A Price to Pay follows a sorceress who is struggling to regain her memory as she works to reclaim her role as duchess and decide her nations future. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
Since I used amnesia as a plot device, you can be forgiven for thinking I watch soap operas. I actually don’t … well, there was that one … but I like to forget about that … um, never mind. There’s also the brilliant classic, “A Christmas Carol,” which fascinated me ever since I saw the Disney animated special. And let’s not forget the tagline on the book cover, which indicates the top reason why I wrote this book: our 45th U.S. Presidency.
Sorceress Melindra is a character that I enjoyed following and watching evolve throughout the novel. What were some driving ideals behind her character?
Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” in response to the unscrupulous business practices rampant in London. The moral is that one’s attitude and actions not only have an effect on one’s legacy, but also the wellbeing of those around you.
The same idea is in “A Price to Pay” but told in a more pessimistic way. While Ebenezer Scrooge was able to turn his life around by choice, the sorceress Melindra had to have amnesia first to do the same. If given a choice, the old Melindra would have never changed her ways by righting her wrongs; she had to have become a blank slate first and see her situation through a fresh perspective.
This of course ties in with my perspective of No. 45, who—as a coworker once said—always says the wrong things. These last four years have been quite a ride for me, as I’d never been so concerned about what our President was doing. U.S. Presidents are naturally controversial, but this guy was something else. It’s my belief that he’ll never change his ways, never see the damage he’s caused through his influence.
This story is a way for me to allow readers to see how I’ve viewed 45 through the eyes of the MC. Once Melindra reassumed her role as a duchess, she’s initially concerned by how her servants openly fear her, and she’s then alarmed and appalled by one thing after another. I hope the reader can keep in mind that many of these “things” are allegories to the 45th administration.
For example, in the ballroom scene the guests are left speechless when something terrible happens, which is reflective of how certain Congressmen kept mum after an insensitive tweet from 45. There’s also the near-assassination scene which is reflective of the culture of conspiracy that grips the nation. Melindra is astonished by these events just as I’ve continually been these past four years.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
There’s the idea from “A Christmas Carol” that everyone can have a profound impact on others. This pertains not only to what Melindra did but also what others have done to her. Melindra and 45 hadn’t led similar lives, but one thing they have in common is that they were both demeaned and demoralized, leading to twisted outlooks on life.
Melindra’s early life wasn’t all bad: She had loving parents and a neighbor who taught her how to read. But whatever good was going to come from that was ruined by some of the uglier aspects of her medieval-type society, teaching her that she had to fend for herself since there were few who would. And unfortunately, this led to a slightly nihilistic attitude, for she believed that what happened to others didn’t matter as long as bad things didn’t happen to her. Such an attitude can be hard to shake off once instilled; hence why Melindra needed to become a blank slate to do it.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have no plans as of now to keep writing. I thought I’d be done after “The Binding of the Three Roses,” but then the writing bug bit me and I had to act on it. The bug hasn’t bitten ever since, so I don’t know. Writing “A Price to Pay” has been satisfying, so no regrets.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: A Price to Pay, adventure, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, jason hubbard, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, sword and sorcery, writer, writing
A Price to Pay by Jason Hubbard is one of the most entertaining fantasy books of 2021 for me. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wake up and not remember who you are? That is what duchess Melindra is experiencing. As she makes her way through daily life, it becomes apparent that her personality was absolutely vial. Servants are terrified of her, and people with questionable morals are her closest friends. The more Melindra uncovers about her life, the more she feels the need to enact great change. What price will she pay to right her wrongs?
Entertaining is the first word that comes to mind when I think about this novel! When Melindra first wakes up in Vincent’s castle she feels lost, confused, and scared. Hubbard’s portrays these emotions in stirring fashion that makes the characters feel effortlessly emotive. He completely transports readers into Melindra’s mind and has you grapple wit the emotional turmoil with her. I also enjoyed the slow but steady process of Melindra beginning to grasp who she was before the memory loss. Hubbard took his time with this process, spanning it over the entirety of the story, which gave it a realistic feel. I also really enjoyed the depth of the world the story is set in and how it crossed over into our own present day. While I found the magic system in this novel intriguing, I wanted there to be more nuance.
