Today, I am posting as part of the UNDER THESE RESTLESS SKIES Blog Tour. It is an honor to have Lissa Bryan again on the blog today. As a big fan of her work, I am happy to promote and share my thoughts on her latest work!
UNDER THESE RESTLESS SKIES by Lissa BryanGoodreads:
Release Date: February 20, 2014
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop
Will Somers has always thought himself unlovable. When he encounters a creature of myth and magic, he seizes the chance to finally have a wife and family of his own. Emma is a selkie—one of the immortal fae-folk of the sea—bound to Will by the magic of her kind, and eager to learn about life on land. She has to learn to adapt quickly to human customs, because Will is headed for the court of Henry VIII, to serve as the king’s fool. It’s a glittering, dangerous world, where a careless word can lead to the scaffold and the smallest of gestures is loaded with political implications. Anne Boleyn is charmed by Emma’s naïveté and soothing selkie magic and wants Emma for her own fool. Can Will protect his newfound love from the dangers that lurk in every shadow? Circa regna tonat: around the throne, the thunder rolls.
Writers are the only people who can tell you they hear voices without getting locked up in a little padded room. My head is an apartment building inhabited by a wide assortment of beings, human and supernatural, living and dead, terrestrial and alien. On occasion, one of them comes down to the lobby and demands to see the manager. If they get loud enough, I can’t ignore them any longer and find myself getting engrossed in their story.
It’s hard for me to think of it in terms of “creating” a character, because it seems like they form on their own without much conscious intervention from me. And as they form, a story grows around them, the story they want to tell. Or, I’ll think of a story – almost invariably planted with that fecund question “What if…?” – and the person to tell that tale seems to appear from the ether.
Of course, realistically, I know I must be doing it, but it’s such an organic part of storytelling that it’s automatic. I don’t really create a “character.” I create a person. Every person has their own backstory, their hopes and dreams, their preferences, quirks, phobias, and flaws. In the course of a story, we peel back the layers, revealing the person beneath the face they show to the world.
Every character is on a journey in a story. They’re searching for something, or they are going to learn a powerful lesson, or they are going to discover traits within themselves they didn’t know they had to help them deal with adversity. Along the way they acquire scars, both mental and physical, and they have to deal with them in their own way.
It’s the job of an author to peel back those layers while the characters are on that journey. Did I mention I love my job?
It's not a stretch to say that Lissa Bryan is an auto-buy author for me. From fanfiction to original fiction, Lissa has amazing talent that shows in every word she writes. Under These Restless Skies was no different. This is a book that provides intrigue, romance and drama at every turn.
Will Somers was born with a crooked back that has kept him from many joys in life. He has come to terms with the fact that he was a true burden on his family, and now as a man, he will live his life alone as King Henry VII's fool. He does not expect to come across a lovely woman on a beach whom he will make his wife. He gives her a name, Emma, and teaches her to be human as she is actually a creature of the sea, a selkie. Little does he know that danger lurks in every corner of the court, and it will take more than a fool's wit to keep them alive.
I truly loved this book, but that was no surprise--I love all of Lissa's work. Will and Emma were such a sweet couple, and their intentions were so good. It's impossible not to be intrigued by the description of their lives in Henry's court. The characterizations were well done for all of the mentioned characters. Each and every one was fully rounded, and by the end of the story, it felt as though I truly knew them. I love when an author can do that!
This is a pretty long book, but the size is not something to be held against it. The pace and plot of the story really works for the length. There is not a time that it seemed too slow, or too fast. There was always a point to hold my attention. The author is very skilled at keeping her audience captivated.
I do not know much about Henry VIII, nor Anne Boleyn for that matter. I learned a lot about their lives, and the story of their marriage through this novel. Though some of the story is fiction, specifically Emma the selkie, Lissa must've done a great deal of research to create this story and I am highly impressed. After finishing this play on history, I really would like to learn more about Anne and Henry as theirs is a story that is strangely fascinating.
I would definitely recommend Under These Restless Skies, and all of Lissa's other works. She provides readers with excellent tales that will leave them wanting more. Her prose is strong, and promises to entertain. There has no been a moment, in all of the works that I've read by her, that I have been bored or wished for the story to end. Lissa is a magnificent writer, and I cannot wait to read her next book!
Big thanks to Lissa for the great guest post, and to TWCS for asking me to join in this tour!