Setting Study: Mistborn’s The Final Empire

The second novel of Brandon Sanderson’s career, The Final Empire, is a high fantasy book taking place in the titular Final Empire, led by the tyrannous, immortal Lord Ruler. Rebellions of the past have always failed, but rebellions of the past never had Kelsier, Vin, or their team of Mistings and Mistborn. As usual, these … More Setting Study: Mistborn’s The Final Empire

Setting Study: Legendborn and the Arthurian Mythos

The legend of King Arthur is one of the West’s most popular of ancient stories. Why, exactly, it has held sway for thousands of years is up for debate. I think it’s because, with Sir Thomas Malory’s additions to the narrative, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Action, romance, magic, triumph of good … More Setting Study: Legendborn and the Arthurian Mythos

Building a Magic System (WoT Setting Study #2)

Wheel of Time is known for many things, and for its readers, channeling is often touted as an impressive magic system. It is expansive, detailed, and well-thought-out. For those who are interested in a more present, harder magic system, the series offers as a template three major facets that differentiate channeling from other magic systems. … More Building a Magic System (WoT Setting Study #2)

Sidestepping Monarchy (WoT Setting Study part 1)

The Wheel of Time series is a vast and detailed world, based not on your traditional medieval European setting but rather drawing from a multitude of sources to make each country, even those most resembling the expected medieval England-esque setting, feel very much distinct. As a result, it would be impossible to do a single … More Sidestepping Monarchy (WoT Setting Study part 1)

Choosing the Opacity of Your World-Building

Among the multitude of differences that separate the practice of reading from the art of writing, especially when it comes to the fantasy/science fiction genres, one of the hardest to reconcile is that of world-building. For a reader, the setting cannot take center stage. Even for someone like me, who loves to explore new settings … More Choosing the Opacity of Your World-Building