Saturday, September 20, 2014

Who Is On The Cover of This Fantasy Book?

The Rys Rising fantasy series has many characters. For the four books of the series, I gave a lot of thought to who got featured on the covers. Although some beloved characters didn't make it into the cover art, I always knew that I wanted to have Loxane on one of the covers. Here she is on the cover of New Religion: Rys Rising Book III

Despite her beauty, she is a dangerous woman. She is not civilized, but will gladly plunder the riches of those she helps to conquer.

About her:
Age: Mid to late 20s
Physical appearance: Light skin, red hair, blue eyes, curvy athletic dancer’s body, numerous tattoos of an elk, eagles, snakes, etc.
Special skills: Leading shamanic rituals, trancing, dancing, authoritative, and in tune with the universe
Magical items: warding crystal and enchanted sword

Loxane belongs to the Kelsur Tribe, a vast nation of northern nomads that look down on agricultural civilization. She is descended from the special “blood of the sun” that denotes a small group of people that immigrated to the Kelsur region from the east. They are racially different than the original Kelsurs, but this adds to her distinctiveness. Loxane is a powerful Shamaness and possesses a very high status, equal but separate from the tribal elders.

Once a year, Loxane attends the Thievesmeet where her people interact with criminal elements from the fringe of the civilized world. After performing her very popular dance rituals, she takes the Overlord of the Kez, a notorious outlaw brotherhood, as a lover until the festival ends.

When Amar becomes the Overlord, he certainly enjoys his role in the Thievesmeet ritual, but he seeks a larger relationship with Loxane. He wants to use her influence with her tribe to entice the Kelsurs into joining his holy war in the service of his rys mistress Onja. Loxane is ultimately seduced by the magic of Onja and becomes her High Priestess. She leads men in battle and kills unbelievers without remorse.

Authors feelings about the character

Loxane springs from my contemplations of the primitive. She is not a civilized person. She looks down on civilized people because she thinks they are mostly ignorant slaves lacking in spiritual awareness. Her dispassionate attitude about life and death spring from her primal acceptance of the facts of life. We are born. We live. We die. Joy and grief weave the same cloth.

The talents of Loxane are mysterious. It’s hard to know if she is using some aromatic potion to influence people or the sheer psychological force of her personality. Perhaps it’s a combination. She is a woman that no man will even think of defying. All women feel inferior in her presence. She dominates because of her sexual potency and imposing physical presence. And Loxane loves power. She devotes herself to Onja even though she believes in her bones that the magical rys is truly perilous. But Loxane serves this power to enhance her own. The temptation cannot be resisted.

Although I’ve given much thought to Loxane as I wrote her, she remains remote to me. As a Kelsur would say I am “born under a roof” and part of civilization. I can never truly understand the Shamaness. 

To meet her and many other characters, begin reading the Rys Rising series for free. Rys Rising: Book I is a free ebook at Brave Luck Books, or $0.99 at your favorite retailer. 

For those who have to hold the real thing in their hands, Rys Rising paperbacks are also available. 

A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.