Brazilian fantastic literature welcomes yet another work destined to captivate admirers of the genre: “As Crônicas de Terraclara – O Abismo”, a book written by LF Magellan. In his foray into fiction, the author narrates the saga of young Artenians Mia, Gufus and Teka, who join forces to face the Dark People, a legendary enemy that resides beyond the immense abyss, a place full of mysteries for the inhabitants of Terraclara.
With brief chapters and a fluent narrative, readers will be taken to a distant land, with apparently consolidated political, economic systems and social norms, maintained by the Venerable Caretaker of the People’s Interests. In addition, they will be introduced to the influential Patafofa, Ossosduros, Serrador, Mão-de-Clava, Muroforte and Aguazul clans. In this context, the three protagonists deal with a history of wars, assemblies and power struggles.
The plot immerses the reader in a universe full of adventures, similar to the classics by Jules Verne, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, but with an approach anchored in everyday life. Inspired by these great names in literature, LF Magellan contributes to the popularization of high fantasy among national authors. The heroes face various challenges, learn the art of fighting, make new allies and need to deal with the complexities of differences.
As the first volume of a trilogy, the book was designed for readers eager for fantasy and alternative realities, offering an engaging dose of entertainment capable of provoking important reflections. A work that encourages us to rethink the world and, who knows, transform our own journey, following in the footsteps of the plot’s heroes.
What inspired you to create “The Chronicles of Terraclara – The Abyss”? Are there specific influences that shaped the narrative?
Terraclara is a fantasy world, an alternative reality, but without using magical or supernatural devices. I wanted to build a different reality, but without wizards, elves or dragons. It’s a new reality, where people face and depend on other people, without magic or fantastic animals. The inspiration came from many literary influences that I have consumed throughout my life, from Jules Verne, through Tolkien and more recently Orson Scott Card and John Scalzi. These and many other creators of alternative universes to ours open up possibilities for us to see the world and our own “selves” through the lenses of new realities and possibilities. When we look, for example, at Frank Herbert’s Dune, it is an epic story set in space with gigantic sandworms, but deep down it is a political plot that demands courage and personal maturity from the protagonists. Terraclara is like that, a different world in so many ways, but where people with whom the reader can identify fight to overcome incredible challenges.
How do you see the role of Brazilian fantasy literature in the international literary scene? Are there unique characteristics that you believe distinguish Brazilian fantasy?
The international market has long produced and consumed fantastic literature. The first edition of Frankenstein is from 1818, Alice in Wonderland hit bookstores in 1865, The Lord of the Rings is from 1954 and so on. In other words, this genre has been present on North American and European shelves for a long time and has influenced generations of readers and then filmmakers. It is a genre recognized and appreciated around the world, but it is still in its infancy in terms of quantity and relevance in the national market. Brazilian fantastic literature is very rich in varied influences, as is the entire wonderful cultural salad of our country and is, little by little, gaining ground with this characteristic. Author Renata Ventura is a good example when she brings the theme of wizards to the favelas of Rio when the protagonist is sworn to death by the traffic boss and seeks in magic a way to save himself and his family. This is one of the many examples of what we already have available in Brazil and which I hope will soon find its place in the international market.
Can you tell us more about Mia, Gufus and Teka, the protagonists of your work? What characteristics or challenges do they carry with them?
Mia, Gufus and Teka are young people whose peaceful and balanced lives are shaken by events originating internally and externally to Terraclara society. They will be forced to undertake a classic hero’s journey, leaving a calm current situation, going through a rupture that takes them on a learning journey until their return. Each of them carries complementary characteristics and their defects end up being compensated by the others. As they progress on their journey, each of our unlikely heroes will follow different paths, discovering previously unthinkable realities. Mia will overcome her deepest fears and discover an inner power she never knew she possessed as she becomes a master of strategy and wisdom. Gufus found strength in compassion and empathy, bringing people together and creating bonds of love and solidarity wherever he went. Teka, in turn, will demonstrate his courage and fearless way of making difficult decisions and helping to balance the talents of his companions in the most risky and unusual moments of this journey.
You mentioned that you try to discuss relevant topics, such as diversity and respect, in the midst of the epic adventure. How do these themes intertwine in the plot?
