2015 Fantasy Extravaganza - Morgan Rhodes

The first to last author in the lineup is the amazingly talented New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.  Her two series are actually connected by the fantasy world and they are expertly staggered across the year so you should only have to wait 6 months between her books as opposed to a year like almost every other author out there.

The Interview;

Once Upon A Teen Reader: First, can you explain to us how A BOOK OF SPIRITS AND THIEVES is connected to the FALLING KINGDOMS series?  The magical world, Mytica, is the same, but what about the time period in that world?  Does this book fall before or after (or during?) the FALLING KINGDOMS series?
Morgan Rhodes: The parts of ABOSAT that are set in Mytica (which is about a third of the book, the other two-thirds take place in modern-day Toronto) take place a thousand years before the events in Falling Kingdoms. That might seem like a long time ago, but remember when all the prophesies and legends that are discussed in FK originated. Readers will get to see the truth behind those legends, including the battle between the goddesses, the fallout after the last sorceress was killed and the Sanctuary was closed off from Mytica, and loads of Easter Eggs that readers of FK will definitely appreciate. At the same time, readers who haven’t read FK yet will get to experience a whole new story that doesn’t need a strong prior knowledge of this world.

OUATR: The FALLING KINGDOMS series takes place exclusively in the magical world of Mytica yet A BOOK OF SPIRITS AND THIEVES switches back and forth between Mytica and modern-day Toronto.  What was it like writing a high-fantasy novel that had a partial setting in the real, modern world?

MR: I always loved what I can only describe as “porthole” books – a gateway between our world and a fantasy world. A few that immediately come to mind are The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, and Alice in Wonderland. That said, I knew if I wanted to make the fantasy world in this trilogy that of Falling Kingdoms, I had to tread softly so I wouldn’t ruin the fantasy aspect in readers’ minds. I couldn’t have modern day characters easily traipsing through Mytica like it was no big deal. There had to be very strict rules in place to limit such things, which is why in book one modern-day Becca has to be affected by very specific magic and only her spirit makes the journey – and she interacts directly with only one Mytican character. As far as the writing – I originally thought that the contemporary parts would be much easier to write, since all of the books I wrote under my other pen name were contemporary, but those were the most challenging parts. I’m able to slip into high-fantasy mode very easily these days and very much enjoyed writing about Maddox’s adventures.

OUATR: What was it like returning to the world of Mytica with different characters while you are (I assume) still working on books in the FALLING KINGDOMS series?  Did you ever get confused?

MR: I wouldn’t say I get confused (mostly). But I do get a bit overwhelmed at times with so much world to absorb and keep organized. Also, I have to keep in mind that things that will happen in Spirits and Thieves will potentially effect things that happen in Falling Kingdoms. In that order. It’s a juggling act, for sure, but as long as I stay organized (ha!) all will work out in the end.

OUATR: All of these books have multiple POVs, both male and female, is there one that's easiest for you to write?  Hardest?

MR: When I’m writing a character’s chapter, I try to really become that character in my head. If that makes sense. So when I’m writing that chapter, it usually flows well as long as I understand that character’s motivations. However, I will readily admit that I always look forward to writing in Maddox and Cleo’s point of views in the original series the most!

OUATR: High fantasy story arcs generally span several books and as it stands the FALLING KINGDOMS series is set to be six while the SPIRITS AND THIEVES series is set to be three.  Could you see those numbers growing some time in the future? 

MR: If the reader interest is there after these series are complete, I certainly have plenty of ideas for more – but probably spin offs rather than direct extensions. We’ll see!

OUATR: How do you keep track of so many character and plot arcs throughout the books?

MR: I will admit, it’s becoming increasingly difficult! However, I have very detailed outlines that I write from and I try to keep my “series bible” up to date for quick reference. Also, I try very hard to reread previous books before the most recent one is finalized to make sure I’m not missing something big.

OUATR: I've found that in books such as these it's not unusual for characters to die.  What goes through your mind as you kill off characters?  Have there been any character deaths that you've cried while writing?

