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Thursday, August 2, 2012

{Blog Tour} Reviews: The Fallen Queen and The Midnight Court by Jane Kindred + Giveaway, Guest Post

THE FALLEN QUEEN

The House of Arkhangel'sk #1
by Jane Kindred
Publication Date: May 15, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pages/Format: 400; Paperback & e-book
Source: Blog Tour/Publicist
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Powell's

Heaven can go to hell. Until her cousin slaughtered the supernal family, Anazakia’s father ruled the Heavens, governing noble Host and Fallen peasants alike. Now Anazakia is the last grand duchess of the House of Arkhangel’sk, and all she wants is to stay alive.

Hunted by Seraph assassins, Anazakia flees Heaven with two Fallen thieves—fire demon Vasily and air demon Belphagor, each with their own nefarious agenda—who hide her in the world of Man. The line between vice and virtue soon blurs, and when Belphagor is imprisoned, the unexpected passion of Vasily warms her through the Russian winter.

Heaven seems a distant dream, but when Anazakia learns the truth behind the celestial coup, she will have to return to fight for the throne—even if it means saving the man who murdered everyone she loved.

THE MIDNIGHT COURT

The House of Arkhangel'sk #2
Publication Date: August 30, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pages/Format: 400; Paperback & e-book
Source: Blog Tour/Publicist

Against the pristine ice of Heaven, spilled blood and a demon’s fire will spark celestial war. The exiled heir to the throne of Heaven, Grand Duchess Anazakia and her demon companions, Belphagor and Vasily, have made a comfortable home in the Russian city of Arkhangel’sk, but their domestic bliss is short lived. When their daughter Ola is taken as a pawn in Heaven’s demon revolution, the delicate fabric of their unorthodox family is torn apart—threatening to separate Belphagor and Vasily for good.

Anazakia is prepared to move Heaven and Earth to get her daughter back from Queen Aeval, risen in Elysium from the ashes of temporary defeat. But Aeval isn’t the only one seeking Ola’s strange power.

To conquer the forces amassing against them, Anazakia is prophesied to spill the blood of one close to her heart, while Vasily’s fire will prove more potent than anyone suspected. In the battle for supremacy over Heaven’s empire, loyalties will be tested and secrets will be revealed, but love will reign supernal.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Powell's

The Fallen Queen-- Book 1 Review
Jane Kindred is a remarkable writer. The words in The Fallen Queen, book one of The House of Arkhangel'sk, flow eloquently, especially for a very descriptive epic-fantasy story. Some readers cringe at the thought of keeping up with too many details when it comes to stories with completely imaginative worlds, but Kindred spares readers excessive back story and keeps to relevant information.

The Fallen Queen is certainly risqué and stems far from the average novel. The story centers around an angel, Anazakia, and the two demons hired to hide her on earth, Belphagor and Vasily. Based on the book's summary, one would not expect the story to have such eye-brow raising acts of sexuality, but when Anazakia's story begins and progresses the nature of the story's characters becomes clear. The story's themes range from sexual relations between men to BDSM, and almost seems to fall under the erotica genre more than fantasy.

Despite the fact that readers may not agreeing with the lifestyle of the characters or most of their actions, Kindred's originality, and ability to make a complex story readable, gives her an edge.

Add THE FALLEN QUEEN to Goodreads

The Midnight Court -- Book 2 Review
Jane Kindred once again takes fantasy to a whole new level. The Midnight Court is focuses more on the political factions warring in heaven than book one of The House of Arkhangel'sk, but the action is still non-stop. The prominent role the political factions play may make readers' head spin, but overall, the plot is still easy to follow.

It's amazing to see Anazakia finally become the queen she is meant to be. She always seemed to be in the background worrying about how naive or ignorant she was to the real world. After all the struggles and tribulation she and her friends have endured, Anazakia has learned to think outside of herself and for the future of her child. The Midnight Court certainly appeals to reader emotions, especially as the bond between mother and daughter is tested by distance.

