Today we have a special guest post by Daniel Cohen, the author of Masters of the Veil, a new fantasy novel published by Spencer Hill Press.
Masters of the Veil
MAGIC FAQ + A SHORT LESSON FROM BARIV THE CONDUIT
*Congratulations! You can do magic!*
*Here’s what you need to know about your exciting new ability:*
*Q: WHAT IS MAGIC? AND WHY CAN I DO IT?*
This can be a very thrilling, confusing, and even frightening time for a
young sorcerer, so let’s start with the basics. Magic is just another way
of saying, “Connecting with the Veil.” As you may already know, the Veil is
an ancient energy that lies all around us that some fortunate few (YOU!)
can even use.
The Veil gives the sorcerer communities everything we need to survive. The
more the Veil is used, the more She gives us. All sort of wonderful plants,
animals, food, clothing, and shelter… they’re all there, waiting to spring
There is no conclusive evidence explaining why some people can use the Veil
and some people cannot. Some speculate it’s genetic, while others believe
it’s spiritual. Alas, we will probably never be sure, so just be thankful
that you are one of the lucky few.
*Q: HOW DO I DO MAGIC?*
There are two methods of doing magic: A “grip” and a “drape”
*A Grip:* Connecting with the Veil to perform a specific feat.
*A Drape: *Essentially it’s wrapping the Veil around an object to give it
As you may have seen from the older sorcerers in your magical community, we
use something called a “Second-Skin” to access the Veil. A second-skin is
a covering for your hand that allows you to grip the Veil. Second-skins *
must* be made from materials that have sprung from the Veil in order to
work. One of the first things that you will be instructed to do is create
your own second-skin in order to create the deepest connection. You can use
anything from dried aansi leaves to the bark from a zigzag tree, just know
that attempting to do magic that is beyond your reach with break your
*Q: HOW SOON WILL I BECOME A MASTER SORCERER?*
Whoa there! Don’t get ahead of yourself. Magic is extremely difficult and
it’s going to take some time for you to become proficient at it. You have a
magnificent, bumpy road ahead of you.
*Q: BUT WHO IS GOING TO TEACH ME?*
The sorcerer community doesn’t take your new ability lightly. We will
provide you with the finest teachers available. Train hard enough and you
might even get to be in Rona’s group (but don’t get your hopes up)!!! You
will be matched up by your skill level and organized by the type of magic
you’ll be pursuing.
*Q: IS MAGIC DANGEROUS?*
It can be if used wrong. To avoid causing unnecessary pain, make sure you
study hard, respect your clan elders, and eat your vegetables.
*Q: WILL I HAVE TO LEAVE MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY?*
For a short time, yes. Whether you’re from the flathand (those who can’t
grip the Veil) world or a magical community, you will be brought to Atlas
Crown to study with Bariv. Bariv is the conduit to the Veil, and he will be
the first—and probably the most influential—teacher you will have. After
learning about your ability from Bariv, you will have the choice of
returning home or staying in Atlas Crown.
*Special note for those who come from the flathand world. In the rare
occurrence that you choose to return to the non-magic world, you will be
draped with the inability to speak of our world or perform magic outside of
a magical community. Sorry. The good news is that if you choose to join a
magical community, your immediate family will be invited to come with you
and will be provided for.
*NOW TAKE A SEAT AND ENJOY A QUICK LESSON FROM BARIV ON THE THREE DISCIPLINES OF MAGIC*
Welcome. Please have a seat. Before you are three second-skins that I have
created for choosing purposes. As you may already know, there are three
disciplines of magic that come from the Veil.
First, there are natural magics, which are best gripped with the aid of
plants. The green second-skin is made from the leaf of the grampith tree.
Natural magics are very useful. They feed, they clothe, they help us
interact with the world around us. We would not survive without them.
Nature is dough and you shape it to your desires—if you are skilled enough.
Mountains can be leveled and water can fall upwards. Nature’s secrets will
whisk you away to another plane where you can realize the awe-inspiring
connections we hold with the world around us.
Next, there are the mystical magics. The metal second-skin you see on the
left was mined from beneath Grus’ pass and made from silver-palladium mixed
by my own hand. A mystical sorcerer would use this second-skin. The
mystical magics keep true to their namesake. Even *I* don’t fully
understand all that can be accomplished with this, and I have been close to
the Veil for a very long time. Those who excel at the mystical arts can
reach into the deepest, darkest parts of the mind and cast dreams into
reality. They can navigate the vast and powerful river of time. Reap gold
out of metals like a glorious harvest. Harness fear, and ride on its back
until it tires.
And last… there is the second-skin made from the hide of Sectus remisican,
the skull-wolf. This is a tool of power magics. These tools work best if
taken forcibly. In Atlas Crown, we do not kill when we do not have to;
however, in this particular case we had to. The power sect is a dangerous
one, yet it brings with it the ability to forge oneself into the greatest
ruler and purveyor of dominance. Authority is a given. Supremacy is taken.
The true power sect is scarcely found here. Those who have chosen it, or
rather have been chosen, usually take the road down another path, a false
path that can only lead to death and misery. However, when applied for
good, the power sect can be the most useful of them all. An iron body has
no need for a suit. That is what the Veil is at Her heart. She is power.
She holds possibilities so grand, we can never understand, only observe.
Now why don’t you try one on?
Life can’t get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player. every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer.Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who’s the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who’s pretty sure Sam’s an idiot.As it becomes clear Sam’s meant for power magic-the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery-people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown, but all humankind.