Blog Book Tour | “Flames of Nevyana” by Edward Willett

Posted Friday, 28 October, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Chapter by Chapter, where I receive opportunities to host Author Guest Features on behalf of the Indie Publisher Month9Books and review for Indie Publisher: Rebelight Publishing of whom I love the stories by their Middle Grade & YA authors! As 2016 started, I received more opportunities to read and review Canadian authors through Chapter by Chapter. I love being able to discover more #CanLit whilst appreciating the beauty of the stories I am discovering through this touring company.

I received a complimentary copy of “Flames of Nevyana” direct from the publisher Rebelight Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On the joy of reading a new Rebelight Author:

I am wicked happy I can close out 2016 reading another new author by Rebelight Publishing – as this is the Canadian publisher I had the joy of discovering through Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours! Each selection I am making through them, are future books I will be giving to my children, as I am delighted to find such wonderful stories for young readers, that not only challenge them through thought-provoking literature, but their the type of stories that can instill confidence and curate empathy through the showcasing of life lessons that seek to inspire readers of all ages.

I love unique story-tellers and unique narrative cores of Science Fiction or Fantasy – realms that you can sense are not entirely opposite or differential of our own living sphere of existence but are altogether quite uniquely developed in their own right. They have their own laws of nature and of order – where there is a particular balance which bridges the world together – or draws them apart; it depends on where we enter the story-line per each writer’s vision for their story. What I love the most about seeking out stories within the umbrella of Speculative Fiction is the ability to continue to always seek out the plausible curiosities of what inspires the stories to alight in the pages of the books I’m reading. Writers who seek to tell a story in such a creative methodology – to reach past imagination and unite readers through the timelessness of their character’s journey.

As I’m on the fringes of celebrating Science Fiction throughout November, it is a joy of mine to bring a few Speculative Realms to my blog and readers ahead of the month-long celebration here on Jorie Loves A Story and throughout the book blogosphere as we all rally together through the collective gathering Rinn Reads puts on each year through #RRSciFiMonth! I must admit – the premise of this story combined with the cover art to help grant an early visual clue towards what I might find inside the novel was the combined motivation to read the novel. Although on a personal note, I was truly captured by ‘Voltpunk’ and was wondering if this was either a new sub-genre of Science Fiction, Fantasy or the hybrid I love myself: Sci-Fantasy!? OR was it merely the name of the series being developed and launched through Flames of Nevyana!? Whichever way it would become revealled one thing is certain: Rebelight authors continue to inspire me onwards and upwards into their creative worlds of literary exploration!

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Notation on Cover Art: I truly loved how the cover art represents light and the synergy of how light can be reflected or sparked into motion – initially I thought this story might have a Nation American or First Nations thread of story-line, because the cover art looked so very familiar to me of Native Artisans and Craft patterns. There is  a repetitive pattern on the cover, both dissolving and expanding (inward and outward simultaneously) and I wondered if this was prove to be a clue towards understanding the light and energies on Nevyana. And why is the blue fire and the orange energies co-merging or intermixing with each other?! Almost is something being reborn, re-generated or created wholly anew by ‘something’ that caused this reaction!?

Blog Book Tour | “Flames of Nevyana” by Edward WillettFlames of Nevyana

Blue Fire is both blessing and curse. A gift from the gods, its mystical light and energy powers and protects the land of Nevyana, but it also divides her people into three distinct groups. In the wrong hands, it becomes a formidable weapon. When sacred objects for channelling Blue Fire are stolen, sworn enemies Petra, Amlinn, and Jin set out to find them, and their paths converge on a collision course with the truth. Can they bridge the centuries-old divide between their communities? Or will their search for the truth and the explosive power of Blue Fire signal the end of Nevyana?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780994839961

on 1st August, 2016

Pages: 316

Published By: Rebelight Publishing, Inc. (@RebelightBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #FlamesOfNevyana, #Voltpunk, #YALit, #SciFantasy

About Edward Willett

Edward Willett

Edward Willett is the award-winning author of more than fifty books of fiction and non-fiction for children, young adults, and adults. He lives in Regina with his wife, Margaret Anne; their teenage daughter, Alice; and their Siberian cat, Shadowpaw.

