Joining us this week is Kyra Dune, author of The Elfblood Trilogy, although she has numerous other titles available, check out her Goodreads to learn more about Kyra’s body of work. The Elfblood Trilogy was just finished with the last title, City of Magic, being released earlier this month.
Interview with Kyra Dune
What makes your fantasy world different from ours?
Everything is powered by a magical energy source derived from magestones.
What inspired this series?
To begin with, Elfblood was a short story inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe story. I worked up two beginnings for it and I was trying to decide which beginning to use when I realized that I didn’t really have two beginnings to the same story, but two entirely different stories. One grew into the Elfblood Trilogy, and the other into the Firebrand Trilogy.
Are your characters human? What talents do they have?
Most of the characters are human, elves, or elfbloods (mixed human and elven). Although there is one very feisty sprite named Spree as well. Spree has the ability to carry people long distances in a short amount of time by way of a magical corridor. All the elves have their own unique, magical abilities, and a few of the humans have psychic talents like telekinesis and telepathy.
Tell me about each book in the series.
In Elfblood we meet Charlie, a fourteen year old orphan descended from mixed human and elven blood. Elfbloods are considered lower in societal standing than humans, though not as low as full blooded elves. Charlie’s best friend is Grant, who has a secret that will change Charlie’s life in ways he cannot even imagine. Everything Charlie thinks he knows, from the history of the human and elven war to his own personal history, is proven false as the truth slowly unravels.
In The Silver Catacombs, Charlie travels to Kiloreen, ancestral home of the elves. There he searches for a lost magic he hopes can help him save the world from a mad king. Though many secrets were revealed in Elfblood, there’s still more truth to learn. And some of it may be more than Charlie can handle.
In City Of Magic, Charlie has travelled to a different world than his own. A world of danger and magic. This is Charlie’s last chance to find what he so desperately seeks; his last chance to try and stop a war.
What’s your process like when it comes to world building? Any tips for other fantasy authors?
I’m a pantser, so there’s no real process when it comes to world building for me. Everything comes together on its own. The only advance I can give other fantasy writers, is to go about world building in whatever way works for them. Don’t let anybody tell you it has to be done this way or that way, because it’s not true.
Charlie is an elfblood, descended of a conquered people brought to the brink of extinction in the aftermath of a long war. Being able to pass for human gives Charlie an advantage over most of his kind. Only those who look at his record or those he chooses to tell, need ever know his secret. Growing up in an orphanage is hard enough without having to live with that stigma.
When soldiers come and haul the kids off to a prison work camp, Charlie finds himself no longer able to hide the truth of what he is. If that isn’t bad enough, the magic buried inside him is growing stronger and more out of control. As Charlie struggles with his own problems, and with the dangers of the work camp, he finds himself swept up in a much larger struggle, one whose outcome could decide the future of the world.
Shock quickly turned to anger. Charlie had trusted Grant enough to tell him the secret of his elven blood, a fact no other boy in the home knew. How could Grant have kept such a secret from him? Charlie always felt they were close as brothers, but it seemed he was wrong. Brothers would never keep such secrets from each other.
Charlie looked up at the sound of his name, though it took a conscious effort to pry his eyes from the unbelievable truth he held in his hands. The shadowhound was staring down at him with its blood red eyes. For a heartbeat they stood frozen that way, the boy looking at the hound, the hound looking back at the boy. Then the hound lunged.
Charlie has made his way to Kiloreen, ancestral home of the elves, in his quest to find the Silver Catacombs and the lost magic that lies hidden within. Instead, he finds a branch of the Elven Resistance Movement, a secret underground organization of elves bent on retaking Kiloreen and freeing their people.
If they are willing to stand alongside humans, the elves will be a great help in the struggle against King Richard, but there is still the matter of the lost magic. For if Charlie cannot find it, the war may be lost before ever it has begun.
Charlie’s heart sank. They were elfbloods, and if they were using ears as a test for identifying their own kind, they had obviously never met anyone like Charlie. “Look, I can explain. I don’t -” Before he could finish the sentence, Jack grabbed hold of his arm, his fingers pressing down with surprising strength, and pushed Charlie’s shaggy blonde hair back from the side of his head.
“There, look at that.” Jack indicated Charlie’s perfectly human ear. “See what good your legends are? He’s just a human who happens to be able to fight well.”
Raven looked distressed. “But I thought…I was sure.”
Charlie tried again to explain. “Wait a minute. I’m not –”
“Shut up,” Jack said, giving his arm a rough jerk that nearly pulled Charlie off his feet.
The dragon in Charlie’s mind jumped up. He quickly took a firmer hold on its chains and pulled it back down again. The dragon eyed him balefully, flames dancing along its crimson scales. It didn’t care for being manhandled. It had taken enough of that from Thomas over the years, while it was locked up in its cage and buried deep in Charlie’s subconscious. Now that it was free and strong, it wanted to fight. It wanted blood.
Charlie has finally reached the City Of Magic, where waits the lost elven magic he has been searching for. But the city is a ruin, his friends are missing, and there is a darkness known only as the Void slowly creeping over everything.
When Charlie comes across a group of elves, he hopes they will be able to help him locate the Silver Catacombs. But everything is not as it seems. There are two groups of elves in the city, one who resists the Void and one who worships it. It’ll be up to Charlie to figure out who his true allies are. Danger lurks around every crumbling ruin and betrayal always comes from within.
The dark one roared out its fury. Then it attacked, slamming its will against Thomas’ and trying to drive him out. It was strong. So strong. But Thomas held on, seeking a way to force it to release its hold over the wraiths. He dug himself deeper into the dark one’s mind. Mental claws raked across his consciousness, filling him with a red hot pain the likes of which he’d never before felt. Still, he clung stubbornly to his tenuous hold; driving his will further down through layers of black bile that burned and stung. Fighting for control.
The dark one cried out as Thomas struck a vulnerable spot, wounding it. It lost its grip on the wraiths. But in doing so freed itself to turn the full power of its fury on Thomas. Before he could escape, he found himself entangled in the web of the dark one’s mind as it grabbed at him. It was furious that he had won even so small a victory and intent on making certain he didn’t live to enjoy it.
Fresh waves of pain rolled over Thomas. He struggled to break free, but it was no good. He had used up all his strength and now he was drowning. He was suffocating. He was dying.
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