Grimoires

Welcome to the Day 6 of The Belgrave Legacy Blog Series. The series spans from September 20, 2016 to November 1, 2016. Each week, there will be a theme with 2 blog posts (Tuesday and Thursday).

In case you missed the last post, this week’s theme is Magic in The Belgrave Legacy. Here are the other past posts, in case you missed any of them: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4.

Grimoire. Book of shadows. Spellbook. Whatever you call it, it’s essentially the same thing: a witch’s cookbook of magic. Warning: should not be handled by amateurs. It was a no-brainer to include such an item in a story about a girl learning magic.

The grimoire in The Belgrave Legacy​ was inspired by a specific journal (left) that was just so pretty, I figured it would easily pass as a magical item. The company that makes this journal, Paperblanks, has since created another journal (right) that looks even more magical. Had this one been out when I was writing my novel, I probably would have used it as my model.

But what other spell books inspired the Belgrave heirloom? Well, there are a few that really stick out.

  1. Wicked: The Musical’s (based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire) Grimmerie. In this case, the spell book is given a specific name because it is that special a book in Oz. In the musical, it turns normal monkeys into the infamous flying monkeys, and gives Elphaba the ability to fly and effectively gives us the song “Defying Gravity.” I’d say it’s earned its own title.
  2. The Bennett/Michaelson grimoires from the CW show, The Vampire Diaries, based on the book series of the same name by L.J. Smith, and the spin-off show, The Originals. Basically the reason for half of the problems on both shows, and the solution to almost everything, these two families are steeped in magic and forces to be reckoned with. No one, who is a fool enough to threaten either family or their friends, comes out unscathed—more often, they’re just eliminated altogether. Damon Salvatore also mockingly calls it “a witch’s cookbook” in “Children of the Damned,” S1E13 of The Vampire Diaries.
  3. The Circle’s multiple book of shadows in the CW’s short-lived show, The Secret Circle, another show based on another of L.J. Smith’s series. It was probably optioned after seeing the success of The Vampire Diaries, but apparently people love witches only if they’re involved with vampire affairs. Anyway, a “book of shadows” refers to any spell book just like a “grimoire” does in The Belgrave Legacy and #2 on this list. Also like the previous entry, the book of shadows in this show is one of the most thorough props on the show—including beautiful script writing (sometimes in different languages), cool illustrations and diagrams, and a powerful presence within its show.

At one point, I was considering creating a full Belgrave grimoire as an exclusive for my email subscribers, but realizing I didn’t have enough artistic ability or patience to come up with over one hundred spells, I decided it would be more productive to instead keep writing my other novels and think of some other side projects (like a collection of short stories about some of The Belgrave Legacy‘s secondary characters).

​If you had a spell book, what would you call it? Comment below.

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