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On the characters & world-building of Voltpunk:

Conceptually, Nevyana is a working thesis of how you can interlay an entire cultural heritage through the eyes of two Priest Apprentices who are travelling through their ordinary responsibilities whilst engaging you with a proper overview of their world. Willett has thought of everything – from the historical girth of the religious backgrounds to the order of the land itself – from those who walk in Light to those who walk in Darkness; there are definitive separations of individuals; mostly condensed to those who live in the civilised sections of the world and those who dare to live outside the shields of the city. There are energy fields that act as protectorate – both for the Freefolk who move between cities and the Priests who are guarded through the gates of the Temple. The interesting bit is that the energy fields are both adaptable and fixed; an interesting revelation, as the two guardians of the energy (herein called: Blue Fire) are not rapt to share information!

The Blue Fire is an interesting layer of sci-fantasy – as it is generated by ancient symbols carved into wood making a Firelance and when Firelances are used in combination with Sparkglobes they create the wall of fire known as Blue Fire throughout the lands. The Freefolk and the Priests each adhere to their own beliefs, wherein they were each blessed with information passed down to them. The Priests listen to the wisdom of God Vekrin whereas the Wise Women of the Freefolk listen to the guidance of Goddess Arrica. Pulling back the layers of how Nevyana is ruled through religious history is part of what was fascinating reading the story, as it honed in on what fuelled the firelight but also, how those with nefarious intentions could get ahold of energy to be used for reasons unknown.

My Review of flames of nevyana:

Entering a world straight out of a more primitive Medieval past, where there is a distinctive caste system in place, and a watchful eye on how each class interacts with each other, I was quite earnestly happy to see where Willett would lead me! I liked how he started off the story with such an ordinary act as buying veg at the local farmer’s stall, noting how the two boys were worlds apart (despite being the same age and level of Priesthood) – where one is besotten with girls and the other has his heart on his duties, rather than anything superficially wanton! Here, we meet Petra whose quite stalwart and honourable in his intentions for his future, we are presented with a curious lot known as Freefolk (of whom remind me of Gypsies) who travel between cities carting their wares, traveller stories and are a bit of an independent commerce and communication trade unto their own! They seek out ways to unite the communities who would otherwise be left in the dark about each other – this in of itself was a curious tip of knowledge – as according to the map of Nevyana, none of the cities are that far apart from one another, as they are all located along the same highway! An excellent trade route for the Freefolk but a letdown for those who dwell in the cities, if they expect to know more of how life is lived elsewhere in their world.

One of the first things I noticed was the clothing and attire of the characters – tunics and brandished silver by way of weapons easily holstered at one’s sides, this is a time of place where technology hasn’t overstepped the boundaries of a simpler lifestyle. Immediately after we meet the apprentices, our view shifts backward to Amlinn of whom is amongst the Freefolk who’ve come to entertain the city folk who appreciate the arts and festivities her kin are renown. You start to see the hidden layers behind the foundation of the world – how those of whom are perceived as ‘free’ are not nearly as they ought to be and those of whom feel called to a certain way of life are not entirely sure if that lifestyle is the best course of action for their lives. It’s a mixture of feelings brewing between the characters – as each of them in turn is at odds with their own path, re-considering what they understand and questioning things they should only find necessary to take on ‘faith’ alone.

Amlinn is the first to tip a point towards understanding who the Nightdwellers are – as only small references were mentioned ahead of her entrance. They sounded as bad as the Dementers and as horrid as any creature who lurks in shadows, striking out at innocents and changing lives forever by the loss and destruction they wrecked. She clued us in to their bodies being covered in fur and how their instinct was to seek out gaps in the Blue Fire in order to gain a foothold into a pitched caravan’s camp. The cause for their disagreements with the FreeFolk and City persons is not yet fully understood – only that there is an unbalance of order, temperance of differences and a true distrust of whom is honourable to interact with on a regular basis. You can tell this is a difficult time in their history – where travelling is allowed, but only by certain stipulations. Openness towards speaking about what lends a growing murmur built on fear and cautionary anxiety isn’t readily seen nor heard. It is almost as if everyone – from whichever walk of life has resolved their lot in life – to be orphaned by a heinous crime against their people or to accept there are certain structures to their existence that isn’t meant to be questioned but observed.

When Petra and Amlinn come together for the first time, their weary of each other – he allows his pre-judgements about her people (the Freefolk) cloud his perception of what is happening to them both. Her people want to seek answers about why there is a serial thief amongst the cities – someone moving stealthily through boundaries of Blue Fire and encampments to take what is not theirs for purposes Amlinn’s people can only speculate about as not even Petra is willing to reveal the secrets he was entrusted as an apprentice priest! You can already start to see how the news of what is happening will upset the delicate trade balance between the Cities and Freefolk whilst giving a nudge towards a rift between the Priests and Wise Women as well. The undermining of order is quite apparent but the causes behind the subterfuge are not.

