Happy Thursday and welcome to my stop on the CAST IN FIRELIGHT blog tour! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Dana Swift to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
Cast in Firelight by Dana Swift
Series: Wickery #1
Published on January 19, 2021 by Delacorte Press
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance
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Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.
Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who's mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.
Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery's most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.
Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross...and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.
Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery's fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it's complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.
The first book in an epic, heart-pounding fantasy duology about two royal heirs betrothed to be married, but whose loyalties are torn, and a ruthless enemy who threatens their world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh.
If you could trade lives with any book character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
When I first thought about this question my mind went to fantasy books, but so many fantasy worlds are dangerous to live in and I don’t know if I could make it a day. Thus, my pick is a more leisurely contemporary classic that happens to be my favorite book – Anne of Green Gables. I love how good all the main characters are and I would love to Anne’s friend and get into shenanigans with her, maybe even for a few months.
What would you do if you spent the day with Adraa and Jatin? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
First thing first I would want to see them do all their magic spells. Maybe they could spare with one another and I could just watch. Second, I would ask for a ride on their sky gliders and fly over their cities. I’d like to eat at the restaurant they go to late at night for their maybe sort of date thing that happens, haha. Overall, though it would be so fascinating to talk to them. Though we can’t let them know all the bad stuff that is happening to them is my doing.
If Adraa and Jatin were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
I think Adraa and Jatin would get along with a lot of other literary couples. Katniss and Peeta from the Hunger Games for instance would be an interesting double date. Adraa and Katniss both have younger sisters and I think they could bond over that. And I think Peeta and Jatin would be friendly and understand what it means to support and be there for their strong partners so I think it would go well.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
Huh, I think I used a lot of research truthfully and if I didn’t use it, the knowledge still felt useful for the world or story. I looked into city names a lot in order to create my own since naming things in a fantasy world is the hardest part for me.
One thing I researched in order to not include it in the book are swear words, particular the word damn. I learned about swear words and their categorization and stayed away from curses with religious connotations, especially Western Christian connotations. So, you’ll find CAST IN FIRELIGHT only uses the word damn once, and it’s a very specific scene and reason.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Cast in Firelight?
I have so many favorites, but I think I’ll go with the scene where Adraa and Jatin are in a clinic together and he’s making her a potion. It’s the only scene in the book I could have probably cut, but I loved it so much I fought for it. It’s a little deeper in the book and I don’t want to spoil anything but the way the scene ends with the characters staring at each other always makes me happy when rereading it.
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
There is an entire written alternative ending that I queried actually. My agent recommended I change the last 10,000 words of the story and I rewrote it before we submitted it to publishers. The old ending doesn’t resolve as many questions and actually brings up more questions, so I rewrote it to tie more things together and bring about a less cliffhanger ending. One or two scenes that were cut are at the beginning of book three however, which is fun.
Dana Swift started making up fantasy worlds when she was eleven years old and hasn’t stopped since. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned degrees in English and Advertising. While in college, Dana competed as a saber fencer and learned a thing or two about fighting, parrying and how it feels to fall in love with your sparring partner. She currently lives with said husband in Miami, Florida.
Have you added this book to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!