Monday, January 28, 2019

Jenn Lyons Interview - The Ruin of Kings

Photo Content from Jenn Lyons

Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, three cats, and a lot of opinions on anything from the Sumerian creation myths to the correct way to make a martini. At various points in her life, she has wanted to be an archaeologist, anthropologist, architect, diamond cutter, fashion illustrator, graphic designer, or Batman. Turning from such obvious trades, she is now a video game producer by day, and spends her evenings writing science fiction and fantasy. When not writing, she can be founding debating the Oxford comma and Joss Whedon’s oeuvre at various local coffee shops.

Series: A Chorus of Dragons (Book 1)
Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (February 5, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250175488
ISBN-13: 978-1250175489


"[A] jaw-dropping, action-packed story of betrayal, greed, and grand-scale conspiracy . . . Lyons ties it all together seamlessly to create literary magic. Epic fantasy fans looking for a virtually un-put-down-able read should look no further." ―Kirkus, starred review

"Rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it." ―Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians

“It was one hell of a ride. I gobbled it up and was hungry for more.” ―Glen Cook, author of The Black Company

“The Ruin of Kings is a fascinating story about a compellingly conflicted young hero in an intriguingly complex world.” ―L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the Recluse series

"A thriller plot of revenge and loyalty with a get-under-your-skin and keep-you-reading-all-night mysetery at its heart. I loved it."―John Gwynne, author of Malice

"The Ruin of Kings revs up with the glitz of a high-speed, multi-level video game, with extreme magic and a teen hero with angst." ―Janny Wurts, author of The Curse of the Mistwraith

Can you tell us when you started THE RUIN OF KINGS, how that came about?
I started The Ruin of Kings, hmm, about twenty years ago? Not the actual writing of it, but the worldbuilding. Then my ex-husband dared me to write a novel, I accepted the dare and triumphed! I mean, finished a manuscript and then…kept writing. I’d caught the bug. Eventually I decided to set a book in Quur (the main empire of the series) and thus was The Ruin of Kings born.

Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest and why?
Theodora Goss, Arkady Martine, P. Djèlí Clark, JY Yang, Katharine Duckett, Alexandra Rowland, Roshani Chokshi, Rebecca Kuang – does Charlie Jane Anders count as new? Seriously, there are so many amazing authors out there right now. I’m undoubtedly missing a ton of people, as well. You should see my TBR pile right now.

What is needed for a story to be good?
For me, emotional connection. If I cannot sympathize with the characters and their situations, a book isn’t going to hold my attention. On a less serious front: dragons. I’m very much into books with dragons.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?
For a very long time I had a chapter that just read [training montage]. You’ll know the chapter when you read it. I’d left it blank because I had no idea how I wanted to present the story points I needed. When I finally figured it out, it seemed completely obvious and that chapter all but wrote itself. And yes, it really is a training montage.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
Currently I’m working on completing the series. I’m finishing the third book, and then will be promptly move on to four and five. We’re aiming for a very tight release schedule, which is exciting, but also a lot of pressure. I don’t get out much these days.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would love to have Kihrin meet both Kvothe and Locke Lamora. (Sorry, I realize those are characters from two books, not one.) I think Kvothe would give Kihrin a hard time about not practicing his music lessons (which Kihrin would deserve) and Locke might (might) warn Kihrin not to be so naïve. Both would try to figure out how to front Kihrin into a high-stakes card game.

What part of Kihrin did you enjoy writing the most?
He’s genuinely a good person, one who makes mistakes but overall would help someone in distress without putting much thought into what’s in it for him. He’s not naïve (in spite of what Locke Lamora would probably think) but he’s also not an anti-hero. But ultimately, the cheek. I immensely enjoy writing Kihrin’s sass.

  • 1. Relos Var—said to be the advisor and pet wizard of Duke Kaen of Yor. Might be more than he appears.
  • 2. Thurvishar D’Lorus—My favorite pedant. Voted most like to answer a tweet with “Well, actually…”
  • 3. Tyentso—was once married to a highly unpleasant person. Likes slumming and sea shells.
  • 4. Kihrin—Has been a member of a criminal organization called the Shadowdancers since he was quite small.
  • 5. Teraeth—like most vané, the first syllable of his name is his family name. The vané may be ageless, but he’s quite young.
  • 6. Galen D’Mon—has dark hair, blue eyes, and the soul of a poet, despite growing up in a mortal incarnation of Hell.
  • 7. Jarith Milligreest—a shining example of when nepotism sometimes works out okay.
  • 8. Khaemezra—she’s not actually vané. Also, she’s around four thousand years old.
  • 9. Xaltorath—A powerful demon who is, in fact, completely genderless but often chooses to present as male or female for various reasons.
  • 10. Talon—she gains the knowledge and (possibly) the personalities of those she consumes. Those personalities don’t always get along. Also, not actually a demon.
Any Camp stories you would like to share?
My first experience with LARPing was at a camp where we pretended to be East Germans trying to sneak through the Black Forest to escape the Iron Curtain or be shot by soldiers. Which translated into several hundred kids sneaking through the forest at night, in total darkness, trying to avoid the camp counselors with flashlights. I was the only girl who ‘survived’.

Looking back, that was very odd.

What event in your life would make a good movie?
When I was nineteen years old, my mother was diagnosed with stage four terminal breast cancer. A few months later she revealed that I wasn’t an only child but in fact had three siblings and a father I’d never met who was in the CIA.

…or maybe when I was a child and we had to leave Las Vegas in the middle of the night because some bad people wanted to talk to my step-father about his gambling debts? Really, there are a lot of options.

Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
Yes. I was fired for it. The real world rarely has the same karmic justice as a novel.

  • 1. The Western Continent: Lord of Light (Roger Zelazny)
  • 2. Darwath: Time of the Dark et al (Barbara Hambly)
  • 3. Stillness: Broken Earth series (NK Jemisin)
  • 4. Alt Coulumb/Kath: The Craft Sequence (Max Gladstone)
  • 5. Middle-Earth: Hobbit/Lord of the Rings/Others (JRR Tolkien)
  • 6. Saypur/The Divine Cities: The Divine Cities (Robert Jackson Bennett)
  • 7. Genabackis/others: The Malazan Books of the Fallen (Steven Erikson)
  • 8. The J: Killjoys (Various)
  • 9. The Expanse: The Expanse (James S.A. Corey)
  • 10. Amber: The Chronicles of Amber (Roger Zelazny)
If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
Probably to back when I was thirteen and was forced to turn down a scholarship to attend Johns Hopkins University because my mother couldn’t afford to pay for the trip. I would have told young me to fight harder to find a way to go.

What did you do for your last birthday?
Dinner and a museum. It was lovely.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
When I was in high school a fellow student convinced herself that I’d cursed her. I had done no such thing but watching her tear her own life to shreds in response to a thing which had never happened was a real lesson in the power of fear.

What was your favorite childhood television program?

There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.

Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn't what the storybooks promised.

Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family's power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it . . .

Uniting the worldbuilding of a Brandon Sanderson with the storytelling verve of a Patrick Rothfuss, debut author Jenn Lyons delivers an entirely new and captivating fantasy epic. Prepare to meet the genre’s next star.

You can purchase The Ruin of Kings at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JENN LYONS for making this giveaway possible.
2 Winners will receive an Exclusive THE RUIN OF KINGS by Jenn Lyons Gift Box 
(ARC, A Dragon Pint Glass and a Dragon Bookmark).
2 Winners will receive a Copy of THE RUIN OF KINGS by Jenn Lyons.
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