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Suz’s Space Blog: Celebrating Ten Years of Crusader This Month

sara-douglass-1990s-short-hairThis month celebrates the tenth anniversary release of Book 3 of the Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglass.

Sara Douglass is an Australian author whose books were first published in 1995 with her first published book Axis, book one of the trilogy by the same name. Ever since then she has been churning out books at a rather prolific rate.

Her writing has won her three Aurealis Awards and had several books make the Aurealis Awards finalists list. She is also an internationally recognised author, although some of her works go by different names overseas. At this point for those of you not from Australia I will point out that what I have referred to and will continue to refer to as the Axis trilogy is known internationally as the first three books of the Wayfarer Redemption.

Before becoming a published author she worked for many years as a nurse in Adelaide she then worked towards her BA whilst still working as a nurse. She studied Modern English History and then later began to teach Medieval History at Bendigo’s Latrobe University.

Why is she one of my favourite author’s to date? For that you’ll have to read on and endure my unwieldy word smithing.

Every birthday and Christmas my mother has a little ritual of making sure that my brother and I get at least one book, this is something she still does to this day even though my brother and I have both long since finished school and left home.

On the Christmas Day of 1996 my mother gave me the Axis trilogy, I felt I was really lucky this year as I got not one or two books but a trilogy! That night full of way too much food and thoroughly sick of family visitors I cracked open the first book of the trilogy. It was one of those experiences that most avid readers have every now and again where you find a sparkling gem of literary genius that helps you to step out of this world and into another realm, in this case I stepped into the mystical realm of Tecendor.

Ever since then Sara Douglass’ books have graced my favourites shelves. Yes that’s correct I have a set of shelves dedicated to my favourite books, or in some special cases favourite author’s whose entire works grace these shelves. After all why not? Some people collect models or stamps. Me? I collect books, lots and lots of books.

Nine years later and many books later (praise be brilliant yet prolific authors!) Sara Douglass’ works was now occupying an entire shelf and I had started studying history at university. It was then that I began to realise quite how great her works were. She was taking all these elements of history and weaving them seamlessly into her works creating a flowing world of magic and adventure with elements of our own world entwined within.

This seemingly effortless grace of utilising pieces of our own history and working them into her own works made sense once I’d done a little bit of Googling and found out some information about her. I was not at all surprised when I found out that she was a historian herself. Being a historian she has quite an impressive arsenal at her disposal and makes very good use of it.

One of my favourite things about her books is the way it feels like someone is telling you a tale. The comfy feeling you get as if you are snuggled deep in your favourite armchair in front of the fire with a cup of Earl Grey listening to this tale of wonder unfold. I know this sounds silly but it wasn’t until I discovered her Nonsuch Gardening Blog and started reading her gardening adventures in windy Tasmania that I realised it wasn’t Azhure or Grace or any of my favourite characters from her books narrating the story to me but Sara herself. It was her voice telling the tale, the same one telling of her own gardening adventures.

Cut to present day and now here I am thirteen years after I started reading her books trying to put some semblance of direction into my words on why she is one my favourite authors and to give her an appropriately biased tribute.

So if you are looking for well written books with decently flowing story lines and interesting twists I would recommend Sara Douglass to you. She has been a prolific author ever since Axis hit the shelves so there are a good number of books available to read and in my biased opinion are worth reading. The future direction of her literary career is uncertain since her diagnosis with cancer last year. Although she has finished The Infinity Gate book three of her latest trilogy Dark Glass Mountain her life understandably is taking her in a new direction and it is yet to be determined whether her readers will see more books from her.

For me she joins the list of Australian Authors that have helped put Australia on the literary map. She joins the ranks of authors such as S.A Wakefield and Juliet Marillier. More than that in fact, I would say that she easily creates a new world of fantasy as real and great as that of J.R.R Tolkien.

However don’t just take my word for it, take a trip to your local library or bookstore and pick up one of her books and see for yourself.


©2009 Mark/Suz’s Space Blog. The original post was by Mark, a guest blogger on Suz’s Space Blog.