Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book.  

Author’s name:
Adam Bolander
Title of book and/or series:
Brief summary of the story:
Every mythical creature we have ever heard stories about is real, driven into hiding by the murderous Slayers.  When Porter Collins, a promising young Slayer, is sent to hunt down Sarah Heisen, a sphinx who has never known freedom, an accident occurs that forces the two of them to team up, putting events in motion that will shake the earth to its core.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The Slayer and the Sphinx takes place in the shadows of our world, the places we never look.  The Mythics are everywhere, if you can see the signs, but they work hard to make sure they go unnoticed.  The Slayers, likewise, stick to the shadows, but only because that’s where they will find their prey.  There are things of wonder and magic in the Mythic realms, but are seldom seen by humans because of their fear of the Slayers.
If we were to visit the Mythic realms as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
I would recommend seeking out the Historian’s Tower.  It is an ivory tower that reaches to the heavens, inside of which you can find detailed reports of every moment of history, from the present to the very beginning of time.  You’ll have to find it first, though, which can be a little tricky.  First, you have to know where the tower is located.  Then, you have to expect it to be there.  Any nonbelievers who stumble across it won’t even see it, because they don’t expect to see it.
What dangers should we avoid in the Mythic Realms?
The Slayers, for one.  They may think they are virtuous warriors fighting the good fight and protecting the human race, but in actuality they are vicious brutes who have hunted innocent Mythics to extinction almost since the beginning of recorded time.  Even other humans aren’t safe, as they will not hesitate to kill anybody they think has aided their enemies in any way.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in the Mythic Realms?
Between the Slayers and the Mythics, there are very few (if any) fighting styles that are not actively used in battle.  Both sides prefer to use swords and magic rather than guns, but are hardly at a disadvantage because of it.  One of the more notable fighting styles used in The Slayer and the Sphinx is Dominic Vega’s, second in command in the Slayers’ ranks.  He always carries around a bag full of handmade wooden javelins, which he can use for either long range or melee combat.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to the Mythic Realms?
A common way to travel in The Slayer and the Sphinx is teleportation.  People and creatures with the ability to use magic can use this to transport themselves wherever they want to go.  Attempting this without practice, though, can make you end up miles away from your intended destination – a lesson that Sarah learns the hard way.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in the Mythic Realms that we don’t normally see on Earth?
There are far too many to name.  If you’ve heard a story about a monster or mythical creature, it’s most likely true.  Some of the creatures used the most in The Slayer and the Sphinx are sphinxes, elves, djinns, dwarves, gnomes, chimera, satyrs, and gryphons – amongst many, many others.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in the Mythic Realms?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic can be used by anybody, if they know how.  Some creatures can use magic more easily than others, which is why human magic users are so rarely seen outside of corps like the Slayers.  They must always be careful, because overestimating their abilities can often prove fatal.  To Mythics like sphinxes, djinns, and elves, it comes more naturally.
What is the political or government structure in the Mythic Realms?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The Mythic society is governed by someone called the Arch-Mythic.  In this case, it is a gryphon named Rayalga.  There is no rule as to what type of Mythic the Arch-Mythic must be, but it is usually a large, intimidating creature.  This gives their underlings a sense of security, knowing they are being watched over by such a strong Mythic.  The Arch-Mythic also employs Commanders to watch over the various Secret Sanctuaries in his absence.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I’ve spent the majority of my life living in a forest, so most of my stories usually take place in one.  It’s always interesting to wonder what is out there, hiding in the trees, watching you even when you’re not watching them…
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Equality, and to cast away hate and prejudices.  The Mythics want to live in peace, without the threat of being hunted down, but the Slayers will never willingly grant them that.  I also try to show that there is good and bad in everyone.  The Slayers may be murdering innocent creatures, but they do it because they have been taught to believe that the Mythics are mindless killing machines that would not hesitate the wipe out the human race if given the chance.  Likewise, the Mythics have adopted the mindset that they are poor, innocent victims, and the Slayers are the ones to blame.  None of them recall the events that, ironically, forced the humans’ hand in forming the Slayers.  Nor will they acknowledge the corruption in their own hearts when they start to view the human race as a whole the same way the Slayers view them.
Author Autobiography:
I grew up struggling with several learning disabilities.  All my life, I loved to read, and it had always been a dream to write my own books.  It took me until my junior year of high school to overcome my disabilities and realize that dream, and now I can’t imagine ever doing anything else.  I have written and published seven books so far, and one currently updating on the internet, with plenty more on the way!

Where can we purchase your book(s)?  
All the links to buy my books can be found on my website, www.bolanderbooks.com.
Where can readers connect with you online?
They can check out my website, or they can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. 

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Mythic Realm.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the fantasy world of Avalon in Realm Explorers Part XI!
-Annie Douglass Lima

Are you an author who would like your world to appear on Realm Explorers?  Click here to download the instructions and interview form, or email me at [email protected] for more information.


I just finished reading a book called The Slayer and the Sphinx, a young adult fantasy by author Adam Bolander.  It features several races of “Mythics” (fantasy creatures) who secretly inhabit our own world but are shunned, feared, or persecuted by humans.  Porter, a teenage boy, is a “slayer” whose job is to hunt down and kill Mythics.  Sarah, a young sphinx, is one of his targets.  But things go wrong when he attacks her home; he is injured and ends up with amnesia, forgetting his mission and his own identity.  Sarah and Porter end up lost in a forest together, forced to rely on each other for survival as they try to find their way out.  Along the way, they meet other Mythics and encounter a variety of dangers.  The story ends before Porter regains his memory or the two (plus friends they’ve made along the way) reach their destination, so readers will be forced to read the sequel (which is not yet available) to find out what happens.

All in all, this was an interesting story.  The author had some great ideas, and I felt that he fleshed out the characters pretty well.  Each particular race of Mythics was given distinct traits and a unique culture, which made me interested to meet more of them.  Some creative concepts were presented, my favorite being a sentient sword that could communicate with its master.

I did feel, however, that parts of the story could have been fleshed out better.  The settings were very narrowly described, so that I never got a clear picture of what the larger world was like or even what part of the world the story takes place in.  Some issues were a little unclear, such as why Sarah’s parents said it was too dangerous for her to accompany them on a direct trip (using teleportation) to one of the safest havens in the world for Mythics; why someone who had just met Porter would give him a rare and valuable weapon; why and how a few animals can talk but not others; how the rules of magic use among humans work, etc.  Certain character actions and reactions seemed a little unrealistic (for example, if I had seen someone I’d known all my life beheaded, I would have responded with a lot more grief, terror, and anger; and I would have kept recalling and probably having nightmares about the event).  Also, I found a number of typos and errors in grammar and punctuation in the book.  (Hey, I’m a teacher; I can’t help but notice these things!)

Overall, though, The Slayer and the Sphinx was an enjoyable book.  I would give it three out of five stars and recommend it to teens, preteens, or kids (it’s pretty easy to read) who like fantasy.  If it had a rating, it would probably be PG for mild violence and “children in jeopardy”.  There was no profanity, sex, or unnecessary blood and guts in the fighting scenes.  The book promoted positive moral values like trust, loyalty, and the concept that no matter a person’s past, anyone can change and start a new life.  

Click here to view The Slayer and the Sphinx or buy a copy on Amazon.  If you enjoy the fantasy genre, I’d say it’s worth the 99 cents the eBook will cost you.  Happy reading!