Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Interview with Hannah West for Palace of Silver

Palace of Silver (The Nissera Chronicles #3)

by Hannah West
Publisher: Holiday House
Release Date: April 28th 2020
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings
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Return to the land of Nissera, home to spectacular magic. An uneasy peace reigns now that Valory has vanquished the Moth King and settled into her rightful place as queen of Calgoran. New leaders Glisette and Kadri hope to usher the neighboring kingdoms into an era of healing and prosperity. All should be well.

But there’s a fourth queen in charge: Ambrosine, banished overseas to Perispos. Driven by vanity, she vows to become the most powerful and beautiful ruler in the world, even if it means oppressing the mortal kingdom she is meant to protect. Meanwhile a dangerous uprising led by elicromancer-hating rebels gains momentum. Rot spreads through the Forest of the West Fringe. Valory goes missing. Facing enemies on all sides, Glisette and Kadri must reckon with the role of magic. How far will they go to defend their power—and can they build an uprising of their own?

West intertwines homages to Snow White and Bluebeard with her imaginative magical setting for an exhilarating installment in the acclaimed Nissera Chronicles. Stunning hardcover edition includes a two-page map and family tree.

Can you briefly describe THE NISSERA CHRONICLES, its characters and what’s going to happen in PALACE OF SILVER?

The Nissera Chronicles is an epic fantasy/fairytale retelling series about immortal beings called elicromancers. Kingdom of Ash and Briars is a standalone prequel that is a retelling of both Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and is told from the perspective of the fairy godmother, a shape-shifting elicromancer named Bristal. Realm of Ruins follows her descendant Valory, who must try to master her unruly and destructive power, and it pays homage to Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. 

Lastly, Palace of SIlver is told in alternating points-of-view by Glisette and Kadri, two side characters from Realm of Ruins. They have to face off against Glisette’s vain and cruel sister Ambrosine, who possesses mirror magic and uses it to unite with an ancient, dark demon and oppress the mortals of her kingdom. Meanwhile, a group of elicromancer-hating rebels is gaining power. Contending with these threats from both sides, Glisette and Kadri have to reckon with the role of magic in their society and whether they deserve the right to rule. This installment pays homage to Snow White and Bluebeard. 

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

I love Glisette and Kadri equally and will protect them at all costs, but Glisette is one of the easiest characters I’ve ever written. In Realm of Ruins, she stormed onto the page and took me by surprise with her wit and imperious attitude and secret softness. I feel like she already existed and I’m just her documentarian rather than her creator. 

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

Since this is the third book in a fairytale retelling series, the inspiration was based on a) what classic fairytales I hadn’t yet paid homage to in the first two books and b) which characters’ stories still needed to be told. Both Glisette and Kadri had layers and struggles and hopes that I wanted to explore, and once I positioned them as the main characters the plot came fairly naturally. Ambrosine, too, was a character who had unfinished business, and centering her as the villain to me was the most intriguing part. The Ambrosine POVs that I scattered throughout the book were some of my favorite parts to write. 

If you could choose one song to describe each book in the series, which one would it be?

Kingdom of Ash and Briars: Glass by Bat for Lashes

Realm of Ruins: Castle by Halsey

Palace of Silver: Live Like Legends by Ruelle 

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

I don’t want to give too much away since one of the upcoming posts in the tour is about my dream cast, but Kathryn Newton is my pick for Glisette. Ayisha Hart is my pick for Kadri even though she’s a little old to play a teenager. I’d probably leave her up to the casting director! 

What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

A floral tea like lavender or jasmine would be perfect, enjoyed inside a cozy cabin during a snowstorm. 

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

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?

The sloggy 25% mark. When I’m writing the opening of a book, my ideas are fresh and I’m excited by all the possibilities. But when that newness wears off and it’s time to really plunge into the story and make hard choices about the direction of the plot, I tend to lose steam. Even when I have a detailed outline, somehow I still encounter a roadblock and have to take time off to let my ideas stew.

What’s next for you?

I have a Southern gothic/contemporary fantasy called The Bitterwine Oath releasing on December 1. It’s set in a small Texas town where cult murders occur every fifty years in a church sanctuary. Suspects have been tried and acquitted due to lack of evidence, though rumors still abound. The story follows Natalie Colter, an 18-year-old girl whose ancestor is believed to have been the leader of the all-female cult. As the next massacre anniversary approaches, Nat begins to unravel her family history and learns that the women of the cult possess magic – and that they’re using it to protect the town from something even darker lurking in the woods.

This is definitely a departure from the Nissera series, and I’m excited to release something in a different genre and see what my readers think! There’s still magic and young women learning to embrace their powers, so I believe anyone who has enjoyed The Nissera Chronicles will enjoy The Bitterwine Oath, too.

I'm the author of young adult books including The Nissera Chronicles series and The Bitterwine Oath. ​I've been writing fantasy since kindergarten, when I penned my first tale about a princess who ran away and lived at the top of a flagpole with two loaves of bread. But it wasn't until I studied abroad in Orléans, France during college that the premise for my first novel materialized. The fairy tale castles, the snowy winter days, and a Disney princess pencil that arrived in a care package from my parents provided the inspiration that allowed me to wrangle all my untold and unfinished stories into a novel. 

I currently live in the Dallas area with my husband and our two rambunctious rescue dogs.


  1. This book is both gorgeous and exciting and was already on my TBR.

  2. My favorite genre is fantasy!!!