Sunday, September 21, 2014

Realm Explorers Part XV: Visit Tanul with LeAnna Shields

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book.  

Author’s name:
LeAnna Shields

Title of book and/or series:
The Alestrion Chronicles

Brief summary of the story:
Aira's life of slavery turns into a life of freedom and fame when she is rescued and returned home. After a year as an apprentice to a griffin keeper she quickly becomes Tanul's most famous griffin racer, but that's not the life she was meant for. In a twist of fate she becomes the only one who can save the life of the king from an assassination attempt only to discover that she is in fact his long lost daughter and heir to the throne.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Tanul is an earth-like planet and the only populated planet in the system of the same name. The surface is mostly covered in water except for a several island nations. Most of the story takes place on the planet's central island Kabber-ka between the capital city and a small village called Delthen.

If we were to visit Tanul as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
If you were to visit the Planet Tanul the first thing you would see is the capital city. Built entirely of constantly growing crystal, the city is an ever changing rainbow depending on the stone's color and the time of day. The crown of the city and center of power is the Palace complex. For entertainment I recommend a day at the griffin race.

What dangers should we avoid in Tanul?
Overall, Tanul is a very peaceful and safe place to be. The only danger that should be avoided is a pesky egg-stealing black griffin. Motive for his thievery is unknown as of yet.  Also, there is a shadowy figure that's rumored about, named Techneon.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Tanul?
The fruit vendors that line the streets are always willing to give a sample of their wares. Especially of their Zeeda melon, a pink fleshed melon that has a flavor some would compare to a strawberry.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Tanul?
The popular fighting style is the use of the Ilon Char: a set of steel fans used for self defense.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Tanul?
The main modes of transportation while on world are the hover car and tramways. But the most popular and exhilarating way to get around is on the back of a griffin.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Tanul that we don’t see on Earth?  
The sentient races you will encounter on Tanul vary. The central continent is inhabited by the Tanulians, a race of humanoids. They stand at 6 ft. tall, have white hair, and have an average lifespan of 200 yrs.  They share the island with another race called the Eltheen, their mixed-race children called the Ta'ran Muth, and a race known as the Greyon who inhabit the mountains. The Outer Islands are inhabited by other more secretive races: there are the Tykerians, a race of half snake half humans, the Unari, and the Marshlender. Also there are the griffins, majestic telepathically sentient creatures that have the head of an eagle and the body of a lion.

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Tanul?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
Holographic communications and space ships are some of the advanced technology.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Tanul.
For entertainment there are the griffin races. Young Tanulians come together and race with their griffin partners through canyons. The Commander's Cup race is the highest event of the season and the winner become head of the griffin racer's guild, called The High Wing Commander. 

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Tanul as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
The days of the week are similar, if slightly shorter than Earth's. The Spring Festival and the migration of the lunar butterfly (a beautiful six winged bio-luminescent insect) are highly celebrated events. There's also the newly instated Victory Festival.

Is there a particular religion practiced in Tanul?  Please describe what it involves.
Under Princess Aria, the following of Alestrion, the great phoenix, has been revived, along with the prophecies concerning him and an interest in the tomes of the law.

What is the political or government structure in Tanul?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The political structure on Tanul is a matriarchy/democracy. Right now the High Queen Nalan and her family are in charge: her husband High King Arameus, her son King Alistare, his wife Queen Icallia, and daughter Princess Aria. Under their reign and leadership the planet has become quite prosperous, and the people are very excited to see what the future brings with newly crowned princess Aria's rule.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Tanul?
Two cultural practices that are readily observable are the Nish Alen, and an ear wrap worn by locals. This is given to a child when he or she has undergone a maturing process called the chrysalis. They also place small crystals beside their eyes to mark their place in society. Merchants, herbalists, racers and warriors each have a different color and arrangement. These are presented to an apprentice upon graduation.  

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
My love of mythology inspired a few of the cultures, such as the Tykerians; they're based loosely on the mythical creatures called the Naga.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Slavery and abuse are very lightly touched on in the fact that Aria is rescued from slavery and life with an abusive grandfather to become a future ruler.

Author Autobiography:
LeAnna Shields  was born in Texas but raised in Colorado. She learned at a young age that she had a vivid imagination and a talent for creating adventures. She currently lives in the Denver area where she writes and tends to her garden.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)? 
My books can be found on in paperback and for Kindle.
They can also be found on

Where can readers connect with you online? 
Readers can find me on Twitter @inkweilder
and on my website

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Tanul.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the World of Spacetime in Realm Explorers Part XVI!
-Annie Douglass Lima

Are you an author who would like your world to appear on Realm Explorers?  Click here to download the instructions and interview form, or email me at for more information.


Heather @ My Overflowing Cup said...

WOW! I'm impressed. I am pretty lacking in the imagination department, but my boys would love this. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent detailed description of this book. It would be helpful to have this background before reading the book.