One of the great pleasures of writing the Perilous Realm trilogy has been creating the epigraphs at the head of each chapter. If you've read my book The Logogryph you know that I'm fond of imaginary books, and the epigraphs for the chapters of The Shadow of Malabron are all "excerpts" from such made-up books.

Like the Spindlefog Misguidebook to the Realms of Story. In this case I thought that if most real-world destinations had guidebooks, the Perilous Realm, being (in part at least) the land of Faerie, would have misguidebooks, either out of sheer caprice or in order to keep people from finding the place too easily. Spindlefog is the name of the publisher of this and other misguidebooks. I'm sure there are more stories to tell about him.

Then there's the Book of Errantry, which is a kind of "scout handbook" of rules and useful advice given to every young person who joins the Errantry as a knight-apprentice. (There will be more on the Errantry in a later post.)

And Redquill's Atlas and Gazeteer of the Realm. A book of maps and information about the worlds of Story. Could such a book ever be completed?

And Balthazar Budd's Flora and Fauna of Wildernesse. This one is based on a real book that I had to read and study when I was a biological sciences student, years ago: Budd's Flora of the Canadian Prairie Provinces, a huge tome cataloguing and describing the plants and flowers of the Canadian west. The book was named for Archibald Charles Budd, an Englishman who emigrated to Canada in 1910 after winning 250 pounds in a limerick contest. (I'd love to read the winning limerick). A.C. Budd worked as a botanist in Saskatchewan and became an authority on the plant life of his adopted home. If you ever need to differentiate hay sedge from broom sedge, Budd's book is the place to go.


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