character in an action movie pulls out an AK47.  To my eye, enabling an action movie hero to fight off an entire good army with one automatic weapon and limitless rounds of ammo strikes me as highly improbably, if not downright magical, and yet no one cries foul.

I write about worlds where magic is operative, so obviously I have a dog in this hunt, as they say.  And as with magic itself, I believe it’s important to have rules to keep magical objects and supernatural powers from becoming a “god in a box” type of power to  cheat and take the easy way out.  So here are my “rules” (actually, they’re more like guidelines) for magical object fairness.

#1  Warn the reader ahead of time what the object’s power is.  You can be oblique as to its full power, but the reader needs to know the magical object has limits and isn’t a whatever-the-character-wishes-it-to-be all-purpose magical Swiss Army knife.  Unless it is, in which case, rule #2 applies.

#2  If you’ve got the magical equivalent of a Swiss Army knife (a single object that can do a bijillion things), then there has to be a cost to use it, and the cooler the task the object does, the higher the price for the user.  In fact, the cost should be high enough to give any rational person pause about the danger of relying too much on the object.

#3  Give the hero reasons inherent to his/her character that makes them reluctant to use the magical object except in an emergency.  It can be pride, fear of magic, suspicion as to the object’s true nature, etc., but the hero/heroine should want to be self-reliant until all else fails.

#4  Even when circumstances leave the hero no choice except to pay the price and use the magical object, the hero should still be doing everything he/she can to save the day.  No fair sitting back and lounging while the magical object saves the day, even if you’ve just sacrificed your soul in order to get the object’s assistance.

If you think about magical objects with the same skepticism you have about “helpful” freeware programs for your computer, you start to get the picture.  Sure, the program is “free”, but does it upload malware, a virus, a trojan or some other hidden nasty that will crash the power grid, transfer every last penny out of your bank account or fry your system?  There’s no such thing as a “free” lunch, a free program or a free magical object.  Caveat emptor.

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