I have been running my author guest blog series for awhile now with much success! Today is the first in what I hope is many guest blog post by fellow bloggers. I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Jamie Ryder who runs a pop culture website called https://thecomicvault.wordpress.com/ and an animal protection website called https://wingsandwildhearts.wordpress.com/ I am very excited and
Hope you enjoy the guest blog and make sure you check out Jamie’s sites. And if your interested in doing a guest blog of your own, please get in touch.
Idealism And The Greatcoats
by Jamie Ryder
Fantasy literature has the power to transport readers to a new world and offers a chance to escape. Like all genres there are trends that come into fashion, with grimdark fantasy being one of the most popular in recent years. With the likes of A Song Of Ice and Fire and the Lies of Locke Lamora offering bleak settings and constant death, it’s easy to wonder where all the hope and noble heroes have gone. Idealism still has its place in the fantasy genre and it can be applied to the modern world as well. Idealism is a major theme in Sebastien De Castell’s Greatcoat series, as it shows how adversity can be overcome in a world that wants you to fail.
Falcio Val Mond, Kest and Brasti are three travelling magisters who are trying to live up to their dead king’s dream of bringing justice to the land of Tristia. It’s a swashbuckling series that features a grim setting, but also has plenty of light-hearted moments. Falcio is one of the most idealistic characters I’ve ever read. He’s determined to live up to the ideals of the Greatcoats, even when everyone else is telling him the world can’t be fixed and it’s better to give up.
“I couldn’t speak, but I took the greatcoat from him and put it on. I wasn’t ashamed of the tears I shed that day, nor were any of the eleven others whose tears washed their faces and their pasts clean.” – Traitor’s Blade
Falcio has given everything for the Greatcoats, but he’s still grieving over his dead wife Aline. He’s so hell-bent on justice for the common folk that he doesn’t always realise that some people don’t want to be saved. To me, that is the essence of idealism. It’s about standing by your convictions no matter what’s happening around you.
Idealism is needed in the modern world to combat cynicism. It’s needed so we can get out of bed in the morning and face the challenges of the day. It’s also more than wishful thinking. Falcio may be a dreamer, but he fights to change the injustices around him, whether he’s battling bully boys in the most dangerous city in Tristia, or facing down a God.
De Castell has stated recently on The Grim Tidings Podcast that each book has a different approach. Traitor’s Blade is about idealism vs cynicism, Knight’s Shadow is idealism vs pragmatism and Saint’s Blood features idealism vs faith. Each theme offers up a reflection to every day life, as we face these decisions on a regular basis.
After reading the books, I remember thinking of my own sense of romanticism as a child. I always wanted to be a successful writer by a certain age, though the reality is much different. The same could be said for anyone who is determined to live their dream. In that situation, realism can be mistaken for cynacism, but the difference is having the perserverence to do what makes you happy.
Falcio is the kind of character who proves idealism isn’t a weakness. The Greatcoat series involves friendship, hope and rising above pain. If you haven’t read the books yet I couldn’t recommend them enough.
Tyrant’s Throne, the final book in the series is out in April 2017.
Jamie Ryder lives in Manchester and grew up with a love for comics and animals. His short stories have appeared at Fireborn Publishing, shortstorysunday.com and New Realm Magazine.
He runs a pop culture website called thecomicvault.wordpress.com and an animal protection website called wingsandwildhearts.wordpress.com.
How do you kill a Saint?
Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are about to find out, because someone has figured out a way to do it and they’ve started with a friend.
The Dukes were already looking for ways out of their agreement to put Aline on the throne, but with the Saints turning up dead, rumours are spreading that the Gods themselves oppose her ascension. Now churches are looking to protect themselves by bringing back the military orders of religious soldiers, assassins, and (especially) Inquisitors – a move that could turn the country into a theocracy. The only way Falcio can put a stop to it is by finding the murderer. He has only one clue: a terrifying iron mask which makes the Saints vulnerable by driving them mad. But even if he can find the killer, he’ll still have to face him in battle.
And that may be a duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can hope to win.