Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Interview with Makiia Lucier for Song Of The Abyss

Song of the Abyss (Tower of Winds #2)

by Makiia Lucier
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 27th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Ancient grievances, long-held grudges, and dangerous magic combine in this sweeping standalone fantasy perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce and Rachel Hartman.

They came in the night as she dreamt, in her berth, on a ship sailing home to del Mar. After, they would be all Reyna thought about: two carracks painted scorpion black. No emblem on either forecastle, no pennants flying above the mainmasts to hint at a kingdom of origin. 

Never a good sign.

As the granddaughter of a famed navigator, seventeen-year-old Reyna has always lived life on her own terms, despite those who say a girl could never be an explorer for the royal house of St. John del Mar. She is determined to prove them wrong, and as she returns home after a year-long expedition, she knows her dream is within reach. No longer an apprentice, instead: Reyna, Master Explorer.

But when menacing raiders attack her ship, those dreams are pushed aside. Reyna's escape is both desperate and dangerous, and when next she sees her ship, a mystery rises from the deep. The sailors--her captain, her countrymen--have vanished. To find them, Reyna must use every resource at her disposal . . . including placing her trust in a handsome prince from a rival kingdom.

Together they uncover a disturbing truth. The attack was no isolated incident. Troubling signs point to a shadowy kingdom in the north, and for once, the rulers of the Sea of Magdalen agree: something must be done. But can Reyna be brave enough to find a way?

Can you briefly tell us more about the series, the characters and what’s going to happen in SONG OF THE ABYSS?

Sure! Song of the Abyss is a standalone companion to Isle of Blood and Stone, which means they don’t have to be read in any particular order. In Song, men start vanishing at sea without a trace, and seventeen-year-old Reyna, a royal explorer, must travel to a country shrouded in secrets to solve the mystery before it’s too late. Readers can expect a romantic adventure that combines both history and fantasy. It’s also very much a story about friendship and the family one chooses for oneself. 

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

Reyna. On the surface, she seems perfectly ordinary. She doesn’t have any superhuman abilities or mad fighting skills. But she’s brave, and she’s smart, and she loves her friends. To be honest, I wish she was real, so she could be my friend!

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

Anywhere and everywhere. I’ve always loved old maps, the really old ones with the sea serpents and the ships that look like Marco Polo could be sailing on them. Inspiration came from mapmakers in the Middle Ages, Indiana Jones movies, old ships, medieval Japan, John William Waterhouse’s paintings of harpies, and the terra cotta soldiers of ancient China.

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

An amazing librarian named Rachel Strolle recently put together a mini-playlist for Isle of Blood and Stone, and I think it would work just as perfectly for Song of the Abyss. They include three songs: Stampede by Alexander Jean and Lindsey Stirling; Underwater March by Klaus Badelt; and Data, Data, Data by Hans Zimmer. You can find the link here

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

REYNA: Isabel Moner (Dora the Explorer)
LEVI: Tom Holland (Spider Man)
BLAISE: Auli’l Cravalho (Moana)
JAMIE: Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast) but as a young adult
JIAN-SO: Charles Melton (Riverdale)

Summer is here and we love to go out and enjoy the sun. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

Most of Song of the Abyss takes place by the water-on an island, down a river, across a great sea. If you’re drinking your favorite beverage by the water (right now I would choose a mojito by the North Carolina coast) that sounds like a perfect book date to me.

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish SONG OF THE ABYSS?

If they haven’t read Isle of Blood and Stone, I of course recommend that! There are also several sea-related YA books that are at the top of my to-read list, including Sea Witch by Sarah Henning, House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig, and These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch.

What’s next for you?

I’m still in the very early stages of writing my fourth book so there isn’t much to tell, except that it involves a lot of head scratching, pacing, muttering, and broken pencils (but in the best possible way). Stay tuned!

Makiia is the author of historical fiction and historical fantasy for young adults. She grew up on the Pacific Island of Guam (not too far from the equator), and has degrees in journalism and library science from the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Her debut novel, A Death-Struck Year, was called a "powerful and disturbing reading experience" by Publishers Weekly, and was a finalist for Germany's top book prize for children, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. Her second novel, Isle of Blood and Stone, was inspired by her love of Indiana Jones movies and old, old maps.

She lives with her family in North Carolina.


  1. "What do you think about SONG OF THE ABYSS?" I think this sounds great with the ancient grievances and long-held grudges!

  2. This book has been on my TBR since I first read about it. YA fantasy is my favorite genre.