by Elisabeth Hamill
Date of Publication: July 26th 2016
Publisher: Fire and Ice YA
Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus
Genre: YA Fantasy
The long awaited sequel to SONG MAGICK
INTERVIEW WITH ELISABETH HAMILL
How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
For my fantasy work, I write third person, with alternating points of view. I’d call it high fantasy, because I tend to be more flowery and formal than in my contemporary work.
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
I write early in the mornings, when nobody else is up. Silence is best for me; “the zone” comes easily and words flow. The minute someone else wakes up, the whole energy in the house changes, and it’s gone. I love those early hours.
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
I’ve always been a people watcher. I am a definite seat of the pants writer, and have an idea of who my characters are before I start to write…but they often take on a life of their own and become somebody completely different than who I thought they were.
Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
In the Songmaker series, I have a deep love for Emrys Harpmaster and Lord Riordan.
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
I am working on an adult sci-fi right now that I’m obsessed with. My main character, Dali, just started talking to me one day, and the first draft happened pretty quickly.
Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
I’ve always had the feeling that I didn’t quite belong in this world, LOL. Reading and writing are the way I find the places I feel at home.
I got this one from a friend. If you could have dinner with 7 fictional character, who would they be?
Frodo Baggins. Hobbits are legendary for their meals.
Gandalf. Because he’s Gandalf.
Gypsum LaZelle from Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s A Fistful of Sky. She’s a lot like me.
Raven from Maggie Secara’s Harper Errant novels
Claire and Jamie Fraser from Outlander
Valancy from Zenna Henderson’s The People stories
From The Book Junkie Reads . . . Truthsong (Songmaker, #2) . . .
I got two chapters in and knew right then that I had to go back and read the first book of the series to get the maximum enjoyment. I immediately stopped where I was and got the first book. I read it and was so satisfied and desperately looking to see where else Telyn’s journey would go. In a time and place where music and song were so rare and held so much magic brings out emotions that are raw and just as rare.
Telyn’s gift of song and music has an affect that was not precedent. She could control action and emotions of those that are within the sound of her voice. With this said and done in the vicinity of the king’s court she becomes and exile in the land and in danger in other was from others. Fate intervenes and sends a protector, Mithrais. The two find that keeping her alive was a common goal but there was another that was deeper than a goal and stronger than a bond. Magic has been brought back to the world via the talents of Telyn. Along with the good, evil finds its way back also. This first book of the series was a magic fantasy historical young adult journey that brings about a gift to evoke powerful emotions and long lasting actions. Now I am prepared for book two.
Book one opened the doors to a new world and gave me answers to questions that I will find that I needed to get through book two without being confused. There was more of the vivid imagery, magic song and music, the wood, the realm, the court, the secrets, and the lord wanting nothing more than for Telyn to be no more. I even got me so surprise characters that I love in any book I can get them in. Not telling.
Life for this young bard and her lifemate has taking on new lines of battel. Stay in the wood. Stay together. Stay in court. Stay. Stay. Stay. The life of a bard was to travel, see the world, make music, spread the lyrics. Telyn has so many decisions to make and not much time to make them. Mithrais has his own set of problems to sort through. The time has come for them to make their choices. Choices that has an effect on more than just themselves.
Beautifully written. Well crafted, molded, and solidified. This was high fantasy at its finest. There magic, mystery, fantasy, mythical aspects and more. I highly recommend reading book one first then book two. You will get so much more out of the two of them together. Book two brings together what you find in book one so magically.
**This ARC was provided via Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.**
Song Magick – Songmaker, #1
Truthsong – Songmaker, #2
When Telyn’s song magic freed ancient spirits of the Wood, it also awakened a long-slumbering evil. Now she and her beloved Mithrais must battle a spreading shadow that ignites crippling fear, and deal with the unexpected consequences of magic’s return.
More danger arrives with a royal delegation to the forest realm, sweeping Telyn back into court intrigue and the sights of a murderous lord. Mithrais may be forced to choose between his service to the Wood or the obligations of his royal blood.
As Telyn’s bond with Mithrais grows, she is torn between her love for him and the freedom of a wandering bard’s life. But when dark magic plunges the Wood into chaos, she must balance the two halves of her heart—or the Fates may take Mithrais from her forever.
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“Old One?” He kept his voice soft. “What’s out there?”
“Fear.” The sprite cocked its head and never took its eyes from the darkness. On the fringes of the grove where Mithrais’ light did not reach, the shadows were thick and impenetrable.
Something blacker than night moved against the trees.
His breath and pulse quickened with a primal terror he’d never known. A new reflex took hold. Power leapt to await the cast of a spell without his conscious assent, and he tamped it down. Cold sweat broke out on his forehead.
“You are safe, Magian,” the sprite murmured. “It cannot stand against us in this form, although it can make itself known.”
“What is it?” Mithrais could not tear his gaze from that terrible nothingness.
“A projection of what was once vanquished, long ago. A creature of elemental form. It has no shape of its own. It simply is.”
“What does it want?”
“To be free, within a shell of flesh. There, it can wreak the havoc it once fed upon.”
Mithrais fought to replace fear with reason and action, but it slowed his thoughts. With supreme effort, he turned his focus to the magical knowledge the Gwaith’orn had imprinted upon his mind. “How do we defend against it?”
“It is yet contained. Some things are best left alone.” The sprite looked at him at last. “It can do nothing but spread fear in this form, but that is how it draws a vessel to it.”
“This form is only a projection?” He did not want to imagine facing what produced this fearsome shadow in the dark.
“It will fade with the light. Breathe, Magian.”
The light… Mithrais seized the lantern from the front of the wagon and thrust it in front of him. The magelight flashed in blinding, silver-blue radiance, a captive star in the depths of the Wood. It dispelled the darkness in the grove, and the dark shape fled to slip between the trees until it was out of reach of the magelight.
The terror fled as well, leaving him hollow as it drained from his body. He could think again and was deeply troubled. Around him, small sounds of night began to re-emerge—crickets, the trill of a frog on the river’s edge. He allowed the light to fade to its previous pale glow and attempted to wrap his mind around this encounter. First dragons, and now dread shapes in the night: What else had been wrought in the wake of the spell Telyn and the Magians cast in the Circle?
“Mithrais?” Telyn’s sleepy voice sounded from the wagon. “Is something wrong?”
“I’m not certain.” It was as if the dark shape had never existed. Even the sprite had disappeared when he turned around and looked for it. He hung the lantern back on the front of the wagon and reclaimed the space beside his lifemate.
“You’re shivering.” Telyn moved closer and wrapped her arms about him. “I was having a nightmare.”
“So was I.” But his had been waking.
“Too many ghost stories from Kendric and the sprite, I think.” She sighed and relaxed again into sleep. But Mithrais lay awake until dawn’s approach outshone the light of his spell.
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Elisabeth Hamill is a nurse/wife/mom by day, unabashed geek/chocoholic/closet sci fi and fantasy novelist by night. She lives with her family, dog, and cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.
Song Magick, her first novel, won first in category for Teen Fantasy in the 2014 Dante Rossetti Awards for Young Adult Fiction.