This week I have another Magic Appreciation Tour author with another interesting guest post. Unlike some of the other MAT authors, I’ve actually been acquainted with Vanessa for a few years now, and that makes it even more of a pleasure to be able to help support the release of her Wizard of Ends series. So, met heel veel plezier, I present to you Vanessa’s guest post:
The Real World’s First School of Wizardry
by Vanessa Finaughty
Harry Potter fans will love this! While researching interesting post topics for the Wizard of Ends virtual book tour, I came across a rather interesting news article from 2011 that describes the real world’s first school of wizardry – Harry Potter style! I don’t know if the school is still around – it’s hard to tell when even Wikipedia contradicts itself in the same article, stating that the founder and his wife are ‘now living in’, and then stating in the next paragraph that his wife passed away this year (2014). However, I believe the mere fact that a real life school of wizardry existed or exists is intriguing in itself.
In 2005, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart founded the Grey School of Wizardry in California, USA – the world’s first, and only, as far as I’m aware, registered wizard academy, which means it is the first of its kind to be officially recognised as an academic institution. The Grey School is an online school that focuses (or focussed) on teaching esoteric magick, and boasts/boasted sixteen departments, along with many clubs and opportunities to receive awards, much like any other school. Some of the subjects taught are quantum entanglement, metaphysics, cosmology, herbal medicine, lore, protection, wand-making, alchemy, spell-casting and beast-mastery.
Intended for teenage learners, the school does/did still allow adult students, and all students are/were separated into houses or lodges, much like in the Harry Potter books. The houses, for students younger than eighteen, are Salamanders, Gnomes, Sylphs and Undines, and the lodges, for students eighteen and over, are Circle of the Standing Stones, Order of the Dancing Flames, Society of the Four Winds and Coterie of the Flowing Waters.
Oberon has described himself as a wizard, and has spent most of his life studying the Dark Arts. In the 1980s, he announced that he had created the world’s first unicorn. He had, in fact, created a unicorn – of sorts – by performing minor surgery on a goat’s horn buds.
The original article includes pictures of Oberon and his wife, gives some nice comparisons with Harry Potter, and has more detailed information about the school and the magical couple. You can read it on the Daily Mail website here. I recommend you do!
The Wizard of Ends, Book 1
When Lashlor Leaflin offers to escort Queen Narraki Dragonsbane to the Jeltar Woods, he’s unwittingly caught up in a magical adventure of the type he would rather not have.
The sorceress Assassa believes the Land of Ends to be rightfully hers, but King Lanaran refuses to hand over his crown. In retaliation, the sorceress conjures creatures of darkness to hunt the queen and end her life. Lashlor helps where he can, but it isn’t easy when the Guards of Ends who protect the queen believe him to be false.
A confrontation with Assassa will be the death of him, Lashlor is certain. However, the king insists on his help and it soon becomes apparent that he may have no choice.
And, Coming Soon:
The Wizard of Ends, Book 2
Escorted by soldiers of Ends, Lashlor sets out to find an old flame, Rune Arcana, the only person who can help to remove the curse placed on the Queen of Ends. Lashlor believes that Rune currently resides in the Mountains of Eclador – a place from which no one has returned in all of recorded history. She could refuse his request. She could be dead. Lashlor and his companions could meet the same fate.
If they do not brave the mountains, however, Queen Narraki will remain in the form of a rabid creature of darkness… forever.
Forever is a long time, and King Lanaran fears the Wizard of Ends will not return. Ignoring Lashlor’s advice not to meddle with the curse, the king employs other magic users to attempt to undo the dark magic.
Vanessa Finaughty is an author of many genres who now focuses on fantasy and science fiction. She’s published 15 books, of which 6 are fantasy. Vanessa grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and still lives there with her husband of fifteen years, her baby daughter and plenty of furry, four-legged ‘children’.
Vanessa has always been passionate about books, and knew from a young age that she wanted to write them one day. She loves animals, coffee and the smell of wet grass, and hates liars, sweltering weather and long queues. Her interests include reading, photography, the supernatural, mythology, aliens and outer space, ancient history, life’s mysteries and martial arts, of which she has five years’ experience.