Thursday, January 23, 2014

The characters (part 9)


(This is the ninth in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy.)

Who is Mala and why is he called a ruined snow giant?

There are beings called snow giants who live in the frozen peaks of Okkanti, a desolate mountain range located above the Salt Sea in northeastern Triken. (See map at At times in Triken’s history, there were as many as twenty snow giants, but at the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles, there fewer than a dozen.

Snow giants were extremely long-lived beings, rivaling the dracools and even the great dragons. Some, including their leader Yama-Deva, were more than 50,000 years old. Male snow giants stood 15 feet tall and weighed more than half a ton. Their physical strength was extraordinary, and they were capable of bashing boulders into dust with their bare hands. Their bodies burst with magic, which could heal or destroy, and they were beautiful creatures, with broad faces, pointed ears and long, white manes that ran down the length of their spines. Despite living in temperatures well below freezing, they wore only crude loin cloths. Cold had little effect on them; in fact, they rarely strayed from the mountaintops—it was heat that made them uncomfortable.

Yama-Deva was one of the few snow giants who ever dared to come down from peaks and explore the lowlands, and it was there that he was captured by one of the evil sorcerer Invictus’ slave-hunting parties. Being a benign and gentle creature. Deva did not resist his capture (though he most certainly could have) because he did not wish to harm those who would enslave him.

Deva was taken from Okkanti and brought before Invictus in the Golden City of Avici, and though the snow giant was the mightiest of his kind, even he was no match for the sorcerer. Even then, it took ten years of torture for Invictus to finally break Deva’s will and turn him into a monster, hence “ruining” the most magnificent snow giant to ever live.

Invictus named him Mala, which in the ancient tongue meant monster, but Mala was also known as the Chain Man, because Invictus—using dreadful sorcery—had encased Mala in a single chain that wrapped around his shoulders, crisscrossed at his waist and lower back, and rode down his hips before looping around his bulky thighs. The chain had six-inch-thick links of gold blended with magical alloys, making it supernaturally strong. It glowed incessantly with a golden fire that appeared as hot as magma, burning Mala’s thick hide and causing a stink that was reminiscent of rotten meat cooked over an open fire. This caused him incessant pain, which led to a cruel and ruthless madness. The only beauty Mala retained from his previous existence was his silky white mane. Everything else was hideous to behold. His eyes were now red and swollen; vile liquid oozed from their sockets. Two blood-stained fangs hung over his lower lip; venom dripped from their pointed tips. His tongue was long and black; it probed and fluttered like a snake’s.

Surpassed only by Invictus and Bhayatupa (the great dragon) in might and magic, Mala became one of the most feared beings on Triken, and he was named the leader of the sorcerer’s army of monsters and golden soldiers. Once one of the most wondrous beings on Triken, he had been transformed into one of the most vile and dangerous creatures to ever exist.

Illustration courtesy of fantasy artist Tracy Pittman.

Up next: the Stone-Eaters.

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The Death Wizard Chronicles is a sexy, action-packed six-book epic fantasy series: Book One (Forged by Death), Book Two (Chained by Fear), Book Three (Eve of War), Book Four (World on Fire), Book Five (Sun God), Book Six (Death-Know).

The DW Chronicles is not for children and teenagers -- or the faint of heart. But if you like graphic fantasy that is bursting with excitement yet still has a lot going on between the lines, I think you'll love my series.

In a groundbreaking paradox, the Death Wizard, a champion of good, derives his power from a source traditionally seen as negative -- death. His nemesis, an evil sorcerer, derives his power from the sun, the benevolent source of all life. Their struggle to control the fate of the planet Triken will take your breath away.

In an original twist never before seen in this genre, the Death Wizard is able to enter the realm of death during a "temporary suicide." Through intense concentration, he stops his heartbeat and feeds on death energy, which provides him with an array of magical powers.

The series also is a love triangle involving two desperate characters attempting to come together despite the machinations of an all-powerful psychopath with incestuous cravings.

Graphic and action-packed, spanning a millennium of turmoil, The DW Chronicles carries readers on a journey they will never forget.

Do you fear death? The Death Wizard does not. Find out why.

-- Please go to for more details.

About Me

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Clemson, SC, United States
I was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla. I graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa) in 1979 with a B.A. in Journalism. I now live in South Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a pleasant setting for writing, to say the least. I was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times for twenty-five years and I currently work at the Charlotte Observer. I am married with five daughters.

The author

The author
Jim Melvin, a veteran journalist, debuts as novelist.