I am such a huge fan of Author Rosalyn Eves and her Blood Rose Rebellion series and am thrilled to be a part of the LOST CROW CONSPIRACY Blog Tour hosted by the publisher.
I may have already participated in an earlier tour and shared my thoughts about this incredibly awesome sequel, but I was a part of this one first and was totally stoked to be able to ask the author 10 questions about her book, her series, her characters.
If you haven’t yet heard about this amazing series that is rich with history, filled with magic, brimming with action, and completely and totally captivating, be sure to check out the books’ descriptions below – though to avoid any spoilers maybe just read the one for BLOOD ROSE REBELLION. And if you haven’t yet “met” the author, Rosalyn Eves, her bio and places to find her online are also below.
But if you’d like to know her thoughts about this second book in the series, about which scene was a favorite, which one was a challenge, what advice she’d give to her character, what she might have done differently if she were in her character’s shoes, and more, scroll down for the interview.
About LOST CROW CONSPIRACY
Title & Series: LOST CROW CONSPIRACY (Blood Rose Rebellion #2)
Author: Rosalyn Eves
Release date: March 27, 2018
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBooks
Sixteen-year old Anna Arden was once just the magically barren girl from an elite Luminate family. Now she has broken the Binding–and Praetheria, the creatures held captive by the spell, wreak havoc across Europe. Lower-class citizens have access to magic for the first time, while other Luminates lose theirs forever. Austria and Hungary are at odds once more.
Anna thought the Praetheria were on her side, grateful to be free from the Binding. She thought her cousin Matyas’s blood sacrifice would bring peace, equality, justice. She thought her future looked like a society that would let her love a Romani boy, Gabor.
But with the Monarchy breathing down her neck and the Praetheria intimidating her at every turn, it seems the conspiracies have only just begun.
As threat of war sweeps the region, Anna quickly discovers she can’t solve everything on her own. Now there’s only one other person who might be able to save the country before war breaks out. The one person Anna was sure she’d never see again. A bandit. A fellow outlaw. A man known as the King of Crows. Matyas.
Q. If you had to describe LOST CROW CONSPIRACY in 15 words or less, how would you describe it?
Anna fights with Viennese court politics and wrestles with what it means to be monstrous.
Q. Aside from Anna, who is (or was) your favorite character to write about – and why? Who is (or was) your most challenging character – and why?
Mátyás is always a fun character to write—his outlook on the world amuses me and he gets to say things Anna wouldn’t let herself think. Because he is Romani, Gábor is my most challenging character to write, as it requires a lot of research and care to present his perspective accurately and respectfully. I’ve had a Romani reader and experts in Romani culture help me, but I’m still not certain I get everything right.
Q. What was your favorite part about writing this sequel? And did you find it more or less challenging to write than BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, the first book in the series – and why?
I loved coming back to a world I already knew (and bringing a beloved character back to life 😉). I didn’t have to rewrite this book quite as many times as BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, but it felt like it took longer to catch the overall vision and heart of the book. I wrote nearly 70k and then had to start over because the story wasn’t working right. I finally had an epiphany about second books in a trilogy (that is, the middle leading up to the dark night of the soul is essentially a tragedy) that helped me figure out how to resolve the story. The biggest challenge was finding a way to wrap up the story in a way that felt satisfying while still leaving enough open for book 3 to resolve.
Q. How did you decide how much history versus fantasy to include in your series? And what were the challenges of including as much as you did?
I love historical fantasy—there’s something about the combination of real historical detail and magic that never gets old to me. That said, I’m not always good at deciding the balance of historical detail—this is why I have an editor and readers, who say, “you know, we don’t really need quite this much detail.”
Q. If you could change the fate of one character in your series, who would it be? And if it’s not too spoiler-y, why would you change their fate?
There’s a secondary character in LOST CROW CONSPIRACY (I won’t name them, as that would be a spoiler) who dies during a fight scene. I was sorry to kill them, but I needed someone to die to show the stakes of the situation, and it needed to be someone that mattered (at least a little) to readers.
Q. If you were in Anna’s shoes, would you have broken the Binding spell, even with the chaos that resulted?
I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to do that! Anna is far braver than I am, particularly in situations where physical courage is required. Also, I think because I’m older than Anna and have a better perspective on how far reaching her decision would be, I think I would have hesitated for those reasons too. But then the story would have been much less interesting.
Q. If you could give Anna a piece of advice or words of warning, what would you tell her?
In several of the books I signed for BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, I wrote, “you are enough.” Anna struggles, much as I did as a teen, to believe that she has value independent of what she can contribute to society, and in LOST CROW CONSPIRACY this struggle becomes acute, as everything she thinks she achieved in book 1 gets taken from her. If I could tell her one thing, I would tell her that she’s enough, just as she is. (But this is something she has to learn).
Q. What was your favorite scene to write about in LOST CROW CONSPIRACY? And why was it a favorite?
I’m going to cheat and pick two, one for each POV. I enjoyed writing the ballroom scene at Schönbrunn, just before the climax, because I got to indulge in some vivid descriptions and banter. (You can read an excerpt at Owl Always Be Reading.) And Mátyás has a run-in with highwaymen that was also a lot of fun to write, mostly because Mátyás says what he thinks without much care for the consequences. (You can read an excerpt of this at A Dream Within A Dream.)
Q. If you could visit any point in time in history and any place in history, would you have visited Anna’s Hungary or would you have gone somewhere and/or sometime else – and why?
Much as I love Hungary and the 19th century, I’m not sure I would have wanted to visit anywhere in Europe then. Even though technology was improving, a lot of private life was still fairly primitive by today’s standards and in 1848 they were just starting to understand you could prevent the spread of disease in hospitals and clinics by washing your hands. (In fact, it was a Hungarian doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis, who discovered this in Vienna in 1847). If I could do a very brief visit, I’d love to have seen some of the balls in Buda Castle and in Vienna. I’d also love to have seen Istanbul at its height in the late 18th, early 19th century—it was much more cosmopolitan than many other European cities.
Q. In what ways is Anna your “ideal” heroine? In what ways would you like to see her improve?
I think a heroine has to be brave, which Anna usually is. But she also tends to act without thinking through the consequences, and sometimes that ends badly for her.
About Rosalyn Eves
Rosalyn Eves grew up in the Rocky Mountains, dividing her time between reading books and bossing her siblings into performing her dramatic scripts. As an adult, the telling and reading of stories is still one of her favorite things to do. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her chemistry professor husband and three children, watching British period pieces, or hiking through the splendid landscape of southern Utah, where she lives. She dislikes housework on principle.
She has a PhD in English from Penn State, which means she also endeavors to inspire college students with a love for the English language. Sometimes it even works.
Rosalyn is represented by Josh Adams of Adams literary.
About BLOOD ROSE REBELLION
Title & Series: BLOOD ROSE REBELLION (Blood Rose Rebellion #)
Author: Rosalyn Eves
Release date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook
The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.
Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.
Her life might well be over.
In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.
As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.