Title: Scar: Celestial Talisman #2
Author: Caitlin O’Connor
Release Date: July 22nd
Secrets surface when a traitor returns
The scar on Vinny’s wrist is nothing compared to the scars on her psyche. She isn’t a hero, she isn’t even a good person, and when a skirmish with one of the Handmaidens of the Skaath Diurga ends badly, she knows it’s partly her fault.
Nobody in the Circle could’ve guessed at the truths that attack would uncover.
One woman has sacrificed everything to end the war between Handmaidens and Awakened. Now, she’s prepared to damn everyone for her freedom. One final betrayal is all it will take to change our world forever.
Scar is the second instalment in the Celestial Talisman sequence, an adult Urban Fantasy series featuring dark, psychological themes. If you like multifaceted, compelling characters and unusual settings then this novel is sure to thrill you.
The Magic of The Celestial Talisman Series
Elemental magic is common in Fantasy. Certain aspects of its use are both obvious and familiar. If your character has an Air nature, then he or she will be able to manipulate air. Likewise for Water, Earth, and Fire.
I wanted to do something different without straying from canon so I gave my Wielders additional abilities based on their element.
Air is often associated with thought and intellect, so I gave my Air Wielders the ability to communicate via telepathy. Those who Wield the physical and material Earth element can use telekinesis. The sensitive and emotional Water element gives its Wielders an empathic ability. Fire is associated with inspiration and energy. I stretched the logic a bit with this one and gave my Fire Wielders the ability to teleport.
The focal point of my magic system is the Spirit element. Not only is my main character a Spirit Wielder, but it forms the basis for my antagonists’ abilities too.
While most of my ideas for the four natural elements came from the Pagan traditions, my chief inspiration for the Spirit element is the Japanese Godai system.
Godai contains a fifth element called Ku or sora, which can be translated as Void, Sky, Heaven, or Ether. This element is associated with power, communication, and creativity, and is characterized by experiences beyond the everyday. It’s the basis for the supernatural awesomeness in some martial arts movies and anime, the ones where blind warrior monks have an uncanny sense of their surroundings, or people soar through trees as though they’re stepping-stones in a river.
Since Spirit and Ku are both such all-encompassing elements, it made sense to me there should only be one Spirit Wielder alive at a time. This tied in neatly with my alternate mythology, in which the Void consumes the Child of Starlight to animate his shadow creatures. In my world, the Wielders of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire are descended from a race of elemental beings, but since the equivalent Spirit being didn’t leave any descendants, my Spirit Wielders are normal people who become Wielders when they die.
I’ve also given the Spirit element a dual nature. It encompasses both light and dark, good and evil. These two sides are in constant competition. They attract and repulse each other in search for either balance, or total conquest of one by the other. Future Spirit Wielders are a force for good, thus they tend to attract a lot of evil. This gives me lots of murky moral ambiguity to play with, which I love.
My antagonists draw power from the dark aspect of the Spirit element, but their abilities work differently to the protagonists’. Handmaidens worship the Void’s shadow creatures, known as Skaath Diurga. These monstrous beings allow them to summon a variety of creatures from shadows in return for a blood sacrifice.
The Handmaidens’ magic use works on a tight balance, and forms the basis for their self-identity. They are as fanatic as any religious extremist. One aspect I enjoyed most about writing Scar is that I got to spend more time on the Handmaidens, and the complex influences the Wielders and Handmaidens have on each other.
About the Author
Caitlin O’Connor is a fantasy writer who searches for truth in fiction. She loves messy, complicated characters who blur the lines between Good and Evil. A proud eccentric who aspires to be omniscient, she enjoys listening to music, trying to understand physics, and admiring unusual works of art. She lives in the central region of South Africa with her son.
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