From the Ashes – Synopsis & Reviews
There are many who call Pendragon Renaissance Faire home. There are the patrons who visit once a year, faire-folk who live there for two months before moving on, the Fair Folk who never leave, are rarely seen, but whose presence is undeniable…
And – Magick.
Magick is just a part of life. It can be as common and comfortable as an armchair, as rare and beautiful as a shooting star, and as powerful and deadly as a black hole.
Ryna has lived within this Magick and the world of the faire since childhood. She and her family are modern-day Gypsies, traveling across the country from faire to faire, earning a living and making a life. For them, “real life” and faire life blend together as they personify their nomadic lifestyle as Gypsies within the Renaissance world.
Most faire participants do not live such an integrated existence. For them, faire happens but 15 days of the year, and for those fifteen days, it’s a party. For some, the party involves catching up with friends who are as close as family and escaping the world of day jobs, taxes, and house payments. For Liam, it’s a chance to exercise a power that is not truly his. As a member of the Village Militia, he portrays the law, and he employs this illusion to prey upon the yearly batch of new entertainers who are dazzled by the brightness of the faire and his apparent gallantry.
Within the ranks of these rookies shines Bea, the younger sister of a veteran “rennie” who has pulled her into this enchanting world. Just out of college, she’s struggling to find the moon, the stars, and a sense of belonging. Could the answer to her search lie with Ryna, who seems so Magickally familiar?
She’s got seven weeks to figure it out before Pendragon closes its gates for another year and the Gypsies move on…..
- A Mostly Fiction Top Pick of 2004
- Nominated for the Gaylactic Spectrum Award 2004
“With an eye for detail and an excellent sense of comedic timing, Meghan Brunner brings her setting and the characters of From the Ashes delightfully to life.” ~ Renaissance Magazine (Vol 9, No 1)
“There is nothing in the world like a Renaissance Faire — and this amazing story reaches right out and brings it into your home (complete with some of the best sheep jokes I’ve ever heard).” ~ Finder, GLBT Fantasy Fiction Resources
“… [The] story unfolds at a pace in keeping with the best stories of old. I am reminded of all the interconnectedness of an Austen novel, the breadth and scope of Dickens’ work, and the wit of The Canterbury Tales.” ~Lori L. Lake, Open Book, Ltd
“The development of characters and plot-lines is very smooth and vivid, and makes the images come alive. I have seldom read a book where I developed an understanding and empathy for the characters as quickly as I did with these people… By the time I was a quarter of the way through the book I had one major regret – that I only had another 390 pages to go.” ~ Mike Gleason, Spiral Nature
“Magick… is such a part of the character’s everyday life that they barely think about it… [it] gave the supernatural elements a much more realistic feel. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys magical realism and good, hearty sheep jokes.” ~ Josh Aterovis, Black Sheep Productions
“I was struck with a great longing to see if I could put together an act and hit the road myself.” ~ Cindy Lynn, Reviewer’s Bookwatch — October, 2002
“The book opens new doors in literary courage. The primary romantic relationship is between two women, though it is not a book about homosexuality. Much of the story is the development of this relationship, but it is not a romance or a love story. All the main characters use magick, but it is not a fantasy story, nor is it about witchcraft. There are many
struggles and battles, but it is not about action. Simply put, it is a fresh look, incorporating many previously successful ideas, but putting a new face on them. It may even be a new genre… I eagerly await Book II.” ~Izzygrecko, Amazon.com review
“This is a wonderful book that reminds me of one of my favorite Renaissance Festivals. It’s quite uplifting. When I’m having a bad day, all I have to do is open the pages to laugh along with Ryna and Bea, and all of the other life-like characters of the Renaissance Festival family.” ~Karen Scott, Amazon.com review
“From the Ashes is the kind of book that makes you want to go out and find the charecters and places in it when you have finished reading it. Everything is so real, so alive, you can’t help but want to seek it out for yourself…. The author shows a maturity that I find lacking in most books in the genre, I can’t wait for the next one.” ~ A Reader, Amazon.com review
“Meghan Brunner holds her own with some of the best story tellers of our time. Her annecdotes of the fun, heartache and hardships… bring to life the ambiance of faire… But over and above that, she weaves a complex tale of karma that spans centuries and blends true magick, mystery, passion and loyalty that keep the reader wanting more. ~ Mary Bowerman, Amazon.com review
The thing that makes me happiest about these books [is that] they’re also about a place, which I think is missing from a lot of fiction these days… I’m talking about sacred geography. Not sacred to any god, but sacred to a people—the places and things around which societies are built and lives are ordered… I love that Meghan takes the time and energy to bring that to life and really show how it shapes and holds the people who call it home. Even after they’re long gone, in some cases.~ K. V. Taylor, Spec Fic and Nonsense
Meghan Brunner has some of the most wonderful descriptions I’ve read in an age. And the pacing of this novel is reminiscent of Anne Rice or Stephen King. Ryna and Phoenix are great characters, as are the rest of the gypsies and faire folk who make up the book.~ Vicki McElfresh, EbookReader Reviews
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