This world is one built on Old Magic and the lores of Folk, of which has become the grounding force behind how Nevyana was re-bourne, as there was a time in the ancient past when there was a war which altered the landscape of Nevyana without re-genesis. It is here in the histories that we learnt that this is a world that had 12 Gods, and each of whom were endeavouring to leave behind artifacts and knowledge of the people who followed under them to live on a world that needed peace more than it ever needed war. Three Gods survived this period of Nevyana’s history and this is what I felt was so interesting – as the Blue Fire is related directly to elements found on it’s world – specifically the biosphere (or Earth), the Light (the Sun) and the Dark (the Moon). Nestled inside the lore, are the origins of how Petra, Amlinn and Jin are the descendants of the three remaining Gods who preside over this world.

As Jin’s people (the Nightdwellers) are introduced, we’re becoming more familiar with this world – how misconceptions and prejudices are blinding everyone from seeing one another as ‘they are’ rather than how they are regularly presumed. Jin is proud of his ancestry, same as Petra and Amlinn – however, he shares something in common with them without realising it – he too, questions the order of how things are rather than how they ought to be. Why does his kin insist on attacking Amlinn’s? Why do they have to appear savage rather than respectable with honour?! Why not show they are more than what is supposed and far more apt to assert their species sentience than the other two races would bother believing they could embrace?!

There was a breakaway clan within the clans themselves, of whom felt they were superior than all others – to where they could act, live and survive on their own accord, taking what they needed and leaving the rest. They were working against the structure of their world, causing chaos and doubt to swirl amongst the clans (as Citydwellers, Nightdwellers and Freefolk all act in similar fashions as any other Clan where everything is inclusive whilst they do not freely exchange pleasantries with one another unless circumstances dictate it) providing a good cover for the devious plot that thickened and unfolded the further you went inside the story.

What was interesting is the underlying question – how do you find peace and unification out of centuries of misunderstandings and miscommunication about your role and purpose on your own world?! I sensed from the beginning there might be an identity crisis or an origin crisis threading throughout the story – as how else would three starkly individual and independent groups of people ever dare to come together!?

Enjoy this excerpt from the novel:

The light grew and grew and grew until the sky was brighter than Jin had thought possible. Sunrise had to be minutes away. But Ket-Ra did not move, so Jin squinted his eyes almost closed, gritted his teeth, and held on. And on. And on.

One by one, the other Ra broke and fled into the welcoming dark of the warren until only he and Ket remained, standing in the shadow of the ridge. Unable to face the glare any longer, even with eyes almost closed, they glanced at each other. By unspoken mutual consent, they turned to face west instead, looking up the low grassy slope above the warren entrance to the trees that topped it. When the first full rays of sunlight touched the tops of those trees, they appeared to explode into eye-searing flame. Jin cried out and threw his arm across his face, and heard Ket grunt beside him, but Ket remained in place, so Jin too stood his ground.

The only way he could gauge the process of the sunlight was to flick his eyes open and closed as fast as he could. Dagger-like pain stabbed them with every glance. The impossibly bright light devoured the trees bit by bit, burning them away into a glare in which Jin could see nothing at all. And then the horrifying sun-fire began creeping down the slope toward the warren entrance, swallowing the grass as it had the forest, coming nearer and nearer . . . .

The sun’s rays would touch the back of his head before that flange of fire reached his feet, he knew. We have to go in, he thought. We have to go in! But he didn’t move. He would not move as long as Ket stood firm. So both you can die together as human torches? a saner part of his mind screamed. Run! Run now! One more minute, he told himself, furred palms sweating. One more minute and I’ll give in. One more minute.

Thirty seconds after that, Ket swore and dove headfirst into the dark hole of the warren entrance.

Now, run! the sane part of his brain shouted, but Jin, stayed where he was, counting for thirty more seconds. Then he, too, scrambled for cover.

In the small entrance chamber, he found all of the other boys except Ket, who had vanished. They looked at him with awe approaching terror.

“Are you all right?” Rith asked.

“I think so,” Jin said. He laughed shakily. “Though it seems awfully dark in here.” So dark, in fact, he hoped he hadn’t permanently damaged his eyes.

“Your head doesn’t hurt?”

“No. Why?”

Rith leaned in close and spoke in a whisper. “Nobody else saw this—they were watching Ket-Ra—but . . . but in that last half-minute after he left, I risked a quick blink and . . . ,” He swallowed. “I thought your head was on fire.”