The story is inspired by the 2017-2020 presidency. After a statement like this, I spent the whole story trying to find what could have been inspired by true events. By the end, I wasn’t sure what part was actually inspired by the presidency, besides corruption, and it all felt like thoughtful commentary on society. Some readers may enjoy this infusion of reality in their fantasy story.
A Price to Pay is an entertaining read that is told in Jason’s Hubbard’s signature style, that sword and sorcery fans will quickly devour. A refined and relevant epic fantasy story that shows you the power of a single persons actions.
Pages: 293 | ASIN: B08VRPLXMN
Tags: A Price to Pay, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, jason hubbard, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, sword and sorcery, thriller, writer, writing
The Binding of the Three Roses finds Sean and Callie forced to test their grit, once again, to put a stop to evil ambitions. What did you want to do differently in the final installment in the series?
Clearly, I wanted to have more action! As a rule, I tend to pull back on action scenes because I don’t want my stories to seem like Hollywood movies where there are tons of fighting and all the good guys make it out relatively unscathed. But since I wanted this series to end on a rather biblical note, I needed to go all out and lift some of the barriers on magic I instilled. I generally can’t make a magic system too powerful or else I’ll open myself to plot holes that savvy readers can spot, but in some exceptions, like this ending, I simply had to go all out.
I also wanted to put my two main characters through the ringer. I can foresee some readers thinking that Sean and Callie aren’t really good for each other, so I wanted to change their minds by putting the characters through some turbulence yet come out okay in the end.
Was there anything that surprised you or that you didn’t plan on happening with your characters?
There were few surprises for me, even though I did have to make some changes. But yes, I was surprised at the confrontation between Callie and her ex-boyfriend. At first, I wanted the former flame to lash out at her out of wounded pride, but instead I reimagined the scene to enhance the shock factor. What better way to give readers a good idea of what they’re in for?
Do you feel like you’ve accomplished everything you wanted to in The Three Roses trilogy?
Absolutely. I’ve had some reviewers express confusion over the messaging of the story, claiming that some of the rough content conflicted with the inserted Christian ideology. But the thing is, bad things happen in this world of ours even though there are religious faiths that preach the virtues of love and forgiveness. Of course, you could argue that these virtues exist BECAUSE bad things happen, and I wanted to reflect that in this story. I also wanted to demonstrate that while the decision to follow a religious faith can be noble, it can be fraught will pitfalls. People will not only challenge you but also take advantage of you for self-gain.
What are your future writing goals? Do you plan to start a new series?
No plans on writing anything. For now, I’ll try to look for ways to effectively promote my books, and I’ll see how it goes from there.
The search for the elusive Three Roses is at an end. After enduing calamity and heartbreak over the past year, Sean and Callie have decided to settle down. Together, they seek a simple life in a lord’s service and find solace in each other’s company. For a time, it seems they have nothing more to worry about.
However, last autumn Sean had unknowingly disrupted the plans of powerful men. Solomon Fontana, leader of a secretive order of magi, needs Sean’s help to reverse what was done so he can achieve a lifelong dream. But after Sean proves unable to meet Solomon’s demands, both he and Callie will have to go through torture and torment to put a stop to evil ambitions.
Join our heroes in this final installment of the epic Three Roses saga–where there will be hell to pay. Note: This book contains mature and graphic content.
The Binding of the Three Roses brings the Three Roses trilogy it a stunning conclusion. In this epic we find Solomon, the leader of a secret magi order, plotting his way into binding the Three Roses – three men gifted with the power of holy magic. To carry out his schemes he enlists the help of Sean. However, Sean does not possess the powers that Solomon is looking for- at least not anymore. Can Sean and Callie survive the various trials betrayals set before them?
One thing that stands out to me with this book his how well defined the characters are at this point. You get a sense of settling in at first, but the characters continue to be dynamic and surprising. Solomon’s characteristic slimy sweetness gave me goosebumps from the moment he was introduced; which was a horrifying scene in which he pushes Rudy, a young man into committing a strange, terrifying ritual in the name of “exaltation” and “faith.”
