Patricia S. Bowne

Fantasy Fiction and Academic Satire

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The people in my books are almost all Royal Academy faculty, because I like faculty. Some of the non-faculty characters do seem to have more common sense, though…

Hiram Rho, protagonist of Advice from Pigeons, was raised by feral cats. That turned out just about the way you'd expect. He's a Natural Philosopher, which means he can talk with animals and has questions about taken-for-granted issues like human superiority. He's also the quintessential new faculty member, with all the new faculty member problems. We get a look back at Rho's graduate-school experiences when his major professor disappears in Unite and Conquer. Rho begins the series estranged from his family, but his mother Mama Simone becomes a major character in Swept and Garnished.

Warren Oldham, Head of Demonology, is a born (or made, as we find out in Swept and Garnished) middle manager. He worries about people's welfare and is prone to depression. He's also an excellent magician and a wizard with a meditative, spiritual cast to his magic; he and Russell Cinea are the only magicians known to have restored their own souls (in Advice from Pigeons). His favorite hobbies are worrying and walking along ley-lines, communing with wild magic. The most important people in his life are his wife Lilian, an insurance scryer, and his mother Bosie Lane, a retired exotic dancer.

Bill Navanax, an Alchemist who creates new metals, teases Warren into a reckless action and then rescues him from it in the very first Osyth story, A World They Never Made. Brigham Young University's The Leading Edge made me tone down Bill's language before they would publish the story… by the time we see him again in Advice from Pigeons, tragedy has visited Bill and left him a heartbroken, bitter drinker. Things get better for Bill by the start of A Lovesome Thing and then way, way worse, and then better again. And yes, there is a love interest…

Click on the names to find out about the rest: