Can reading a fantasy story be healing for the reader? Isn't reading fantasy
just a fun escape from humdrum reality? In some cases, yes. But I have found a
number of fantasy authors who write about people with deep wounds and their
For example, DEERSKIN by Robin McKinley, a wonderfully-written fantasy,
is essentially about the heroine's struggle to overcome the wound of being raped
by her father. The wound is so deep that the heroine has to forget what
happened, even forget who she is. The story shows how she eventually remembers
herself, confronts her father, and recovers the ability to trust and love.
Another example is THE ONION GIRL by Charles de Lint. One of the main
characters in his urban fantasy series set in a fictional modern city called
Newford is Jilly Coppercorn, an always cheerful artist who paints scenes of
faery. In this novel, he writes of Jilly's dark past. "I'm the onion girl," she
says. "Pull back the layers of my life, and you won't find anything at the core.
Just a broken child. A hollow girl."
How many of us sometimes feel like this? I know I did. Decades ago, when I was
just emerging from a divorce, I experienced myself as a circle of mirrors. I
imagined that people would see something in the mirrors, and think it was me,
but it really was just a reflection of them. And there was nothing in the middle
of that circle of mirrors. No me, anywhere. That was pretty scary! Fortunately,
I was in therapy at the time. By going on my own healing journey, I slowly
disbanded that circle of mirrors and reclaimed my true self. In the process, I
became a psychotherapist myself, and worked with clients for 20 years, until I
retired to focus on my writing, painting and spiritual studies.
In THE ONION GIRL, de Lint weaves together Jilly's painful recovery
process with a rich, complex fantasy story. Since I was psychotherapist, I love
these stories that deal with the painful but ultimately rewarding healing
journey. Naturally, my story is also about the main character's healing journey.
(I've written elsewhere
about how I ended up writing my fantasy trilogy, The Star-Seer's
At first, my protagonist, Kyr, knows nothing but obedience to an evil
sorcerer-king known as the Soul-Drinker. He coldly carries out the
Soul-Drinker's vicious commands, until he is rescued by people whom he has
unwittingly helped. As he learns that there is kindness, friendship and love in
the world, he struggles to become a kind, caring person. His battle is not with
orcs or dragons, but with his inner demons.
Kyr's courage is the courage to look within, face his own pain, rage and
remorse, and find his way to forgiveness and love. This is a courage
much needed in the world today, to help end the cycles of blame and punishment,
hatred and revenge, which lead to feuds, war and terrorism, as well as to
depression, self-loathing, and many emotional ills. Any story that describes the
inner journey to wholeness, and inspires the reader to have Kyr's kind of
courage will have a healing effect on the reader.
For example, one of the readers of my novel, DARK INNOCENCE: BOOK ONE
OF The Star-Seer's Prophecy, writes:
"By living vicariously through the characters in a safe, fun, and captivating
manner, I began to relate to my own dark and deep feelings. I found I could
safely start to heal old wounds, and question things about my own beliefs. And
it all happened through the story's presentation of terrible suffering,
acceptance, and growth, as opposed to having to analyze myself. I cried and
laughed a lot, and consciously decided that if these characters can face such
horrendous pain and evil, and come out to a place of lightness and beauty and
love, so can I.
As a result, I have been able to forgive someone with whom I was very angry
for a long time, for injuring me in a car accident. I have committed myself to
deepen my recovery process. And I'm enjoying the effects of personal
realizations about my own path in life and where I want to go." (For the full
interview, go here.)
If you are seeking something beyond a fun escape, I hope you will read these
stories, and let them inspire you on your own healing journey!
Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy by Rahima Warren
The "twin-souled dark innocent," Kyr, is a youth born and raised to blindly
carry out the Soul-Drinker's brutal commands. At first, Kyr's one desire is
death, the only escape from the Soul-Drinker's hellish rule. Just when he is
about to get his wish, the secret Circle rescues him. Now he has to choose
between the familiar easy path of despair and death, or the hard path of
healing, living, and a greater destiny, about which he knows nothing. How can a
slave who has known only evil, pain and obedience choose to become a man of
courage and compassion, and fulfill the Star Seer's Prophecy?
Rahima is giving away prizes, including an e-copy of her book at each blog stop
on her tour AND a Grand Prize Giveaway of a Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with your
choice of fan art, chosen from : here, plus other goodies,
including a signed copy of DARK INNOCENCE for one
lucky winner, shipped to anywhere in the world!
1) To win an e-book: Leave a comment below on who your favorite heroine
is to be entered to win a book.
2) To win the Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with Rahima's fan art of your choice, or
a signed copy of Dark Innocence, or other goodies, click the link to
go to Rahima's website and
enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. A winner will be selected on
About Rahima Warren
Rahima Warren is the
author ofDARK INNOCENCE:
BOOK ONE OF THE STAR-SEER'S PROPHECY, a deep, rich novel of the healing
journey. WithMaster's degrees in Clinical and Transpersonal Psychology,she was
in private practice as a licensed psychotherapist for over 20 years. In 2006,
Rahima retired to focus on her expressive painting, creative writing, and
In her work with clients recovering from abuse, she was awed by the human
capacity to heal, and to reach new levels of forgiveness, wholeness and
happiness. She also learned to trust the psyche's own process. This enabled her
to allow a dark and mysterious story to flood forth unhindered: DARK INNOCENCE: BOOK ONE OF THE
Rahima is a third-generation native of California and resides with her husband
in Northern California, where she periodically chases squirrels off the wild
bird feeders, and deer away from her roses. Her life-long love of fantasy is her
parents' fault: they left sci-fi & fantasy magazines with fascinating cover
art lying around the house. Twitter | Facebook Fan Page | Pinterest
Read an excerpt of Dark
13 comments posted.
My favorite heroine is easily Elizabeth Bennet. It's hardly an original answer, but it's the truth.
(Jamie Fortney 12:55pm June 17, 2013)
Hi, Cecilia, Denise and Jamie! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good Luck in the drawing for the e-book winner!
(Rahima Warren 2:35pm June 17, 2013)
I think one of my favorite heroines is Rachel Morgan from the Hallows series by Kim Harrison - she is just plain awesome LOL Of course I am always open to finding new heroes / heroines, that's what is so fun for me in reading a new book, new world, new (to me) authors. Thank you for your generous sharing. Dark Innocence sounds like it is going to be a treat of a read. :)
(Denise Zaky 6:23pm June 17, 2013)
My favorite heroine would be Jane Austen. For having the courage to write at a time when women were not published really. I do hope I win the book. I have not read one of your books, but I look forward to it.
(Sarah Bauman 10:45pm June 17, 2013)
Debbi & Mary, thanks for stopping by! We are getting a great list of heroines. Good Luck!
(Rahima Warren 2:50pm June 18, 2013)