The Spires and the surrounding regions bask in the peace that has lasted five years since the bloody battle of Garneth. But a new conflict looms as strange people abduct Elky and Ustice, her dragon. The king of the Dragons and Spires, Dreyth and Seyra, his fated human rider, must now team up with other Spires warriors to rescue Elky and her beast. Their quest spirals into a new adventure that sees the Spires faced with a full-blown war against sorcerers wielding hypnotic magic and a strange breed of dragons. Amidst all this, the people and Dragons of the Spires also try to come to terms with the Dragon king’s decision to choose Seyra, a human, as his queen. Faced with internal and external conflicts, the fate of the Spires hangs in a delicate balance.
Queen of Dragons is the second book in Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait’s epic fantasy series, Spires of Dasny. A riveting fairy tale fantasy with a story featuring dragons, magic, and enchanting folktales. All of these elements are effortlessly woven together to create a rich and thrilling story.
The authors fantastic use of descriptive writing pulls you into a unique fantasy world that is filled with emotionally-charged moments that surprise at every turn.
At this point I fell like C.R.C is an expert at creating compelling and grounded characters that are easy to empathize with, if not relate to. Initially, I felt some distance, but I soon connected with Seyra and her dragon’s relationship. As the story unfolded and both revealed their hearts, their relationship became more meaningful and reflected something more familiar.
C.R.C holds keeps the tension high right up until the end. Even after what you’d call the final battle, the author introduces a gripping twist that threatens to ruin the happy ending, but keeps you completely engrossed in the story and desperate for another book.
As a bonus, you get to enjoy a teaser of the next part of the series. A great way to get a glimpse of what to expect in the next book. And from the little I’ve seen, it will be just as entertaining.
Pages: 194 | ASIN: B08SL8RHBW
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Isle of Dragons follows a young girl who’s on a quest to free her father from a mythical island and must work with her new friends to make it there alive. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The original inspiration for me was a girl who leaves her sheltered life to discover a far bigger world than she had previously known. The driving force for her leaving that world became her father, and the characters she meets along the way become the gateway for Jade to expand her knowledge of the world and explore her own identity in ways she never had the opportunity to before.
Jade is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
As I mentioned, the main thrust of her character was leaving her sheltered and stifling environment. She refers to herself by her title of “Jade of House Sol” when she first meets Miria, because a part of her hopes that things can go back to the way they were. At first, she likes to think she’s only a temporary “ex-noble,” but that eventually becomes something she no longer wants to be associated with the longer she is away from that life.
So many parts of her identity were stifled or cut off from Jade in her previous life. And the story is about her learning about those parts of her herself and accepting them. She starts off thinking magic is just a tool she needs to use to survive, but she comes to enjoy it and embrace it as she comes to enjoy life again after leaving her stifling life in the royal court and just surviving while on the run. That’s why Jade calling herself a witch was the final step in her turning away from her old life completely.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
The themes of identity and embracing who you are were so central to the story for me. Jade is pressured to conform to the strictures of her society, and she finds herself movir central ng away from that on her journey. Magic represents a sense of connection with the world and each other, which is something that has been lost in the world through the actions of the Vanshian royal court. That’s something she finds through her relationships with Miria Atkins and her family. Jade’s relationship with her father will always be important to her and he functions as her central motivation for finding the Isle, but her family expands throughout the story to include the Atkins family. Miria is also driven by family, and her legacy. As the oldest child she’s had to shoulder the responsibilities of caring for her younger siblings and carrying on her parents legacy, something she feels the pressure to do increasingly throughout the book. Although, she does this through control and anger because she doesn’t feel a sense of control over her own life. Her journey is about gradually learning to let go of the need for control and embracing a sense of connection instead. So, I tried to weave the themes of identity, connection and family together through the magical elements and the characters journeys.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently working on the second book in the Isle of Dragons series, Isle of Dragons: The Hidden Library. The sequel explores the lore behind the Isle of Dragons as Jade discovers the means to ending King Jarrod’s plan through a library that has remained hidden from humans until now. I plan to release the sequel November this year.
