And while many of the books and authors sort of blended together in that time (I read nothing but fantasy), a couple do stand out as books that have influenced me as a reader and an author. One was The Scions of Shannara series by Terry Brooks. It had all the essential fantasy plotlines: a great, stirring evil, a band of unlikely heroes, a race to save the world. But what I remembered most about the series were the characters, particularly one character's storyline where he fell in love with a mysterious girl, journeyed with her to stop a rising evil and, as she had been sent to do from the start, watched her sacrifice herself in the end to save them all.
Readers of my books and blog know my love of Ultimate Noble Sacrifice endings. Well, I think it began right here, with Morgan Leah and Quickening, and their star-crossed love story. I remember thinking, while tears were pouring down my face, that I wanted to do this someday; write a novel with characters that could make you laugh, fall in love with them, and sob your heart out. So, thank you, Mr. Brooks, for your wonderful series and characters, and for making me cry at beautiful, tragic love stories. I only hope my characters can inspire the same. :)
~ Julie Kawaga
For more about Julie and her Iron Fey series, check out her fantastic series website for info, extras and even quizzes!