Today I'm participating in the blog tour for E.E. Rawls' new release, Strayborn, which is the first book in her Draev Guardians series. We've got my review, an author interview, and a giveaway in store, so be sure to read to the end of the post!
Strayborn: Draev Guardians, Book 1
Elemental Manipulation is a tricky business. Only those with the power can train to become a Draev Guardian.
Cyrus Sole hates life. She’s only half-human, with weak wrists, and not a day goes by when someone doesn’t say something mean about it—especially her step-mom. But when the forbidden power to manipulate metal awakens inside her, she finds herself on the run as the Argos Corps is sent to kill her…
Aken is a Scourgeblood, the last in a line of monsters. But all he really wants is to gain wings and be free. Until a new power suddenly awakens, changing the course of his life…
The Draev Guardian Academy is their only sanctuary. But training to become a Draev won’t be easy. Cyrus has to hide her human side, as she gets placed in Floor Harlow with the outcast students, and nightmares of her deceased mother keep returning.
With creepy Corpsed on the prowl, and whispers of Cyrus possibly being a reborn Hero, both she and Aken find themselves caught up in a web of secrets, racial tension, and an old legend with enemies that could spell their untimely demise…
—This book is a good fit for those who've enjoyed the Percy Jackson series, Brandon Sanderson's fantasy world-building, and the fun of J.K. Rowling.
Links for Strayborn:
Cyrus Sole, a girl who can manipulate metal, and Aken-Shou the last Scourgeblood, must learn to survive in a world that is determined to either destroy them, or use them…
This ebook is available FREE at Rawls’s newsletter: eerawls.com
E.E. Rawls is the product of a traveling family, who even lived in Italy for 6 years. She loves exploring the unknown, whether it be in a forest, inside a forgotten castle, or within the pages of a book.
She runs on coffee, cuddly cats and the beauty of nature to keep the story wheels of her mind running, as she writes tales that will both entertain and inspire others, giving them worlds they can explore and become lost within.
My Review of Strayborn
“Fresh and original” aren't words I often use in connection with a story that revolves primarily around vampires, but they absolutely apply to Strayborn. Thankfully, Strayborn steers well away from all the usual tropes that afflict YA vampire novels…so much so that I wouldn't actually saddle it with that category. The vampires of this story (called “vempar”) are a clever and richly-detailed new take on the mythological creature that's a far cry from the stock blood-drinker archetype you'll find in most YA fantasy. This isn't a “vampire novel,” it's more of a gothic version of Harry Potter. The cast of characters is likable and engaging, the plot has a number of unexpected twists, and there's a good balance of humor and earned moments of darkness. The deep worldbuilding and teases of further revelations about main characters leave plenty of room for future stories to carry the series forward. I'm definitely on board to find out what happens next. Highly recommended.
Interview with E.E. Rawls
Tell us a little about the world of Strayborn. What’s your favorite thing about writing in this setting?
Strayborn’s world is filled with human-like races from mythology (fairies, dragons, goblins, deer people, etc), and their countries share similarities to ours. For example, Strayborn takes place in Draeth, which is like a piece of Italy and France combined. My favorite thing about writing in this setting is the infinite possibilities for story plots. Mythological races are fun to work with, as you’ll see in Strayborn. 😉
Your character Cyus has the ability to manipulate metal. Would you want this particular power yourself, or would you choose a different ability or trait from the world of your book?
Personally, I’d rather have an ability that could make me fly. Growing wings and soaring the sky like a bird has always been a childhood dream of mine.
What would you say was the greatest challenge you faced in getting this book written and published, and how did you overcome it?
There were many challenges! Namely, learning the ropes of being an author, and working to grow my platform from scratch. Over the years I’ve been studying everything from how to write a compelling story, to how to market a book, and into the details of how to design a book’s interior (margins, fonts, etc). So, I would say just about every step of the process has been its own unique challenge. 🙂
Any teasers for what’s coming next in the Draev Guardians series? Feel free to be as vague and mysterious as you like. 😀
Haha, I will have to be vague! Let’s just say there is a lot of character growth waiting ahead for our characters, and a new villain (who happens to be one of my favorites, I’m ashamed to admit xD).
First place: One hardback copy of Strayborn, and one Percy Jackson soy/vegan homemade candle by A Court Of Candles.
Second and Third place: One ebook copy of Strayborn.
Ends on Monday, October 21.