If you have not read the previous two books in the series you don’t have to worry, this book is easy to pick up, but I suggest starting from the beginning because the character and story arcs are more satisfying. Right from the outset, it was clear that this is a particularly detailed and well-researched book. The epigraph had some interesting quotes by George Washington and James Madison foreshadowing the nature of events to take place in the story.
Having seen more documentaries and accounts of the people that have survived and been traumatized in cults and religious fanaticism pop up in recent times, this book really captures the spirit of paranoia while maintaining the immersion of fiction. The author has also included, strangely enough, two prologues. While I couldn’t figure out the literary intent behind that decision, I was grateful for it.
The legend and battles over the Three Roses was described in great detail. Although that was a lot of information all at once, it was helpful later on. It provided an intriguing backstory that serves as the stage for some compelling characters and an engaging plot to unfold. The dialogue of the characters felt a little anachronistic, especially the jokes and quips, but felt spot on for the fantasy genre that this book embraces.
I really enjoyed The Binding of the Three Roses and can’t believe the series is over. It’s a hefty novel but thrilling and refreshing- the perfect choice for anyone with a the desire to escape into an epic fantasy novel.
The Hunt for the Three Roses follows Callie and Kane as they try to leave their old life behind in a world consumed by war. What were some themes you wanted to carry over from book one, and what were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this novel?
This trilogy is all about the upsides and downsides of organized religion. The first book was about how a religion can be a source of guidance and hope in the best of times and a source of uncertainty in the worst. The second book is about how wicked and/or misguided people can make things up that fit within their worldview and pass it off as official religious doctrine. The very identity of the Three Roses (at the risk of giving a spoiler!) is about how different minds and ideologies can fracture a faith for better or worse.
Kane and Callie are intriguing characters with emotional depth. Was there anything from your own life that you put into your characters?
Much of my early life I put into Kane. I tended to be a goody-two-shoes who pointed out people’s bad behavior, especially their profanity. I’ve relaxed that side of me, just as Kane eventually did. Callie is simply someone I’d like to be more, a person who has little problem in speaking her mind and being rambunctious.
This novel, and series, have a rich backstory. Did you create the backstory before writing the novel or did it develop organically while writing?
Some segments in my early books were created organically, but Hunt for the Three Roses was mostly planned ahead. I thought about the plot for months before, often making changes without needing to write anything down. When I started to write, I felt well prepared to go ahead and work without fear of writer’s block.
This is book two in the The Three Roses Trilogy. Where will book three take readers, and when will it be available?
Sean and Callie have settled down, but not for long. They’ll have to be taken well out of their comfort zones so they can discover the truth behind the Three Roses, and just as Callie’s past came to haunt her, so too will Sean’s. Despite the presence of magic, the action scenes in the second book were rather grounded, but in the next one, the action will be rather ethereal. The release date may be sometime in 2020, or possibly 2021.
Change is in the winds in this high-stakes, emotional fantasy adventure!
On the run from the army which he once proudly served, Kane Bailey changes his name to Sean, leaving nearly every shred of his old life behind. His old tutor, Master Cypher, helps guide Sean and gives him a mission that’s more important than Sean realizes: Bring an older, simple-minded man named Jonas to the Royal Palace, where he’ll be safe.
Callie meanwhile is unsure what she wants to do in life. Leading a criminal lifestyle is all that she knows, but it would mean starting from the very bottom. But while her future is up in the air, her dark past rises to haunt her. Rainer the assassin has a score to settle, and he wants to make it as painful and heart-wrenching for Callie as possible.
In this second installment of the Three Roses Trilogy, the hunt is on … and there will be blood.
