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Some Larger Destiny At Play

Michael Sauls Author Interview

Heart of the Rose follows a silver elf and a sea captain as they navigate their love for each other as well as the trouble a stolen jewelry box brings. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that was different from book one?

Book one focused on the characters finding three very powerful magical artifacts. In this second novel, I aimed to demonstrate what these powerful items are capable of. This novel showed two of the items in action from the first book. I plan to feature the third in book three when it comes out. I also wanted to create an impression that there is some larger destiny at play here. The characters start off as mercenaries driven by self-interest but they are growing and their motivations are evolving. Lorena with her sketchy femme fatale past is getting in touch with her feelings. Thorne is becoming a capable leader who cares about his crew, his girlfriend, and the world.

What were some obstacles you felt were important to testing Lorena and Thorne’s relationship?

Lorena’s biggest obstacle to their relationship is herself. She has worked as a thief and a con artist for so long that seeing Thorne as a real romantic interest instead of a mark was hard for her. She blamed her hesitation on the ghost that haunts her but is just an excuse to avoid dealing with her budding feelings. Being manipulated and facing the fact that she is wanted by the law in her homeland were actually minor factors in comparison to that. Thorne is really perfect for Lorena because he is just as jaded and untrusting as her for different reasons. Being a sea captain and a lifetime soldier has made Thorne into a man devoted to his occupation, but his experiences have shown him the depravity humanity is capable of.

This seemed like a fun story to write. What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

That is kind of a tough call. I really enjoyed the scene when, Lorena, friend-zoned her companion Chetaak and he tries to make her jealous. That scene was inspired by some real-world stuff happening to a young acquaintance that was struggling with dating. I also enjoy writing fight scenes. I have some personal experience with medieval reenactments so I get to draw on my knowledge of melee and hand-to-hand combat as a resource. The scene where Killikuuk fought the giant air elemental was fun for me. The folktale I made about the four winds meeting at a house was inspired by a dream which gave me the idea for the scene.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book will be called The King’s Bloodhound and should be available by Jan. of 2023. I am almost done with the first draft now. It is a story about Rinad, a halfling with PTSD that takes a job working for the sheriff as a tracker to help find a necromancer who is trying to start a war. Rinad must learn to rise above the trauma of his past to find the strength to defeat the necromancer.

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Lorena, is a silver elf thief, a con artist, and an adventurer. Thorne is a human sea captain living as a pirate hunter and mercenary. For Lorena and her sidekick Chetaak, it has been them against the world. For Thorne, it has been a life of bloody conflict fighting for anyone willing to pay his fee. Everything changes when Lorena steals a cursed jewelry box. She realizes that she had taken a jewelry box full of trouble. Known as The Heart of the Empress, a heart-shaped apparition haunts the box, capable of manipulating people and events around her. Lorena and Thorne fall in love, but she doubts her feelings. Now Lorena starts to wonder, can a thief’s loot steal her heart?


Heart of the Rose, by Michael Sauls, is the second book in his Chronicles of the Rose series. This exciting book picks up on the adventure of Thorne and Lorena. Thorne goes from a simple mercenary ship captain to a pirate hunter with a larger destiny of breaking curses. Lorena is an elf with a haunted box and a shady past who works for a mage. But as Thorne and Lorena’s relationship deepens, readers are left wondering if Thorne will be able to break Lorena’s connection to the haunted box.

The author provides enough background details and information about the characters so that even if readers have not read book one, they can pick up this book and easily follow along. This character-driven story provides distinct personalities and unique characteristics, so all the characters are easy to tell apart. In addition, the author expertly intertwines the voices of each character so that readers can hear their voices and point of view without being muddled and confusing.

I enjoyed the fantasy aspect of the story, filled with elves, dragons, and wizards, allowing my imagination to run wild. There are also some unexpected characters in the story that are a pleasant surprise and show the author’s distinct writing style. Sauls’s attention to detail shows through his world-building skills that will transport readers into the story, and they will feel they are right there with Lorena and Thorne.

Throughout the novel, the author provides readers with the necessary information, such as descriptions of the settings and the differences between the elves. While this is essential information, I feel it would have been presented better if the author had incorporated that information into the story rather than telling it to readers. However, when the author showed rather than told information in the story, his talent shined.

Heart of the Rose is a well-conceived novel with plenty of action and adventure for readers to follow. This fantasy novel will engage readers with new strong and interesting characters and an imaginative world to explore.

Pages: 314 | ASIN : B09P21D8XR

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