Oh, wow, I'm never touching whatever I drank last night again... Where am I? Amazon... huh.
Okay, I'm a Fantasy writer. My work is based on Joseph Campbell's theory of the monomyth, which I understand to mean that the subconscious imagery of dreams matches the archetypal imagery of mythology. Which is another way of saying that the psychological archetypes of Jungian theory are interchangeable with the mystical imagery of every human religion and culture. The theory goes on to suggest that individuation (that is, the psychological process of becoming an individual) is culturally progressive, i.e that successive generations of humans are incrementally "more individual" than those before. The upshot being that the personal mythology of one modern human is theoretically as detailed as the mythology of an entire ancient culture.
What this means in short is that I see Fantasy writing as a form of psychological portraiture. The point is to conjure fictional characters who are as psychologically real as possible. Where the subject is a single protagonist, then the external Fantasy world is a mirror of their internal state. Where the subject is an abstract concept, it will be represented in the form of a psychologically "real" character, where the context and potential variation of its meaning are mirrored in the Fantasy setting.
For those who want psychological depth and meaningful musings on the human condition, voila. If all you want is a roaring epic adventure with battles, magic and monsters, it's that too.
Moreover, and very importantly: It's not Tolkien. It's not elves and dwarves vs orcs and goblins with some plucky halfings to tip the balance. It's not Narnia. It's not any imprint of Dungeons & Dragons (although I did sub-contract on a D&D licensed bestiary; funny story for another time...). It's not Terry Pratchett, genius that he is for simply realizing that all of the above could also be funny. It's not Harry bleedin' Potter. It's me. I'm no judge of if it's any good, I wrote it. But it's original Fantasy. The same but different. Which I'm told is what people want, and I do enjoy writing it.
On to Medieval alchemical mysticism...
What? Yes, seriously. The Holy Grail of Fantasy writing is the Ouroboros, the truly never-ending story, the snake eating its own tail. What this means in story terms is to seal the knot; to create a totally self-contained Fantasy world, a paracosm, from the geography, history and culture to the physics and metaphysics. The obvious example is The NeverEnding Story, by Michael Ende. Forgive the pun and the spoiler: It ends. Another example: The Worm Ouroboros. This is the original daddy of 20th Century Fantasy, predating Lord of The Rings and yet written in nigh Chaucerian prose. If you ever wonder what The Tempest might have been had Shakespeare written it as a novel, The Worm Ouroboros is that over and again. But it ends in a big reboot-button bringing all the villains back to life... Another example some may know is Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion; the twist here is that every protagonist across the many worlds are reincarnations of the same hero. One of few Fantasy series I know has come really close is Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenent. Here, the first six books plot the geography and metaphysics of the world. Only in the sixth book does it become clear, as the Arch of Time is sealed on the page: In the final trilogy, only recently published after a hiatus of decades, Donaldson is able to dance across eras in his world as if time were just a direction of travel. The external Fantasy landscape and the human internal landscape become one and the same. It... almost... works...
I can do it better. What I have here is a thousand-year timeloop. Five immortals repeat a perpetual millenia, each of them travelling through time in a different fashion, each with a different part to play. These five, scattered across the saga, exist to ensure that in every era there will be at least one person on the scene to combat the return of the Ancient Enemy. The Ancient Enemy come from the future. They are able to deliver reinforcements to any historical battle, or assassinate anyone in history. To prevent them, five immortals walk their own paths around the timeloop, closing off every possible variation in which the Ancient Enemy can win.
This only begins to become apparent when you're a few books in... Through each novel wander characters who have (or may have been) around this timeloop before. Your first reading is the protagonist's first pass. Akurite Empire makes it easy by giving you a detailed portrait of one of the five: Sabra Daishen, the Red Knight. But across the whole saga, a protagonist is not necessarily one of the immortal five. Some are a normal folks who know nothing of the timeloop and live it the same way every time. Others know, and may be candidates for standing among the five in alternate passes of history; and through every book, the five vie to further their own parts in the Ward that guards their world against the Ancient Enemy.
The twist is in that our five immortals all travel through time by different methods. One reincarnates; one passes on a gestalt spirit from host to host; one builds new bodies to carry its mind; one literally lives forever; one flits from one century to another every time he sleeps or dies, back and forth in time. And this last one is plotting to break the Ward and escape from the timeloop, and damn what might happen to their world.
And as you read this series, wherever you start in, you begin to get the sense of this vast story that the current novel merely touches lightly upon. As you read on, you begin to suspect that the smug gloating of the villains and the stoic maxims of our heroes may have double meanings. When any of our five immortals meets, they must test each other; the game is to see which incarnation of their compatriot they have met, whether they have travelled fully around the timeloop and if so, how many times. And how this falls out is entirely down to you, and how much of the story you've read and how many times over. Once complete, the series will chart a story that you can pick up at any point, and read in sequence until you arrive back at the book you started with... only to discover a whole new story you completely missed the first time. And when you come back around the loop again, you find yet more passes of the timeloop waiting; our immortal protagonists orbit the timeloop at different speeds, crossing each other's paths in various timelines. The question of which immortal knows more is plotted to carry you through half a dozen re-reads. Then, there's the question of which mortals even know what's really going on, worth at least one more.