Tags: alibris, assassin, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, crime, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, jason hubbard, kindle, kobo, literature, medieval, nook, novel, publishing, read, reader, reading, religion, shelfari, smashwords, story, sword and sorcery, The Hunt for the Three Roses, writer, writer community, writing
Callie and Kane have escaped from the King Hugo’s realm but have been conscripted into the army. Here they hide, Kane posing as a common mage and Callie is put to work in the maid’s camps. With them is Jonas, one of the three roses that Master Cypher was searching for. While the war effort is continuing Jonas reveals to Callie he can see visions of the future, he tells her he must go save Kane or he will die. She rushes out to find Kane and they escape what turns out to be a massacre of all the mages in the camp. After this they find Master Cypher escaping the area with Jonas and he offers to let Kane and Callie join him on his journey to Lonsaran, the neighboring kingdom. Entering the new land, Kane changes his name to Sean McAlister and presents himself as a commoner / mage. Now Sean and Callie must look to make new lives in this land while keeping an eye on Jonas till he can be safely delivered to the king in Asturia. Along the way Callie’s past comes back to haunt her and they must figure out how to survive.
Jason Hubbard’s The Hunt for the Three Roses while a continuation of the previous novel is still able to stand alone and not confuse a new reader too much. It is a long book and some sections drag out and feel like page filler rather than moving the plot along. Aside from that, the actual story line is engaging and the character development, I feel, is enhanced from previous works by Hubbard. I enjoy the relationship dynamic between the characters. Sean’s caring nature is apparent, and you see him grow from a spoiled, selfish nineteen-year-old, into a mature father figure with Jonas. His relationship with Callie is back and forth as both can’t seem to figure out what they really want in life and what direction they want to go in. Both end up in the service of Count Guyver; and seem to fit well into their new rolls. But Rainer, an assassin from the prior novel, is still alive and determined to torment Callie. Even Rainer’s character development is well done, he is dark and calculating. His personality plays well against Sean’s more innocent and desire to be good personality. Callie falls in the middle always conflicted about if she wants to lead a life of good or descend into the underworld of crime again. This conflict makes her character so interesting and makes you want to keep reading to see how things will develop.
The world in which all this takes place is similar to Medieval times Europe. They have a strong religious belief in the life of Micah and the book of Micah. The principals are not all the different from our Bible and Jesus teachings. The difference is their religion includes magic and mages as part of the world of good. A lot of effort went into building the world Hubbard created and it shows in the details of the manor, the ways of the country men, and the secretes that the characters hold. This novel sets up things well for the next installment of the Three Roses and I look forward to seeing how this story line concludes.
Pages: 404 | ASIN: B07HHX5ZLP
Tags: adventure, alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, crime, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, haunt, haunted, ilovebooks, indiebooks, jason hubbard, journey, kindle, kobo, literature, mage, magic, nook, novel, publishing, quest, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, story, sword and sorcery, The Hunt for the Three Roses, underworld, writer, writer community, writing
The Legend of the Three Roses follows a magician’s apprentice and an assassin on a thrilling journey through a new series of books you’ve written. What was the inspiration for this book and the series that follows?
The story contains themes about morality and spirituality that I’ve been thinking about and wanted to “get out there.” My original idea was for a really grand epic featuring several parties all traveling to the same goal for different reasons. It would take place in a grand empire which grew prosperous due to a kind of sci fi concept. I never really took the idea seriously and hadn’t thought about it for a long time until I was suddenly inspired to simplify the story by making it about a boy and a girl, like many great stories. And I must confess, I borrowed a few ideas from some of the recent fantasy books I’ve been reading—things about medieval society and magic wards.
I really enjoyed the medieval setting of the novel. What themes did you want to capture while creating the world your characters live in?
I can’t say the world “Three Roses” takes place in is an accurate reflection of medieval Europe. I imagine the brick buildings of St. Mannington have a strong, advanced type of cement not found in the Middle Ages, when constructors commonly used mortar. Crossbows also weren’t around, but since this is a kind of make-believe Earth, I felt free to include any kind of invention as long as it was reasonably outdated in the modern world. Medieval Europe was of course a very Christian world, and I imagine many young people were like my main character, Kane, who is nearly pious to a fault. But in spite of being beholden to a religion that promotes peace and forgiveness, Europe was a very cruel place where people were treated like mere commodities and terribly punished. A quick Google search for “medieval torture devices” would definitely show you what I mean!
I always enjoy magic that is well thought out and believable. What decisions went into creating the magic system you use in your story?
