I’ve long been a great admirer of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings but have always avoided writing in that “High Fantasy” mode for fear of being lumped in with Tolkien’s many imitators. Yet the idea has always intrigued me. How do you write a book in the spirit of Tolkien but not the manner? THE ONE KINGDOM is my attempt to answer that question. There are no dwarves, elves, dragons, magic swords or many of the other elements that have become too common in “High Fantasy”, but there is, I hope, much of the sense of discovery, magic and wonder that one finds in Tolkien and in other fantasies that I’ve admired.
The book was not easy to write! Getting out from under the shadow of Tolkien was more of a challenge than I anticipated, but in the end, with the input of both friends and editors, I think I managed to do what I set out to do. If you have read any of my previous books, you’ll find THE ONE KINGDOM a departure from my historically based fantasies. The land between the mountains (where this book is set) will be at once more familiar and more exotic than the lands I’ve written of before. There is magic here. Magic in a long mysterious river that provides the spine of this world and the spine of this novel.
My hope is that reading this book will be like the experience of deja vu; something that feels strangely familiar while being thoroughly new.
Sean Russell Vancouver, B.C.
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