Welcome to the SWORD AND STAR blog tour!
SWORD AND STAR is the conclusion of a trilogy I started (with my co-author for LINE AND ORBIT Lisa Soem) over a decade ago. It’s been a long, strange journey and now it’s over. It’s not the first book trilogy I’ve finished, but it’s certainly the closest to my heart.
It’s been amazing getting to know this world and these characters over the course of three books, and it’s been even more amazing getting to share it all with readers. Adam Yuga and Lochlan d’Bideshi’s story is done, Eva Reyes and Kyle Waverly have found their own conclusion, Kae and Leila’s part in this tale is over (though you’ll see those two again in the forthcoming LINEAGE), and I’ve bid a fond farewell to the Bideshi seer Nkiruka. Goodbyes are never easy, but when you arrive at a good one, it’s immensely satisfying.
I’m so grateful to everyone who’s traveled with me, and just as grateful to the people coming to the story now. Whatever category you fall into, I hope you’ll find this final volume a fitting end.
Thank you for being here!
SWORD AND STAR, the final book in this trilogy, was very long in coming. As a matter of fact, Riptide is part of the reason why it was written at all; they gave FALL AND RISING a home when I was struggling to find one for it. So once that happened and I knew I would be writing the final volume when I did, it was an intensely emotional experience.
You see, the first book in the trilogy – LINE AND ORBIT – was written over half a decade ago, and since then I’ve devoted space in my brain to the larger story, in one form or another. Writing a single standalone book over the course of a few months is one thing, but when you live so long with these specific characters and this specific universe, and you come to know them so well, it’s quite a different thing. Or it was for me.
And when it comes time to say goodbye, that goodbye is somewhat difficult. Even if you knew it was coming.
It was a relief to finish SWORD AND STAR, the way it’s a relief to finish a draft of any novel and be able to take a rest. But it was also a time of stock-taking and reflection. The last seventeen thousand words or so were frantically written over the course of a single twelve-hour period, a monumental marathon of writing unlike any I had ever experienced before, and coming out of it (shortly after dawn) was a bit like coming out of a dream. For years and then for twelve intense hours I had been partially immersed in this world, companion to these people, and now I was bidding them farewell. I had dealt with my last villain. I had seen the characters to their individual endings. It was over.
Of course, there was still a lot of editing to do, and there are other stories set in this universe (LABYRINTHIAN is one, and the forthcoming LINEAGE is another; the latter, a prequel of sorts, will feature many of the same characters as the Root Code trilogy). But this story is done.
Later there was a sense of real accomplishment, and now I can look back and see the entire trilogy as something to be proud of. But in those moments after I wrote The End it simply felt strange. And good. I think the ending is a good one, I think I told the story I meant to tell (and did justice to the original vision of my and my LINE AND ORBIT co-author). There’s a lot of satisfaction in that. But mostly there I was, embracing these people and wishing them well. I very much doubt that I’ll see some of them again. And that’s okay. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with knowing when it’s time to let something go, and indeed I think that’s part of good storytelling. Endings are very important (I talk about them in more detail in another post on this tour).
So if this felt like a worthwhile goodbye on my part, I hope it’ll feel the same on yours. And whether you’ve been with me as the books have been written or are only coming to them now, I hope you’ll feel some of the same bittersweet mess that accompanies a leavetaking of something you’ve grown to love.
About Sword and Star
Three months after a brutal battle at Peris, Adam Yuga, Lochlan D’Bideshi, and their rebel fleet are embroiled in a new conflict. But things aren’t going well. Even with Lock’s homeship, Ashwina, at the head of the fleet, the Protectorate forces are adapting to their tactics. Before long, two devastating blows send the ragtag rebels on the run. But the greatest threat may come from within.
Since the battle at Peris, Protectorate loyalist Isaac Sinder’s determination to eliminate the rebel fleet has only intensified—along with his ambition. The Protectorate is decaying, and it’s clear to Isaac that only he can save it, by any means necessary.
As the situation worsens for the rebels, the strain begins to tell on everyone. But more than exhaustion grows within Adam. Something alien has started to change him. Lochlan fights to hold on, but even he may not be able to follow Adam down the dark road ahead.
As Isaac’s obsession turns to insanity, it becomes evident that more sinister plans than his are at work. Bound together by threads of fate and chance, Adam and Lochlan turn their eyes toward a future that may tear them apart—if they’re lucky enough to survive it at all.
About Sunny Moraine
Sunny Moraine’s short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Nightmare, Lightspeed, Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, and multiple Year’s Best collections, among other places. They are also responsible for the novels Line and Orbit (cowritten with Lisa Soem), Labyrinthian, and the Casting the Bones trilogy, as well as A Brief History of the Future: collected essays. In addition to authoring, Sunny is a doctoral candidate in sociology and a sometimes college instructor; that last may or may not have been a good move on the part of their department. They unfortunately live just outside Washington DC in a creepy house with two cats and a very long-suffering husband.
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To celebrate the release of Sword and Star, Sunny is giving away a signed copy of the book and a handmade necklace. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 28, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!