Alright to these books fall under Fantasy and Adventure in my books.
The Fools Gold Books are amazing. I really can not describe how lost I became in them. The first book had be captured by the first chapter.
The Series follows Katla Aransen, a Fiery Red Head From Rockfall.
Rockfall, A island (exactly how it sounds – it has rocks, sheer cliffs that look out to sea) of the Northern Isles, ruled by King Ravn. The people of Rockfall are basically a fishing and farming community, with Katla working in the smithy forging swords. Her Father, Aran Aranson, the Master of Rockfall and her mother, Bera Rolfsen at his side.
The Society of Erya, while it does have a great divide between genders, it is much more relaxed than the Istrian society. The world, Elda is divided into Eyra (Norther Isles) and Istria (The Southern Empire)
Eryan Women of Rockfall: “…Women listen to no man and are not told what to do or controlled by the males in their families. As children they are educated alongside boys in schools, they can often choose their own husband and renounce them if the marriage went awry.. They run the farms when their husbands were away and held sway over their own households, even when the husbands came home;.. they could earn their own money, and inherit estates; some women traveled and fought and had no man at all, but lived by their wits and their skills…” While Women of this society are still not equal to men it is very similar to a westerner view in my opinion.
Istrian Women: Men write the rules and basically send people to the fires (Burning people alive, a very medieval thing ) who don’t observe the rules. The religion followed in Istria is very “restrictive”, rules enforced by punishment and pain. Women “help men perform worship”, they are considered sacred and important.. well my understanding is they are “sacred” for their bodies. Women are locked away and covered up by Sabtka, kept like toys used for pleasure, The religion rules the society, and women are something to be owned and have no freedom. Remind you of another culture in today world?
God Of The North: Sur – God of the Wind and the Sea, of “rock and wild places and creatures of the deep”
God Of The South: Falla – Goddess worshiped through sex basically because it is “The goddesses will”
North: Pale Hair or Auburn Haired, with blue or grey eyes with light skin weathered by the elements.
The dress is usually more encouraging movement.
South: Dark skinned and Dark Haired,
The dress is usually expensive or brightly colored fabrics (sometimes outlandish), women are painted u like a doll, their hands, if their family is well off or a houris (Courtesan/ Whore) to someone rich, then their hands may have henna designs on them with painted nails.
Characters You Should Know
Aran: Master of Rockfall, A Captain of his ship,
Bera: Mistress of Rockfall, Runs her home strictly, tries to equip Katla with the skills to be married and is fighting a never ending battle with her daughter.
Halli: Eldest child of Bera and Aran, loves Jenna with a passion. Favors Katla over Fent
Fent: Twin of Katla, Has Fiery Red hair, and also a personality to match, just like Katla.
Katla: Twin of Fent, skilled at making swords, Feisty fighter, determined to be her own woman and not marry
Jenna: Daughter of a Shipmaker, Katla’s best friend, long blond hair.
Erno Hamson: Cousin to Halli, Fent and Kartla, A strong man in love with Katla ( remember back then it was ok to marry blood relatives) Adopted by Aran and Bera and lived with them from a young age
Virelai: Strange, Tall, Pale man who practices magic. He looks after Rose Eldi, travels with nomads
Rose Eldi: A pale Woman who can capture men’s hearts and minds
Alisha: A footloose (Nomad), who is daughter of the great scryer, Alisha
Tycho Issian: Religious Fanatic and cruel crazed man who is driven by lust.
Selen Issian: Daughter of Tycho, is a lovely girl who is used to the high life and has no intention to marry Tanto Vingo even though it is intended to clear her fathers debts
Tanto Vingo: Handsome exterior but corrupt and cruel, vile man. He wants Selen Issian at any cost
Saro Vingo: Brother to the cruel Tanto, a kind soul who loves animals and has only compassion for those around him. Tanto and Saro’s relationship is strained, Tanto the eldest and “golden child” has become twisted and the torment he likes to put on Saro becomes more and more as the story progresses.
The books by Jude Fisher ( Alias name) were eye opening, looking at a mirror image of our own world, the only difference is, magic was a big thing then ( worth burning for)
To Compare the two cultures without needing to even state it obviously shows just how well these books are written.
First book starts off with Allfair, A annual event which all traders will attend, it is a great chance for the two cultures to exchange goods, the only problem is the long and forever ongoing hatred between the two. The temporary hold on war is nearly shaken by Katla’s adventurous streak after climbing Sur’s Castle, a Rock that rises of the Moonfell Plain, the only problem with her rock climbing exploits here is that the Southerners, see it as Falla’s Rock, a sacred place where no scantily clad woman should be allowed to climb, that starts off the adventure of a lifetime, literally a lifetime, with Katla’s friends and family killing and being killed as the tale unfolds.