A Girl I Met in a Dream

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Jeanne Bradford Author Interview

The Mage Sister is an epic fantasy novel that follows a young girl named Arinda as she struggles with controlling her magical powers. What was your inspiration for Arinda’s character and the struggle she faces against the Circle of Mages?

Arinda is a girl I met in a dream, as are most of the people in Kynllaria. Almost all of them were all there. Arinda was special and powerful and terrified because, in the dream, she was being hunted for that power. The dream ended when she was caught, and I woke up, my heart racing from Arinda’s fear. It was a difficult point in my life. Someone I had cared about had told me that I couldn’t be a writer because I didn’t have anything to say that anyone cared about, and I felt a bit lost because I’d loved writing and story-telling since I was little. I don’t know what it was about that dream, but it lit a fire in me, and I decided that person was wrong. I started writing, started working out how that dream scenario came to be, and how I could make it work out for Arinda. It took a long time, and a lot of growing and learning about writing and what makes a good story, but that is how The Mage Sister came to be.

The wilds are full of magical creatures, and small spells and devices are commonplace. How did you handle balancing the power and use of magic in the story?

I wanted magic to be treated as an everyday, commonplace thing – something as simple as math or reading or any other subject of study, so that it was an accepted part of the environment. I didn’t want the wonder of magic, as we might view it, to take away from the development of the characters and their story. It took a bit of work to map it out and dissect it and organize it in such a way as it might be taught as a part of a curriculum, but it helped me understand it, too.

There’s a large cast of characters in The Mage Sister. Arinda, Jahx, King Nathan, the Royal Household, other Mages, and Sebastien who makes a perfectly nasty antagonist for the novel. What was your favorite character to write for?

Nathan and Cullen are my favorites to work with. Their antics and banter are a lot of fun to write, and they keep me laughing. Cullen is a fierce personality, constantly on a low simmer, but he’s as kind as he is contentious. He’s described as everyone’s favorite thug healer. Nathan is one of the noblest, most generous souls you might ever meet. He’s goofy, but tough when he has to be. He stands up and does his duty, but he’s bored with a royal life he didn’t want in the first place and just wants to live a common life. These two are as close as brothers, fight like demons, but would do anything for each other. It is rumored that Cullen might have been responsible for the death of Nathan’s viciously abusive father. Cullen was the Royal High Healer and certainly could have done it, but no one could prove how Nathan’s father died or who might have done it, and Cullen won’t say one way or the other. He only smiles and shrugs.

In The Mage Sister mages can command powers from many branches of study. What would be a branch that you would choose for yourself?

That’s a hard question! It would be a creative skill. Perhaps Cullen’s ability to grow plants out of anything, because I like to garden but I don’t always have the time for it. Wouldn’t that be fantastic – to grow a beautiful garden by just thinking it into existence?

The Children of Fi is the sequel to The Mage Sister. Can you tell us what happens to Arinda and where the story goes in the next book?

In The Children of Fi, Arinda has decided to begin her own Magicker program for girls. She faces a lot of obstacles, and works hard to overcome them. When her program finally does get going and becomes quite successful, she is invited to another kingdom to discuss her work. When a different kingdom demands a visit, too, Nathan feels it would be diplomatically unwise to refuse, even though he suspects their interest has nothing to do with Arinda’s school at all. As their journey begins, secrets that have been buried for a very long time begin to unravel, an old enemy returns, and a game of political cat and mouse begins that forces the kingdom of Rowan into war and leads everyone to question who can be trusted.

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The Mage SisterArinda must choose between a life of drudgery or facing her worst fear – the Circle of Mages. But when her magic betrays her, the decision is no longer hers. Fifteen-year-old Arinda has no idea how extraordinary she really is. She only knows that she has a different kind of magic, different in a bad way. She also knows that she must never reveal this difference to anyone, or she’ll be sent away to a society called the Circle of Mages. There she would be magically bound to one of these monstrous mages forever, and bring shame on her family. Even so, Arinda desperately wants to learn about her magic, and becomes a little more rebellious than is wise. After a magical experiment goes awry, Arinda is sent away to school, run by well-loved and stunningly handsome Headmaster Jahx Rife. Unfortunately for Arinda, the handsome Headmaster is secretly a member of the Circle of Mages, and Arinda is alarmed by the amount of interest he shows in her, terrified that he might find out about her dire secret. Then her world is turned upside down when her own magic betrays her. Now she must face the very people she has feared her whole life, and call upon powers she has been too afraid to explore in order to endure in a society she has been taught to dread. Buy Now From Amazon.com

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is a book review website which consists of mostly fiction books, but we do enjoy non fiction works that we're excited about. All reviews are the reviewer’s honest opinion. We love books and read constantly (seriously, it’s an addiction). We're always open to book review requests and have aspirations of one day being sucked into the Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith where all he wants to do is read, but can’t until the world ends; you know what I mean?

Posted on June 8, 2016, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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