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With My Own Twists and World

Lewis D’Ambra Author Interview

The Year of the Dark Spring follows a historian examining how the people of a planet long ago reacted to a comet in the sky. How did you come up with this idea and develop it into a story?

Each of the individual stories actually came first. They are inspired by some of the myths and religions of the ancient eastern Mediterranean and Near east (and a little of the Americas too), with my own twists and world added in. However, I felt the idea of linking these stories together with one event upon which the narrative hinged, such as a comet, was an interesting way to show how various people and cultures would react slightly differently to the same phenomena, according to their own understanding of the world and their own history. The historian taking a step back to examine these events in the round then felt like a natural place to introduce the reader to this world. An event that effected the whole world and brought some big changes to humanity is certainly something I think any historian would be interested in examining.  

What was the inspiration for the culture of your characters? Is it modeled after any particular society?

The world is roughly analogous to the classical period in the eastern Mediterranean and Near east. Having studied history at university, this period has always held a fascination for me and so each of the characters and cultures in the book are modelled off the societies of Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia and with some Celtic influence in there too. 

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The book tries to delve into humanity, not only focussing on the internal conflicts we all have, but also the tests and tensions that inevitably develop within societies and cultures. I was trying to explore the ways in which human societies and cultures are tied to the world in which they exist and that they are inevitably shaped, influenced and changed by their environments. As those environments change and evolve, so human societies, and the way we interact with each other, inevitably have to do so too. Usually this happens over years, decades and centuries, but I felt that the comet was a device that would force this confrontation to happen over days and weeks, and so beginning to test people, societies, and cultures to their limits.

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

I am working on the first book in a series set in the same world. During the prologue and epilogue of The Year of the Dark Spring, the narrator mentions the ongoing campaigns of Tekolger, the King of the Doldun. This series is intended to explore the aftermath of those campaigns and so is set about thirty years after the events of the The Year of the Dark Spring. The manuscript is finished, but being edited, so I am hoping I will be able to publish it within the next year.

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Eight hundred and thirty-two years after the fall of the great city of old Kolbos and the civilisation ending event known as the Dusk, a burning red streak appears in the sky above the world of Kolgennon. The flaming tail causes the sky to darken for weeks, turning spring from a time of new life and renewal to a time of desperation and turmoil. Old myths and old gods re-emerge as the magic and knowledge that was lost to the world during the Dusk begins to return. The comet pushes societies to their limits as they struggle to contend with an unending darkness. As tensions grow, the rumble of war comes closer and each of the cultures and peoples of Kolgennon interpret and react to the omens in the sky in different ways.

This collection of short stories is set in the world of Kolgennon, in a time akin to our own classical world. Each of the nine stories places the comet as the key event of the narrative and each follows a new protagonist, seeing the events of the dark spring through the eyes of a variety of characters and settings. The narrative is framed by a short prologue and epilogue from a historian reflecting back on this time and speculating on what went through the minds of the people that these events effected.

The Year of the Dark Spring

The Year of the Dark Spring by Lewis A. D’Ambra is a collection of stories about a historical fantastical event seen through the eyes of multiple different characters. Each character gives a distinct and diverse perspective contributing to the plot in various entertaining ways depending on the history and culture of their societies. The stories revolve around the mysterious occurrence of a comet across the sky, hundreds of years after the fall of a great city, bringing darkness and turmoil in its wake. The people of Kolgennon are all growing tense with the occurrence of the comet and the emergence of the old gods and lost knowledge of the past, struggling to interpret the meaning behind the sky’s red streak in their own different ways.

The Year of the Dark Spring is complex and detailed, with fantastic storytelling. It takes the reader on a journey through the lives of many different characters whose lives and perspectives are tied to the same geological event. The author does a phenomenal job establishing the historical elements. Even through each short story, the history is laid out in a complex, understandable, and enticing way. I enjoyed how the book walked the reader through the different myths, legends, and even beliefs of each people and society, accompanied by the depth put into each culture. It was extremely creative and original how the author used this significant event, a comet, to connect all the characters’ stories.

The Year of the Dark Spring is a great and interactive read for fans of epic fantasy. I particularly appreciated how each character was different in their lifestyles to how they saw the world. The way each character provided a unique perspective on the past and present they were in and what the comet meant. The significance of the comet and how it tied the stories created a mysterious and intriguing element, further making this a great read.

Pages: 234 | ASIN : B0BPP8L8BG

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