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Guest Post with Russell Archey + 4 Star Review of The Seven Spires

Welcome to the February 17th stop on the blog tour for The Seven Spires by Russell Archey, organized by Goddess Fish Promtions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for excerpts, reviews, guest posts by the author, and a giveaway! (More on that at the end of this post.)

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.

Magic in The Seven Spires

Guest post submitted by Russel Archey.

A challenge for me when it comes to writing in a fantasy setting is working out the mechanics of magical systems. Each book, movie, or video game I’ve ever engaged with has a magical system that is unique in its own way with some being more detailed than others. The Seven Spires actually has a very basic rule behind its magic which I hope doesn’t come off as a hand-wave: it’s essentially a fairy tale, so the magic works for what fits the narrative! Some of the spells used have material components, such as the geistheim and Seven Step Boots (I don’t want to say much more for the risk of spoilers!). Others, such as the magic wielded by the sorceress sisters and the fae queen, seem to be mostly somatic in nature–summoned by physical movements, willpower, and talent. Other types of magic simply exist as they and their effects almost have a mind of their own…like the spires, themselves. 

Part of my inspiration for this laissez faire style of magic came from a few statements I’ve seen from creators of other works, including the setting of one movie where the director was asked about the timeliness of a zombie virus turning people who were infected (I forget the actual movie at the moment…). The director stated that the virus turned infectees based on the convenience to the plot. I chuckled because it seemed very driven by the suspension of disbelief and “cool factor” for the film. However, when coming up with how magic worked in The Seven Spires, this outlook did actually feed into my concept for the world of Septer where magic is a fickle and powerful thing. Wizards have been trying to control it with only moderate success. Magic is as much a part of nature as anything physical or mundane. There are different kinds for different purposes. My other works have more established rules involving magic, but I wanted to keep with the whimsical and the mysterious for this particular title–just like many of its characters.

About the Book

The Seven Spires
by Russell Archey

Published 13 October 2020
5 Prince Publishing

Genre: High Fantasy
Page Count: 426
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

An incredible high fantasy adventure set in a world based on familiar fairy tales, folklore, and mythology, “The Seven Spires” is an epic story of dragons, magic, conquering evil, and discovering magnificent new places.

When a fearsome creature known as Wyvern begins terrorizing Emrallt, one of the seven realms of the continent of Septer, a group of heroes are brought together seemingly by fate to rally against him. A prince, warrior, wizard, and mysterious, sorceress-like sybil try to discover why a common maiden could be the best chance their kingdoms have against Wyvern’s growing forces that threaten to dominate each and every one of the ancient, arcane spires that bind their kingdoms, and world, together.

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Excerpt

She reached for his leg, wanting to observe the wound. She gently cupped the bandaged appendage in her hand and steadied it with the other. The bandages were caked with blood and made for a sorrowful sight. It was only a few moments, however, before she felt a tingling in her hand. It wasn’t painful or uncomfortable—just a light prickling sensation all along where her skin made contact with the Prince’s wound.

She looked on as the color slowly returned to the Prince’s leg and, eventually, his face. His sweating stopped and his breathing returned to normal. What just happened?

The Maiden began to unwrap the bandages and then suddenly stopped for fear of hurting the Prince or exacerbating his wounds. She looked up quickly to see him slumbering peacefully. She continued to unravel the sticky bandages until they fell away.

The Prince’s shin was covered in the blood from his wrappings. It was difficult to see much at first. Then the Maiden saw…nothing. No wound, nor scar, nor scratch. There was nothing beneath the blood, except for a leg that was as whole and healthy as it had ever been. His wounds had been completely and unquestionably healed by her own hands.

My Review

My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider “liking” my review on Goodreads.

I was granted a complimentary review copy of The Seven Spires via Goddess Fish Promotions as part of my participation in the blog tour for this title. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

Life in the realm of Emrallt is about to get a little more interesting! Err, dangerous. A wyvern is on the attack, and an unlikely band of heroes must gather to solve the problem. The Seven Spires is a fun, easy read despite being a beefy 426 pages and possessing a large cast of primary characters. If you like high fantasy in general, and even better if you enjoy fairytale-inspired stories or perhaps Dungeons & Dragons type games, then this is not one to miss!

Although the genre label of High Fantasy fits very well and I won’t despite it, the way the cast is introduced, the way they interact, and the way we the reader get to know them felt very LitRPG to me. I’m not sure if that was intentional, and I doubt it would pose a barrier to those who aren’t familiar with or do not like LitRPG, but as someone who has read the subgenre, I saw it and I liked it.

I absolutely love the fact that the big bad “dragon” we’re dealing with is a wyvern! Far too many fantasy authors forget that dragons come in many forms, and those who do often fail to call them by their appropriate names. Wyverns are a favourite of mine because their total limb + wing count is consistent with every flying non-insect known to us in the modern world, so they feel more realistic to me.

This is one of those stories where the characters don’t get names, they get titles, like “The Wizard.” On one hand, this is cute and it makes things easy on the reader in terms of remembering who does what in such a large cast, but at the same time I felt it was a little dehumanizing of the characters. I felt like I was watching their journey, but I didn’t feel like connected to them as much as I wanted to be, nor did I feel like I was along for the ride as part of their band. I’m not sure if having names applied to the characters all the way through would be the magic fix for that or not, but it would help. Maybe that’s just me.

Despite the titles-not-names complaint, I did find this book was very hard to put down, and it has the feel of classic high fantasy from decades past. I think it will definitely stand the test of time, and I’d like to see it read widely. Fantasy nerds, grab this book!

About the Author

Russell Archey has been writing since he was old enough to hold a pencil. His love for narratives, world-building, and story-telling has fed into nearly every aspect of his life: from his video and board game hobbies to pressing his most cherished books onto his unfortunate children (who will, one day, read the Lord of the Rings trilogy whether they like it or not). When he’s not creating new worlds and horrifying things to threaten them with destruction, he’s bringing other author’s fantastic works to life as an audiobook narrator, spending time with his two children, and pressing his dear wife’s eternal patience with his quirky habits.

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Giveaway Alert!

Russell Archey will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Jenna is the artist/illustrator and author behind Westveil Publishing and its sub-banner platforms Jenna Gets Creative and The Westveil Archives. She live in Newfoundland, Canada with her husband, daughter, and feline overlords.

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