Kindred has remained consistent in style and readers who enjoyed The Fallen Queen will likely take to The Midnight Court!

Add THE MIDNIGHT COURT to Goodreads

Guest Post
Building Heaven by Jane Kindred

One of the reasons I’ve always been drawn to fantasy is the freedom to create your own world. There are endless possibilities, and if you stay within the rules of the world you’ve created, you can get away with a lot, even altering the laws of physics.

The House of Arkhangel’sk series wasn’t the first time I’d written epic fantasy, but I quickly discovered as the idea coalesced that things were going to be a little different this time. There was the fantasy world I was creating, the home of the angels, but there was also the real world to deal with when the angels fell, and the two had to fit neatly together.

Once I’d determined that the fantasy world would actually be heaven, I realized I had my work cut out for me. Heaven was something that had already been written about—exhaustively. Readers would have preconceived notions of how it ought to be, expectations I couldn’t just ignore.

I decided the best framework to start with was one that was already there, even if it wasn’t one every reader would be familiar with. In researching celestial mythology, the concept of multiple heavens, or levels of heaven (as in the term “seventh heaven”) appealed to me, so I took the names of those seven heavens and made them the various kingdoms in my celestial empire—with a bit of poetic license thrown in to make them mine. I also added bits and pieces of “afterlife” realms from various mythologies, including medieval concepts of the four classical elements to complement the classifications of angels in their various orders and “choirs.”

There was some fascinating geography that went along with the seven-heavens idea, such as heavens that were not only the home of the angels, but had “hell” sections in them as well, and heavens that were covered in ice, with rivers of fire running through them. I just had to have a river of fire; who wouldn’t? And the concept of a hell within heaven worked perfectly with the idea I had in mind for my demons: the peasant class of my Heaven, distinguished from the angels only by the impurity of their blood, who would be relegated to their own Demon District.

Because I was also creating a heaven that was a stand-in for early-20th-century St. Petersburg, Russia, with a demon revolution brewing, I had to do extensive research on the earthly city and its history to make it fit as the imperial center of my celestial world. It made sense, then, that when my angel fell, she would fall to modern-day St. Petersburg, so the parallels would be complete.

That’s when my real research began. When I had the opportunity to actually go to St. Petersburg and see it firsthand, I jumped at the chance. And seeing the city in person, I felt compelled to make sure that every detail was as accurate as possible. I drives me crazy when a book or a movie that’s set in San Francisco, where I live, has characters jumping from one neighborhood to another that isn’t anywhere near it, or living in huge apartments they couldn’t possibly afford on their salary.

Consequently, every train, every subway station, every neighborhood in Russia that I mention in The House of Arkhangel’sk can actually be found. As for heaven? Well, you can tell me when you get there. ;)
About Jane . . .

Jane Kindred began writing fantasy at age 12 in the wayback of a Plymouth Fury—which, as far as she recalls, never killed anyone…who didn’t have it coming. She spent her formative years ruining her eyes reading romance novels in the Tucson sun and watching Star Trek marathons in the dark. Although she was repeatedly urged to learn a marketable skill, she received a B.A. in Creative Writing anyway from the University of Arizona. She now writes to the sound of San Francisco foghorns while two cats slowly but surely edge her off the side of the bed.

Connect with Jane: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



Giveaway
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8 comments:

  1. OH, squeeel! Angel and demons, tough love in an intriguing world. I am hooked. The House of Arkhangel'sk sounds awesome!

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  2. Wow. Looks awesome Jane.
    Slaps into the TBR files on GR. Man alive. *topples over* So many great Entangled books have come out. Congrats on the 2nd book in the series!

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  3. Congratulations! Gorgeous cover. I cannot wait to read!

    Hayson

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  4. Love the cover and the story sounds good!

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  5. They are beautiful. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  6. Wow! This looks amazing, the cover is gorgeous!!!

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  7. this book looks like one that I would enjoy. I love the cover as well.

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  8. The cover had me at hello. lol It's going on my tbr list even if I don't win!

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