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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Kamzin's dream is to become an explorer. She's a better climber than anyone else in her village. The shaman lessons she's being forced to take are wasted on her though. Her best friend Tem is much better at it than she is, but being the daughter of an Elder brings responsibilities. Kamzin's older sister Lusha is good at everything. When River Shara, the Emperor's most famous royal explorer recruits Lusha for a dangerous mission Kamzin is going to try and change his mind, so he will take her too. When Lusha leaves on her own expedition before River can add her to his team, Kamzin gets her chance after all. Will this be the start of the amazing adventure she's always longed to have or has she made a mistake by agreeing to go with a man who knows no boundaries when it comes to achieving his goals?

Kamzin will help River to climb Raksha, the most dangerous mountain there is. He needs to retrieve something and to get the acknowledgement she so longs to have, Kamzin is more than willing to assist him. Tem will accompany them as well. There will be grave dangers on their way and he's determined to keep Kamzin safe. While trying to reach the top before Lusha does, Kamzin is also trying to locate her sister. She wants to find out why Lusha left and is looking out for her sister at the same time. Will they find her, so they can hear her story? And will Kamzin and River be able to reach the top and survive the terrible climb?

Even the Darkest Stars is a fantastic gripping story. Kamzin is an impressive main character. She's fearless, fierce and smart. She knows her limits, has plenty of self confidence and she goes after what she wants. She thinks she's ready for an adventure, but nothing could have prepared her for all the dangers she has to face while trying to reach the mountain at first and climbing it later. Her boldness knows no bounds and Heather Fawcett managed to keep me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I absolutely loved Kamzin and her amazing attitude, her willingness to protect the people she loves and her daring impulsiveness. It makes fascinating reading.

Heather Fawcett has chosen a fabulous original setting for her book, a cold and desolate mountain landscape. Because of the unpredictable terrain alone her story already keeps surprising and she combines this with many unexpected twists and turns, a fast-paced thrilling journey and plenty of intriguing secrets. I loved the way she writes about magic, she makes it come to life in an incredible dynamic way. Even the Darkest Stars is a spellbinding book, a terrific story that captivated me from beginning to end. I highly recommend this brilliant adventure and can't wait to read more about Kamzin and her friends.

Advice

If you love adventurous YA fantasy you don't want to miss Even the Darkest Stars. Keep in mind that this is the first book in a series and that it has an open ending that will leave you eager to read more.

About Heather Fawcett


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.

Favourite quotes

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all–in which case, you fail by default.” - J.K. Rowling

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” - George R.R. Martin

“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence you’re allowed to do what you like.” - Neil Gaiman

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” - Amelia Earhart

Favourite books: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Beowulf; Jane Eyre; Anne of Green Gables; Howl’s Moving Castle; Le Petit Prince; The Golden Compass

Favourite TV shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Star Trek; Battlestar Galactica; Firefly; Sense8; Survivor (don’t judge)

Random talents: Surfing; rock climbing; origami; list-making; horribly accented French; geeky trivia; getting lost in strange places

Links

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I love adventures--hiking, surfing, climbing, you name it. I've travelled a lot (next up: Wales!) and I've worked in a variety of fields, from archaeology to Shakespearean drama (behind the scenes, of course, because I'm a classic introverted Ravenclaw who would likely pass out if made to recite poetry before an audience).

2) Even the Darkest Stars is a fantasy story inspired by climbers of the Mt. Everest, how did you get the idea?

I love climbing, so that was part of it. And I like books about characters that travel and have adventures. Beyond that, I don't really know! I wish I knew where my ideas came from, so I could just go there and load up whenever I felt low on inspiration.

3) What was the most wonderful thing about writing an adventure?

I love the worldbuilding aspect of fantasy--I can spend days designing maps and magical systems and researching little details (which in many cases don't even make it into the book, so it's probably not the best use of my time...)

4) What does magic mean to you?

Well, I guess there are different kinds of magic--there's the kind you find in fantasy worlds, and then there's the kind of magic you encounter in real life, such as when you get so immersed in a story you can hear the characters' voices, and see and smell the world the author has created. The latter is no less powerful than the former.

5) Kamzin lives in a magical world filled with dangers, where did the inspiration for this world come from?

The world was inspired by the Himalayan mountains, specifically the sub-range around Everest, which includes several of the world's highest peaks. It's one of the most beautiful places on the planet, in my opinion.

6) Three main aspects of your story are friendship, bravery and love, what do these words mean to you?

That's a big question, and I'm not sure I have the space to do it justice here. I'll focus on bravery, which to me means having the courage to chase your dreams, even when they may seem out of reach. Kamzin has this sort of bravery--she sets off to prove herself as an explorer and have the life she always dreamed of, though the odds are not in her favour.

7) You love spending time outdoors, what’s your favorite activity and do you use your experiences for your stories?

I don't know if I could choose just one, but I do a lot of hiking. I don't really use my own experiences in my books--my world is very different from my characters', which is probably a good thing!

8) What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?

This may be the most difficult question yet. Peanut butter chocolate, if I had to choose.

9) You’ve spent a lot of time abroad, what did you like the most about this experience?

I love meeting people from other cultures and exploring landscapes that are different from the one I grew up in. I tend to focus more on outdoor activities than city attractions when I travel--I've gotten lost in the middle of nowhere in a foreign country more than once. Honestly, some of my favourite memories are from those times. I highly recommend becoming very, very lost at least once in your life.

10) How did your writing journey start?

I've been writing since I knew how to write! My mom worked in a library, so that helped me develop a lifelong love of books.

11) What are your plans for the future?

Write more books!

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed hardcover copy of Even the Darkest Stars and a bookmark from Heather Fawcett.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

25 comments:

  1. Even Darkest Stars sounds like a fast-paced, thrilling story with plenty of twists and turns and intriguing secrets.

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  2. It sounds exciting! I really should visit my shaman....

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  3. sounds like an intriguing read x

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  4. This book is going to be fun to read with this setting. Love the gorgeous cover.

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  5. Wonderful cover choice Heather
    jan

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  6. I love finding a new fantasy series, this sounds fantastic.

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  7. This novel sounds like a wonderful new fantasy that would keep me on the edge of my seat.

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  8. Kamzin is a beautiful name. Sounds wonderful.

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  9. Sounds wonderful!! I like fantasy books.

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  10. Sounds great! I love adventures!

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  11. I have a lot of favorites in common with the author, like Buffy and Firefly, so I'm hoping that translates into a love for her writing as well.

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  12. Sounds like a younger adult book (preteen, are they called something specific? like Percy Jackson, that age group...anyways I like to read that too as I find those types of books to be a lot less cmplicated in the characters interactions

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  13. i would love to t=give this book a read, i would treasure a signed hardback! x

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  14. This is just my kind of read. I would so love to read it.

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  15. “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” I would love to read iiit ♡

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  16. This looks awesome!! My fingers are crossed!!
    Samantha D

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  17. I adored this book sooo much, and would love to have a signed copy of it. *cries* Cannot wait for the sequel, that cliffhanger was CRUEL. :D

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  18. This sounds a really great book

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  19. What a diverse career background Heather has had! The book should be fab.

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  20. This book sounds really interesting, can't wait to read it! And I love the cover, it's beautiful ♥

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