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Robert Stanek says he doesn’t usually base his stories on actual events. However, he’s written a well-received autobiographical account of his experiences during the Persian Gulf War. It’s called “Stormjammers: The Extraordinary True Story of Electronic Warfare in the Gulf War.” War is something Robert wishes the world no longer had, but things in the world are as they are. Of war, he says, “War tests a person, changes a person. Some rise to the occasion, others don’t. I chose to rise to the occasion and being so close to death every day gave me a new perspective on life.”

 When asked recently if his characters were based on real people, Robert Stanek said, “I don’t usually base my fictional characters on a single person. Sometimes though, my fictional characters are amalgamations. Traits, personalities, viewpoints from many. Perhaps, the good I see in someone, the evil I see in another.”

 Writing across genres used to be taboo, but Robert Stanek started out writing across genres. He didn’t like being locked in to fantasy or mystery or childrens or YA. He wrote what he felt, what he loved, what he was passionate about, in the moment.

 ‘The Pieces of the Puzzle’ was his first published mystery book. It’s a whodunit thriller involving the National Security Agency and a meltdown in financial markets around the world. The novel was written and published before the recent mark meltdowns, but it certainly echoes those scary times.

Robert Stanek says the initial story of Ruin Mist came to him in a dream. He dreamt of Adrina and her plight in the kingdoms. The stories of Vilmos and Seth came to him similarly. Three people from faraway lands who would come together to save their dying world.

 There are now quite a few Ruin Mist novels. Ruin Mist Chronicles for adults includes Keeper Martin’s Tale, Kingdom Alliance, Fields of Honor, and Mark of the Dragon. Keeper Martin’s Tales for young adults and children includes the four “The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches” books and the four “In the Service of Dragons” books. There’s Dragons of the Hundred Worlds, an origin story for the legendary heroes and villains of Ruin Mist, and a graphic novel, A Daughter of Kings. Others as well.

Journey Beyond the Beyond, Magic Lands #1

Exercise your mind and the power of your imagination while embarking on a journey of discovery unlike any other. Journey Beyond the Beyond is a refreshingly unique fantastic adventure that is suitable for readers of all ages while containing all the icky-gooey-creepy details that are sure to delight!

Following the village elder's advice, Ray leaves his home village, setting out for the place lost and deep where he will find a companion for his journey to the stone land and where he will discover that there is no easy path in life.

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In the Service of Dragons #1

The Elves of the Reaches returned from exile, bringing grave news. War came to the Kingdoms, and many perished in the turmoil and unrest. An attempt was made to kidnap a princess and assassinate a king. Now, from the ancient past a dark power returns.

"The Fourth Wind blows across the mountain tops," they say. And the Twelve Clans emerge from myth and memory. As prophecy becomes reality, the factions struggle for control only to further divide the lands. Some would say that it was foolish for King Andrew Alder to support the Elves of the Reaches and send men to aid their cause when Men in all lands were being put to the test of steel. And in the North, men back their words with action.

Against a backdrop of treachery and intrigue, murder and mayhem, the price of freedom is high. Many will pay with their lives. Many will succumb to imprisonment and enslavement; for when alliances shatter, old hatreds rise anew and the plotting and scheming begin.

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The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches #1

To heal the lands and restore the light, the great kings decreed that magic and all that is magical shall be cleansed to dust. The cleansing raged for so long that few could recall a time without it and it is in this time that the Dark Lord Sathar returned from the dark beyond. The one hope of the peoples of Ruin Mist was Queen Mother, the elf queen of old. She saw a way out of everlasting darkness, a path that required the union of the divided peoples.

This powerful fantasy novel will delight the young and the young at heart. Inside, you'll discover the breathtaking world of Ruin Mist where the mystical and the magical abound, and you'll fall in love with three heroes: a boy who would become a mage, a princess who is fleeing a dying kingdom, and a warrior elf who undertakes an epic journey.

Three heroes set out on an epic journey of discovery only to find that at the end of their journey nothing is what they thought it was and that their world and themselves are undergoing a transformation that will change everything. Survival in a changing world depends on their ability to adapt and if they fail, their world and everything they believe in will perish.

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Review by the YA Librarian Staff at VOYA - the leading magazine for YA librarians:  Dramatic illustrations draw the reader into the Tolkienesque world of Ruin Mist, plunged into darkness after a Great War five hundred years past. Blaming magic for their demise, the Kings of Men have decreed that all things magical be destroyed. Stanek augments the beginning of this complex tale with illustrations that are sure to attract fans of graphic novels and classic Tolkien alike. Stanek will likely draw a cult following, but his work is not for the novice fantasy reader. A complicated glossary at the end includes twenty-two pages of "People, Places, and Things in Ruin Mist." Despite the sophisticated plot, however, this cliffhanger guarantees fans, and those fans will be ready to wield their swords against the Dark Lord in Stanek's next installment.
Foreword Magazine, of the adult editions: No matter how fascinating a fantasy world is, it fails if not animated by a compelling story and Stanek gives us not just one, but three, tales in Keeper Martin's Tale. A prolific non-fiction writer, Stanek's focus on instruction influences his fiction with a penchant for clear and simple prose. He also prefers swift, action-oriented scenes. Keeper Martin's Tale is solidly built. Stanek moves among his three main characters with ease, always switching at a climactic moment to maintain suspense. The accessible, brisk language keeps things moving.
The Complete Idiots Guide to Elves and Fairies: The world of literary fiction featuring elves and fairies [has] a multitude of great authors... of these authors Robert Stanek [is one].
Ancient Art of Faery Magick: "Recommended series."



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