Monday, September 19, 2016

Guest Post with Sarah Beth Durst: Facts About Queen of Blood!

Today I have an awesome guest post from one of my favorite authors, Sarah Beth Durst! She's stopping by to introduce us to her newest fantasy novel, Queen of Blood letting us in on some facts about the world it takes place in, Renthia!

Welcome, Sarah!! 

An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first book of a mesmerizing epic fantasy series, filled with political intrigue, violent magic, malevolent spirits, and thrilling adventure

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .

But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms. 

With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.

Facts About Renthia

Here are some need-to-know facts about Renthia, the world of my new book THE QUEEN OF BLOOD (which is the first in a new epic series from Harper Voyager called THE QUEENS OF RENTHIA):

1. Any travel guide to Renthia should mention its beauty.  The land is full of stunning extremes of nature, from the towering Lothlorien-like trees of Aratay where glittering cities perch halfway up the trees, to the endless ice fields of Ehlim and the cloud-piercing mountains of Semo -- all thanks to the work of the nature spirits.

2.  Any travel guide should also mention that those nature spirits want to kill all humans.

3.  But don't worry -- the queens of each land have the power to control them and keep the spirits from slaughtering everyone.  Except when the queens fail.  Or die.

4.  That's why there are so many heirs.  Girls with power are chosen and trained to become heirs, ready to take power if/when... okay, let's face it, it's always "when" (queens don't have an impressive life expectancy)... the current queen dies.  So as long as you survive the transition period, you'll have a very pleasant and peaceful journey through this lovely world.

Hope you'll join me!

I truly loved writing this book.  It was one of the best writing experiences I've ever had, primarily because it was so immersive.  Every day I'd sink into this world and trail along with my characters.  Daleina and Ven -- an idealistic student and a banished warrior -- became so real to me.  I am grateful for the fact that there are two more books after THE QUEEN OF BLOOD, so I didn't have to say goodbye!

For me, that's one of the hardest parts about writing: saying goodbye.  But it's followed by one of the best parts: sending the book out into the world, so others can say hello.

And so, hello!  Welcome to Renthia!  Just watch out for the trees.  They bite.

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Thanks so much, Sarah for giving us a little more insight into this world! 


Sarah Beth Durst is the author of ten fantasy novels for adults, teens, and kids, including ConjuredVessel, and Ice. Her latest book for kids, The Girl Who Could Not Dream, came out in November 2015 from HMH/Clarion Books, and her next book for adults, The Queen of Blood, comes out in September 2016 from Harper Voyager. She won the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat. 



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