Monday, December 10, 2012

Worlds of Wonder Author Hop Day 4: Welcome to Ave, a World Like No Other

Welcome to day 4 of the Worlds of Wonder Author Hop!  For today's installment, I was asked to write about the world of my Fires in Eden Series.  I hope today's post gives you a good introduction to Ave, and I invite you to explore this world extensively in my novels and short stories!  

Welcome to Ave, a World Like No Other

Ave is the world that the Fires in Eden Series is set within.  It is pronounced “ah-vay”, just like the Latin term it is derived from.  The word itself means “hail”, and in the world of ancient Rome one would use it to greet someone of great distinction, such as an Emperor.

In the context of my series, the idea the name is getting at is a dignified greeting of life itself.  Not life in the way that most of us know it, with death, disease, and all of the brutality inherent in nature.   Rather, it is a hailing of existence over non-existence, the uniqueness of each individual spirit (whether animal, human, or other), and an unsullied state of nature like one that we humans on earth have not experienced.  It is life in its most vibrant state, a transcendent one that bears no corruption.

Obviously, in the series Ave is under assault from the same things that we are in our own world, and this is discovered by the small group from Earth who go into Ave during the first sections of Crown of Vengeance.  Aside from the struggles inherent in nature itself, such as famine, drought, disease, earthquakes, and other calamities, it is filled with cultures both human and non-human that are part of a lengthy history covering several thousand years. 

There are immortal races within Ave(But not eternal, there is a distinction between the two.  An immortal does not age or get sick, but they can be killed by violence).  They include the Wizards, who are a race of beings imbued with a variety of incredible powers.  There are also the Elves, who are quite different in outlook from those in other series like Lord of the Rings.  The Elder, a race of titanic dragons whose impact in Ave was something to behold in its first era, are another.

Beyond the immortal races there are a great variety of mortal beings and creatures populating Ave.  When it comes to the humans, many of their realms reflect cultures that we might know from our own history.  In Crown of Vengeance alone, the reader encounters and learns about cultures existing in Ave based upon the Normans, Saxons, Iroquois, Byzantines, medieval Russians, medieval Islamic world (from the Moors to the Fatimids), Vikings, and more.  As the series grows, many more are revealed.  The short story series set in Ave, the Chronicles of Ave, has also introduced the reader to other parts of Ave that resemble medieval China, sub-Saharan Africa, Ireland, and others. 

Just like earth, Ave is comprehensive in its range of cultures and ethnicities.  Book Three, Spirit of Fire, finally gave the reader a map of the lands involved in the series to that point, but it is by no means a complete map of the entire world.  There is much more ahead. 

In addition to human cultures inspired by ones from our own world, there are many non-human cultures that readers are encountering for the very first time in this world.  The underground-dwelling Unguhur, with their mushroom forests and dwellings carved out of rock are one example.  The Trogens, a brawny race of creatures with short, thick muzzles that give them a pit bull-like countenance, are perhaps my favorite.  The rat-like Atagar, the huge Gigans, the desert-dwelling, long-limbed Khala (revealed in a Chronicles of Ave short story called Land of Shadow), the bull-headed Burujin, and many, many more strange and exciting non-human cultures populate Ave and come into the story told in the Fires in Eden Series. 

There are aspects of Ave beneath the waters and in the skies that come into play, but I won’t comment much on these due to the major spoiler factor.  I will say that the Fires in Eden Series is able to take the action into unexpected environments, as there are supernatural factors, as well as races of flying creatures that many realms have trained as steeds, and other things that enable characters to engage environments that are not often encountered in other epic fantasy series.   The wars in Ave truly take place on land, sea, AND air!

I have been developing Ave ever since the series began in the mid-90’s, and I can assure the reader there is a lot more ahead than what they’ve already seen in the novels and short stories released so far.  In terms of content, I have yet to find or hear of another fantasy world with the richness and depth that Ave contains, or the sheer variety of cultures.  In this sense, I am very confident when I tell new readers who enjoy epic fantasy that they have a world like no other to explore and adventure in.  So I welcome you to Ave, a world like no other!

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Casey said...

My head's spinning with all the different races and creatures. Obviously, you know your world in depth.

sgzimmer said...

Hi Casey,

I have worked at this one for a long time now, pushing close to 20 years. The books don't deluge you with everything at once, things are introduced gradually, so you do get time to acclimate. that's another advantage of the epic-scale, LOL.

Sheila Deeth said...

Amazing world--with so much to learn about the books should definitely be fun.

Kym said...

Your books sound like something my son would enjoy..I have added the books to my Christmas gift list.

Thanks ! Merry CHristmas ~