If you’ve kept up with this blog for a good amount of time, you may already know about my love for Jay Kristoff’s Lotus War series. The third book in the trilogy, ENDSINGER, is out tomorrow (review coming soon-so good), and Jay kindly stopped by today to talk about it, and what comes next!
I realize that it’ll be tough to say too much about Endsinger without spoilers, but can you give readers a little taste of what they can expect?
Betrayal! Tragedy! Epic battles! Twuu wuuuv! Disaster! Mad Goddesses! Sorrow! Pain! So! Very! Many! Exclamation marks!
Well, not that many exclamation marks, my editor yells when I use them.
This series has delighted and devastated me, in all the best ways. Has it been emotional for you to write it? Is it bittersweet for you to be wrapping up the series?
Very much so. This series was the one that launched my writing career. My life has changed so much since I first sold it, in so many amazing ways, and all those awesome changes really stem back to this series and these characters. I feel like I’m saying goodbye to family. Like I’m leaving part of myself behind on these pages.
I guess your first series is a lot like your first love. Even if you move on and find a different love, you’ll never forget your first. But I’m really happy with the way it turned out—I think I gave these characters the send off they deserved, and early reports are the book is just as gut-wrenching as I hoped it would be. So that’s a win 🙂
Yukiko has gone through a lot, but how would you say she’s grown the most over the course of the series?
Oh, poor Yuki. I put here through so much in these books. I mean, to put it really simply, she’s become an adult. She started Stormdancer as a willful, headstrong kid. And by the end of the series, she’s a woman, with all the hurt and wisdom and scars that growing up gives you. But, that’s an easy answer.
I guess the biggest lesson she learned is that the world isn’t black and white. There are infinite shades of grey. That’s really the point I wanted to get across in this series. There really is no absolute good and absolute evil. People do bad things for good reasons. Good people do horrible things in the name of the “greater good”. The best villains see themselves as heroes in their own stories.
What have been a few of your favorite supporting characters to write (other than the phenomenal Buruu)?
Michi. She kicks so much ass. She’s unflinching in her convictions, but that’s tempered with wisdom and a good heart. She hasn’t let all the suffering of the war turn her cold, but she never flinches from fighting it. I’ll always love little Michi.
Yoshi, too. I love the way he thinks, he speaks. His pragmatism, his fatalism. His loyalty to the folks he loves. And he’s a walking tragedy, and as you might have figured out, I like me some tragedy.
Plus, you know, Buruu. 😛
The worldbuilding in these books is fantastic, and very intricate. What are a few of your favorite literary worlds?
Awesome question! Anything by China Miéville—he’s a master worldbuilder, in my opinion. Best in the game, at the moment. I love the Expanse setting by James SA Corey. Kristen Cashore’s Graceling setting. Arrakis from Frank Herbert’s Dune series. Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan setting. The Sprawl series by William Gibson is also one of my faves. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. So many!
Have you found time to read any good books lately?
Indeed! The Martian by Andy Weir was an awesome Science-Fact survival story. Surprisingly funny.
I finally got to read Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor—so very, very good. The first book in Trudi Canavan’s new series Thief’s Magic was . . . well, magical. 😛 And I re-read Perdido St Station by China Miéville. Brilliant book. The guy builds a city like no one else.
As sad as I am to see this series end, I’m very excited about what comes next for you. Care to give us the scoop?
I’ve got a new series starting next year called ILLUMINAE, which is straight up the most exciting project I’ve ever worked on. I co-authored it with another Australian author, Amie Kaufman. It’s a scifi thriller, set on board a refugee fleet fleeing an invaded world. The book is basically a series of documents—IM conversations, emails, medical reports, security cam footage, and so on—and as the reader trawls these docs, they begin to piece together the mystery of what happened to the fleet and the people aboard it.
It’s a cross between House of Leaves and Battlestar Galactica. Virus outbreaks. Insane Artificial intelligences. Epic space battles. We’re doing stuff in this book I’ve never seen done before. Typographically. Narratively. It’s absolutely insane. You have never seen a book like this, I guarantee it.
You can pre-order here. If you do pre-order, hold onto your proof of purchase, because we’re announcing a pre-order promo thing soon that you’ll love.
And, I’ve got a new solo series coming out too. Doesn’t have a name yet, although the series will probably be called THE GODSGRAVE CHRONICLES. It’s epic fantasy. The setting is a mix of ancient Rome and merchant prince Europe. Here’s the blurb:
In a world where night falls for only a few weeks every few years, a fledgling assassin stalks a city built from the bones of a dead god, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
So, busy! Which is a hell of a lot better than being bored!
With Stormdancer, Jay Kristoff came roaring onto the fantasy scene—he has been praised as “the master of unique and intense plots and huge twists” (USAToday.com), while critics raved about the novel, calling it “[A] fast-paced, fantastical adventure [that] is sharp as a Shogun’s sword.” (The LA Times). And with healthy sales in hardcover and electronic—fueled by Jay’s inventive, enthusiastic, and relentless promotion on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere—we know readers are hungry for the finale to his wildly inventive Lotus War saga.
As civil war sweeps across the Shima Imperium, the Lotus Guild unleashes their deadliest creation—a mechanical goliath, intended to unite the shattered Empire under a yoke of fear. Yukiko and Buruu are forced to take leadership of the rebellion, gathering new allies and old friends. But the ghosts of Buruu’s past stand between them and the army they need, and Kin’s betrayal has destroyed all trust among their allies. When a new foe joins the war, it will be all the pair can do to muster the strength to fight, let alone win. And as the earth splits asunder, as armies destroy each other for rule over an empire of lifeless ash and the final secret about blood lotus is revealed, the people of Shima will learn one last, horrifying truth. An exciting, vivid conclusion to a critically acclaimed series, Endsinger is sure to have fans racing through the pages to savor every last revelation.