Thursday, December 14, 2017

2017 Debut Authors Bash - Interview, Review and Giveaway: Heather Fawcett of Even the Darkest Stars


2017 Debut Authors Bash banner
 
The Debut Authors Bash is an event where bloggers are paired with a debut author to spread their awesomeness on their blog. It is a month-long event so be sure to check out the full schedule here!
 
 
Hello everyone, please welcome Heather Fawcett to the blog to today to talk about her debut novel, Even the Darkest Stars! Read my fun interview with her and then see what I thought of the book ;) There's even a chance to win a copy of Even the Darkest Stars!
 
 
Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett
Even the Darkest Stars
(Even the Darkest Stars #1)
by Heather Fawcett
September 5, 2017
432 pages

Goodreads     Indigo
 
Goodreads Summary:
Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister, Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means cimbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then, Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and other dangers at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth about their mission and her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.
 

Interview

1. How did you come up with the story (explorers and mountain climbers)?

You know, I don't remember specifically--I've always loved hiking and being in the mountains, and a few years ago I also started getting into rock climbing. I think it was born out of that, as well as my interest in exploration in general. I've also always thought that the Himalayas (specifically the section between Tibet and Nepal that includes Everest and several more of the world's highest peaks) may be the most beautiful landscape on Earth, so setting a story in a world inspired by that place was very appealing.

2. Was there a particular character you struggled with writing? Why?

That's a great question. Tem gave me a bit of trouble in the beginning (though I like him quite a bit). I think it's because he himself isn't entirely certain who he is or what he wants out of life, which is always more difficult for a writer to capture than a character who is very focused on their goals.

3. Did you always know you were going to end Even the Darkest Stars the way you did?

Yes! The details and specific staging of the final scenes have changed a bit from the first draft, but it was always going to end that way. I'm a plotter, meaning I plot everything out before I start writing a book rather than making it up as I go, so I very rarely change my endings.

4. Can you give us some hints at what is to come in the sequel?


More Kamzin and more River? I guess that's not much of a hint, is it, given that they were the protagonist and deuteragonist, respectively, of Book 1. I can tell you that a character who seemed to be lost in Book 1 makes an unexpected return...
 
Thank you so much Heather for sharing all of this with us today! I can't wait for more Kamzin and more River! Also, now I'm making mental guesses to which character makes a return O.O I'm so looking forward to the next book!
 
 
Review

Even the Darkest Stars was such a hidden gem. I wish it hadn't taken me this long to pick it up! With lush setting the story was hypnotic and gripping with the bravest of characters.

I was so drawn-in by the setting of Even the Darkest Stars. The world was fascinating. The rugged terrain and foreboding atmosphere combined with the always present threats and imposing dangers made for one hell of a journey up the mountains. Ms. Fawcett beautifully conveys the harsh conditions but magnificent sceneries.

Kamzin was an easy character to like. Determined to prove herself and save her sister she was kind-hearted and believed in people's goodness. Facing one tough decision after another she made the calls and came through every time. I can't wait to see her fully utilize her potential. I really enjoyed seeing Kamzin bond with River. He saw her in a different light than others did and it was sometimes sensual and intense. River's also quite the enigma. He was so great at keeping to himself I found myself more and more curious about him as the story went on. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

As far as the romance goes while there's no definitive relationships there's definitely a love triangle vibe. I'm not a fan of undeclared feelings but I can see why the complications. My heart is set on a certain ship. The pair will have a difficult road ahead but I'm very eager to see if and how things could work out.

I applaud Ms. Fawcett for dropping the huge game changer(s) near the end of the book. They had my emotions in a jumble and my insides in a twist. What a turn of events. I'm not sure what I was expecting but it wasn't what River and Kamzin did. In hindsight, the hints were in plain sight. I'm going to be keeping my eyes sharp when I read the sequel.

Even the Darkest Stars is a gorgeous treat. I'm going to be thinking about this story all the way until I can get my hands on All the Wandering Light. September 2018 cannot get here soon enough!
 
4 Cats
*I received a finished copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.


Heather FawcettAuthor Bio:
I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, where I enjoy wandering around in the wilderness and only occasionally getting lost. I’ve also spent extended periods of time in Italy, where I learned very little Italian but ate quite a lot of pizza, and Ireland, where I searched half-successfully for puffins and selkies.

Before becoming a writer I worked, among other things, as an archaeologist, a technical writer, and a backstage assistant for a Shakespearean theatre company (which I could write several novels about). I have a Master’s degree in English Literature and briefly considered becoming a professor, before I realized it involved more than reading books, drinking excessive amounts of tea, and wearing colourful elbow patches.

I’m represented by the amazing Brianne Johnson at Writers House. EVEN THE DARKEST STARS, my first novel, was purchased by HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray at auction in a six-figure, two-book deal.


Check out the rest of the #17DABash HERE!!

8 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the great interview and giveaway ladies <3
    I'm super excited for Heather's book, the cover and synopsis are amazing. And I'm super intriuged by the characters.
    Rafflecopter name: Megan S.

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  2. Absolutely lovely interview and review Eileen! This was such a pleasure to read. So excited to read more about Kamzin and River in All the Wandering Light!

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  3. I've been reading lots of wonderful reviews about the book, I mean like why I don't try read it and review it myself. It definitely is worth my time. :)

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  4. I want to read it because I came across beautiful fanart on twitter and it sparked my interest in this book ^_^

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  5. This sounds like an intriguing world, and I'd like to learn more about it!

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  6. I love the sound of this world, and everything about the book looks so unique!
    Great post :)

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  7. I am really looking forward to reading this book!!! The mountain climbing, I've heard the world building is amazing!!!

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  8. 1. I love STEM subjects (cartography in this instance) in books, so I have had my eye on this book for a while. 2. I am also a huge fan of fantasy novels. 3. I was able to sell it (I am a bookseller) to a customer because he was looking for YA rock climbing books, and since this was one I wanted to read I was able to recommend it!

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Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my posts! I read each and every comment I get and will reply as soon as I can :)

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