Most of you by now are probably aware that I was hit between the eyes by The Lord of the Rings at a very young age, which was my first exposure to classic fantasy.
Only a few months later, I discovered The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper. It is the second book in the Dark is Rising YA series. I hunted down the entire series and devoured it. The Dark is Rising “sequence” (as they call it) is set in modern day Britain, and while Britons carry on with their every day lives, Will Stanton, the hero of the series, and the three kids that help him, battle The Dark with the help of a thinly disguised Merlin, who comes forward in time to fight his oldest enemies.
I loved it.
I especially loved the contrast of modern day sensibilities up against magic and mythology and powerful creatures battling it out under human noses. I remember to this day a conversation in one of the books about the quintessentially English dish, livers and onions. (ugh), while in the next chapter, evil forces tried to ruin the birthday party. And I most especially remember that the characters had human problems and issues that were completely familiar and identifiable, because they were contemporary issues; being the outsider, having no friends, too many siblings, dealing with parents, homework, authority figures.
The Dark is Rising sequence was my first exposure to Urban Fantasy. I have been hooked ever since. They didn’t call it urban fantasy back then. It was another couple of decades before UF became a genre of its own, but I have been collecting urban fantasy tales ever since I found Susan Cooper’s.
Of course, these days, I read the grown-up versions. Yet the characters in adult urban fantasy are still completely relatable. Relationship issues, making money, friendships, being ghosted online, love, sex, finding a decent apartment, getting ahead. Older characters deal with, well, getting older. Parenthood, marriage, finances, mortgages, taxes, finding time to have a life. All stuff we all deal with every day. Also, while fighting off vampires, fae and other unfriendlies. With or without special talents and powers that come with their own set of problems.
Some of the best UF isn’t even called that. You have to watch for the signs that you might have an urban fantasy on your hands, from hints within the description, the cover and reviews.
Dean Koontz actually writes some fantastic urban fantasy, for example (Odd Thomas), but you’ll rarely find the series described as such.
Stephen King’s The Stand edged into urban fantasy, too–especially toward the end.
Luckily, these days, urban fantasy is more and more identified that way: Jim Butcher, Ben Aaronovitch, Anne Bishop, Wen Spencer, Kevin Hearne, Benedict Jacka, Charlaine Harris, are just some of the UF authors that come instantly to mind, these days.
When you find a good series, you tend to latch on and read it to the end, waiting for the final payoff. At least, I do.
So I’m very happy to be able to announce (at last!) the release of the first book in my very own urban fantasy series. The Memory of Water is now out and available.
When a skeptical doctor teams up with an honest-to-god wizard on a quest for an ancient and powerful manuscript, enemies lurk around every dangerous corner.
Dr. Radford Michael Jones has dedicated his life to the treatment of the goblyns, fae, dragons, sirens and even more races which humans call the Errata.
Frustrated in his attempts to treat the newest race to emerge, Jones consults Magorian, whom the Errata call the first and only wizard of the millennium, his skepticism at full throttle.
Benjamin Magorian III has no time for the Errata, who did not spend a lifetime learning magic as he has done. He has even less time for Dr. Jones, who doesn’t respect his work. Yet his powers are needed.
Magorian and Jones’ combined talents embroil them in a deadly search for an ancient manuscript, the Book of Morcant, which may hold the dark answers both of them so desperately need.
But the two new friends are not the only ones who seek the secrets of the last great wizard to walk upon the world…
The Memory of Water is part of the magical urban fantasy series, Magorian & Jones, by Taylen Carver.
1.0: The Memory of Water
2.0: The Triumph of Felix
3.0: The Shield of Agrona
4.0: The Rivers Ran Red
5.0: The Divine and Deadly
…and more to come.
Urban Fantasy Novel
The Memory of Water will remain at the pre-order price only for a few days more, then it will be raised to the full retail price, so check it out soon!