Ah, fantasy fiction, you are a fickle friend. You draw us in with your fanciful invention, and then you leave us longing to enter the pages of a book, to travel to a world of fantasy.
You and I both know the worlds created by authors have that effect on us. They dream up these places that sparkle with something tantalizingly familiar yet altogether uncanny. Trust me, I have a hard enough time with the urge and desire to see the real world.
And yet, that’s one of the wonders of a book isn’t it? We get to go to these places, at least in our imaginations. Books can inspire our imaginations and our real-life attitudes. They take us to places of which we’ve never dreamed, and that is pretty cool.
I wrote The Beauty Thief based in a world of fantasy. It’s much like the real world, but can be bent to my will. Dangerous ground, I know, but I try to only use my powers for good! hehe The world of the Twelve Realms is the perfect place for my characters to live, and today I’m going to give you a rundown of it.
I thought about not posting the map here, but decided it might help you see the layout better than just seeing the names. I’ll start with the castle at the center and then head over to Taisce, where our story begins.
High Castle is a huge, walled city and is the main seat of government for the entire kingdom of the Twelve Realms. Here is where High Prince Theiandar resides. His father is High King Dante. Under his headship, each realm is considered a sub-kingdom and is ruled by its own king. Prince Theiandar is the heir to the throne.
- *Taisce [tash-ka] means treasure or treasury and is the realm known for diamonds and its abundance of white stone called quartzomite. The people of the Dark Lands are not friends and tend to raid Taisce to steal the precious gems. This is the home of Princess Caityn, the young woman the Beauty Thief has set his sights on.
- Parlan [PAR-lan] means son of the plow and is a farming realm. Here, they grow many of the staple food crops for the kingdom.
- Nashua [NAH-shoo-ah] means lands between two rivers. The area is mainly rolling hills and grass, a high prairie perfect for raising cattle.
- Marodan [mar-o-dan] is a sea port realm. Its name is derived from ‘mar’ which means ‘sea’ in French.
- *Larue [la-roo] means dweller by the road. The realm is a major trading hub for the people of the kingdom. Exotic things from across the Opal Sea can be bought there. Haggling is a must. (I would like to learn how to haggle. You?)
- Tappen [ta-pen] means top of the hanging rock and this realm is in a windswept barren area. Tappen sits at the edge of the Cliffs of Bayroh and is known for their weaponry forging. They also have outposts near the Bear River which runs between the Twelve Realms and the Desert Regions of Ahka.
- *Nevin [neh-vin] means saint. The land abuts the Saddle Ridge Mountains and Glass Lake, with High Castle to the north. They have orchards and vineyards, but are named for the Monasey of Nevin, which in our world is best related to a monastery or school of faith.
- *Wyeth [why-eth] means from land by willow tree and this is a neat little place. They have an abundance of forests, but are named after the willow trees that grow only here. Wyeth is also where the master fletchers live, creating beautiful bows and arrows for the people of the Twelve Realms.
- Emlyn [em-lin] means to strive or excel. Emlyn sits on the north-western edge of the Twelve Realms. The Crescent Cave Nation, to the west, are a prideful people who do not abide by the diplomatic treaties of their ancestors. Emlyn is the front line of protection against their threats.
- Landon [lan-dun] means from the longhill and they raise goats and sheep. They collect the fleece of the sheep and sell it for making clothing, etc.
- *Conleth [con-leth] means something like chief or lord. This realm is actually the smallest one and is where the most prestigious university of the Twelve Realms is located. Another important part of Conleth’s place in the kingdom is that the Hall of Historic Records is located here. The historic writings and traditions of the kingdom are housed near the university.
- Berne [burn] means bold as a bear and is definitely the wilderness region of the kingdom. They people here are trappers and traders. They are known for their quality-made leather and furs.
* indicates realms featured in The Beauty Thief
I love names. I’m drawn to Celtic/Irish names, but Arabic names also catch my attention. Of course, I’m happy with the sounds of almost anything foreign to my ears. I think that’s another reason I love fantasy fiction; the foreign sound and feel of things intrigues me.
What about you? What do you like about fantasy fiction? Do you prefer a different genre? What draws you to it?