Money Makes the World Go Round

I have a sudden and terrible thought! My world has no currency.

Surely this is a vital part of creating a fantasy world – it needs funding. Perhaps it slipped my mind because of my own lack of funding…

Either way, I now need to decide on a currency. Do I stick with gold-silver-bronze? So we have coins, and a certain number of coins add up to the next value of coins… or is that too simple? Do my coins need names, or can they simply be “gold”, “silver”, and “bronze”? Would my world have enough gold, silver and bronze to create coins? Do my countries have different currencies?

Oh, the decisions! I’ve just opened a vortex of confusion and bewilderment.

Have there been any books that you particularly noticed the currency in? Did it make sense and does it work, and why?

Or should my world simply stick to good old barter?

Book

First Rider’s Call by Kristen Britain

Now, I first picked up a Kristen Britain because I was browsing the sci-fi/fantasy aisles in Waterstones for lack of something to read and a vague idea to get back into fantasy. I picked up the first in the series – Green Rider – purely because it was listed as a New York Times bestselling series. Shallow? Yes. Fortunate? Definitely. Now, admit it to yourself, we all like a bit of trash. You can fill yourself up on the classics and post-moderns and controversial, but nothing beats a good trashy book to sink into. They’re the ones you read on holiday – not because you’re “resting your brain” but because you’re too ashamed to admit you’re reading it to people you know. They’re the ones by the bed with a cup of hot chocolate and fluffy slippers. They’re the ones you read because you can.

So consider Kristen Britain the trash of fantasy. And my word, it’s good. It’s not literary genius, but it’s not on moronic levels of Twilight (sorry Twi-hards but you do actually know they’re rubbish books, don’t you). It’s entertaining and easy to read, and, most importantly, addictive.

It tells the story of Karigan, a young girl thrust into a dangerous adventure after coming across a dying messenger whilst running away from school – a Green Rider. Cue evil people with suitably evil scars, heroes with suitably pithy lines, and magic. Lots of magic. I don’t even object to the shaky description of horses… it’s just a plain good read. And I do recommend it.

So… as with any series that grabs my attention, I get the next one… First Rider’s Call. We’re back with Karigan on another dangerous journey, this time with more fighting. It’s 710, and already she’s nearly died once and had ominous feelings (and a strange dream). If you’re going to cram it in, cram it in with style. I love Karigan because she’s a complete Mary-Sue and no one can object to that every now and then – especially if she’s threatened with swords often enough. Page 56 and on my 7th chapter and we have an evil… thing… and death and even a mysterious rock. Oh come on, you know you want to read it now!

The best part is, I’m not even being derisive of it. If I could write something as… well, rip-roaring… as this, I would be very proud. She’s made it onto the New York Bestselling list, and that’s not to be sniffed at in my opinion. So put down your Marian Keyes and Lee Child and DEFINITELY bin your Twilight… read a bit of Kristen Britain and see a trashy novel done with style.

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1 Comment

Filed under Writing Curves

One response to “Money Makes the World Go Round

  1. Okay, I have a lot to say about the use of currency in books. Having, I feel, read a large number of sci-fi and even fantasy books, I know that it is something that makes the world feel real to me. All developed countries have a currency (wether this is beads, shells or coins). I have to say, that I hate the use of paper money in books that are set in the past (or in the case of fantasy – an appoximation of the past). I genuinely feel that paper money is just not practical in these situations, heck I tear my paper money all the time even now. Imagine how bashed up it would be if I were sword fighting and playing at being an archer all day.
    In the short term, your currency doesn’t need names, it would be more than effective to just have denominations of coins and call them by number, I’m sure that as you develop storylines and characters than the question of names will be answered along the way.
    Think of your world as a version of this one, different countries have different currency – even the Discworld of Pratchett is an example of this. That and the David Chandler books are a couple of series where I really noticed the impact that money can have.

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