Jan 13, 2016

The Key of Alanar (The Alanar Ascendant #1) by Rory B. Mackay



Lasandria: an ancient, advanced civilization, consigned to oblivion by the greed and power-lust of its own people. The coming apocalypse heralds the arrival of a new evil that will ravage the world of Alanar for an entire age. Yet on the eve of Lasandria’s destruction, the ethereal overseers of the mortal realm grant a dispensation—a promise of hope for the future.

Description:

Published: August 15th, 2015

Lasandria: an ancient, advanced civilization, consigned to oblivion by the greed and power-lust of its own people. The coming apocalypse heralds the arrival of a new evil that will ravage the world of Alanar for an entire age. Yet on the eve of Lasandria’s destruction, the ethereal overseers of the mortal realm grant a dispensation—a promise of hope for the future.

That hope lies with an orphaned teenager named David, born some ten millennia later; a boy whose isolated and uncertain existence leads him on a journey upon which hinges the fate of not just his world, but countless others.

On the run from a brutal military force, David’s quest is one born of shattered dreams and tainted by the thirst for revenge. As an inter-dimensional war that has been waged since the beginning of time threatens to consume his world, the dark force that destroyed Lasandria lurks in the shadows, ready to take possession of the one thing that will either save Alanar or destroy it: David.

GUEST POST
The Perfect Length 

They say that a book should never be judged by its cover, and I also feel it unfair to judge a book by its length. The length of a book can be down to any number of factors, including the genre and its associated conventions, and current market trends. 

There have been times when gargantuan, doorstop-type tomes have been in vogue, and other times when a more minimalistic approach has flavor of the month. It also depends upon the personal taste of the reader to a great extent. As a child I was intimidated by very long books (and books with particularly small print!) because I felt I'd never get to the end of them. Even today, I prefer smaller to medium-sized books, as they are more comfortable to hold when reading. Ergonomics do come into play when reading books! 

New authors always have a lot to prove, and they are judged on just about every level you can imagine, including the length of their work. Too short a book, and people may accuse them of being unable to craft a decent-sized story. Too long a book and they may be accused of over-writing and being unable to edit a story down to manageable proportions. When I initially began sending out the manuscript of 'The Key of Alanar' to agents and publishers, one of responses simply said 'Too long.' I was a little thrown by that, because taking into account the conventions of fantasy literature, it's nowhere near some of those seemingly endless epics, with upwards of a thousand pages per volume. 

I've heard that newer authors are encouraged to write shorter to moderate works in terms of page count. This is partly because pages cost money, and the fewer the pages the more profit the publisher will make. Longer books may actually lose the publisher money, because each unit costs more to produce and yet prices must remain competitive. 

Speaking for myself, I let the story dictate how long the book should be. 'The Key of Alanar' is a decent sized novel, and the reader certainly gets their money's worth! The story demanded to be a certain length, and there's actually nothing in the way of filler in the book. Every single chapter and scene leads the story forward in some way, even if it's a simple character scene that brings out a revelation or twist of some kind. I don't see how I could cut anything out of this book. I'm satisfied that it's the right length, neither too short, nor too long. If it had been a simpler story, it would have been a shorter book, for sure. I admit I do have a tendency to overwrite, but I always edit things down quite mercilessly in the later stages until I'm convinced I'm writing with an economy of words. 

So, I believe it's impossible to judge a book on the basis of its page count alone. Some stories demand greater length to develop and unfold, while other stories need comparatively fewer pages, and they can still shine and sparkle just as wonderfully. I'm a great believer in letting the story and characters lead the way and determine exactly how long is needed to root, flower and flourish. Like many things in life, stories come in all shapes and sizes.
About the author:
A natural born writer, thinker and dreamer, Rory Mackay was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1979.

As an ardent student of Vedanta, Zen and Taoism, one of Rory’s true passions is exploring the potential of fiction and art to elevate mood and expand consciousness.

Rory is the author of the visionary fantasy/sci-fi novels “Eladria” (2013) and “The Key of Alanar” (2015), as well as a translation and commentary of the Tao Te Ching (2014) and several short stories.

He is in the process of writing a self help book and writes a regular blog Beyond The Dream.

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