Book Nerd Guest Post
Ray East and Sam D has moved to Voluspa and live in the Forest of Skotos with their 5 year old daughter and a pet Typhon. They visit Earth with the help of an Empath from time to time. Ray East did her masters in Phsychology from Univeristy of Sussex and has worked as a counselor for adolescents. Sam D used to teach at a SPJC before he moved to Voluspa.
Why write a book like ‘Voluspa – A Magical World’?
By Ray East
Like countless other teenage girls, I had a difficult time during my pre-teen and early teen years. I had major body issues and even suffered with eating disorders. During those years, I often fantasized about escaping to an alternate universe where I could start life afresh or find acceptance. My imagination was further fuelled by the countless number of books I devoured growing up, especially since they were my only constant companions. Thus when the time came to put words down to paper, I found myself creating a fantasy world – a place so magical that it had the power to heal even the most troubled souls.
Talking about troubled souls, the main two protagonists of my story, Amy and Drake, definitely fit the bill. Amy has a hard childhood, feeling unwanted and unloved whereas Drake’s childhood is shadowed by impossibly high expectations imposed on him by his father. The two meet when Amy crosses over realms to land up in Voluspa and they connect from the very beginning. They find a kindred spirit in each other and like two halves of a whole, they complete each other. But their relationship is taboo as per the law in Voluspa. One of the questions that this book subtly puts forward is whether individual freedom is sacrosanct or should it take a backseat when it comes to greater good of the land and people. This story also puts a new spin on the age old battle between good and evil. Circumstances force both Amy and Drake to do certain things which one could consider a touch shy of evil. But at no time does their love for each other diminish and whatever they do is born out of a need to protect or help the other.
One could say that this is a story of two star crossed lovers set against a magical backdrop of an enchanted land. However, the world of Voluspa in not a Utopic one; like most known civilizations, it has its own problems. Despotic leaders, wars, arbitrate laws; all weave themselves to create a rich tapestry of life that forms the backdrop of this story. The story borrows from mythology to give it an authentic tone. It is multi layered and I believe would appeal to a broad spectrum of age.
At present I am working on the next book in the Voluspa series. This book finds a changed Drake. His ordeals with Lord Vali has changed him permanently and no matter how much he wishes, there is no going back for him. He is now faced with the challenge of carving out a new life for himself away from Voluspa, away from Amy. But Amy is not one to accept loosing Drake so easily; she is determined to save Drake no matter what the cost. Now that the secret of her birth is out, she also has to contend with the wrath of the council members. In the meantime, Lord Vali continues with his quest to resurrect his demonic leader using Drake and the second book of Brahmas.
Centuries ago, war between aliens and humans almost destroyed the world. To prevent such a war from happening again, a mighty ruler then formed a secret society of nine powerful humans and aliens called the Bramhas. These Bramhas each wrote a book imparting ancient wisdom and knowledge. The possession of these books could bring about untold power and success. The nine books were hidden but the desire to possess those books, still cause men to fight wars and turn against each other. One such war was fought in the realm of Voluspa decades back; the consequences of that war still resonate in this magical land. Two young lovers get caught in this tussle and it changes their destinies forever.
Amy’s humdrum life takes a complete 180’ turn with the death of her stepfather. She goes to live with her grandmother – her only living relative, though she hasn’t seen her in the last five years. Among her mother’s childhood memorabilia, she finds a book ‘Legends of Voluspa’ that captures her imagination. She becomes so engrossed in the book that she starts dreaming about the places in the book till one night she finds herself inexplicably transported to the new world – Voluspa, as described in the book. Here she meets Drake, who unknown to her is a shape shifter. Chemistry cackles between the two from the very first and as they discover that they share a lot in common, a tenuous bond forms between the two. ‘I’ll keep you safe’ vows Drake and he remains true to his word as he befriends her and saves her from various troubles that befall her over the next couple of months.
In Voluspa, Amy discovers a new way of life. It’s a magical world inhabited by primarily four clans – Empaths, Morphus, Mendens and the Pulchrous. The Empaths have the power of mind, the Morphus are the shape shifters, Mendens are the healers while the Pulchrous possess physical perfection and strength. With the help of an old family friend, Amy takes her rightful place in the Empath clan. This marks a new chapter in Amy’s life. She realizes her own powers and subsequently starts going to a school to enhance the same. With Drake by her side, she makes some wonderful friends. However, her life is not all smooth sailing; trouble comes when she learns the truth about her biological parents. She realizes that her very existence is against Voluspan law which forbids the union between individuals belonging to two different clans. History threatens to repeat itself as she realizes that her predicament was not that different from what her mother had faced, decades back. She is totally in love with Drake, who belongs to the Morphus clan.
The enchanting world of Voluspa is far from Utopic; it has barely recovered from a devastating war fought twenty years back when the peace of the land is once again threatened by Gangrels, the evil army of aliens. The two young lovers soon realize that besides contending with forbidden love, they have to deal with other impediments. Ancient enmities, a past war, a much coveted book, all conspire against the two lovers. Gangrels reappear in Voluspa and Drake falls in the clutches of one such evil being who would stop at nothing to realize his fiendish ambitions. Amy and her friends cross realms, face enemies, deal with challenges, solve riddles and brave possible destruction, as they set off on an adventure to rescue Drake. The ‘Force of Sutra’ clashes with the ‘Elemental Force’ of the Gangrels as Amy and her friends are faced with an indomitable enemy. They use strategic warfare, pit adversaries among themselves and use every last drop of strength, skill and courage as they take on warriors far more ruthless and skilled than themselves.
As Amy embarks upon a quest to save Drake, her love for him is tested at every turn but she never wavers from her objective. Braving imminent death she manages to reach Drake – only to find a changed person. Gone is the man she is in love with, instead a dangerous stranger stood in his place. This Drake was teetering at the edge between becoming completely evil and retaining his own soul. He almost harms Amy but stops himself at the very last minute. His love for Amy proves to be stronger than the evil entity threatening to overpower him. However when chips are down, Drake comes through. He sets aside his personal well-being in order to save Amy, one last time. Drake is perhaps lost forever but hope dies last – Amy is determined to get back Drake, no matter what the cost.