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When strange things start happening in society as a rebellion rises and her father is followed by rumors of complicity in murder, Lady Carys, the middle child of House Egon and her noble family are driven to move out of the grand city of Perinthas in the Taurovian Kingdom. A Single Spark by Tayvia Pierce follows Lady Carys and her family as they embark on their perilous journey, they travel through both hostile and amicable lands yet Carys can’t shake off an uneasy feeling that something is always with them, lurking in the shadows. They settle in Lund, a small quaint town of humble people where they soon adopt a simple lifestyle. Yet as war silently brews between Taurovia and the dark Yehket Kingdom, Carys learns that distance and simplicity don’t equal safety as everything is connected. She must soon tie the knot to find and abolish the threat near at hand.
Tayvia Pierce’s high fantasy novel depicts an incredibly complex and intricate universe, from splendidly rich cities within powerful kingdoms to quiet towns to mountain ridges that burn red at sunset. The setting is very detailed, making the reader feel as if they’re taking the journey along with the characters. As for the characters themselves, they are incredibly well-built with very convincing personality traits. The two that particularly stand out are our protagonist, Lady Carys, and her teenage sister Lady Rhian who, with her angsty teenage antics, added a dramatic flare to the story. Carys is a twenty-year-old noble girl of a stubborn nature who was prematurely given an authority role within her family and household after her mothers tragic death at the hands of their worst enemy. Carys is a very dynamic character, as the story progresses, so does she. Her colors and true nature come to light as she is forced to make life or death decisions for her people, some with too high a price.
A Single Spark is a riveting epic fantasy novel that kept me consistently entertained. I wholeheartedly recommend it to any fantasy reader, especially Game of Thrones fans, who will undoubtedly enjoy the similarity of this world with Westeros, and the excitement of war between fantastical Kingdoms. I deeply enjoyed the narrative aspects of the story, particularly the way it is narrated by Carys herself from her future point of view, leaving clues and breadcrumbs for the reader to decipher and making the read all the more fun.
Pages: 618 | ASIN: B084Q3VXYF
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The Deck of the Numinon is an epic fantasy novel by GJ Scherzinger. The story takes place in a mysterious universe surrounded by magic. Where cities battle each other for dominance and control, and in faraway lands women in convents known as Sybellines study magical artifacts and train in the arts of shapeshifting. When a deck of magical cards with the power to manipulate people and time falls into the hands of a player with malicious intentions, cards are drawn and a series of catastrophic events follows. As generals and diplomats from the different kingdoms blame each other for the destruction of the fabled towers of Safrasco and prepare their armies for war. The Standish general Artis Ferriman enlists Cerra, a bling girl of humble means, as his agent at the embassy in order to find the culprit of the attacks. Cerra sets off on her journey, accompanied by her demon lover Yutan. Unaware that both of them represent cards in play. While dealing with diplomatic life and an unexpected loss, she soon finds an ally in Havi, a Sybelline trainee entrusted with the mission of finding the deck and removing it from the player. As Cerra navigates a mysterious world dominated by greed, lust, and betrayal, she discovers that her mission goes beyond spying, she is a player in the game representing The Queen of Quills and must embrace those qualities in order to locate the “seer” and stop the game before she runs out of time.
The Deck of the Numinon is an engrossing and riveting novel. From the carefully detailed world to the incredibly original plot, The Deck of the Numinon is everything any fantasy reader can dream of. Once you start reading, there’s no putting the book down. It never gets mundane as events play out smoothly, each with schemes and backstories left and right. The author does an incredible job of describing characters that are complex and unpredictable. Cerra, the main character, is a pacifist unwillingly thrown into conflict, which makes her fun to follow. She is blind, yet her remaining senses compensate for that loss, which makes for a different kind of power. She feels the world in a way that any reader can relate and connect with on a personal level, I know I did! As for the writing, the story is extremely well planned and portrayed, and really has to be to accomplish such a deep story on an epic scale. But the language used is quite complex and can be hard to grasp, an important observation for anyone looking for a light read. All in all, I highly recommend this book for its originality and engaging plot. I definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones.
Pages: 562 | ASIN: B08CQ937B4
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Dragon Ascendants is a genre-crossing novel with many different elements in it. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
Yes. Although I intended my novel to be heavy in fantasy and young adult, I also planned to draw in more genre readers. I tried to add comedy, suspense, and romance with hopes of pulling in those readers.
The supporting characters in this novel, I felt, were intriguing and well developed. Who was your favorite character to write for?
