If one is looking for Literature, you don't need to go far on deviantART. There is a large community of writers and a plethora of work to peruse. Featuring genres such as fantasy, mystery, horror, and romance, one would be hard-pressed to find an area not covered. However, due to the nature of the site, shorter works tend to get more focus. It's easier to quickly read a poem or a short story, and thus many of the feature articles on dA showcase those works. However, there are many novelists and serial writers among the mix, oftentimes fighting an uphill battle to have their works seen and appreciated.
With that in mind, I have started an article to spotlight some of those artists and their literary-worlds. The works covered in this feature will exclusively be long-form fiction such as novels, trilogies, etc., or fiction serials.
Current Stop - Kherming
The next stop on our Literary journey is the fantasy world of Kherming created by Cristiana Leone (*PiccolaRia
) and featured in "The Deathless Keeper," part of The Kherming Chronicles.
What better way to find out what a book is about than reading the back cover. Grab the virtual paperback and flip it over to see what The Deathless Keeper
Two unlikely heroes, devoted to their cause, devoted to their kingdom. Love, Secrets, Death, Madness. The Deathless Keeper begins the tale of Ria and Kyed, two unlikely souls who must join together to save the Kingdom of Kherming from a dangerous and powerful sorcerer. With an endless army of goblins, orcs, wizards and demonic creatures at his command, the mad-elf, Vondel, will stop at nothing to claim Kherming as his own. The only hope of stopping him is to invoke the aid of the mysterious “Deathless Keeper." With the Capital preparing for the siege and time running out, Ria and Kyed must undertake a long and arduous journey to find the seal of the semi-divine Keeper. With the urgency of their mission weighing heavily upon them, the two must overcome their distrust and differences, dealing with secrets and mysteries of the past, in the hopes they can find invoke the Deathless Keeper in time to save their beloved Kherming.
"You do not have the slightest idea of what Fire is." ~Ria
Of course, the best way to learn about a Literary World is to visit it yourself. Here are some works from The Deathless Keeper
to help whet your appetite.
1. THE CHILD OF DARKNESS**** READ THE COMMENT FIRST, PLEASE!****
1. THE CHILD OF DARKNESS
You killed me.
You ripped me the life!
pale blonde girl stared at her with her completely white eyes, spewed by an impenetrable black fog behind her. She stretched out her hand, gripping her neck in an iron grip. And she was unable to speak, to move. She could not react. The guilt, heavy as an anvil, was crushing her and taking away the breath, while the icy little hand that was ripping her life, was adamant. She felt like a cold shiver, the touch of death. Her heart was pounding, as if it was trying to blow up: the only way out to escape from that eyes and from that grip. That horrible, evil little girl, did not move. She tightened and tightened, harder and harder. Too hard.
... I'll avenge!
Ria awoke suddenly, sitting up in one whack. She was breathing heavily and her forehead was beaded with sweat. She trembled. With the death in her he
Aralyn and Vondel (first encounter)[...]
Just then the flap input diverged again, to let a giggling ogre leading a trapped girl in the tent, pulling on the chain that was tied around her neck and hands. She was a young girl, slight and infinitely terrified. She was dressed in peasant clothes, now torn and broken, stained with blood, dirt and mud. Even the little face with regular features and a simple beauty, marred by a few scrapes and bruises, was stained by patches of thickened sludge as well as long and wavy blonde hair, completely disheveled. On the reddened cheeks she had the furrow that the tears were scored between the dirt and big brown eyes were inflamed and swollen from too much crying. The girl was carried away helpless, exhausted, as if she had been surrendered to her fate.
She watched horrified the inside of the tent and the elf who was turned back, then she noticed two tall hooded silhouettes that were expecting to be able to quit. In seeing them, she was plucked by a sudden and instinctive
Kyed's confession**** PLEASE READ THE COMMENT FIRST ****
Ria let herself being overcame by curiosity. A tiara-shaped tattoo behind his shoulders? She looked at Kyed's back. It was like she thought. In the center of his back, stretching out to the shoulder blades in a tangle of lines and soft curves, Kyed had a big black tattoo. She reclined her head slightly to the side.
"But that... It 's the Innayrin's Mark."
"Yes." he nodded, finishing to wear boots. He looked up at her and smiled. But something terribly sad and disarming was hidden in that smile.
"What is the Innayrin's Mark?" Kisha asked with her usual curious habit.
"Don't you really know who Innayrin is?" Kyed asked astonished.
"Of course I do! She's Goddess of Hope, who do you take me for?" Snorted the fairy. "It's just that I've never seen this mark before."
"You really do not know anything!" Quipped Kyed, raising an eyebrow. Kisha was ready to get back on the warpath, but this time Ri
Kherming Chronicles Art
Literary Universes are worlds created out of words on pages, but many authors now expand beyond that. Creating or commissioning art of their characters and settings is a way to help enrich the reading experience for their fans, as well as help inspire the creators themselves. We asked the creator to pick out three of her favorite pieces and tell us why they are so special to her.
1. Generally I can't resist by drawing Ria and Kyed in romantic attitudes... But actually, for the whole history, there is nothing romantic between them. It's just a projection of my mind that wants them together. They actually fight all the time. Or rather, Kyed tries to be condescending and collaborative but Ria becomes really unbearable and unsympathetic (of course, she has her motives for being so...). This, actually, is the only illustration of them that respects the story... And this particular scene is from one of the chapters of the story. Do you want to know what happens a moment later? Ria stabs Kyed and leaves him in the forest... No, definitely no romance between them.
