The Magic of The Dragon and Scholar Saga by H.L. Burke

In my never-ending quest to see how fantasy authors integrate magic into their stories, I gladly volunteered for H.L. Burke’s blog tour and offered her a spot here on The Vaetra Files. Heidi came through with a fun treat. She presents information about her magic system from the perspective of one Sir Martin Mathewson, a […]

Karin Rita Gastreich and the Magic of Eolyn’s World

I first met Karin Rita Gastreich when she joined the Magic Appreciation Tour in June, 2012. It’s hard to believe it has been two years already! At that time, Eolyn was her only title, but it didn’t stay that way for long. Since then she has released High Maga, book two of the Eolyn Chronicles, […]

The Rangers of Mundia

Thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien, father of high fantasy, most fantasy readers (and fantasy RPG players) have at least a passing familiarity with what kind of character I mean when I use the term “ranger.” On the whole, the rangers of Mundia (my story world setting for The Vaetra Chronicles) bear a strong resemblance to Strider/Aragorn […]

The Druids of Mundia

I’m writing the final chapters of Vaetra Unleashed, book three of The Vaetra Chronicles. As I approach the conclusion of this three-and-a-half year writing challenge, I’m both disappointed to put my story world to rest (for a while, anyway) and excited about the idea of beginning a new project. “Suburban druid in the snow“Photo by […]

Kir-magic–The Power behind L. Blankenship’s Disciple Series

I love learning about how other fantasy authors conceive and implement magic systems. Even though many of our systems have similar elements, I’m continually amazed by the variety that’s out there and the uniqueness of each approach. No two authors seem to have exactly the same take on magical spells or devices, or on the […]

The 5 Characteristics of Magical Fantasy

What does magic mean to you? I’d be surprised if you didn’t have to sit back for a moment and ponder your answer to that question. Magic means different things to different people, but as the founder of the Magic Appreciation Tour (MAT), I’ve had to devise a concrete definition for deciding which books may […]

Guest Post: The Magic System of Marsha A. Moore’s Enchanted Bookstore Legends

One of my favorite things about reading magical fantasy is seeing how the author puts together a magic system. A magic system is more than just a way to explain how magic works: it’s an integral part of the tale that strongly influences the sociology of the story world and the motivations of the individual […]

Incorporating Runes into a Magic System

I joined Rachel Harrie’s platform-building campaign a couple of months ago. It has been a great way to get to know other fiction writers, who have turned out to be a supportive and fascinating bunch. Rachel kept things interesting by holding flash fiction writing challenges, which encouraged everyone to visit each other’s blogs and share […]

Fiction Writing is License to Explore

One of the most exciting aspects of writing fiction is that it gives you license to explore subjects that interest you, regardless of how practical the information may be in your “real life.” I’ve always had an interest in the theory, legend, and history relating to magic, mythical creatures, and a variety of crafts and […]

Potions and Lycanthropy

As I continue to work through the Snowflake Method and develop my story, I occasionally get side-tracked by ideas for “how stuff works” in my story world. On the one hand, it’s exciting to add detail that breathes life into this fantasy world I’m building, but on the other hand, I have to be careful […]