Thursday, November 13, 2014


The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

Unlike many fantasy novels, the Dragons in The Saga of Magiskeep are primarily good creatures. The lone exception is Blackwing himself, the Black Dragon. While he does not have any outstanding redeeming qualities, the other Dragons of the novel series do.

Blackwing makes his appearance in Kingdom Beyond the Rim, the first novel. He roams around in Jamus' nightmares as Everendings, ever be, most often speaking in rhyming poetry.

A word here about poetry. Through the centuries, poetic language has been revered. Many ancient and medieval writings were written in poetic form. The Odyssey of Homer, Beowulf, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and later, Shakespeare's plays, all were written in poetry forms. There are many reasons for this. First, is that poetry elevates the meaning of whatever it is trying to express. Things just "sound" more significant when written in poetry. Then too, since many of the older stories were spoken aloud instead of read, poetry can often help the storyteller remember the lines. I'm sure you probably remember some old rhymes from your childhood even today. As well, some of these stories were "sung" in performance, or at least accompanied by music, so the rhythm of the words added to the impact of the music.  Finally, to some degree, poetry is often considered to be "magical" language. Incantations and spells are almost always presented in poetic form. The Three Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth clearly demonstrate this idea. Their poetry breaks into a unique and obvious rhyme/ rhythm pattern quite different from the rest of the language in the play. As well, looking at Shakespeare's plays, we can see that other characters' language drifts in and out of poetry depending on what they are talking about, or whom they are talking to. The more important a topic, or the higher the status of the speaker, the richer the poetry.

So, how does this all apply to the Saga? Magical encounters with the Black Dragon are accented by the poetry of the language. As well, Prophecies in the stories are often told in poetic form. And then, there are the songs. The Follyman, Simen, often finds his music controlled by the forces of Magic as he reveals secrets of Jamus' future in his songs.

But all Dragons do not speak in poetry. Some don't like to talk much at all and would just rather sleep. When they do speak, though, the wise man listens well. Their words are full of ancient wisdom. The Rainbow Dragon at the River's bottom knows the past, present and future. And he, of all Dragons, holds the power of life over death.

There are three other Dragons you will meet along Turan's Way as the novels progress. I won't introduce them now, but they are heroic figures all important to Jamus' journey to become the Rivermaster. They are all powerful Magic creatures I hope you will like them as much as I do.

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