Thanks to Disney-Hyperion, we are taking part in the Burning Magic Blog Tour. We recently received a complimentary copy of the third book in the Shadow Magic series and Gabby is loving it.
BURNING MAGIC (Disney-Hyperion; On Sale: April 10, 2018) by Joshua Khan is the third and final installment in the Shadow Magic trilogy. In this sizzling adventure, Lily the sorcerer queen and Thorn the giant-bat-whisperer journey to the Sultanate of Fire to help their friend K’leef in a no-holds-barred contest for the throne.
When Lily, aka the “witch queen” and bat-rider extraordinaire Thorn travel to Sultanate of Fire, things go terribly wrong. Instead of celebrating a reunion with their old friend K’leef, they are thrust into royal murder, an epic quest, and a deadly battle for the throne.
While investigating the murder, Lily learns shocking truths about her life that could destroy all she has achieved. Yet, among the ruins of her old life, she has the opportunity to become someone greater . . . and more terrifying.
Thorn and the magnificent bat, Hades, join the timid K’leef and the idiotic Gabriel Solar in a quest to find a phoenix. These fire birds are the key to saving the sultanate, but they nest within the Shardlands. The boys must defeat not only the monsters of that magical wilderness, but also rivals eager to claim the throne for themselves. Rivals that include a renegade from House Shadow.
You will never catch Gabby without a book in her hand. She loves reading daily and is almost finished with Burning Magic. To give you an inside look into the author behind the magic, check out our interview with Joshua Khan.
Author Joshua Khan
How does it feel being a part of the Disney-Hyperion publishing family? When you first started writing books, did you hope to work with Disney?
What I love about Disney is, despite its huge size, the publishing division (Disney-Hyperion) is actually quite small and you do feel part of the family. I’ve known a lot of the team for coming up to ten years and that in itself is a big deal, the low turn-over tells you people want to work there and stay there.
It means you’re able to build up relationships with the team, one of my best memories is a seemingly endless road trip with Dina, the marketing director, discussing our love for 80s rock music while we looked for the elusive turn off the highway!
Yeah, working with Disney is pretty special.
With Burning Magic being the third book in the trilogy, do you feel more excited or sad to be finished?
There is a bit of sadness, but mainly a massive thrill to have had the chance to wrap up the series how I wanted. The initial deal was for two books and there mean leaving a lot out, especially the BIG question: why did the Six Princes fear women using magic so much? I skirted around the subject in the first two books, but there was no natural point to actually dig deep into that ancient law. BURNING MAGIC is all centred around that question and allows me to finish on a big note.
From the characters in the Shadow Magic trilogy, which do you relate to?
Lily, I reckon. Her sense of duty is actually quite parental, and that’s where I am. She’s got responsibility far beyond herself, she needs to take care of a whole country and those that live (and unlive) in it!
But I envy Thorn for his courage. He’s the guy who just does what’s right and doesn’t worry about the consequences. That’s a pretty great quality to have. I probably over-think things, Thorn doesn’t and he’s all the happier because of it.
What inspired these stories?
Where to begin? Thorn was very much based on Robin Hood and my love for English mythology and legends. Lily comes from a combination of Queen Elizabeth the 1st and Malala, the young Pakistani women’s rights activist.
Then I adore fantasy! The Hobbit is my favourite book of all time. I don’t know how many times I’ve read it. It is considered a children’s book, but has unbelievable depth, the world-building is beyond compare. It was very much on my mind when I started developing the world of Shadow Magic.
Then I do love a good mystery, and historical fiction. Both were key in creating the trilogy. All three books are mysteries at heart, so the heroes are really detectives as much as they may be peasant outlaws and dark princesses. Then historical fiction helps you build a setting that, though not real, feels authentic. The reader must believe in the world, despite all its fantastical elements, otherwise they won’t invest in it and what happens within the pages won’t matter.
What is your next project?
Top secret. I will be meeting my editor to discuss it in about an hour. It is HUGE! Very different from the SHADOW MAGIC series but, I hope, even more intense.
What advice do you have for young boys that may have stories of their own they want to share? Any tips for becoming a writer?
Yes! The one tip I have is FINISH. The two most important words in a story are ‘THE END’. Set yourself goals, start small then build them up. The sense of progress then acts as encouragement rather than a burden. Say a few hundred words a week. Then maybe aim at a five hundred, and a thousand. But writing is a marathon slog. Stories come slowly and take their time. You will struggle, usually around the middle, so be aware of it and ready for it. If you finish a story and enjoyed it, then you are a writer. It is that simple.
Take a bunch of your favourite things as your inspiration. Write about what you love, not what you think people want to read. Writing should be a joy, and escape, and exploration. Allow it to take you to unexpected places.
Order your copy of Burning Magic today.