Tallian and Fearoc were the most interesting to write for, but they are the hero and villain. As for supporting characters, Briskarr was my favorite. He was always entertaining, and I had a ton of fun deciding what I will do for him next.
When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?
I had the major points for this novel and most of the series mapped out from the start. Some action and info came in at the moment, such as the reveal of Angelia being Fearoc’s sister. Worked for the moment and achieved the purpose of knocking the readers off their feet.
This is book one in the Luminess Legends series. Where will book two pickup and when will it be available?
The next novel will pick up approximately three days after the first ended. Tallian will wake up thinking it is the morning of the battle and all that happened was a dream.
I hope to be finished writing book two in a year or so. Then the publishing process will start.
Half-elf, half-human, Tallian lives with dwarves and knows little about his birth parents. After his adopted brother runs away, hundreds of shadow bats decimate his village, and Meerkesh, Tallian’s adopted father reveals the truth about how he came to live with the dwarves in the Furin Mountains. Betrayed by the only brother he has ever known, Tallian and the dwarves flee from Fearoc, the evil elf who controls Luminess. Against what seems to be impossible odds, dwarves, elves, dragons, and men unite against Fearoc in hopes of freeing Luminess.
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The Fall of Lilith is a dark fantasy novel centered around the anti-heroine, Lilith, and the creation and fall of the angels. What was your inspiration for this imaginative novel?
The Fall of Lilith is a High Fantasy with dark elements. I grew up in a religious home and went to religious private school. Angels always fascinated me, but there isn’t much information in the bible about them, so I always imagined what they were like, both the holy angels and the fallen ones. I also read a great deal of religious books (fiction and Non-fiction), mythology and fairytales growing up. I basically combined all three to create this book. I did a lot of research and used facts from the Bible, Hebrew Bible, and Quran to ground it in reality.
I liked that we got to see Lilith change from good to bad throughout the novel, and how that was portrayed was entertaining. Did her character develop organically as you were writing or was it planned?
I always knew she would be an evil character at some point. That being said, she took it from there and developed organically.
There is heavy use of religion and myth in this book. What kind of research did you undertake for this novel to keep things accurate?
An enormous amount of research went into this novel. I researched animals, natural disasters, food, geography, names, and religious text among other things. Like Tom Clancy said, “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate, conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels.
If you think you know their story, think again.
Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.
Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.
Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.
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Stealing the Sun begins in a traditional way, but then takes a turn that defies traditional fantasy story telling. What was your approach to writing this story?
The story developed organically. I started with reflections of traditional fantasy tropes (the elven maid falls in love with the mortal hero; the evil dark lord) and went from there. In some cases I deliberately twisted things (the ‘evil dark lord’ character is female and primarily interested, not in dominating the world, but in escaping from it), but in other cases my feelings about the story, my sense that there was another side to be shown, took over. Once the scene was set and a given character did something, others would react, often unwisely, and in that way they all managed to get themselves in a lot of trouble by the end of the book.
I felt that Stealing the Sun delivers the drama so well that it flirts with the grimdark genre. Was it your intention to give the story a darker tone?
If it bleeds, it leads…
In your other book, Tribulation’s War, the magic in that story was minimal and delivered believably (if magic can ever be believable) as it was in this story as well. How did you handle the magic in this story and how did it evolve as you were writing?
Most of the magic in the world of Stealing the Sun isn’t really magic but science (sort of). I wanted to look at elves, at the way that elves are traditionally portrayed (immortal, unsleeping, able to see in the dark and take sustenance from the sun, able to shapechange) and make those qualities make at least quasi-scientific sense. To be ever-young, it seems to me that a creature would need to be able to shapechange, to get rid of old, damaged cells and regenerate them. When Altir visualizes the “moving spirals and the beads of light” before he shape changes, he’s actually consciously manipulating his own DNA, although he doesn’t know that’s what he’s doing. There will be much more on shapestrength in the later books. The rune-magic of the greycloaks, on the other hand, is something I have never figured out scientifically. Basically it’s just magic, or at least psychic ability, with a good dose of nasty herb-lore mixed in.
Stealing the Sun has some interesting people that have their character flaws, but they’re still likable. How do you go about creating characters for your stories?
