Periodically, ForeignCorrespondent participates in virtual book tours that allow authors to showcase their books to a broader audience. Today I am hosting fellow RRBC/RWISA author A. M. Manay and her new YA Fantasy novel, Hexborn. The descriptions, book blurb, and biographical information are provided by the author. Enjoy. Ron Yates
A.M. Manay is an award-winning fantasy author in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also a former inner-city chemistry teacher, a wife, and mother in a multi-racial family, a lover of comic book movies, a Lupus warrior, a Clerk of Session in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a 9Round enthusiast. She loves to write page-turning stories with complex, diverse characters who inhabit interesting worlds.
You can’t have a young adult novel without a school, now, can you? At the beginning of Hexborn, my new YA fantasy novel, our heroine is carted off to the Royal Academy of Mages. If Hogwarts had more Lords of the Realm and fewer Dark Lords, it might look a little like the Royal Academy.
The court boarding school in Hexborn is like a cross between Hogwarts and a PG episode of Game of Thrones. Located at Greenhill Palace in the City, the children of the nobility are forced to attend the Royal Academy of Mages from a young age, as are any non-noble children with significant magical talent. It was established, in part, as a way for the king to control the lords of the realm by using their children as hostages for their good behavior. Moreover, it provides a way for the crown to ensure that the most talented sorcerers in the realm can be recruited to the royal payroll.
Though there are much fewer magical mishaps than seem to occur at Hogwarts, the students run the constant risk of running afoul of the king or his favorites, which poses its own mortal danger. And a great deal of time is spent learning to joust and do battle, which results in a fair amount of business for the healers. The Royal Academy also has its share of cruel staff members, unfair rules, exclusive cliques, and highborn bullies.
Shiloh arrives knowing she is likely to be ostracized for some reasons. She is disabled and poor. She was tutored by a priest known to be a traitor. Perhaps worst of all, she is likely the most talented wizard of her generation. None of those things will make it easy for her to make friends. It is into this shark-infested pond that Silas Hatch drops Shiloh at the beginning of Hexborn.
In this new world, she has to prove herself to professors and classmates alike. Do you think she’ll make the grade? What are some of your favorite fictional boarding schools?
From Hexborn: The Royal Academy of Mages
“Now, break into pairs,” Sister Fern ordered, clapping her hands. “Miss Warwick, please join Shiloh up here. The rest of you, organize yourselves.” Shiloh exhaled in relief and offered silent gratitude to their instructor.
“Good morning,” Miss Warwick said shyly, sliding into the adjacent chair. “I’m Penn Warwick.
”Good morning, Miss Warwick,” Shiloh replied, offering a smile. “Shiloh Teethborn.”
“I’m rubbish at wards,” Penn confessed. “I’m better at potions and written work.”
“I can show you,” Shiloh offered. “I’ve had a lot of practice at them.”
“Thank you,” Penn replied, pulling out an air wand and holding it as though it might bite her. Shiloh pulled out her own weapon, and Penn gasped.
“Is that steel?” she whispered. Shiloh nodded. “Maiden above,” Penn breathed.
Not knowing what to say, Shiloh elected to ignore Penn’s awe. “Now, the first thing is . . .” Shiloh began.
The two passed a pleasant hour practicing together, and Penn’s wards were much improved by the end of class. When just a few minutes remained, Shiloh asked Penn to tell her the names of the other students.
“The fair-haired one is Lord Daved Jennin, whose father is the Earl of Redwood, Lord of the Wood.” Penn’s mouth turned down.
“Right. His lord father is in trouble or something?” Shiloh replied.
Penn nodded sadly. “I fear Lord Daved’ll be in the High Tower soon enough. The redhead is Jaym, the king’s bastard, just named Baron of Wheatley, so he’s a lord, now.” At Shiloh’s look of confusion, Penn further explained. “The king chose to give him a title, though he’s a bastard. The king is most fond of him. His late mother was an earl’s daughter, the king’s favorite mistress. He’s a very sweet boy, cheerful, but not terribly good at his schoolwork.”
As if to emphasize Penn’s point, Jaym picked that precise moment to accidentally set his own hair on fire. His partner laughed uproariously.
Book Link for Scout Campaign
Author Links for A.M. Manay
For anyone who leaves a comment EVERY DAY of her blog tour, you will go into a drawing for an autographed paperback of her YA FANTASY NOVEL: “HEXBORN.”
“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”
Thank you so much, once again, for your support!!