Tag Archives: Unicorn

W. B. J. Williams talks about unicorns, religion, and women in fantasy

Read this great interview with W. B. J. Williams talking about his historical romantic fantasy “The Garden at the Roof of the World”, a spiritual quest of maiden Gwenaella, the unicorn Britomar, and their companions across the world.

Follow this link to the interview:

http://www.scifinow.co.uk/news/56926/wbj-williams-on-unicorns-religion-and-women-in-fantasy/

And this link to buy the book on Amazon:

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THE GARDEN AT THE ROOF OF THE WORLD reviews and giveaways

Several wonderful reviews have been recently posted for W. B. J. Williams’s THE GARDEN AT THE ROOF OF THE WORLD:

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Kelly Jensen at SFCrowsnest writes: “‘The Garden At The Roof Of The World’ is delightfully easy to read. The story has a fairy tale quality, but quickly disabuses the reader of any notion the happy ever after will be easily won. It is not a children’s book. The torments of the demons are very adult in nature. Many of the battles and trials are bloody. Not everyone survives…Recommended for fans of fairy tales and mythology and anyone who enjoys an epic quest with all the inherent twists and turns.” Follow this link for the full review.

Claire O’Beara at freshfiction.com says: “Fantasy fans will enjoy this mix of European and Sanskrit folk tales with rich invention and travel lore.” Follow this link for the full review.

Publishers Weekly writes: “This modern fantasy in the style of a medieval romance tackles themes of love and lust, faith, and the nature of the divine.” Follow this link for the full review.

Margaret McGaffey Fisk characterizes this book as “a thinking novel wrapped around a powerful story with characters you can love facing untold dangers and risking everything on their holy mission.” Follow this link for the full review.

Buy your own copy today at Dragonwell Publishing bookstore, Amazon.com, or other major retailers.

SPECIAL THIS WEEK: Post a on-line review and/or add a product link at your web site or in any social media and e-mail us the link at dragonwellpublishing(at)gmail(dot)com to receive a $5 gift certificate to the Dragonwell Publishing bookstore.

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On sale today: THE GARDEN AT THE ROOF OF THE WORLD by W. B. J. Williams

It’s finally here: an enchanting historical fantasy about Maid Gwenaella’s epic quest across medieval Europe and Asia into the heart of Tibet, where she will find the sacred Garden of Eden and save the eldest of the unicorns.

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Buy your own copy today at one of the following links:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1940076005/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1940076005&linkCode=as2&tag=dragopubliblo-20

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EV5AIEI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00EV5AIEI&linkCode=as2&tag=dragopubliblo-20

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-garden-at-the-roof-of-the-world-w-b-j-williams/1116560421?ean=9781940076003

http://publishing.dragonwell.org/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=10011

TODAY ONLY: e-mail us a poof of purchase at dragonwellpublishing(at)gmail(dot)com to receive a $5.00 gift certificate to the Dragonwell Publishing bookstore. PLUS, this purchase would qualify you for a drawing of a $10 Amazon gift certificate, raffled for each 20 entries.

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W. B. J. Williams, the author of THE GARDEN AT THE ROOF OF THE WORLD, on historical fiction

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There are two kinds of travelers, those who go to a foreign land and expect everyone to be like them, and are disappointed, and those who go hoping to experience different cultures and are rewarded.  The same applies to those who travel in time, and when you read historical fiction, you are traveling in time.  You may discover lands where people show their respect by sticking their tongues out at you, or people who think nothing of selling their children into slavery to save their own lives or careers.  Some of the cultural practices may disgust, others dismay, others entrance.
When writing historical fiction, the author should try to take you back in time and immerse you in the culture of the time.  The author should not flinch from depicting sexual attitudes much more restrictive than our own such as the puritans, or more free and open such as southern France during the era of the court of love.  The author should accurately show the role of religion and ritual in the lives of people.  Historically, people often were very serious about their religious practices, but far from orthodox in following them.  People ate and drank differently.  As an example, often beer and wine was given to children at meals.  There was no expectation of privacy in many historical eras, not even if you were aristocracy.  If you were a medieval aristocrat, your servants slept in the same room as you, which was often the same room in which you conducted the daily business of running the estate.  In the northlands, your warriors would sleep in your mead hall, on the same benches where they’d sat the night before feasting at your table.  To think that they slept chaste is to bring our sexual attitudes into a mead hall of 1400 years go, where they don’t belong.
To write with such detail creates an authentic story, respectful of both time and place.  Such stories hold our imagination.  When reading Hemingway’s depiction of a bull fight or Umberto Ecco’s depiction of a man sitting on the top of a column overlooking Constantinople after the 4th crusade, we feel like we’re there.
Fantasy is more real and more exciting when we have cultures that are richly depicted such those found as the lands of Majipoor, Dhagabad, or Middle Earth.  Fantasy set in a historical epoch should leverage the richness of our past, letting the reader walk with men and women who thought very differently than we do today.
The Garden at the Roof of the World is both historical fiction and a fantasy, partially because I chose to write a story in the 13th century when people would have been shocked to learn that unicorns did not live in the deep wood, and there are no monsters in the depths of the sea.   I choose to try to be authentic in my depiction of those times, and delight those who hope to find in either historical fiction or in fantasy the richness of other cultures, and their values.  Modern readers will certainly find some of the attitudes strange.
However, if I don’t have Prince Jigme of Lo Mantang give the traditional warning of “you’re not a mule, why act like one”, then I’ve missed an opportunity to show some of his culture’s values, even when their not mine.  In writing about segregating the sexes in medieval Baghdad or the tantric rituals of medieval Khajuraho I had to bring characters and readers into places foreign to both, and have the characters act the way people of 800 years ago would have acted.
I also had to write about religious beliefs and mythologies that are foreign to me and my readers.  The medieval attitudes about chastity and virginity are very different from modern beliefs, but if I was to write about traveling with a unicorn, I could not ignore the legends that insisted that you had to be chaste and virgin for a unicorn to be willing to approach you.  To do otherwise would not have been authentic, and would have denied my reader a chance to walk with people who believed in the reality of sea monsters, and the sacred nature of unicorns.
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THE GARDEN AT THE ROOF OF THE WORLD is upcoming from Dragonwell Publishing on August 30. Preorder a copy at http://publishing.dragonwell.org or from major on-line retailers.
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