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An Unending Curiosity

Valena D'Angelis
Valena D’Angelis Author Interview

Tempest of Bravoure follows a runaway mage who must face a false king while also facing her own demons. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

My first, almost innate answer is Star Wars. I loved the movie Rogue One and wrote my story around the same emotions that I got from the movie. I wanted Star Wars in a D&D-inspired setting. I am a huge fan of “fighting is the only choice we’ve got.” I love to see heroes go through hell and back, develop bonds, fight side by side for a cause bigger than them. There is a certain selflessness to it that I admire, being ready to give your life for the freedom of your sisters and brothers.

Ahna is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

I wanted to create a powerful yet vulnerable heroine. There are not enough epic fantasy books where a woman with that kind of history takes on such a crucial mission. Ahna’s past makes her who she is today, the good and the bad. She carries a lot of shame, but she keeps on fighting, because her moral compass and ideals are stronger than the pain she endured. Ahna relies on logic and knowledge to solve most of her problems today, but she does become emotional when things get too difficult. Despite what she’s been through, she has an unending curiosity for everything mysterious. She gets a kick from the unknown. Though she will never admit it to herself, Ahna wouldn’t be able to live without the thrill of adventure.

What were some themes that you wanted to focus on in this book?

Fighting for a doomed cause while still having the hopes to succeed. The rebels knew the chances they’d win were close to none, yet they kept on going, because it was better than not fighting. We live brave. We die free. That is Kingdom Ascent’s motto. One other theme was dragging your past and owning it. We all have secrets. We all have done things we regret. Some of us carry a history we loathe. But it doesn’t define who we are. We make our own identity, and there is always a way to redemption. Well, maybe not for Xandor!

This is book one in your Tempest of Bravoure series. What can readers expect in book two?

Book Two, which is coming out next week, will follow Ahna on her next quest to find the lost magi. She believed them and her husband to be dead after the war, but she has just found evidence that they might have saved themselves. This story will be very different from the first one. Kingdom Ascent was about unity and freedom, while Castaway is much more about moving on, inner conflict, finding a way back home and all the challenges that come with it. There is a stronger focus on the characters and what they have to deal with after the end of a war that tore thousands apart.

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We live brave. We die free. 

Darkness has fallen upon the golden kingdom of Bravoure. Once the beacon of an alliance uniting four races, Bravoure is now under the oppression of an elven prince from beneath the surface. Not even the Dragonborn from prophecy was able to stop him from conquering the land. Ahna, a runaway mage, rises above the decades of grief and returns to the fight, where she joins the united soldiers of the Resistance. Despite her origins, she is accepted by these brave heroes who will never let their differences stand in the way of freedom. She and the rebels soon embark on a covert mission to save the kingdom, but the past and the secrets she keeps will soon come knocking, and Ahna will face her demons as she faces the false king.
Tempest of Bravoure: Kingdom Ascent is the first book of the Tempest of Bravoure series.

Tempest of Bravoure: Kingdom Ascent

Tempest of Bravoure: Kingdom Ascent by [Valena D'Angelis]

The golden kingdom was a shining hope and a place for uniting races. Now it is under the oppression of dark and deadly forces. Prophecies couldn’t stop this dark prince from striving for power, and now he wants to rule all. Who can stop him? The runaway mage Ahna who is hiding something? The Resistance? Can the soldiers unite and take the kingdom back for good, or will secrets tear everything apart?

Tempest of Bravoure sets up a thrilling adventure novel that is brimming with imaginative characters. I love epic fantasy tales, and I love when people realize that they either need to fight the bad guy or the bad guy will oppress you until you’re all dead anyway. In these types of stories, you see human characters emerge and the power of the human spirit is tested. I thought I was going to like Ahna right away. Her character was written in such a way that even though you know she’s hiding things, in most cases, you would still want to root for her. I found her character slightly annoying sometimes and could understand why some of the other characters would fight with her (like Cedric). Other times I felt for her character and wanted to cry for her. With other characters and their sad fate, I did cry and felt that their ending was too painful, but it compelled me to keep going and finish the book to find out what happened to the rest of the characters. Cedric, in particular, was one character that made me cry because his character teaches you so much, and his story with Ahna was beautiful. This is definitely a story for readers who enjoy intriguing and well developed characters. There’s an interesting plot at the heart of this story, but I felt like the characters were the star of the show.

While I enjoyed the world building and intricate lore embedded in the world, I felt that the story got a bit confusing at times. In rare moments I wasn’t sure who was doing what and for which reasons. I bit more succinct exposition at the right moments would have provided some clarity. Otherwise, this is a fast paced novel that fits well within the epic fantasy genre. Author Valena D’Angelis has written a story that feels like there’s so much more to be explored. Highly recommended to fans of military fantasy novels.

Pages: 284 | ASIN: B08FXWDX3N

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