by Matthew Kressel
Read the follow-up to the groundbreaking fantasy novel King of Shards
“Surreal and exotic…Scary, exhilarating fun!” –N.K. Jemisin, Hugo award-winning author of The Fifth Season on King of Shards
“An imaginative, intelligent, and soaring debut that mixes Jewish folklore/mysticism and modern-day social politics.”– Paul G. Tremblay, author of Cabin at the End of the World on King of Shards
“Kressel plumbs the depths of Kabbalistic lore to create a unique fantasy cosmos.” —The Huffington Post
Alex Shvartsman, a writer, editor, and game designer, and author of over sixty short stories, has a blog series called The Hook where he lets guest authors post a brief excerpt of their novels and then describe what they were trying to accomplish how they went about doing so. I had the pleasure of participating, and you can read the excerpt and a little description of what I was trying to do with King of Shards at this link. Here’s a teaser:
King of Shards is an epic fantasy novel based partly on ancient Jewish mythology and folklore. One myth that has always fascinated me is the legend of the Lamed Vav, or the thirty-six anonymous saints who uphold the world. No one knows who these Lamed Vav are, and the myth says that even you or I could be one. If any one of these saints ceases to be righteous, the world would be destroyed. In King of Shards, Daniel Fisher discovers he is a Lamed Vavnik and that demons have been searching for his kind for millennia, trying to kill them.
Another myth I find fascinating is the so-called Shattered Vessels of Creation, a theory, elaborated by the 16th century Kabbalist Isaac Luria, that our universe wasn’t the first to be created. There were others that came before ours. But they displeased God — they had too many imperfections — and so God smashed them. In King of Shards, these primordial worlds were not empty, but populated with sentient beings —demons. A few survived this cosmic Shattering and live on fragment husks — the Shards — where they cling miserably to life.
And they’re pissed.
You can read the full blog post here.