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Rahima Warren | Beyond Escapism: Fantasy that Inspires and Heals

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 healing journeys.

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 Prophecy.)

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!

ABOUT Dark 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?

Blog Prizes

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 June 21st.

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 spiritual studies.

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 STAR-SEER'S PROPHECY.

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 innocence

Buy Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble




13 comments posted.

Re: Rahima Warren | Beyond Escapism: Fantasy that Inspires and Heals

My favorite Hero is Jesus Christ. Also, I love your book
cover and it makes me think of Christ too. Thanks for the
great books and contest. I would love to win and read your
books too. Thank You. Cecilia CECE
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 11:13pm June 16, 2013)

i love your books i dont have a favorite hero off the top of
my mind i can name out
(Denise Smith 1:01am June 17, 2013)

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)

Thanks, Denise! Good Luck!
(Rahima Warren 9:31pm 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)

HI, Sarah, I love Jane Austen too! Good Luck!
(Rahima Warren 11:34pm June 17, 2013)

scarlett ohara in gone with the wind first fav hero thanks
(Debbi Shaw 11:57pm June 17, 2013)

I rather like Eleanor from Jane Austen's SENSE AND
(Mary Preston 7:39am June 18, 2013)

Debbi & Mary, thanks for stopping by! We are getting a great list of heroines. Good Luck!
(Rahima Warren 2:50pm June 18, 2013)

My favorite heroine is Eve Dallas from the In Death series by J.D. Robb.
(Kai Wong 10:58pm June 18, 2013)

Thanks, Kai! Good Luck!
(Rahima Warren 3:05pm June 19, 2013)

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