Laura Weyr is joining us today to talk about her novel, The Eighth Key. Here’s the publisher’s description:
The magic is gone…or is it?
Lucian is a jaded flirt and professional bard who knows all the old songs about sorcery. When he meets Corwin, a shy mage who can still use magic despite the Drought, Lucian finds his desire growing with each passing day—not just for answers, but for Corwin himself.
Sparks fly as they find themselves passionately entangled in adventure and each other. But learning the true origin of the Drought and the Key to ending it comes at a price that their bond may not survive…
What’s Laura’s favorite bit?
Picking just one favorite bit is difficult! I’d love to talk about the central romance, but that’s a little too spoilery, so instead let me share another favorite: the magic. The way magic is used in the world of The Eighth Key came to me little by little, in a largely organic fashion. Mostly, it was extrapolation based on a few specific concepts.
In a medieval world where magic is only active when it’s being used, some types of elemental mages are more useful than others. Earth mages are the most sought after, with their ability to shift rock and dirt to create foundations, roads, and even dig through mountains. Wind mages are a close second, very much in demand on trading routes. Every ship wants a wind mage diverting the air for them. Heat mages, too, are able to make a good living channeling the energy of a furnace to create smooth and even panes of glass.
On the other hand, some specialties are far less popular. Light and Dark mages are seen as well-nigh useless except for a few narrow, specific applications and situations. This is not a world where someone can cast ‘Light’ or enchant an object to give off light, after all. This is a world where a mage must maintain their control of their element with deliberate concentration. Not very useful for long-term applications.
Even more interesting is what happens to such a world when the magic begins to fade. Twenty years after the Great Drought began, what has changed? Farmers still till their fields, but they can no longer rely on Water mages to draw rain from the sky or divert a river across the land to save their crops. Trade routes that relied on Wind mages to get the ships through dead zones became unviable. Projects that Earth mages had been commissioned for had to be left unfinished, or finished by hand, a process which takes far longer and gives inferior results.
And yet, some are happy in this post-Drought world. Not everyone depended on mages before the magic stopped flowing in, and those who offer less-expensive alternatives – traditional glass makers, for instance – now have more business. It wasn’t as though people didn’t understand how to irrigate their fields, or dig a foundation, or sail a ship even without the help of mages. But even those who benefit from the Drought find themselves having difficulties when they can’t commission a mage to help build their new house, or when the price of food skyrockets.
At its heart, The Eighth Key is a love story. It’s not about life in a world that once had magic and now has very little left. But the people who meet and fall in love in The Eighth Key live in such a world, and it affects their lives and their love in ways that are both unexpected and profound.
When it comes to fusing elaborate high fantasy with steamy romantic erotica, no one does it better than three-time Hugo Finalist Laura Weyr! Her first full-length novel, The Eighth Key, will captivate as well as excite. Laura lives in sunny California with her husband, daughter, and cat. Stay tuned for more from this talented new arrival!