3 Sep 2019

#BlogTour: RED SKIES FALLING by Alex London

Hello and welcome to my blog tour post for

RED SKIES FALLING by Alex London!

I have a guest post from the author and a review of both of the books in the series so far for you today! Be sure to check that out below. But first, let's learn more about the book...

RED SKIES FALLING

Author: Alex London
Series: Skybound #2
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Summary:

In this thrilling sequel to Black Wings Beating, twins Kylee and Brysen are separated by the expanse of Uztar, but are preparing for the same war – or so they think.

Kylee is ensconsed in the Sky Castle, training with Mem Uku to master the Hollow Tongue and the Ghost Eagle. But political intrigue abounds and court drama seems to seep through the castle's stones like blood from a broken feather. Meanwhile, Brysen is still in the Six Villages, preparing for an attack by the Kartami. The Villages have become Uztar's first line of defense, and refugees are flooding in from the plains. But their arrival lays bare the villagers darkest instincts. As Brysen navigates the growing turmoil, he must also grapple with a newfound gift, a burgeoning crush on a mysterious boy, and a shocking betrayal.

The two will meet again on the battlefield, fighting the same war from different sides―or so they think. The Ghost Eagle has its own plans.
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RED SKIES FALLING is the sequel to...

BLACK WINGS BEATING

Author: Alex London
Series: Skybound #1
Source: Finished Copy via Publisher
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Summary:

The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists.

Brysen strives to be a great falconer--while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She's nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.

Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he's long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother's future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.
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WORLDBUILDING IN FICTION

All fiction writing is worldbuilding. Whether you are writing a novel set in our time in our world with fully realistic characters and events or on a fantasy world with monsters and magic, the act of compressing a reality into words demands choices, what to describe and how, what to leave out and why. Your assumptions are a choice. What you assume your reader will know is a choice and all world building is a series of choices.

My husband is a teacher and I remember years ago he was teaching middle schoolers, most of them from low income parts of New York City, without much access to natural outdoor spaces. At one point during the reading of a story, one of the students asked about a word he didn't recognize. The word was "rake." It was not an object he'd ever seen or had reason to know. It might as well have been in elvish, for all the connection it had to his life. Easy enough to learn and to proceed with the story, but still necessary to learn as the author's story built its strange rural New England world for him. A magic wand can be just as strange as a rake.

When I build fantasy worlds, I think of that boy and that rake. I think about the assumptions I carry into my fantasy world and the assumptions my readers might have. Every strange and fantastical element I introduce to the story has the potential to be another "rake" moment, a moment that pulls the reader out of the story and makes them ask "what's this?"

That can be useful when I want them to question, for example, power structures that are different than the ones in our world; the way gender or sexuality is lived in a world that isn't ours; or when I want the reader to vividly imagine a creature that does not exist on this planet...but it can be jarring when I'm just trying to describe characters shopping or eating or kissing. The challenge then, in fantasy world building, is to use the strange and the fantastical sparingly and deliberately, and to use reader's assumptions as a tool, but never to take them for granted and to always keep the story grounded in the characters and their relationships. Because whether they are fighting giant killer birds with physic powers in a mountain kingdom or just trying to get through another day of high school, it's the people we travel with through the world that make the journey worth taking.
Alex London writes books for adults (One Day The Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War), children (Dog Tags series; An Accidental Adventure series) and teens (Proxy). At one time a journalist reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he is now a full time novelist living in Brooklyn, NY, where he can be found wandering the streets talking to his dog, who is the real brains of the operation.

Connect with the Author:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

Are you excited for this one? Is it on your TBR?

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