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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Speaking to the Dead - Excerpt from Bad Spelling Audio

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BAD SPELLING - Book 1 of The Witches of Galdorheim Series
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

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Katrina's aunt, Thordis, is both harsh on her niece for her failings as a witch, and her biggest booster -- but never to Kat's face.

Thordis is the most powerful witch on Galdorheim, and the administrator for the practical day to day operations of an island that runs on magic. The witch population combine a share of their personal magic for the common good. Maintenance of the protective shield around the village, lighting, food production all make use of a touch of magic from every resident.

When Kat and Rune run off to find Kat's Siberian family, Thordis takes charge of what the witches will do. She has to make an alliance with a very unfriendly witch, Mordita. Possibly, Thordis isn't the most powerful witch on the island after all.

Thordis is both regal and officious. She demands respect and brooks no nonsense. While the governance of the island falls on a council of witches, just about anything Thordis says is what gets done.

I picture Aunt Thordis as Dame Judi Dench the head of M6 in the James Bond films. Thordis is a bit younger, and her hair long but always done in an elaborate style. In that way, I'm reminded of Endora in the Bewitched series, except with blond hair, not red.

Katrina's Aunt Thordis believes Kat's frozen father might have information useful to solving the girl's spelling problems. She visits to speak to him, but must determine first whether he's still alive or really dead. Raising the dead is a black art which no good Galdorheim witch would practice.

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First, the excerpt in text (if you prefer reading), then the audio version. You should really listen to the excerpt. The narrator, Lisa Baarns, really does a bang up job on Aunt Thordis.

Excerpt in Text (audio embed below the break)


When she felt her magic to be at its peak, Thordis opened the book to the chapter titled Speaking to the Dead. The incantation woke the dead, so waking Boris should be a piece of cake. It also provided translation services. After all, why try to speak to the dead if they can’t understand what you’re saying?

Þat kann ec iþ tolpta,
ef ec se a tre vppi
vafa virgilná:
sva ec rist oc i rvnom fác,
at sa gengr gvmi
oc melir viþ mic.”


I know a twelfth one if I see,
up in a tree,
a dangling corpse in a noose,
I can so carve and colour the runes,
that the man walks
And talks with me.

But nothing happened. She slowed down and spoke the spell with precision, putting as much magical force as she could into it. Finally, she felt the spell break through the barrier.

“Boris, do you hear me?”

Yes.”


Click this direct link to the audio excerpt or listen using the embedded player below.

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