2. The third couple and one of my favourite traditional pieces so far. They also are not a real couple, of course, but I insist on drawing them together. She is the heir to the throne of Kherming and he is an officer of the Guards. I don't think the King would approve their union. But Gar is hopelessly in love and that makes him weak and easily manipulated by Varelèn that actually does not have scruple to use him to get her, albeit noble, purposes. The King ordered her to follow the population in a safe place, but she wants to remain at the forefront to help during the battle and may only do so with the tacit consent of Gar.
3. Although I'm not a cartoonist, I think this page is emblematic of the relationship between Aralyn and Vondel. If we can call it "relationship"... Everything is in here: Aralyn's fear and shame, her submission and inability to react and then Vondel's cruelty, and his pleasure in being aware that she is subdued, not only physically, but mostly psychologically.
"We're coming. And you will not even have the time to realize it." ~ Vondel Nabish Zhawtaar
The second-best way to learn about a literary work is to talk to the creator. Cristiana Leone was nice enough to sit down for a Q&A about her series and other works. Please introduce yourself.
I'm Cristiana Leone, an Italian dreamer and a lover of art and fantasy. I'm 32 years old and I live near to Romel. Drawing is my hobby and my way to relax and... escape from reality! How long have you been writing?
Actually I have never been a writer. I have always given priority to drawing. However, starting from 2008, I decided to try to write in the form of a novel, the story that for too long I had in mind. And that is the only thing I've ever written in my life, except for some very short story. Tell us a little about your novel/series?
The project is of a novel divided into two books, each of 19 chapters. However, the final could leave room for a possible follow-up. When/How did you come up with the idea of your novel/series?
I think the first vague idea was born in the far 2001. Everything started with Ria and Kyed. At the beginning it was only their story and it was born as a comic in manga style... And in a period of 3 or 4 years I could drew only about 50 pages of comics. Then, after having abandoned it for years, in 2008 I found it again. I realized that it was a pity having abandoned it, so I decided to continue it but at the moment my drawing style had changed too much and I couldn't continue the already started comic. Starting it from the beginning one more time was just impossible, so I decided to try to write it in the form of a short story. I wrote the first 2 or 3 chapters, only about Ria and Kyed's story. Then I abandoned it again... Again after a year or so, I got it in my hands one more time. I decided to try again, but this time I also wanted to create a more complete and articulated history, not just focused on Ria and Kyed. I wanted to give depth and substance to the world around them. So I created the whole universe of Kherming and other lands, giving life also the other characters: Vondel, Aralyn, Varelèn, Gar and many other minor. Who are your two favorite characters and why? (Yes, I know picking only two is hard.)
Though in all of them there is something I love, I've no doubt about this: Ria and Kyed. They're the first two, those that gave rise to everything and those around which everything was born.
I love the determination of Kyed, his endless love for Janilee, the lost girl, who leads him to have an incredible faith, patience and a spirit of endurance. However he also hides a deep shadows in his personality and despite he seems always cheerful and sly, actually there is a dark side that torments him.
I like Ria's determination, her fortitude and the ability to not be deterred easily, but I also love her indomitable personality, and the fact she is sullen, unpleasant and basically arrogant... What’s one of the best compliments you’ve gotten on the novel/series?
Surely the thing that pleases me most is when people tell me they're curious and would like to read more, because the story seems interesting. This is very inspiring. What would you estimate the readership of the work has been/is?
Only 3 people have read the whole first book, people very close to me. As for the chapters posted here on Deviantart I don't know, but not many, I think. Just for fun, if you could pick an actor or actress to pay the lead protagonist and antagonist, who would you choose?
I filled an actor meme
Natalia Vodianova is not an actress, but her beautiful face features are what I imagine for Ria, though, Ria is much more shorter than her.
About Vondel... This is hard. I'm still searching for the perfect match!! I chose Olyphant after having see him in Die Hard. His cold, calculating and basically insane way to do, had reminded me Vondel's attitude! Although physically he is not perfect, his gaze and his eyes are perfect, I think! Aside from this novel/series, what are some of the other works you’ve done (if any)?
A couple of short stories, not translated, and a collaboration I did with the lovely `Endorell-Taelos
. It is a crossover about her and my world. I had very much fun in writing that, though it was a real challenge 'cause I had to translate in English my parts...! The Sacrifice of Young Hearts What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
The being able to completely become estranged from everything that surrounds me and the reality. When I can find the right inspiration and concentration, I can completely immerse myself and I can almost be able to live my characters' emotions. I'm very instinctive and impulsive, so the creative side is what I prefer. The technical side instead, such as planning of the chapters and organization of the story, etc. it's more difficult for me. What are your goals for the series/novel?
Of course to finish and illustrate it, and maybe one day see it published. Final words?
First of all, I want to thank `mirz-alt
not only for this nice opportunity, but also for her neverending support. Then I want to thank those who constantly support me and are interested in my characters and my story! Your encouragement is very precious to me!
"You know...I'm the Captain of the Royal Guard, the closer corps to the King. I'm probably the person that Ilfreug trusts most and I guarantee you that his trust is well placed. I swore loyalty to the King and I'd die, if the King should ask me that. But if the Goddess... or any person... would ask me to kill the King in exchange of the absolute certainty of getting back Janilee... I would not hesitate a moment." ~ Kyed
You can follow the "The Deathless Keeper" and the World of Kherming through *PiccolaRia
's page, as well as the deviantART group #Kherming-Chronicles
. The author also has a Facebook page you can friend and follow
You can view past editions of the series here ---> [link]If you would like to recommend a novel or series to be considered for Literary Compass, please drop me a note. A series or novel must have a deviantART base , be fairly established, have supporting art, and offer some 2-3 excerpts/literary pieces for reading. You MAY self-suggest your own work.
Guidelines and FAQ for the series can be found here ---> [link]
Credits Commissioned journal CSS and map background created by `GillianIvy
Coding modified and formatted by `Ravenswd
Art featured in article courtesy of *PiccolaRia