The Chronicles of Terraclara will take the reader to a world of intrigue and adventure, but there is a background to this whole story. Terraclara is a fantasy world that reflects in its almost utopia some of our “comfortable places”, be it a social niche, a neighborhood or a condominium where we live in a stable way without much contact with the difficulties and wonders that lie outside this little world. Beyond the Abyss, our protagonists will meet new people, living different lives and facing dangers and adventures that our heroes will only experience when they leave their almost perfect world. Furthermore, there is a strong female role in the story, as well as characters from various age groups who take turns taking this role. It’s a book where people count on other people to overcome the most unexpected challenges.
What was it like creating the world of Terraclara? Are there specific elements of this universe that you think resonate most with readers?
This book presents its own social, political and economic context, interspersing small flashbacks (pardon the anglicism) that present the history of Terraclara, such as, for example, the bloody War of the Clans. Terraclara naturally has elements of Brazilian society and icons of classical history such as the Roman Empire, but everything is approached in a light and dynamic way. Readers of all ages will be able to see themselves in young, middle-aged and elderly characters whose importance alternates throughout the story. The journey of growth that accompanies the book is not just for the protagonists like Simba from The Lion King or Luke Skywalker, it is an adventure with dangers and action shared by several characters that will resonate with readers as they evolve and act to save Terraclara.
The powerful clans in Terraclara play a significant role in the plot. How did you develop these social and political structures?
Clans are power structures very similar to what we have seen throughout the history of humanity and still see right here in Brazil. These Clan leaders enjoy power and influence, even though the Caretaker – leader and administrator of Terraclara – is always elected from among people with no connection to the powerful families. Aspects such as social prejudice against “socially emerging” appear quite explicitly in relationships between young students and show a stain that, unfortunately, we still see in our daily lives. The story of the Chronicles of Terraclara clearly shows the contrast between the powerful clan chief and the humble boatman and how these differences disappear in alliances to save that society.
Authors such as Jules Verne, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis are mentioned as inspirations. How have these writers influenced your own style and approach?
These authors are some of the biggest influences on everything I write. As a child I was introduced to Monteiro Lobato and Jules Verne, and that was when I became interested in reading. The great names of science fiction are prominent in my library such as Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick. But it was fantasy worlds that defined my style. Tolkien and Lewis are remarkable and an ideal to be achieved, but I’m also a big fan of JK Rowling, and her Harry Potter saga, which I discovered as an adult when I bought the books for my children (and I always read them before them).
What are the biggest challenges that Mia, Gufus and Teka face throughout the story? How do they evolve as characters?
The protagonists are forced to undertake an epic journey leaving Terraclara and crossing the great abyss to reach completely unknown lands, inhabited, according to legends, by a dark and evil people. This journey will take them to face dangers and adventures in new settings, finding adversaries and allies in societies of different cultures with people who will fight alongside them facing dangers inside and outside the safety of Terraclara. The journey beyond the abyss will have a lot of running, many fights, the cold of the steel of swords, but also the warmth of friendship and loyalty. The characters’ maturity will be forged in these adversities. Mia, for example, the shy and withdrawn girl almost drowns because she doesn’t know how to swim, but instead of being a burden to others, she reveals herself to be a great strategist, as well as an archer that would make Tolkien’s elves jealous. Gufus, the lazy glutton, ends up proving to be a leader when it is necessary to find his way in unknown lands and Teka sees his love and loyalty take her in a completely unusual direction.
In addition to the adventure, is there a specific message you hope to convey to readers through “The Chronicles of Terraclara – The Abyss”?
The great messages that The Chronicles of Terraclara – The Abyss transmit to us are, at the same time, classic and timeless: Courage, loyalty and friendship are weapons more powerful than steel. But, beyond that, the predominant message in this first volume of the trilogy is that outside the walls of our perfect little worlds there are other realities, other people and that isolationism is a problem to be faced.
Now that the first book is released, what are your plans for the next volumes in the trilogy? Are there other projects in mind?
The second volume of the Chronicles of Terraclara will have the subtitle “The Sword” and from there you can already get an idea of the more adventurous and warlike tone of this second part. In this sequel, we will delve deeper into the lands beyond the Abyss and get to know the great empire that dominates that part of the world. Some surprises will again overwhelm our protagonists who will literally have to fight a lot in this new volume. At the same time we will continue to introduce relevant themes as part of the story. A good example of this is a new character who is deaf and we can address, as part of the story, her difficulties in a society that is not inclusive. Readers can expect adventures in new settings and with even more engaging characters. The third and final part will show the meeting of two worlds, which will not be peaceful at all, allowing the drama of refugees to be addressed as a backdrop. All this while maintaining the fun personal relationships that mark the first volume.
FollowLF Magellan inInstagram