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The Highlands Are Grimdark: How Scotland Influenced My Raven Queen

Scotland is a beautiful country. The mountains, rivers, forests, and lakes are really something to behold. The entire country looks like it was molded straight out of a fantasy world. A grimdark fantasy, that is. Everything about Scotland, the Highlands in particular, screams grimdark. From the frightful weather to the systems of governance, the mythosContinue reading “The Highlands Are Grimdark: How Scotland Influenced My Raven Queen”

Diversity in the Grimdark

The denizens of my fantasy realm are essentially color and genderblind. I don’t think having a society where this is possible is a further stretch than magic. Nor is having a diverse cast. Think about this: the potato was introduced to Europe in the Age of Exploration, about a century or two after the MiddleContinue reading “Diversity in the Grimdark”

Six Magical & Monstrous Winter Movies to Watch

That fuzzy Omen Punxsutawney Phil has declared we’ve got six more weeks of winter ahead. Whether you believe in groundhog shadow magic or not, February can be a little… blah. So let’s escape together with a movie marathon in the Grimdark. 😈🎬 Note: I’m not including The Thing or The Shining in this lineup, becauseContinue reading “Six Magical & Monstrous Winter Movies to Watch”

Ravens: Portents of Evil, And So Much More

In celebration of my new release Raven Queen, Arise, and Edgar Allan Poe’s 213th birthday week, here are some fun facts about the often-misunderstood raven. Intelligence Ravens are very, very smart. Scientists guess that ravens are some of the smartest animals in the kingdom, next to dolphins and primates. Ravens can remember thousands of locations for stashedContinue reading “Ravens: Portents of Evil, And So Much More”

Violence: The Antihero’s First Resort

I was watching a new movie the other day, and since I don’t want to spoil anything, I’m leaving the movie nameless. The point isn’t the movie anyway, it’s about the hero’s tactics. Or rather, their ultimate goal. You see, these heroes’ goals don’t involve killing the dangerous, maniacal villains that threaten their world anymore.Continue reading “Violence: The Antihero’s First Resort”

Betrayal: Just Another Weapon in the Antihero’s Arsenal

“So many vows…they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vowContinue reading “Betrayal: Just Another Weapon in the Antihero’s Arsenal”

A Last-Minute Dark & Weird Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the season, and no matter your chosen religious or pagan winter festivities, it’s “about that time” to wrap up—pun intended—your online shopping if you want those gifts to be delivered relatively on-time. I’ve noticed so many dark and offbeat gifts out there on the internet—thanks, ad sense 🙄—I thought I’d put that to goodContinue reading “A Last-Minute Dark & Weird Holiday Gift Guide”

Trauma as Power: A Dark Epic Fantasy Trope

Stark Contrast If I had to pick one and only one defining difference between vanilla high fantasy and dark [chocolate—sorry!] high fantasy, it’s in the core modus operandi of the protagonist. Heroes in vanilla fantasy grow to overcome their trauma, or at least succeed despite their inner wounds. Not so in dark fantasy: antiheroes embraceContinue reading “Trauma as Power: A Dark Epic Fantasy Trope”

Unpopular Opinion: The new Dune didn’t suck.

The new Dune didn’t suck like the previous attempts, but it left a lot on the cutting room floor and changed some things that weakened the plot. It was good, but too much was cut and changed for me to think it great. Even though they only got through the first third of the storyContinue reading “Unpopular Opinion: The new Dune didn’t suck.”