Happy Wednesday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for GAME OF STRENGTH AND STORM! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Rachel Menard to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it!
Published on June 7, 2022 by Flux
Genres: Retellings, YA, Fantasy, Queer
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Victory is the only option.
Once a year, the Olympian Empresses grant the wishes of ten people selected by a lottery—for a price. Seventeen-year-old Gen, a former circus performer, wants the freedom of her father, who was sentenced to life in prison for murders she knows he didn’t commit. Castor plans to carry the island Arcadia into the future in place of her brother, Pollux, but only after the Empresses force a change in her island’s archaic laws that requires a male heir.
To get what they want, Gen and Castor must race to complete the better half of ten nearly impossible labors. They have to catch the fastest ship in the sea, slay the immortal Hydra, defeat a gangster called the Boar, and capture the flesh-eating Mares, among other deadly tasks.
Gen has her magic, her ability to speak to animals, her inhuman strength—and the help of Pollux, who’s been secretly pining for her for years. But Castor has her own gifts: the power of the storms, along with endless coin. Only one can win. The other walks away with nothing—if she walks away at all.
What would you do if you spent the day with Gen and Castor? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Oh Gen and I would have an awesome day. We would go shopping, take a ride in her whale, then go to a restaurant where we would order one of everything off of the dessert menu. A day with Castor wouldn’t go so well. She would eventually make some snide comment to me, I would say something back, and then she would burn me to a crisp with lightning.
If Gen and Castor were to hang out with other fictional characters, who would they be and why?
I think Gen would have a great day with Dr. Doolittle. They are both a bit eccentric and prefer spending time with animals instead of people. I could see them sipping tea in the middle of a menagerie, swapping stories about their troublesome pets.
Castor likes the company of troublesome women and doesn’t much like pets so I could see her hanging out with Cruella De Vil. They are both savvy and cruel businesswomen who don’t let morality get in the way of their plans. They could talk about their incompetent henchman and how best to cut corners to be more profitable.
If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?
Narnia, after the fall of the White Witch when the Pevensie children are running the show. Without the danger of the White Witch, it would be my perfect cottagecore day, hanging out with talking beavers and dancing with fauns in a flower-filled meadow.
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
Um, well, a copy of Game of Strength and Storm would be one, two would be a DVD copy of the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, and three would be a DVD player in case they become obsolete in the future because it wouldn’t be fair to give them P&P and them not be able to watch it.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
In the original Hercules myth, Hercules is sent to the labors by King Eurystheus. Hercules defeats the Nemean Lion first, and Eurystheus is so amazed by the feat, he begins to fear Hercules. So he has a giant bronze pot made that he can hide inside. HA! It sounds like something Shaggy would do in Scooby Doo. Needless to say, there are no hiding pots in my retelling.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Game of Strength and Storm?
One scene that has barely changed since the first draft, is the scene where we first see Pollux, Castor’s brother, play his violin. He combines his violin music with his storm magic to create a performance piece where the notes he plays make cloud shapes that tell a story. I had this vision of a single player on stage, sitting under a rain cloud, while a giant, dark storm cloud villain looms behind him. It’s such a character building moment for both him and Gen, where you visually have this one small person creating something much greater than themselves.
What do you think about Game of Strength and Storm? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!