If you’ve been following the blog, you know I have loved The Promised One and The Purloined Prophecy by Morgan G. Farris. If you haven’t been following me, click on the titles to see my reviews, because you need to check out this series!
Today I am part of the blog tour for The Purloined Prophecy and have a guest post by Morgan G. Farris herself. She gives us a bit of behind the scenes look at what makes these books her books!
First off, I want to say a great big thank you to Candyce for giving me the opportunity to write this guest post. If you’re not an avid follower of this blog, you should be. She’s a great reviewer! But I digress…
Behind the Curtain
I am so excited to share a little peek behind the curtain of what makes The Chalam Færytales, well… The Chalam Færytales.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, my books are an allegorical epic fantasy series. Here’s the elevator pitch: An epic færytale with the magic of Stardust, the romance of The Princess Bride, and the wonder of The Chronicles of Narnia. Discover the magic that could change the fate of the world.
So yeah, it’s a very Narnia-ish fantasy series, except there are no talking animals and it’s decidedly NOT PG. So much of the world I created is inspired by my deep and abiding love for all things Tim Burton, coupled with my passion for The Princess Bride (which if you haven’t read it, please do. It’s my favorite book of all time). All of the proper names, cultural nuances, locations, and even geography are inspired by and/or a direct representation of ancient Israel. (Almost) all of the names are Hebrew transliterations (except Ferryl because, well, I just liked that name. And since I made the world, I can do what I want *maniacal laughter*). And all of the transliterations have meaning. The two main kingdoms in the book (sister kingdoms, I call them) represent ancient Israel and ancient Judah. Plus the folklore in the stories is based on the ancient Hebrew culture—færies (yes, the Israelites had færy folklore), the Nephilim (you know, half angel, half human beings), and prophecies abound. It was a lot of fun to research this culture and pepper its vibrancy into my stories. Even much of the food is based on ancient Hebrew cuisine.
In addition, I married the uniqueness of the ancient Hebrew culture with the traditional feudal European system which often appears in fantasy stories. Because let’s face it: who doesn’t love a good story filled with lords and ladies and princes and peasants? I think my childhood had a huge role in this world I created; I, like so many kids my age, cut my teeth on Disney films. Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid were my favorites, but only because Maleficent and Ursula are by far the best villains in Disney history. Fight me. I’ve always had a love for the weird and the dark, which is why when I discovered Tim Burton, he quickly became my favorite. (So of course, I had to make a gloriously horrible queen with the best fashion sense of all time. And of course I just had to have a wicked, mysterious dark forest full of ancient secrets.)
When it came time to write a fantasy series (or rather, when I made the psychotic decision to write a fantasy series), the world, the characters, the creatures, and the magic just poured out of me. I feel like I live in Navah for most of my day, because no matter what I’m up to, my thoughts wander there and I spend my time dreaming up and massaging the next chapter in the saga. (Navah, consequently, is a Hebrew transliteration for a home or dwelling place, which I think is quite perfect, actually.)
What about the characters?
I’m glad you asked. (You asked, right? Ha!) I cannot explain the characters without first explaining what inspired this story to begin with. As an avid reader, particularly of the fantasy genre, I couldn’t quite find a story that conveyed what I wanted to read. I couldn’t quite find a story that showed the happily ever after as anything more than an epilogue. And I wanted to read it, because I think it’s in the ever after that we find who we really are. I think it’s in the ever after that we really build love. I got tired of reading stories that focused on the beginning of love—the falling in love process, which don’t get me wrong, is quite fun. But for me, love has taken root and grown into something beautiful in the years since I fell in love, not at the beginning. I wanted a book that reflected that. (Yes, the first book is dedicated to my husband. Because we’re cheesy in love like that. And I have no regrets.)
So I wrote The Promised One (book one of my series). I call it the færytale that starts after the kiss. I wanted my characters to have to fight for what they wanted. I wanted to see my characters learn to love through the not-so-happily parts of ever after. I wanted to see them face life together and decide whether or not they really meant it when they said “forever.” So the premise is such: girl wakes up to find out that the love of her life has forgotten all about her and in setting out to understand why, she finds out that there’s a whole world of magic she knew nothing about.
There are two main characters in the story: Elizabeth, the orphan who has lived her life content to know little about her past, until it becomes painfully apparent that the truth matters. It matters for her. It matters for the man she loves. And she whether she likes the truth or not, it’s going to change her world in a big way.
The other main character is Prince Ferryl. He’s your typical færytale prince at the beginning—flirtations and swaggering and gorgeous and funny. But Ferryl has to grow up, too. Because he soon learns that someone has stolen the most precious thing in the world from him. And now he needs to know why.
I absolutely love Ferryl and Elizabeth. They are opposites in the best way. Ferryl is an optimist and Elizabeth is a realist. Ferryl impulsive and Elizabeth needs a plan. Always a plan. Never deviate from the plan. Ferryl is light-hearted and free-spirited. Elizabeth is serious and a deep thinker. But they compliment each other well—a fact that they learn to cherish as they face life together. And while magic tries to keep them apart, they soon learn that only magic can bring them back together.
I mentioned earlier that this story is an allegory. And yes, since most of the book is centered around Hebrew folklore, it only makes sense that most of the characters are based on the heroes of ancient Israel. Prince Ferryl is an archetype of King David and Moses in the Old Testament. And Elizabeth, while she is not particularly one person or another, is a conglomeration of heavy hitters like Esther and Ruth. Together, these characters paint the picture of the Promised One, which I won’t get into any deeper at this point, because… spoilers.
Sufficient to say, this story (and by story, I mean all of the books as a whole) is an allegory of the greatest story ever told, set in a fantasy world and chock full of all things magical. It’s an epic færytale. And I am so excited to share it with you!
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