Characters come to me organically, without much planning involved. They seem to already exist by the time I get to them. I create a world and situations that contain conflict, and out of the conflict comes the sort of characters who fit with that world. Sometimes the characters who seemed like supporting cast end up having the strongest voice – Altir originated as a secondary character in a short story. In the next book, The Dark of the Sun, someone who didn’t get his own point of view in the first book insisted on telling his side of the story. I like characters who have different facets, who have flaws and strengths, who have a past – I’m not particularly interested in innocent coming of age characters, or one-dimensional villains, either to read about or to write.
When is the next book in the Sun Saga series due out?
The Dark of the Sun and A Red Morn Rises, the second and third books, are available now. There may be a fourth book to come.
Disinherited from the throne he believes should belong to his clan, rejected by the woman he loves, estranged from his father and uncertain of his place in a war-torn world, Altir Ilanarion searches for his path. Meanwhile, his kinsmen scheme and plot to overthrow their rival and regain the throne — but all the while, the Liar’s servants lie in wait.
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The Empty One is an epic fantasy novel setup like other epic poetry in the past; Beowulf for example. Why did you choose to write in verse for the book and what was your experience writing in this style?
Verse can set a tone that cannot ordinarily be achieved through the use of prose, and by using poetic phrases, more can be conveyed in just a single line than in an entire paragraph otherwise. For example by using short, quick words in succession, you can convey a kind of rushed and hurried atmosphere; conversely, longer phrasing sets up a more relaxed scene. Subtle keys such as these allow for a lot fewer ex-positional portions within the novel, and make room for action and character development. While writing in this style, I took a lot of inspiration from the epic poems of India, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads – and as these dealt with fantastic situations and characters, poetry seemed a natural choice for my book, as well. When it came to my experience with writing in this style, it was challenging and rewarding at the same time. It took several weeks to come up with just the right phrasing in certain parts, because I simply didn’t like the mood or atmosphere of a particular section. (The hardest part was chapter twenty-six; it took so many rewrites to get that chapter just the way I wanted it, for a while I considered removing it altogether). Additionally, while not being an established writer, I made many safe choices when it came to the rhyme schemes I used – such as only using end rhymes in most places. However, I fully intend to advance to more complex styles in the future entries of the series.
In your novel I picked up some inspiration from other fantasy novels and mythology of the past that I thought played well in the story. What were some of your sources of inspiration for this book?
As mentioned, I took inspiration from The Bhagavad Gita, but I was also influenced by some Greek mythology surrounding The Titans and the Gnostic text The Reality of the Rulers.
In The Empty One there are two nations against one another, The Akalan Nation and the City States of Shaweh, that represent good and evil in the story. How did you create the dichotomy between these two nations?
The history of the two nations is that they were once one land, but split due to a civil war over ideology. They have a common history, language, and even culture in many aspects – but they cannot get past their differences over the definition of morality. They are therefore like brothers that grew apart over the ages, so much so that they have disowned each other. However, just as you might be furious with a loved one if they committed something atrocious yet still feel the need to help them, this is how the two nations exist. Both see the other as completely wrong and evil, but on some level they still feel inexorably connected.
In fantasy novels it’s easy to get carried away with the magical powers characters have. How did you balance the use of supernatural powers in The Empty One?
Magic is incidental to the story, and this was always the intention. The characters were the focus of the narrative. To achieve this, there was an idea that I always kept in mind: Supernatural powers would just be commonplace for any supernatural being, just as locomotion might seem supernatural to a plant but is ordinary for humans. Therefore any character in the book with these types of abilities would not use them to show off and instead they would use them only when the need arose.
What is the next book that you’re working on? When can you fans expect it to come out?
I am working on two books right now: The sequel to The Empty One, which is currently titled The Reaper, and it is also written in the same style (as an epic poem). This second entry into The Fallen Conviction should be out by early 2017. The other work that I have going is a horror story, not written in verse, which is much less closer to being done, called Mind.
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Two superpowers – The Akalan Nation and the City States of Shaweh – are at war. The Akalan Nation is a brutal theocracy that believe the City States are evil for not following their beliefs, and both sides are decimated from the years of fighting. In a desperate move to try and win the war for his people and his faith, the king of the Akalans, Darius, enlists the power of a mysterious man with supernatural powers named Lialthas, who claims to be an angel sent to help the righteous win the war against the disbelievers. However, as Darius soon discovers, Lialthas is not who he says he is – and he has his own motives and aspirations to power.
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