Saturday, 17 July 2010

Locus Focus - Forst Reach (Castle)

Locus Focus is a meme hosted every Saturday by Enbrethiliel at Shredded Cheddar. "We all know of books that make their settings come alive, and this meme is a chance to write about them and share them with others." Visit her blog and link up!

My Locus Focus today is the Castle of Forst Reach from the Last Herald Mage Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey, birthplace of Vanyel Ashkevron, the main character of this trilogy. I put most of my books in storage, including this trilogy, so I'll have to do this from memory, so sorry for any mistakes.

The castle of Forst Reach is a weird building. One of Vanyel's ancestor's loved adding new things to the castle to make it more comfortable, like indoor bathrooms and such. In building the new additions to the castle he didn't take notice of floorplans and just added rooms where ever he saw fit. This makes the castle a confusing place as small staircases, extra rooms and such pop up in the most unlikely places. It takes the people living at Forst Reach some thinking at times to figure out how to get from one place to the other without hitting a sudden deadend.

All the changing and adding even resulted in some rooms getting closed off entirely and making them inaccessible for all but the more inventive people. Like the small storage room behind the library, which can only be reached through a window several floors up from the ground.

This room is Vanyel's sanctuary at the start of the trilogy (Magic's Pawn). Here he hides to escape weapon's practise and to play his lute. It is here that he overhears the conversation between his parents that will result in him being send away from Forst Reach, a decision that will change his life in both good and bad ways. It's also the room that will later in the trilogy change the life of one of his cousins as well.

All in all the castle sounds like a fascinating and cool place, where I'd love to take a look. Who wouldn't love a castle that's like some giant maze?
Well, probably the people living there....

(And just incase you're wondering: yup, the castle in the picture is Bran Castle, the so called home of Dracula.)


Enbrethiliel said...


I love huge houses that seem to have put together in higgledy-piggledy fashion! (Well, I like them in stories; I don't think I'd like to live in one. LOL!)

Vanyel's room sounds like a really peaceful sanctuary. I'm glad to hear the room plays a bigger role in the trilogy. Writers who can make seemingly simple settings extra meaningful are my favourites--for obvious reasons! ;-)

Sullivan McPig said...

I agree. I loved how Lackey used the room later on to link Vanyel and his cousin.

Alice Audrey said...

I keep meaning to give Lackey another try. So many people love her writing. I don't even remember which of her books I had to set aside, it's been so long.

Birdie said...

In building the new additions to the castle he didn't take notice of floorplans and just added rooms where ever he saw fit.

Ok, it may be really odd, but this sounds like a dream house for me. LOL. Always in progress, lots of nooks and crannies, unexpected things around every corner. It seems almost an Alice in Wonderland thing