Time of Trial
Words from Michael Pryor
'I've always loved Fantasy, ever since- long ago- discovering CS Lewis' Narnia and JRR Tolkien's Middle-earth. Part of what I'm trying to achieve with my own writing is to do for others what these writers have done for me: engage readers with the difference and the startling, exercise their creativity as they immerse themselves in a place that is somewhere else, challenge them to think beyond the here and now.
Fantasy is the literature of the imagination. With its cousin Science Fiction, Fantasy inspires awe and wonder, charms by describing the outré and the unfamiliar, dares a reader to enter a world where nothing is familiar.
I maintain that Fantasy readers are among out most avid readers of them all. I constantly see young Fantasy fans ploughing through door-stopper book after door-stopper book, and getting anxious when the next isn't at hand. I'm constantly fielding emails from readers (both adults and young adult!) eager to find out about the release of the next volume in the Laws of Magic series. As one blogger wrote: 'sigh I wish he'd right faster'.
In some ways, Fantasy readers have to work hard at their reading, which is probably part of the attraction the genre has. Opening the first book of a new series, all bets are off. The reader must be alert to clues about the setting, the background, the culture, the interactions of this new Fantasy world. In an extraordinary sort of agreement between reader and writer, however, Fantasy readers understand this and are willing to go along with the strange and outlandish, confident that all will make sense later. And that's my job- to fulfil my side of this unspoken agreement. I have to explain enough without over-explaining. I have to move the narrative along without bogging things down with too much background detail. And on top of that I have to take care of all the other things any writer must- characterisation, plotting, pacing.
The Laws of Magic is a series where I'm endeavouring to do all of that, while pushing a few genre boundaries, and having some fun along the way. A reader actually described it as an adventure/comedy/fantasy/romance/historical/political thriller, which is a reasonably comprehensive description! Unlike much Fantasy that is set in a quasi-medieval setting, The Laws of Magic is set in a world remarkably like ours just before World War 1- except it has magic as a rational, operational part of society. So in a world of manners and morals, with international tensions and intrigue, we have three intelligent and capable young adults grappling with relationships, futures and themselves- while being swept up in espionage, magical plots and the remorseless march towards war.
Time of Trial is full of adventure, action, mystery and wonder, and it's a chance to follow three young people who are growing up in extraordinary times. With The Laws of Magic series having over 30,000 copies in print, I'm brining a cohort of readers with me on this journey that already garnered three Aurealis Award shortlistings, a Golden Inky longlisted and a Notable Book listing in the CBCA Awards- but ultimately, I'm happy to say that I've written the sort of book that I'd love to read.
I'm proud of it, and I hope you enjoy it.'
- Michael Pryor.
Time of Trial
Random House Australia
Author: Michael Pryor