Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Blog Tour: Dawn Of Legends by Eleanor Herman | Guest Post

Today, I have one of my favourite authors on my blog with the announcement of her fourth & final book in her The Blood Of Gods & Royals series! I am so excited for Dawn Of Legends! <3

The End of the Adventure

All good things must end, including book series. Including my book series. Dawn of Legends is the fourth and final book in the Blood of Gods and Royals series, an epic Fantasy adventure of a teen Alexander the Great and his friends, set in the eastern Mediterranean of the fourth century B.C.
Suddenly I find myself faced with this question: What do I do when the people I have lived with every day for four years suddenly go away? It’s like leaving your friends after high school graduation, going off to different colleges, different lives, and knowing you will probably never be close with them again. There’s an emptiness. A loss. I square my shoulders, lift my chin, and take a firm step into the next stage of my life with confidence, grateful I have experienced these people who have helped me feel and grow and learn, but also sad that things have changed, and they will never be the same again.
The irony is that I had to work hard to lose them in the right way. After four novels in which our six main characters meet, interact, and spread out to Egypt, the Persian Empire, and Tunisia, facing monsters, magic, and daunting odds of success, I had to bring them back together again. For The Big Battle. Alexander was a master warrior and strategist, after all. The novels are sprinkled with exciting battles: fighting the Aesarian Lords, pirates, even Egyptian statues channeling the spirit of an ancient general. Now Alexander and his friends needed a Big Battle as the climax.
Additionally, my two favorite Fantasy series are The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and I learned a lot from their endings. In the climax of The Lord of the Rings, most of the characters come together for the final battle against the evil forces of Sauron. In The Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron, and Hermione meet up with all the other characters at the Battle of Hogwarts. I knew that in Dawn of Legends, I needed to get my characters back together to fight the hideous Spirit Eaters in one huge, final, epic battle.
But I had to do more than line up soldiers on the battlefield. For instance, in creating the ending, I needed to remember that we don’t always get what we want. In real life, not everyone is blessed with a happy ending, the girl or boy they want, and all their dreams fulfilled. In Fantasy, some of them don’t even get to live. If I made the ending too rosy, smart teens would call BS faster than you can say “The End.” Especially when characters fight bloody battles with other warriors and monsters, it just wouldn’t be realistic if all of them emerged unscathed. And so I had to kill one of my main characters. And it was horrible! I think a part of me died with that character, whom I will always love and mourn for a life cut brutally short.
Teens already know that life gives us cuts and bruises along the way—they’ve experienced it themselves, after all. And they also know that sometimes, when we lose the dreams we had, we find they really weren’t right for us anyway. Any satisfying ending—whether of a book or an entire series—needs to reflect these truths. Even if the characters have magic powers, even if horses fly and men of smoke waft over battlefields, the characters’ thoughts, feelings, and choices must feel authentic, granular, gritty.
And so the battle happens. And so someone dies. And others rise to new heights of courage. And it is gut-wrenchingly real.
But the epic Fantasy story doesn’t end at the conclusion of the Big Battle. There is the after-story, where the hobbits return to the Shire, transformed versions of themselves, and have to get used to the lives they used to have, lives they are now too big for. It’s Harry, Ron, and Hermione crafting paths for themselves after the battle, after so much loss and change. Though we only see them nineteen years later, married with kids, we can imagine the difficulty they had at first, giants squeezing back into small, normal lives.
At the end of a much-anticipated holiday feast, someone has to push away from the table first, perhaps with a stack of dirty dishes in tow. The excitement is over, and life goes back to normal. Though in an epic Fantasy series, it can never be normal again, right? Our heroes put on socks and go to jobs and pretend they are the same, but they know, and we know, they will never be the same. And in sharing their stories, we will never be the same.
In the reality check of the after-battle, it’s time to look back to the very beginning of a series to understand trajectories: the meandering paths that took Frodo, Harry, and their friends from the commonplace to self-sacrificing heroism. Alex’s path, for instance, takes him from boy to man in the space of a year, from a somewhat immature prince to a true king. His best friend Heph leaves his vanity and insecurity behind and grows into his adult self: reliable, loyal, and finally realizing with a shock whom he loves more than anyone else.
Alexander’s rebellious half sister Cynane, who always envied boys and men for their freedom and military opportunities, accepts herself for who she is, and along the way finds a surprising true love and the right path to combine it all. Katerina, uncertain which man to marry, has her choice made for her, and then realizes it is not what she chooses at all. Jacob, patient, strong, and kind, never wavers in his love for the only woman he has ever wanted and finds his path in courage and service. And Zofia, who has transformed from petulant princess to courageous mother, finally understands what true love means.
These are people as real to me as my friends and family. They are people I have nurtured and admired and sometimes disliked but always understood, people who have grown in ways that shocked me. As I move on to other writing projects, Alex and Heph, Kat and Cynane, Zofia and Jacob diminish in my reality a bit more each day. And I, too, must squeeze my epic Greek Fantasy self into a life that is far smaller without them.

Eleanor Herman

Eleanor Herman is the New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings, Sex with the Queen, Mistress of the Vatican, and King Peggy. Obsessed by all things royal and historical, she lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and four extremely dignified cats. Legacy is her first novel.

Dawn Of Legends 

Royalty is born. Legends are made.
The epic scope of Outlander meets the shocking twists of HBO's Game of Thrones in the riveting conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman's Blood of Gods and Royals series, Dawn of Legends!
Prince Alexander of Macedon has battled both men and monsters, but his final war will determine his fate…and the future of mankind. While Macedon’s enemies close in from all corners of the earth, Alexander must fulfill one last prophecy that dictates only he—and he alone—can ensure humanity’s survival against the age of the deadly Spirit Eaters.
As the threads of fate draw Alexander closer to his destiny, an exiled queen will meet a runaway princess, a young sorceress will set the final path of her heart, and generals will choose their final battles. Before the light of victory can shine, enemies must become allies, Death must be tamed, and hearts must break.
Who will rise and who will die? All is revealed in the epic finale to New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman’s rich and fantastical Blood of Gods and Royals series. 

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Best of luck to Eleanor Herman!

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