The Black Hallows Book 1
Posted by Literary Titan
Cradle of Darkness immerses readers in an epic fantasy story where mighty kingdoms plunge into a deadly war. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The concept came from a ‘Kickstarter’ project a friend of Andy’s was working on. The idea was to produce 30mm metal characters for role playing games. Without digressing further, Andy was asked to name and write the pen pictures of some characters and a synopsis for a possible rpg.
It had always been intended to get an experienced author to write a spin-off novel but as the project developed the background story emerged prior to Tom being involved. Ultimately, Tom was introduced to the project, liked the concept, and so a working relationship evolved.
In terms of the storyline itself, Andy already had the embryo of an idea. He’d been interested in a number of works regarding the Corsican tradition of the mazzeri or dream hunters and was applying the concept into a gaming scenario. This expanded as Tom and Andy worked through plot ideas. Andy also came up with the basic concept of the Black Hallows, together with the four factions that live in an area of land called The Imperious Crescent.
Eventually, all the ideas were placed on index cards and a plot line emerged after much mixing and editing. It was then that Tom came into his own and fleshed out the scenes according to his writing style and produced the first draft
Tayem is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Initially, Andy needed a lead character for the ‘Dragon Rider’ faction of the Black Hallows miniature series. So, it started with a simple character sketch. Tayem was to be queen of an ancient people whose society was based on a matriarchal/female-centric concept. Her physical features were: Blonde hair, tall, muscular. Her personality one of aloofness, often looking down on people with an air of disdain. She is a natural leader, but young and impetuous, tending to act before she thinks. Andy saw her initially as as a Bodicea or Mary Queen of Scots kind of character.
Tayem has had to sacrifice a lot to establish her position as a young queen. Her father was the only controlling influence in her life, yet he died young and she was crowned in her early twenties. There are some unique insights into her defining moments in the story, Conclave of Cannibals, which can be downloaded free from the Bookfunnel link below.
Her inciting incident occurs when she decides to allow the Black Hallows into her mind during the first chapter of Cradle of Darkness. Her motivation is to receive power that (she thinks) will enable her to shake off the oppressive rule of the dominant Cuscosians. However, things go very wrong when it is revealed that the Black Hallows cannot be controlled, and drags its hosts down into an abyss of chaos.Tayem’s character changes as she realises that she must accept help from her friends, take responsibility for some tough decisions, and ultimately free herself from the controlling influence of the Black Hallows.
Interestingly, the image for Tayem on the book cover is Tom’s daughter, Charlotte, who had a Dragon Rider costume and weapons specially made for her as part of an official photo-shoot.
I enjoyed the fantasy world built in this novel. What were some sources that informed the development of the world?
Apart from the Dreamworld concept already mentioned, the Black Hallows itself is an interesting one, largely originated by Andy. A ‘Black Hallow’ is a negative deviant of a ‘Hallow’ — an energy source derived from aethereal outpourings that occur every three hundred years. These are generated by the interaction between tectonic ruptures in the continental crust of the planet Varchal and a change in the proximity of the planet’s binary suns. This power imbalance distorts normality and fuels chaotic, disordered behaviour.
The idea came from exploring the impact of the seasons on our mood and energy levels…much in the same way seasonal affective disorder can impact on a life…. Combine this with reading some of the material about the Keplar-47 star system and the starting point for our narrative was born!
As regards the Imperious Crescent and the wider world of Varchal, the geography and history of all these aspects was painstakingly mapped out over many months and meetings (and cups of coffee!) You can see a map of the lands and locations found in the book below (attached in email if you want to use it.)
This is book one in The Black Hallows series. What can readers expect in book two?
Black Hallows 2: Destiny of Queens is due for publication on 19th July. The promotional blurb is as follows:
The Black Hallows is on the rise once more. Its existing conduits may have been eliminated but new vessels have opened up to its malign influence.
In the Blasted Lands, a creature born from the fusion of a fyre guardian and a giant insectoid makes its lair in ancient chambers where the sacred agnarim dragon eggs incubate.
The former Queen of Cuscosa lives on in the body of her faithful blue-skin thrall, waiting for a transformation fuelled by the Hallows.
A remnant of Kaldorans appoints a new leader willing to embrace the power that will re-instate them as an irrepressible force in the north.
And there is another power stirring in the marshlands of the east — an insidious and mysterious overlord known as ‘The One’. He seeks to recruit an assassin from each dominant race, intent on attacking the kingdoms from within.
Such is the cauldron of intrigue stirred up amongst the peoples of Varchal, yet the Black Hallows does not care. It thrives on chaos, and anything that promotes the destabilisation of the Imperious Crescent will serve its ends.
Meanwhile, Tayem Fyreglance has abdicated the Dragonian throne. Her sister rules in her place. She imagined she might recover in the land of the Gigantes, protected from the ravages of the Hallows. That is until a call comes from the Dreamworld, urging her to once more seek out the queen of dragons, Agathon. Their fates become intertwined with upheavals in the Blasted Lands, and ultimately, the machinations of the Black Hallows itself.
In this, the second novel in the Black Hallows trilogy, four queens tread the path of destiny, all hurtling towards a conclusion they may not survive.
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Posted on June 25, 2021, in Interviews and tagged adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Cradle of Darkness, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, sword and sorcery, Tom G.H. Adams, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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