The Twisting Flame follows Carys who faces unimaginable horrors as she fights corruption, gets abducted, and gets taken to Azkaelom where she’s pushed to the limits of her strength. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
Initially, it began with a fascination with “What makes a villain tick?” The idea of “good guys” and “bad guys” became fascinating the more I realized that everyone (the best heroes and the greatest villains) all believe they are the ones doing the right thing, but..what IS the right thing, really? It’s all about the lens you view events through. The Rise of The Phoenix series explores the many perspectives of good versus evil, and that it’s not always so easy to know which is which.
The basic idea of the inter-relationships and conflict between Daon, Malik, Barak, and Eilam was suggested by my Muse years ago as an interesting dynamic that we found interesting, and finally I couldn’t help but wonder “What if we tossed an enterprising and clever young aristocrat from the opposite side into the mix?” I knew I had to write that series, and it quickly took on a life of its own, and in ways I didn’t expect!
“A Single Spark” (Book 1) showed the foundations of her belief system and family dynamics. The adage “history is written by the victors” comes into play in “The Twisting Flame” (Book 2). It’s only when she is brought to the point of mentally and emotionally breaking, only then fully introduced to the truths of the other side. From this breaking point, she begins to grow into a new version of herself, hence the symbolism of the Phoenix.
Carys is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I wanted a strong female character who was no damsel in distress, but rather, someone who could be feminine and yet on equal footing as the men in the story. Yes, she needs saving on occasion, but not so much in the way that many females are portrayed. I love diving into Carys’s mind and watching her grow and change as the story goes on. She is learning so much, growing more clever, resourceful, and independent. Is it strange to say she is someone I admire, despite her faults? Watching the belief system that she has always accepted as “truth” completely unravel was thrilling as she was introduced to new ways of thinking, seeing both sides, and having the ability to make the choice which truth she wished to support.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I’m not sure how to answer that without saying “All of them!” I really wanted to explore how villains are created, but more than that, how there isn’t really “Good vs Evil” as much as “People of one belief vs People of another.” It’s also a story about courage and finding one’s purpose and destiny, love and family, loyalty and perseverance. At its heart, it’s about truth, but not like you might think. The truth of one person is not the truth of another, but if that’s the case, what is truth? It’s about seeing both sides and then discovering which truth you support for yourself.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on “The Crimson Blaze”, Book 3 in the Rise of the Phoenix series. It will hopefully be available by summer, 2023! It continues Carys’s journey as she strikes out on her own after sending her family into hiding, and is determined to rescue Barak while trying to stay hidden from those who seek to use her for their own ends.
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Tags: adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, Tayvia Pierce, The Twisting Flame, writer, writing
The Twisting Flame follows Carys after her family was forced to leave their comfortable aristocratic life for their own safety. With the kidnapping and return of her sister, Carys struggles with learning who she can trust which leads to her own kidnapping that opens The Twisting Flame. Carys endures brutal treatment from her kidnapper as she gradually learns more and more about who she is and what lies in wait for her destiny. Will she make it home? And what of her kidnapper?
This fantasy story feels very much like Game of Thrones meets Lord of the Rings; combining the epic fantasy feel of Lord of the Rings and the human drama and intrigue of Game of Thrones. There is a vast universe that we are introduced to, although from a very unfortunate lens of Carys’ point of view. There is also enough twists and turns to keep readers intrigued throughout the story. As someone who has been subjected to assault in the past, there were some pages that were troubling to read. However, the author does a good job in incorporating troubling topics into the story without feeling purposeless. Readers are able to identify with Carys’ struggle throughout the story. Despite this being a fantasy story, I feel as if Carys is incredibly relatable to women everywhere because of what she endured in the story, and how the author conveys the emotions that go along with that is so authentic and stirring. I also believe that Pierce does an excellent job setting up the ending of this book to lead into the third book in the series, The Crimson Blaze. What Carys went through is part of what builds up her character for the third book in the series and I’m eager to see how her storyline plays out.
The Twisting Flame is an impassioned epic fantasy novel that tells a retable human story against the backdrop of a deep and complex world that I can’t wait to explore more of.
Pages: 348 | ASIN: B094C297VC
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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
Tags: A Single Spark, action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, high fantasy, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, Tayvia Pierce, writer, writing