April 13, 2015

#Giveaway of Empire of Night (Age of Legends #2) by Kelley Armstrong

Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least, they were.

Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, the emperor has sent them on a mission to rescue the children of Edgewood—accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of imperial warriors. But the journey proves more perilous than they could have imagined. With treachery and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on all their influence and power to overcome deadly enemies—not all of them human—and even avert an all-out war

From the Back Cover

Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood.
Or at least, they were.
Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, they are all but prisoners in court, forced to watch and wait while the Emperor decides whether to help the children of Edgewood, who remain hostages of the treacherous Alvar Kitsune.
But when the emperor finally sends the girls on a mission to rescue the children—accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of men—the journey proves more perilous than any of them could have imagined. With lies and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on every bit of influence and power they possess to unite their people and avert an all-out war.
In this second book in her epic and captivating Age of Legends trilogy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong blends romance, danger, and magic to send readers on a heart-racing journey through an unforgettable world.

 About the Author


I'm married with three kids and live in rural Ontario, Canada. After graduating with a degree in psychology, I switched gears and studied computer programming. Currently, I'm a full-time writer and parent. Could I make this section any more dull? Probably not.

Speaking at a high school the other day, I was asked if there’s any genre I’d like to write but find too intimidating. The answer is absolutely—historical fiction. I love reading it, but I’ve never written more than a short story in the genre because it takes me forever even to do that. I’ll read several books for period research, then I’ll sample maybe a half-dozen more. After my story is written, I’ll scour it for words and phrases that might be too contemporary and check online to see when they entered our vocabulary. I’ll also check every item I reference to be sure it was available at the time. Finally, I’ll double-check all my historical references. That’s a lot of work for a ten-page story! And even then I’ll stress over it and worry that someone will come back and point out where I went wrong.
Sea of Shadows was the perfect “cheat” for a storyteller who loves history but is too chicken to write a historical novel.
Epic fantasy allows the writer to pick a time period, do the research, and weave in all those fascinating historical details, while not being confined by that history because it’s fantasy. The world is based on a period rather than actually being set in it. Sea of Shadows is based on medieval Japan. Well, that’s what I say, but technically it’s classical Japan, during the Heian period, right on the cusp of medieval Japan (which was actually feudal rather than imperial, as the shoguns took power and the emperors were reduced to figureheads). But when I say medieval Japan, people think “samurai” period, which is correct for my novel, so I stick to that.
Japanese culture permeates Sea of Shadows, but I suspect there will be readers who finish the book without ever realizing that was my inspiration.
There are a few reasons for that. One, because it is fantasy, I didn’t need to stick to my chosen period. If something from the Heian period didn’t work, I borrowed from another era. Or I borrowed from a different culture altogether. The clothing, for example, is a mix of East and West, because historical Japanese fashion reflected the climate, which I wasn’t using. Two, because I’m aiming at a largely Western market, I use mostly Westernized names and English words. So you get first names like Tyrus and Gavril, but Japanese clan names like Tatsu (dragon) and Kitsune (nine-tailed fox). You also get words like sword instead of katana, warrior instead of samurai, and warlord instead of shogun, while the underlying concept is Japanese—for example, the sword descriptions match a katana rather than a medieval European blade. If you’re looking for the Japanese influence in Sea of Shadows, you need to dig below the surface. The caste system is Japanese. The warrior code is samurai-based, as are the dual swords and the armor. The houses vary from place to place, some being more Western than Eastern, but you’ll notice my characters sleep on pallets instead of beds, sit on cushions instead of chairs, and eat rice instead of bread. You’ll also see the influence in the religious and spiritual side, which is largely based on Shintoism, though I mingled in a few others. The cultural emphasis on family, the ancestors, and filial piety is clearly Japanese. And anyone who has ever seen a Japanese horror movie will recognize the distinctive style of vengeful and angry spirits in Sea of Shadows. The research for Sea of Shadows was some of the most intense I’ve ever done, and yet I know that many readers may not even pick up on the Japanese influence. And that’s okay with me, because it tells me I’ve accomplished my mission, which is to play in a historical period and use it to tell a story without beating readers over the head with my research. But if you want to know more, just ask me. I’ll be more than happy to pull back the curtain and point out the inner workings of a world I love!


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I've read her entire Women of the Otherworld series and the Nadia Stafford series. All of her YA books are also on my TBR pile.

I haven't read any by her yet but I have the first book to this series on my shelf

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