People throughout Gehenna are disappearing, even the feared executioner Tyburn. Many of the nobles believe the kidnappings to be the work of the northern trolls, raiding south for the winter, and when Baron Sable and others head off to fight them, Castle Gloom is left guarded by only the squires.
Lily is struggling with her growing necromantic powers. The castle fills with ghosts, drawn like moths to a flame by the brightness of her magic. Zombies roam the country, some left over from those raised in SHADOW MAGIC, others awakened by Lily. Families are troubled by the returning dead, so Lily tries to incorporate them into day-to-day life, much to the resentment of the living.
Then Lily is attacked in her own castle by a mysterious sorcerer known as Dreamweaver, a young man determined to conquer Gehenna using jewel-spiders, strange crystalline creatures whose bite doesn’t kill, but sends victims to sleep. Lily soon discovers that Dreamweaver is harvesting dreams to fuel his magic.
Lily enters the realm of sleep known as the Dream Time, in an attempt to awaken all the captive dreamers. Instead she finds herself trapped within a dream, one where her family is still alive. With the help of Thorn and the ever loyal Hades, she must somehow overcome the evil Dreamweaver by using his own magic against him – and reclaim her kingdom.
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And now for the Dream Cast, as presented by Joshua Khan! Enjoy!
The Dream Cast for Shadow Magic
I don’t know any author who doesn’t play this game. Just between you and me we have had some film and tv interest, but Hollywood hasn’t quite come knocking, yet!
Ok, so lets pretend that Peter Jackson is looking to get back into fantasy and has invited me over to his pad in sunny New Zealand. We get out the ‘Who’s Who’s’ of the acting world and start flicking through…
TYBURN, the executioner. Tricky, he’s the ultimate badass killer, but a bit old, a bit worn out and, if you saw him in a crowded room, you really wouldn’t notice him. He’s a man doing a job, simple as that. So he can’t be Sean Bean or Idris Elba, he can’t look heroic, he’s not a hero. So I’d go for Hugo Weaving, the chap who plays Elrond in the Lord of the Rings movies.
PANDEMONIUM SHADOW. Now Pan’s a sad figure, a hero who’s past his glory days and more than a little bitter. So I want someone who was the handsome lead, ten, twenty years ago, but is showing his age and starting to play older character roles. But someone with a hint of danger, the old fires of his younger, adventurous self haven’t been totally extinguished. I had this actor in mind pretty much from Day One. James Purefoy. James has played plenty of action roles, knows how to handle a sword, and is just over fifty. Ridiculously handsome, but not pin-up. He’d need to fatten up for Pan though.
LORD IBLIS SHADOW. Lily’s dad. Tall, imposing, brooding and clever, oh so very clever. Yes, who else could it be but our own Sherlock, Benedict? Easy win, he was in my mind as I wrote Iblis. And with him as Dr. Strange, he’s already building up experience playing sorcerers!
The other key thing is you can see him and James as brothers, they both have an intensity. Benedict’s is more cerebral, James’s more physical, which suits the characters of Iblis and Pan perfectly.
SALOME SHADOW. You meet Lily’s mom in DREAM MAGIC, and she’s a big deal. A lot of Lily’s attitude comes from her mother, again something I expand upon in DREAM MAGIC. I’m a huge fan of MacBeth, so Salome has a bit of Lady M in her DNA. Here is a woman who will protect her family with cold, deadly elegance. While no sorcerer like Iblis, she had to be able to stand her own ground. In a way the Iblis/Salome dynamic is the opposite of Lily/Thorn. Thorn has no magic, like Salome, but we know Lily could never survive or grow without him. The same applies to Iblis and Salome.
So, there is only one actress that matches, Monica Bellucci. Apart from being inhumanly beautiful, she’s got a razor sharp mind and Sicilian on-top of all that. I’ve been smitten by her ever since she played a vampire bride in Bram Stoker’s Dracula back in the early 1990s. It will be a surprise to no-one that I’m a fan of all things gothic and the vampire remains my favourite monster. So, Monica forever.