Jin laughed. “My fur wasn’t even singed.”

The truth was, in the last thirty seconds he had stood under the brilliant glare of the sun filled with both pride and terror, he had felt something—but not the agony Scrollkeepers swore would befall any Nightdweller touched by the unholy rays of Arrica’s sun.

No. All he’d felt had been warmth.
A pleasant touch of warmth.

On the Speculative narrative styling of edward willett:

One of the blessings of this novel is the lovely map preceding the first chapter, where you get to gather the lay of the world your about to enter into reading! I personally love cartography, and when your dealing with Science Fiction & Fantasy worlds, I find maps most useful for orientation, scale and distance – including topographical inclusions that make the world individually unique as much as representative of it’s natural landscapes, resources and fundamental foundations.

The way in which Willett presents his world to us, is a slowly evolving well-thought out plan of action – where each new character (Petra, Amlinn and Jin) who arrive in turn of sequence to accept the challenge of gathering a better understanding of their world and purpose, we, the readers in turn have our suspenseful curiosity kick into higher gear! Theirs isn’t a time of peace as much as it is an acceptance of rites of passage, of duties or rituals and of a long ordained methodology of life that is rote and structured without variances. Each of these characters has been given a certain select path where they each become ‘awakened’ to certain truths they cannot deny but do not fully understand the meaning or cause behind them. You’re itching to seek out more of the particulars, but most remain patient to watch how the core of the narrative continues to unfold.

Willett has given his world a lot of breadth of room to explore for the intrepid reader who will find composites of what may have inspired his own creations to take flight. Although I don’t mind when I cannot find a composite or analogy of recognition in stories, sometimes I take joy in finding where the origins of a character or the groundwork of a world being built could have originated. It’s all good fodder, as story-tellers enchant us with their stories – the living legacies of their creative minds.

Note: I marked this as Upper YA, due to how it deals with situations that I felt fit best with the Upper YA audience moreso than Traditional YA due to the nature of events explained in the context of the story. I was thankful the author still kept it very YA – with only a light-hand on strong language and including only a handful of violent scenes, but there is the presence of ‘past memories’ of tragedies and current events the characters must survive that might be for older YA readers moreso than younger to be able to handle. I think it’s cross-appealing to both YA & Adult readers. There are moments where the novel is quite intense and does get a bit more graphic in regards to describing a scene but blessedly I found Willett to hold back a bit to where it was able to be read without feeling overcome by what was included. Similar to reading a novel of Suspense or Thriller.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours badgeby the participation in the publisher’s blog tour:

Flames of Nevyana by Edward WillettMy apologies to the author & publisher – I had intended to read this novel in the morning & afternoon hours on Thursday, the 27th of October, as I had been delayed in beginning my readings whilst I was taking a personal leave of absence from blogging earlier in the month due to health reasons & technical difficulties. However, I needed more time to soak inside this novel in order to properly review it. I appreciate the patience of the author and publisher until I was able to convey my impressions as I read the novel.

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Reader Interactive Question:

What are you looking for in stories where a new world wraps you up inside it’s heart and presents a whole new way of looking at what is possible!?

What inspires you to seek out Speculative Fiction!?

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As an aside, dear hearts, for those of who are following my blog, you’ll notice I took a moment to spruce up my blog with a simplified menu in my newly established left sidebar, as well as a cleaner footer and a changing of the guard in regards to the background motif, font selections, colour combinations for typography and an overall Autumnal appeal for ‘new beginnings & renewals’ as Autumn is a beautiful season where clarity of mind and spirit is possible after Summer’s wrath. I hope you’ll enjoy looking around, especially if you haven’t visited me in awhile – whilst noticing my Twitter presence has also been modified recently with a new landscape of presence, too. It’s good to switch things up a bit and I decided it was most fitting to do this tonight, as this marks my week to return to blogging regularly a few days ahead of Sci Fi November!

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SOURCES: Cover art for “Flames of Nevyana” along with the author photograph & biography, book synopsis, the individual blog tour badges and the Chapter by Chapter badge were all provided by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours and used with permission. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Ruminations and Impressions Banner, #FuellYourSciFi badge and the Comment Box Banner.

NOTE: Small quotations are permissible when used in book reviews as quoted in the copyright notice of the book itself. However, I was given my choice of excerpts to use on my review, and as I walked through the blog tour, I believe this is the only one that has not yet been shared. The excerpts were provided by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours and are used with permission.

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 28 October, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Canadian Literature, Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Indie Author, Science Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, Sword & Scorcery, Upper YA Fiction, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

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