Seven Days for SEVEN PRINCES: The Significance of the Number 7 John R. Fultz January 2, 2012

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7 days for SEVEN PRINCESThere is something strange in the number 7.

Something mystical. Something downright magical.

Looking back through history, literature, religion and philosophy, one can see this number coming back again and again – usually with a significant aspect invoking holiness, mystery, power or prosperity.

Some examples :

– In Buddhist mythology, the newborn Buddha took seven steps right after birth, declaring “I am the only Honored One in the world”.

– In Christian mythology, the walls of Jericho fell seven days after seven priests marched around the city seven times with seven trumpets.

– In Islamic mythology, there are seven heavens and seven hells.

– In the ancient Roman kingdom, seven kings reigned before the birth of the Republic. Rome itself is built on seven hills.

– In the folklore of various cultures, the seventh son of a seventh son is either a werewolf or possessor of strange powers that distinguish him from humanity.

The more you examine numbers and numerology, and their connection to the past, the more patterns and powers you see associated with each number. Among the ranks of numerologists, 7 is generally associated with Thought and Consciousness. For astrologers, 7 is the number of celestial bodies that influence our earthly life. These are the seven objects visible to the naked eye from our planet, including the Sun, Moon and five planets.

Seven has inspired thinkers, dreamers and artists throughout the ages. In his famous poem, William Shakespeare proposed that there were exactly “seven ages of man”, covering every part of his life, from birth to manhood to death. Neil Gaiman brought to life seven cosmic beings called The Endless in his phenomenal SANDMAN series. In Tolkien’s THE SILMARILLION there are seven Lords of the Valar and seven Ladies of the Valar, who are effectively the “gods” of Middle-earth. In this immortal book (the fertile soil from which the LORD OF THE RINGS grew like a mystical tree), the infamous Feanor, King of the Noldor, has seven predestined sons.

Seven’s magic is hard to deny. There are seven notes in the Western musical scales, major and minor. Now there is real magic for you. . . just listen to old-school Mozart, Johnny Winter or Black Sabbath. You will hear and feel the magic of the seven notes. (Substitute one of your favorite tunes here.) Indian music also has seven tones, or “Saptak Swaras.”

There are seven gods of good fortune in Japanese mythology. British folk hero Thomas the Rhymer lived in Faerie Land for seven years. The mythical island nation of Atlantis is said to have seven main islands. The Spanish conquistadores of the New World tried in vain to find the legendary Seven Cities of Gold.

Akira Kurosawa’s magnificent film SEVEN SAMURAI inspired the American classic THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. These two films inspired George Lucas to make the original STAR WARS, which changed cinema forever when it was released in 1977. There are Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Sacred Virtues. Seven days a week. Seven seas. Seven is the winning number in traditional dice games. Seven is the most common “lucky number”.

SEVEN PRINCES is the first volume in the Books of the Shaper series. There are indeed seven princes in the book, although one of its main characters is not a prince at all. She is a brave and stubborn young woman. Sharadza is the sister of three princes, all of whom are children born to Vod the Giant King and his human queen.

The cover of John R Fultz's first fantasy Seven Princes

Not all of these seven princes will survive to become the SEVEN KINGS of the sequel. Many of them will not join the ranks of the SEVEN WIZARDS in the third book either. Still, there are several ongoing characters for readers to follow through the three books.

In SEVEN PRINCES, the determined Sharadza strives to understand and master the seven principles of sorcery. It’s a task for which she is better suited than one might suspect.

Seven is more than just a number. Seven is power. Clarification. Awareness. Enchantment. Legend. Myth.

All of which you will find in the pages of SEVEN PRINCES.

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