The Last Grand Master By Andrew Q. Gordon: Fantasy with an M/M Romance + Guest Post

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | | |

The Last Grand Master

by Andrew Q. Gordon
Genre: Scifi / Fantasy
In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, God of Evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin's evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard-king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master's will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns, and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell's mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin's evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost him and Miceral their lives.

Awesome Offer:
What’s better than discovering a new fantasy series to devour? Getting the first book free! I’m excited to offer, The Last Grand Master, book one in my Champion of the Gods fantasy series, as a free download by signing up for my monthly newsletter. If you love free eBooks as I do, you’ll want to keep subscribed to my newsletter because other sci-fi/fantasy authors will be giving away free eBook downloads via my newsletter throughout 2017.
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Author Bio

Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write. Andrew’s imagination has helped him create works of high fantasy, paranormal thrills and touch of the futuristic.

To find out more about Andrew, follow him on his website or on Facebook.
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I personally like his Goodreads 'About' paragraph more:
After a minor in creative writing in college, Andrew Q. Gordon decided to become old and stodgy and went to law school. At the urging of his partner, he returned to creative writing almost two decades later . Still working as a lawyer, he and his husband of seventeen years and their dogs live in the DC area. In 2011 they welcomed their daughter into their family. Andrew still manages to write after the last diaper is changed and he unwraps himself from his daughter's little finger.

The Diversity Of Fantasy

by Andrew Q. Gordon

One of the biggest pros to writing fantasy is how easy it is to change the rules. Readers open a fantasy book with the understanding they have to suspend their disbelief reflex. Magic? Elves? Goddesses and Gods intervening in the lives of their subjects? Talking unicorns? All of these impossibilities are readily accepted. So it wouldn’t be hard to have the throne pass to the oldest female child of the queen. That’s how it’s done in that Queendom.

This ability to change the accepted norms is particularly beneficial if you want to write LGBTQ characters. Sure near complete acceptance of same sex couples is foreign to our current worldview, but not in a world that has magic, talking birds, and lions who wear armor and have three story homes. Why would they find a same sex couple odd?

Fiction is one of the best ways to introduce MM characters to the general public. (MM = Male/Male) If you remove opposition to same sex pairings from the daily struggle, the writer is free to create conflicts for the characters that resonate with all readers. Everyone can relate to fighting off zombies trying to eat their brains.

When I started Champion of the Gods, I very much wanted an MM main couple who focused on the danger to the world, not the lack of acceptance to their relationship. But that also meant I couldn’t fall back on that struggle for acceptance as a plot device. Now, just because a society is accepting of same sex pairings, doesn’t mean their relationship gets an easy ride. Aragon and Arwen didn’t have it easy. Elrond’s objection, however, stemmed from the pain his daughter would suffer when Aragon died, not racism. Then there is Romeo and Juliet. Acceptance issues still exist, but they apply to all pairings, not just same sex ones.

Another thing to consider is whether the book is an MM (Romance) Fantasy or Fantasy with an MM element. The two are very different. If the plot revolves mainly around the main couple and their struggles to be together, I’d call that an MM Fantasy. But if the couple’s being together is a subplot in the larger story arc, that’s a Fantasy with MM characters. The difference, to me at least, is important.

I wrote Champion of the Gods to be a fantasy story first. Farrell and Miceral (the same sex main characters) tackle the threat to their world together. Yes, getting them together was a subplot – and one might argue their relationship was a big subplot of the first book – but the bigger issue is saving their world. This requires a different approach to writing their romance. For me it needed to be subtle and matter of fact. Not quite in the background, but certainly not more than normal character development. It also meant no on page sex.

To me, this is a fantasy story. My target audience is readers who enjoy discovering new worlds and different forms of magic. If there was going to be any sex, it had to pass the first test of writing – if the scene doesn’t advance the story, cut it out. That applies no matter the orientation of the main characters. No double standards.

Because their nocturnal activities wouldn’t move the plot along, I didn’t write those scenes in the books. Their relationship, however, was important, so you do get to see and read about that. But since that isn’t an issue on their world, it gets relegated to the subplot status.

Thank you very much Andrew!

I know myself and many others have been begging for novels where discriminatory -isms don't exist or at the very least, the plot doesn't revolve around surviving The Heteronormative Racist Patriarchy. I'm so happy to have found another book to that list and host such a thoughtful guest post.

Tell me dear readers, have you been on the same quest? What other books subvert the That's The Way It Is world building? Any recs for books that contain the same thing, or are [genre] + diversity, instead of a diversity [genre]? Let me know in the comments below, and don't forget to get your free copy of The Last Grand Master!

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