The magic system was mostly inspired by a certain video game where potions are toxic. If you drink a potion, you can gain a boost to your stats or immunity to debuffs, but it costs you a little of your health. I never really thought of the possibility of potions being poisonous, and I thought it was an excellent way of keeping magic in check. I never want magic in my stories to be too powerful, because if it if it is, it can lead to story problems. When you have characters seem like gods, they can seem unrelatable and mere tools of plot convenience.
Where does book 2 in The Three Roses trilogy take the characters and when will it be available?
Right now, book 2 is all in my head. It takes place in Lonsaran, the rival kingdom of Kane and Callie’s homeland. They’ll have little choice but to settle there and look out for each other. The good news is that they’ll discover what the Three Roses are; the bad news is that Rainer the assassin is still alive … and he’s thirsty for revenge.
Four years ago, the Son of Man returned to Earth, seemingly to begin a new age of enlightenment. But two years later, he vanished without a trace …
Today, nineteen-year-old Kane Bailey–a nobleman and sorcerer’s apprentice–works and studies in his master’s tower in the middle of his nation’s capital. In spite of making a few mistakes (such as nearly blowing up a spellchamber), he shows the potential of being a great sorcerer. But his dreams of working with magic come to an end when he’s caught in the middle of an assassination attempt on the King’s life.
Upon getting captured by the assassin, Kane is swept up by lofty ambitions, terrible greed, and maddening bloodlust. Cut off from his sorcery, he’ll need to rely on his wits and knowledge to survive, as well as the trust and friendship of a young woman who may be taking on more than she can handle.
And a question lingers: What are the “Three Roses,” and what do they have to do with the impending war?
Posted in Interviews
Tags: action, adventure, amazon, amazon books, amazon ebook, author, author interview, book, book review, books, ebook, ebooks, epic, epic fantasy, europe, facebook, fantasy, fantasy book review, fiction, fighting, goodreads, interview, jason hubbard, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, literature, magic, medieval, mystery, novel, publishing, reading, review, reviews, sci fi, science ficiton, science fiction, science fiction book review, spirituality, stories, The Legend of the Three Roses, thriller, twitter, video game, war, writing, YA, young adult
Jason Hubbard’s new series starts out with The Legend of the Three Roses. This story puts on display the fascinating journey of a young magician’s apprentice named Kane and a female assassin named Callie. Callie has been hired to assassinate the insane king Hugo who is planning to start a war. Callie fails to assassinate the king but manages to escape dragging Kane with her as ransom. After an unfortunate turn of events Kane ends up on the king’s most wanted list. Callie meanwhile has her own troubles running from a crazy assassin. Together they end up narrowly escaping death more than once.
One of the most fascinating and enthralling aspects about this book was the setting. It was a captivating reinvention of a medieval city. The old city structure with the different rings based on class, the description of the towers, streets and shops, all keep in line with traditional medieval style. I enjoy fantasy involving magic that is believable, so getting details on how mages worked in this story was fascinating and lends a bit of realism to the story. Hubbard goes into detail explaining the potions that mages need to consume in order to do magic.
Kane and Callie’s characters, while a bit flat in the beginning, develop into dynamic characters that you connect with after the first half of the novel. Both went from immature and impulsive to strong, reliable, and determined. There was a definitively dark streak in the book while dealing with some of the inner rim crime rings that I found fascinating as a contrast to Kane’s more puritan attitude.
One thing that was odd for me was how vague the point of the story is. The title is The Legend of the Three Roses however aside from the mystery of trying to figure out what they are, we learn nothing about them. But this being the first in the series, I’m sure we’ll be learning more about this in future novels.
Overall The Legend of the Three Roses by Jason Hubbard is an enchanting and gripping introduction to what I suspect is going to be a riveting series. Having read other works by Hubbard I think this will live up to my expectations in the next novel.
Pages: 509 | ASIN: B072MFGJLM
Tags: action, adventure, amazon, amazon books, amazon ebook, assassin, author, book, book review, books, ebook, ebooks, fantasy, fantasy book review, fiction, fighting, goodreads, jason hubbard, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, literature, mage, magic, magician, medieval, medieval fiction, mystery, novel, potion, publishing, reading, review, reviews, romance, stories, The Legend of the Three Roses, thriller, writing, YA, young adult