Monday, October 29, 2018

Magic Mirrors Tour: Overpowered: The Awesomeness of Biblical Retellings

Hey'a, everyone! It's Day Five of the Magic Mirrors blog tour, and today we have another Bible-inspired retelling of Snow White . . . but instead of being a sci-fi/fantasy/dystopian reimagining of two tales, this one sets Snow White in the context of the Old Testament era. I beta-read this book, and I absolutely loved it for multiple reasons, but especially for this setting. Other than the Books of the Infinite series, I don't think I've encountered another fantasy book that uses an ancient Israel or Israel-inspired setting for its stories. And, y'know, that needs to change . . . and, in usual form, I'm going to share why I think that. But first (you know the drill), a bit about the book and author.

About the Book

After a blood crime sends Taliyah bat Shammai running from her home, she flees into the hill country. Yet the hills are no place for a woman traveling alone. Strange dreams of talking jackals and mysterious mists are the least of her worries—for she knows that the Avenger of Blood will be following close behind her.

Barred from the Refuge by the circumstances of her crime, Taliyah thinks that her best chance of survival may lie with Cypress and his band of mercenaries: giant Cedar, hardened Thorn, boasting Vine and tidy Fig. Unsure whether to stay or go, Taliyah is reassured by the arrival of a young man with a mysterious past and cardamom-colored eyes. Something tells her that he is a man she can trust. Yet when a new king rises at the city of the Dawn, Taliyah and the seven criminals are called to fight a battle they cannot win. Will the outlaws stand fast in the face of certain death? Can Taliyah ever find safety again? Even escaping the battle may not save her… for the Avenger is still coming.

-- Loosely inspired by the tale of Snow White, this Christian fantasy novella is set in a magical version of ancient Israel. 135 pages (33,000 words) plus 65 pages of bonus features including cut scenes, a bonus short story, author interview, and more. For ages 12 and up.

About the Author

Kathryn McConaughy is a Christian fantasy author. She studied at Geneva College (as well as at sundry other institutions of higher education), where she pursued the goal of learning as many ancient languages as possible. She is the author of “Guardian of Our Beauty,” an ancient Near Eastern Sleeping Beauty tale from the anthology Five Magic Spindles. Kathryn lives in an apartment in Maryland and will probably remain there until the building collapses under the weight of her dissertation materials.

Why Biblical Retellings Are Awesome (And We Totally Need More of Them)

1. They're outside the traditional medieval setting. This isn't an advantage unique to Biblical retellings, but it's still pretty great. Eventually, you want a non-European-medieval fairy tale, and Israel-inspired stories fit that bill splendidly.

2. If the story is set in historical Israel in the actual OT era, it's super fun to try to recognize things. This is one aspect that I really love about Overpowered. It's set in the time period of the book of Judges, and seeing how the author wove that into the story was really cool. But the author also knows a ton about the language and culture of the era, and she used more Hebrew terms as opposed to the modern words, so figuring out the exact place and era was a little more challenging and therefore a little more rewarding.

3. They give new perspective on familiar stories . . . in more ways than one. I mean, that's the whole point of a retelling — the whole point of fantasy in general: that it gives you a new perspective and a new look at a story or idea. And setting your novel in the Old Testament or New Testament era can give you a new perspective not just on any fairy tales you happen to retell but also on that particular era . . . at least if you do your research right.

4. You can weave in cultural legends. Outside of the actual religion, Jewish culture has some pretty interesting folklore, at least based on what I've heard. (Overpowered uses a little of that, which is pretty cool.) And if you expand your view a little, so do the other cultures of the Biblical eras. This could be interesting, though challenging, to weave into a real-world setting, or it could provide some inspiration for an awesome fantasy world.

What do you think? Do you want to read more Biblical-era inspired retellings and retellings set in the actual Biblical eras? Please tell me in the comments! And, as always, remember to check out the rest of today's posts and enter the giveaway!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)
Blog Tour Stops: October 29
Knitted By God's Plan: 7 Reasons to Read
Light and Shadows: 5 Reasons to Read
Dreams and Dragons: The Awesomeness of Biblical Retellings
Heather L.L. FitzGerald: Character Spotlight - Fig
The Labyrinth: Character Spotlight - Taliyah
Unicorn Quester: Character Spotlight - Yotham
Selina J. Eckert: Guest Post - Inspiration for Overpowered
Dragonpen Press: Guest Post - What is Overpowered?
Or find the full list of stops here.

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