Literature

Local Fantasy Writer at Page 1 Books

Betsy James, local writer and artist, will be at Page One Books at 3pm on Sunday, June 12, to talk about and sign her latest fantasy novel, Roadsouls.

The book is described as such: "Timid Duuni has spent her life as abused and guarded property. Blind, arrogant Raím is determined to be again what he once was: hunter, lover, young lord of the Earth. Desperate to escape their lives, the two lift up their hands to the passing Roadsouls caravan, and are flung together naked. Each of them soon learns that saying yes to the Roadsouls is more than just accepting an invitation to a new life—it's a commitment that can't be reversed. For Duuni and Raím, nothing is as it was. Lost to their old lives, hating each other, they are swept out of their cruel old certainties into an unknown, unknowable, ever-changing world of journey and carnival, artists and wrestlers and thieves. Behind them, inexorable, pads a lion. Inexorable, too, is Duuni and Raím's inevitable encounter with it, an encounter that will change everything. If you long for a fantasy world that your senses could live in, and that isn't full of scheming nobility, cynical warriors, mass hatreds and magic as a weapon, read this book. Its backbone is the wandering life of a sort of gypsy-hippie-circus group traveling a pre-industrial landscape and offering a way out to the misfits and throw-aways of the local villages. Raím, a young man blinded in a fall, and Duuni, the unhappily rebellious daughter of religious patriarchy, find their ways outward from home and towards their own strengths, and each other, with (and sometimes dangerously strayed far from) the Roadsouls' caravan ..."

James has written many books for young adults and children. Her most recent young adult novel, Listening at the Gate, was a New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age and a Tiptree Award Honor Books. In addition to writing, she paints, teaches, raises Indian corn and walks off-trail in the back country. She lives in Albuquerque.