I have not had the opportunity to read her debut, Heartwood yet but as fan of fantasy novels I'm pretty excited for it!
So without further ado let me turn the blog over to Freya....
Kia ora (that’s Kiwi or New Zealand-ish for hello!)
You asked me for my top six science fiction and fantasy recommendations, and I thought it might be interesting for readers to hear about books that were an inspiration to me while writing Heartwood.
In my teens I went through a period where I was fascinated by the legend of King Arthur. I loved the film Excalibur, and adored Bradley’s book with its historic elements matched by just the right amount of magic. I’ve been to Glastonbury, and liked Bradley’s idea that the isle could be revealed and hidden by the mists that only a few dedicated priestesses could control. The connection of the king to the land and his people is definitely an element that I enjoyed exploring in Heartwood.
We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and I am happy to admit that Brooks’s fascination with trees and the themes of sacrifice and rebirth that he explores in his novels were a great influence on me. The character of Willow in Magic Kingdom is a lovely one, but this book is magical for more than that. I love Ben Holiday’s connection with the Paladin and the way that Brooks always makes the characters’ internal journeys as important as their external ones. This series is fun and light-hearted, but it’s one of my all-time favourites.
This series emphasises my interest in reincarnation and the ideas of resurrection and rebirth. The Deverry Cycle is a series of Celtic fantasy novels in which the story moves back and forth in time, exploring the various incarnations of characters and how one impinges on the other. It features many of the traditional elements of epic fantasy such as elves and dwarves. I haven’t read it for a long time, but it definitely had an impact on my love of epic fantasy.