Hello and welcome to my stop for This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria book tour, organized by Tbr and Beyond tours! Thank you so much for this opportunity!
Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.
In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible—she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father—their nation’s greatest traitor—once tried to destroy the automatons.
Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.
Thank you so much, Netgalley and Inkyard Press, for the chance to read and review this book!
Karis is an orphan and she’s forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, but she wants to find her brother, who was taken away from her years ago. But the Scriptorium doesn’t care about bonds and family, its only goal is to discover the magic of the automaton army. When Karis manages to awake a hidden automaton, intelligent and conscious of himself, Alix, both of them are forced to flee, because the Scriptorium is hunting them. Helped by Dane, Karis’ best friend, pirates and rebels, Karis and Alix fight to find her brother, uncover the truth and for freedom.
This Golden Flame is a thrilling and brilliant standalone fantasy. The worldbuilding is intriguing and captivating and the story is told by two POVs, Karis’ and Alix’s and it was really interesting reading about their journey, both physical, from their little island through oceans and psychological.
Karis is a stubborn and brilliant character, made cynical by the brutal world she was forced to grow in and she’s determined to find her brother and to be free with him. It was amazing reading about her journey, both physical and psychological and her growth.
She was taken by the Scriptorium and forced to work for them, but managed to defy their rules, teaching herself the language of runes, curious about the world and fighting to find her lost brother.
Alix, on the other hand, is a peculiar automaton, woken up after centuries, finding everything he’s ever known dead or lost, like his home and memories. Sensitive, intelligent and stubborn, he’s a great character. His relationship with Karis is complex and truly beautiful, if wary at the very beginning.
Karis and Alix grow so much in The Golden Flame, through their experience and their relationships with other characters.
Karis’ relationship with her best friend Dane is intricate and I love how much they help, support and rely on one other, growing up in the Scriptorium and then, when they are forced to flee and make choices, choosing to fight for the freedom and their future and for the truth about their country. It was interesting realizing, through Alix and his memories and the present, how much the story was written by winners and how much the ruling group is hurting people.
I really loved reading this book, not only for the amazing worldbuilding, but also for the characterization. The characters are complex and well written, relatable in their fears, desires and mistakes. Karis, Alix, Dane and Zara are such brilliant characters, it’s impossible not to love them. Like Zara. I love her so much. She’s a great character, sassy and brave and I love reading about her ship, her crew and their fight and rebellion.
I loved that Karis was aromantic and asexual (it’s so rare reading books with aro characters) and I love her growth and her relationship with Alix, Dane and the others. I’ve also loved the cute and romantic moments between side characters. I’ve also loved Matthias with his low vision and cane, his disability never a hinder to his stubborness, bravery and fight.
It’s a story about freedom and the fight for it, about the strength in be oneself and the importance of family and relationships.
I’ve got the chance to interview the author!
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer for basically as long as I can remember. When I was really young, my elder sister would write these fairy stories and I was always so amazed of what, at the time, seemed like her stunning writing talent. So as soon as I was old enough, I started writing stories too and I never really stopped.
- What inspired you to write This Golden Flame?
For me, it really started with the world and the characters. I knew that I wanted my next novel to be set roughly in Ancient Greece and I had this idea where one character was going to be human and the other wasn’t, and they were going to have to figure out how to work together and to trust each other.
- Could you tell us your writing routine and where and how do you prefer to write? Do you use pens, pencils or pc writing programs?
So I am definitely a morning/afternoon writer. As soon as it gets towards evening, I have a lot harder of a time concentrating on writing, so I do try to write as early in the day as possible. I also like setting aside a solid block of time to write. I’m not really a person who thrives when I can only steal 10 or 15 minutes at a time.
I used to write all of my first drafts longhand in a notebook, but that was just so slow I eventually started writing them on the computer (a fact which I still mourn, because I did love notebook writing). I usually use Scrivener, since I like the way I can subdivide my manuscript into different scenes.
- Do you like writing while listening to music? If so, do you have a playlist for This Golden Flame?
I do like listening to music while writing. That being said, I listen almost exclusively to instrumental music. I just find that if the music has words, it distracts me while I’m trying to write. So it’s a lot of movie soundtracks (most recently the instrumental tracks from Frozen 2) as well as Lindsey Stirling, because her music is awesome.
- What character was the most challenging to write and why?
I’m going to say Alix, just because it was really quite challenging writing a nonhuman character. I’m so used to being able to use bodily sensations to describe things. For example, things like noting how the character’s heart pounds when they’re nervous or having their palms go sweaty. And Alix didn’t have any of that. So I had to get a lot more creative when showing his emotions and what he was feeling.
- You answered a question on Goodreads about the main character being aromantic. Do you have any books or movies or TV series recommendations with aro characters?
You know, I don’t actually know any movies or TV series with aro characters (they’re probably out there—I’m just not aware of them). Even in books, I feel like it is somewhat of a rare thing still. But there are some books out there like Loveless and Tarnished are the Stars.
- What are you favorite writers and books?
This one’s always so hard to answer! I love basically anything by Victoria Schwab and when I was young, Tamora Pierce was a huge influence for me. Some recent books that I have loved are Belle Révolte and Elatsoe. Both of those books were just so amazing!
- Could you tell us if you have more books planned in the future and what are you working on?
So my next book coming up is Silver in the Mist and it’s another standalone. It’s set on a divided continent with dying magic and a malevolent force called the Mists. The main character is a spy and she is sent across the border to capture the most powerful magical caster that is left. But things do not go as planned.
Here’s the tour schedule!
And also a giveaway!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fc15a59524/?