MR: I shed a tear for a character who died at the end of the first book. In book four, I cringed when I had to kill off another character. Other characters, I kind of enjoy offing. *evil smile* If it’s good for the plot, then it’s a necessary act. What I don’t totally enjoy is writing the other characters’ emotional reactions to learning about these deaths. That’s when I almost feel bad about what I’ve done. Almost.

OUATR: Last but not least, can you give us a teaser of FROZEN TIDES to tide (haha) us over until it releases this December?

“Why are you always so kind to me?” she asked. “No other servant cares how I feel.”

His expression grew thoughtful. “I suppose when I see someone in pain, I want to help them.”

“Some injured animals will bite the hand that tries to lend help.”

“Then I suppose it’s a good thing you’re not an animal, isn’t it?”

The Book;
Title: A Book of Spirits and Thieves
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Spirits and Thieves #1
Published: June 23, 2015
Crystal Hatcher, Modern-day Toronto: It’s a normal afternoon in her mother’s antique bookshop when Crys witnesses the unthinkable: her little sister Becca collapses into a coma after becoming mesmerized by a mysterious book written in an unrecognizable language.
Maddox Corso, Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso doesn’t think much of it when he spots an unfamiliar girl in his small village. Until, that is, he realizes that she is a spirit, and he is the only one who can see or hear her. Her name is Becca Hatcher, and she needs Maddox to help get her home.
Farrell Grayson, Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson is thrilled when the mysterious leader of the ultra-secret Hawkspear Society invites him into the fold. But when he learns exactly what he has to do to prove himself, Farrell starts to question everything he thought he knew about family, loyalty, and himself….
Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart.

Add the Falling Kingdoms series on Goodreads

The Author;
Morgan Rhodes lives in Ontario, Canada. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess—the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Instead, she became a writer, which is just as good and much less dangerous. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, and reality TV, and is an extremely picky yet voracious reader of all kinds of books. Under another pen name, she's a nationally bestselling author of many paranormal novels. Falling Kingdoms is her first high fantasy.

The Giveaway;
Someone will win a a copy of one of Morgan's books, which means you can choose from her Falling Kingdoms series or A Book of Spirits and Thieves AND Morgan has generously donated a swag pack to go with it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Gosh I feel like Morgan is such a talented multitasker! Given how many books she's written and all - a "series bible" is probably super handy. :D I've not read anything by this author, but I've always wanted to binge-read the Falling Kingdoms series once it is over. Fantasy is my favorite! :)

    Lovely post, ladies!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. After reading the interview, now I want to know which character made Morgan sad to kill off. I haven't started A Book of Spirits and Thieves because I'm nervous that it won't live up the same way to the love I've accumulated for Falling Kingdoms.

  3. Ooh, this looks great. I really want to read this because I love high fantasy novels. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. I'm most excited for the Victoria Aveyard interview because I'm about to start 'Queen Song' and I'm getting obsessed with the series all over again!
    But I really enjoyed Morgan Rhodes' interview as well- what a talented author, to be able to balance two series (and such complicated series!) at that. I've so enjoyed her writing!

  5. Aw, so sad to see that this is event is coming to a close. It was so fun!
    The Falling Kingdoms? My friend has been book-pushing that series on me. It's definitely on my TBR, and I can't wait to read it. Hm, seeing how the author really enjoyed writing from Maddox's and Cleo's points of views most, I will look out for those two when I finally get the chance to start the series. Thanks for the teaser. Loved this event! :) Looking forward to the Spooktacular one in October (that's when it will be, right?).

  6. This book sound awesome! I love how it's a prequel of sorts the Falling Kingdoms (which is also on my TBR now)....it reminds me of Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter Chronicles....

  7. Wanting to know what Character Morgan sacrificed and made her cry in combination withe the mentioned book bible is leading me to the conclusion that I most definetly need to read those series.
    The synopsis sounds wickes good. I just added the Falling Kingdoms series to my TBR....

  8. Many people have recommended these books to me so I will definitely check them out. I love how the series are connected.