Welcome to my stop on the Siege of Shadows Blog Tour! I am excited to be posting a Guest Post + Review.
Siege of Shadows Info
Title: SIEGE of SHADOWS
Author: Sarah Raughly
Pub. Date: November 21, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Find it: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | B&N | Book Depository
There’s nowhere to hide.
Not when you’re an Effigy. No matter where they go, Maia and the other Effigies can’t escape the eyes of the press—especially not after failing to capture Saul, whose power to control the monstrous Phantoms has left the world in a state of panic. It’s been two months since Saul’s disappearance, and there’s still no sign of him, leaving the public to wonder whether the Sect—and the Effigies—are capable of protecting anyone.
When Saul suddenly surfaces in the middle of the Sahara desert, the Sect sends Maia and her friends out after him. But instead of Saul, they discover a dying soldier engineered with Effigy-like abilities. Even worse, there may be more soldiers like him out there, and it looks like the Effigies are their prime targets.
Yet the looming danger of Saul and this mysterious new army doesn’t overshadow Maia’s fear of the Sect, who ordered the death of the previous Fire Effigy, Natalya. With enemies on all sides and the world turning against them, the Effigies have to put their trust in each other—easier said than done when secrets threaten to tear them apart.
About the Author
Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to SF/F TV to Japanese Role Playing Games, but she will swear up and down that she was inspired by ~Jane Austin~ at book signings. On top of being a YA Writer, she is currently completing a PhD in English, because the sight of blood makes her queasy (which crossed Medical School off the list).
She is represented by The Bradford Literary Agency.
So far, you can also find her on Twitter, where work ethic goes to die.
SIEGE OF SHADOWS by Sarah Raughley is the sequel to last year’s fantastic debut, Fate of Flames. For centuries, four girls are bestowed elemental powers to fight off the monster like phantoms and protect the world from destruction. They are called the Effigies. In the present day, new Effigy Maia and her oddball team of girls must face a new threat, Saul and his plans to destroy or save (however you look at it) world. They must learn to work together to get to the bottom of this global disaster and save the world from possible annihilation.
Picking up a couple weeks or months after the end of Fate of Flames, the girls are starting to work better together. I thought SIEGE OF SHADOWS was an amazing sequel. It has more action, more girls kicking ass with their cool powers, more character developments, and a closer look at the world and mythology.
Raughley steps up her writing game and produced a well-written story. Her world building became more extensive, her character writing became more refined and the story just grips you from beginning to end. There are so many secrets, lies, and other conspiracies that get brought to light! Let’s not forget that ending. I want to talk about it so much but it’s a major spoiler. It takes guts as a writer to take it as far as Raughley did, and I think it was well worth it! I’m so interested to see what happens next.
Although I am still not feeling the main character Maia, the other three girls still remain a highlight for me. Belle is going through some dark times in the sequel, Chae Rin is dealing with problems at home, and Lake is still trying to find some semblance of a normal life in this crazy world they live in. With the events that happen at the end of the book, I’m interested to see how this is going to affect the characters and the group as a whole.
Saul/Alice/Nick, on the other hand, are so devilishly captivating. Definitely one of the biggest highlights of SIEGE OF SHADOWS for me. I love how dark and evil they are, even if they see what they’re doing as good. We need more interactions with them with the other characters though.
Overall, SIEGE OF SHADOWS is an explosive sequel and I highly recommend getting into this series. You will love the Sailor Moon, Buffy, Pacific Rim influences!!
Your Writing Journey and How You Became a Published Author
I wanted to be a writer because I loved telling stories. Ever since I was a kid, stories – especially fantasy and adventure stories – just caught my imagination. So I’ve been writing my own adventures for many years. When I was a teen I wrote some short stories, some fanfiction (Harry Potter, Pokemon, and an attempted Gundam Wing fanfic that never got off the ground lol) and even tried my hand at a novel before I even knew how to write one. But it was only when I was in undergrad that I finally started to build the courage to actually try to finish and publish one. I think the post-Twilight YA boom really lit a fire under me, re-invigorating my desire to really put my work out there, because I was reading all these books thinking, “Hey, I can do that! I have cool ideas too!” I got an agent in 2010 after six months of querying and published my first novel in 2014.
At the time, querying agents for six months felt like hell, but looking back I realize that I was really one of the lucky ones; some people spend years in the trenches and I was lucky enough to get representation and publish relatively early on in life. I followed sites like Querytracker, did my research on the entire process from writing query letters to revising your work according to agents’ comments. Of course, there was heartache along the way too, as there must be during one’s publishing journey. My first book didn’t sell no matter how many times I revised it. I still LOVE that one and really want to do something with it, though I have no idea what. I have piles and piles of rejections that broke my spirit. But the important thing is that I kept writing and didn’t give up.
I have this really crystal clear memory of being 10 or 11 years old in my room and imagining talking to a crowd of fans at a library or something about the characters of a book I just published thinking, ‘maybe I can do this one day’. So yeah, I am really glad I didn’t give up!
11/20/2017- Literary Treats – Review + Guest Post
11/21/2017- Books at Dawn – Review + Guest Post
11/22/2017- The Wicked Reader – Review + Guest Post
11/23/2017- Burning Impossibly Bright – Review + Guest Post
11/24/2017- Big City Bookworm – Review + Author Q&A
Until next time,