Five Things I Love about M.H.'s World
If you're on this page, you know that my good friend, M.H. Elrich, is an author. What you may not know is that she has a very cool and unique world. Her latest book, , is well worth reading: if for the imaginary world alone. Nearly all of her races are original, and I’ve had the privilege of seeing her Lewis-like universe evolve over our 8 years of friendship. M.H. Elrich used to post a blog called “5 Minute Fridays.” In the spirit of that blog, here’s a look at 5 things I love about her universe.
These are the people of Tamnarae, M.H.’s mythical continent, who dwell by the rivers and seas. I’ve always liked races that live in or around water, and the Ningyo are cool because they possess Neuma, or abilities, to move and control water. The ways in which they do this are often creative and unexpected, such as controlling a river’s current. Additionally, they have glowing seaweed lights, houses on stilts, seashell necklaces, and many other aquatic aspects. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but suffice it to say that the Ningyo chapters are some of my favorite in Etania's Worth.
Conveying the feeling of worthlessness in the name—as these people
often feel—are those born illegitimately. They are often shunned by
society, which fits with the medieval feel of M.H.’s world. One of her
characters is a nothus, and M.H. uses him to show that you can make
the choice to be honorable even with dishonorable origins.
M.H. has several human races in her story. All correspond to different elements or creatures: water, dragon, wolf, metal, and nature. Now imagine those races twisted by evil, and you’ve got the Skazic. Sort of a take on Tolkien’s Orcs, what makes the Skazic unique is that their race’s natural abilities (controlling water, riding dragons, etc.) become perverted. An Eritam wolf-keeper becomes a werewolf, a dragon-riding Draconian becomes a twisted lizard-like monster, and so forth. It’s pretty awesome.
The Lehrlings are people chosen by God to guide and help different regions of Tamnarae. I love them because they’re so unpredictable. They also have a color which corresponds to them and to their powers, like Jakin’s purple (purple flames, purple eyes, etc.) or another Lehrling’s red. You might think an elite group of guardians would be proud and distant, but M.H.’s Lehrlings are anything but. Sometimes, they even invert the “wise old man/woman” motif, showing that years don’t always equal maturity.
Safarast is a floating island upon which Melchizidek (Christ) dwells. It’s supposed to be like heaven, and thus the dead live there with Christ as well. What I like about Safarast is how it symbolically portrays Jesus in heaven as an approachable, all-knowing, loving Savior. I also appreciate that it has buildings and gardens, symbolizing the holy city in Revelation. Those among the living who travel to Safarast cannot see the dead there unless Melchizidek grants it, and the entire place is a beautiful reminder of eternal life with Jesus.
So there it is: five things I love about M.H. Elrich’s world! If you’re a fan of fantasy in the style of Narnia, you can immerse yourself in M.H.'s awesome universe by reading