Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC Tours: Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles #2) by Hannah West

Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles #2)

by Hannah West
Release Date: December 4th 2018
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Valory’s power is different . . . it’s dangerous, unruly, and destructive. But can she channel it to crush a cunning enemy and save the realm from chaos? 

Welcome to Nissera, land of three kingdoms and home to spectacular magic.

A century after her legendary ancestors overcame a bloodthirsty tyrant, seventeen-year-old Valory Braiosa attends a training academy for elicromancers, immortal beings with magical gifts. Yet Valory’s immense power seems impossible to tame, and she faces imprisonment by the Nisseran authorities. Then a forbidden resurrection spell awakens a long-dormant evil, and Valory may be the only one who can vanquish this terrifying villain. Together with a band of allies—including an old friend; a haughty princess; and a mysterious, handsome stranger—Valory must learn to harness her power and fight back.

Weaving together her imaginative world of gritty fairytale magic with snippets from Beauty and the Beast and other classic stories, Hannah West’s dark and dangerous adventure is a gripping, immersive companion to her acclaimed debut, Kingdom of Ash and Briars. This richly packaged edition includes an illustrated family tree, detailed map, and embossed jacket with shimmering metallic effects.

Can you briefly describe the world in Realm of Ruins and their main characters?

Realm of Ruins takes place in the realm of Nissera, which contains three kingdoms: Calgoran, Volarre, and Yorth. The realm is home to ancient elicrin magic, whose source is a deadly pool in the western woods. If you touch it, it will either offer you an elicrin stone, which means power and immortal life, or it will drown and kill you. Elicromancers are those who have survived the Water. They have unique stones and gifts, for the most part. There are shapeshifters and omnilinguals, healers and portal-makers...there’s no end to the possibilities. 

In ancient times, thousands of elicromancers lived in Nissera. But after a civil war killed many and the rest chose to give up their elicrin stones to avoid the temptation to rule over mortals, their numbers dwindled. In Kingdom of Ash and Briars, Bristal is one of only three elicromancers. But a century later, when Valory's story begins, the elicromancer population is on the rise and their bloodlines are closely intertwined with royal bloodlines. Elicromancers are making a comeback. They have their own academy. They have power and privilege.

Valory is a member of the royal family of Calgoran. She’s grown up attending the academy, but unlike her many royal relatives, she does not display a magic gift. But when tragedy strikes and Valory gains a destructive power, it sets her off on a journey that leads her to a new ensemble of unlikely allies. These include Mercer Fye, a mysterious boy she finds wounded on the side of the road; Kadri Lillis, a kind and witty childhood friend; and Glisette Lorenthi, an acerbic princess. 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

Sometimes - not always - your characters write themselves, and that's exactly how Valory and her band of allies was formed in Realm of Ruins. This is most true of Glisette Lorenthi, the imperious, spoiled, sly, yet surprisingly stalwart character who wrested control from me every time she appeared on the page. She insults, she bickers, and yet she self-evaluates and changes. 

If you were part of the Nissera Chronicles, what character would you be and why, and what powers (if any) would you have?

It’s funny - I intentionally set out to make Valory feel different from her ancestor, Bristal (the main character of Kingdom of Ash and Briars), but I think what I really did was mirror different aspects of my own personality and growth. Bristal is quiet, self-possessed, and doesn’t want to be seen or known. I relate to that. But Valory has an edge to her, an anger at the world and corrupt systems of power, which I related to deeply as I was writing Realm of Ruins. Ultimately, I think I’m probably more like Bristal, and I would honestly love to have her shapeshifting power. 

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

“Castle” by Halsey. It’s about an angry woman taking the power she deserves from a corrupt ruler. One of my favorite lines is “If you wanna break these walls down, you’re gonna get bruised.”

If the book was a movie/TV show, who would you imagine representing your characters?

It’s easier for me to find character inspo on Pinterest, and if you want to see the closest ideas I have for the characters, check out my Realm of Ruins Pinterest board. But as far as casting real actors and actresses, I’m gonna give it a try!

Valory Braiosa: Lily Sullivan

Mercer Fye: Okay I’ve already failed. Can someone find me a real person who looks like this?
(art credit Jirka Vinse at jirkavinse.com)

Kadri Lillis: Aiysha Hart

Glisette Lorenthi: Skyler Samuels or Kathryn Newton 

Hannah West is the author of Kingdom of Ash and Briars and its companion, Realm of Ruins. She's always loved writing about magic and fairytales, but her time studying abroad in Orléans, France inspired her to finally write and publish a fantasy novel. She's a freelance writer and vegetarian living in Texas with her husband and their rambunctious blue heeler.

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