MARY. This is a big role. Where would Lily be without her dear, devoted nanny? Mary’s the real no nonsense ruler of Castle Gloom. Even Iblis did as he was told when she was around. So we need someone who’s got natural authority, someone who can command even the heroes with just a raise of her eyebrow. Another easy win. There is only one actress I can think of who can do that. Dame Judi Dench. She’s even played James Bond’s boss!
Okay, now to the top four. Our young leads. This becomes tricky as the clock’s ticking. Our heroes are all young teens, so whoever I pick may age out pretty darn quick. Plus I’m not that up to speed with the younger generation of actors. Hey, everyone under thirty seems ridiculously young to me!
GABRIEL. There are two versions of the boy. The one projected by his magic. Handsome, glamorous, the perfect prince. Teen pin up all the way. If there was a teen Hemsworth brother, we’d be sorted. Hey, why don’t we go with that? So here’s a picture of a young Chris Hemsworth missing a shirt. You’re welcome.
K’LEEF. K’leef’s from the Sultanate of Fire. That kingdom is a mix of mythic Arabia and India, think Arabian Nights. So we need an actor from that part of the world. India has the biggest film industry in the world but few actors ever cross over to be recognised by Western audiences. So, my choice is pretty limited, even more so than just the usual batch of young actors.
Fortunately those we do have are awesome. My favourite actor right now is Riz Ahmed, but he’s for a future role as one of K’leef’s older brothers (have I mentioned Book, 3, BURNING MAGIC?).
Thus for K’leef we’ll go with Suraj Sharma, the lead from the Life of Pi. Here he is, holding a white tiger cub. Again, you’re welcome.
LILY. My kids are big fans of Victorious, it’s pretty much all that’s ever on now that Step Up seems to have finished. I’ve got the same problem here, Lily’s thirteen but I don’t know any actresses that age. I’ll have to go with Victoria Justice, though she is too old (ridiculous to use that phrase on someone barely over 20), so the casting director will have to go look for a ‘Victoria Justice’ type I suppose. Lily’s glamorous (she is a princess after all) but sharp-tongued and dedicated to her people. She’s got to act older than she is yet show she’s still a child, trying to find her way in the world, all the while bearing the burden of ruling a country. That’s a big ask for an actress.
THORN. The thing is, Thorn’s not anyone’s idea of handsome. That’s not being cruel, he just just isn’t. Sure, Gabriel has his magic to make him look the way he is, and K’leef has that dark-eyed exotic working for him. Thorn may grow up to have a rugged charm, but right now he’s just a scrappy peasant boy. What matters is his courage, and his moral compass. Alone out of the whole cast, he knows what’s right and what’s wrong. This is something I’ve spent a long time dwelling on and if you’ve come to any of my talks you’d have heard me discuss the difficulty in knowing right from wrong. So the actor has to have a determination in him, much more important that straight teeth and clear skin.
Billy Elliot is one of my fav films. Billy’s very much cut from the same cloth as Thorn. He’s unsophisticated, but honest and knows what he wants. If we could turn back the clock then we’d have the perfect actor. Any Jamie Bell types out there nowadays?
There we have it, my cast for SHADOW MAGIC. Of course I’d demand a walk on part for myself, a zombie in the background would suit me just fine!
About the Author:
JOSHUA KAHN was born in Britain, a land filled with ancient castles, dark forests, and tales of legendary heroes and fantastical monsters. His head stuffed with magical stories, it was inevitable that Joshua would want to create some of his own. Hence SHADOW MAGIC and DREAM MAGIC. Josh lives in London with his family, but he’d rather live in a castle. It wouldn’t have to be very big, just as long as it had battlements. Follow him on Twitter @WriterJoshKhan.
Dream Magic – Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, April 3rd: Reads All the Books, Review
Tuesday, April 4th: Bumbles and Fairy-Tales, Review
Wednesday, April 5th: To Read, Or Not To Read, Playlist Post
Thursday, April 6th: Pandora’s Books, Dream Cast Post
Friday, April 7th: Lovely Reads, Review
Monday, April 10th: Feed Your Fiction Addiction, Top Ten Addictions List and Review
Tuesday, April 11th: Such a Novel Idea, Review
Wednesday, April 12th: Comfort Books, Interview
Thursday, April 13th: She Dreams in Fiction, Review
Friday, April 14th: Lily Bloom Books, Series Spotlight