As an avid reader, Megan Wood says no fantasy novel ever quite satisfied her, so she decided to write her own.
Wood is the author of the newly released novel The Naidisbo, an epic fantasy coming of age tale, and her first published book.
“I think there’s a lot of room in the world of literature to expand on some magic systems and some world building that happens,” she said of her inspiration. “I’ve always written and so I just started fleshing this idea out and the characters kind-of grew and the story came into itself and then I just had to spit it out.”
Wood explained that The Naidisbo – which is obsidian spelled backwards – takes place in a fictional world called Torekan that has been ruled by the Order of Alvar under a theocracy for 150 years. The order considers people with pure powers, which are connected to the elements of fire and water, as elites. Those with powers connected to the earth, known as naturalists, are repressed.
The main protagonist in the novel, Anika Dian, has served the order since she was a child and was led to believe that naturalists were bad. But she ends up learning the truth about them and comes into her own as a rebellion brews.
“It’s really a story about adventure, it’s a story about growth,” Wood said. “I just hope that [readers] have fun going on this journey with our main character, Anika, and growing as she does and maybe changing perspectives a little bit.”
The Naidisbo is the first installment in a planned two-part series that explores themes of prejudice, inequality and injustice.
Wood said she began writing the novel in 2017 while on maternity leave. With funding from the NWT Arts Council she was able to publish it.
“I hope people take advantage of the NWT Arts Council because it’s there and I don’t think it’s that well known,” she said.
The Naidisbo is currently available online on Amazon. Wood said the book should soon appear on the shelves of the Yellowknife Book Cellar.