Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the The Archer at Dawn blog tour!! I am so excited to be a part of this tour, and I’m even more excited for you to discover who Swati would love to trade places with, what she’d do if she hung out with her characters for the day, and what her favorite piece of research she didn’t end up using is! Plus, follow the rest of the tour and enter to win a print copy of The Archer at Dawn!
The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala
Series: The Tiger at Midnight #2
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 26, 2020
Genres: YA, Fantasy
The Sun Mela is many things: a call for peace, a cause for celebration, and, above all, a deadly competition. For Kunal and Esha, finally working together as rebel spies, it provides the perfect guise to infiltrate King Vardaan’s vicious court.
Kunal will return to his role as dedicated Senap soldier, at the Sun Mela to provide extra security for the palace during the peace summit for the divided nations of Jansa and Dharka. Meanwhile, Esha will use her new role as adviser to Prince Harun to keep a pulse on shifting political parties and seek out allies for their rebel cause. A radical plan is underfoot to rescue Jansa’s long-lost Princess Reha—the key to the stolen throne.
But amid the Mela games and glittering festivities, much more dangerous forces lie in wait. With the rebel Blades’ entry into Vardaan’s court, a match has been lit, and long-held secrets will force Kunal and Esha to reconsider their loyalties—to their country and to each other. Getting into the palace was the easy task; coming out together will be a battle for their lives.
If you could trade lives with any YA character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
I’m going to have to go with a classic and say I’d love to trade places with Harry, Ron, or Hermione and go to Hogwarts. Right until book 6, that is! Though being part of the Battle of Hogwarts would be pretty cool.
What would you do if you spent the day with Kunal or Esha? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
If I spent the day with Kunal (or Esha, really) I’d take him straight to the bazaar. Good food, music, a chance to get some new paints for his collection, it would have everything.
If Kunal and Esha were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
I think Kunal would and Elias from AN EMBER IN THE ASHES would have a lot in common and would be able to chat about how much they hated being soldiers. Esha would absolutely love Nina from SIX OF CROWS and they’d eat a lot of waffles and mangoes and go on adventures.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
I did a lot of research on ancient hindu temple architecture for something in book 2, but ended up having to cut out a lot of the details. Still, I absolutely loved doing all that research! Another thing I did a lot of research on was trade routes in ancient times. The time period I pulled from was before the Silk Road, but there were still so many methods of advanced and global trade used by ancient India, Greece, and so many other countries. Can you tell I’m a huge history buff? 🙂
How did you choose the names for your characters?
The names came pretty naturally to me as I was writing the characters. It was only later that I realized that somehow, in a very serendipitous manner, the meanings of both Kunal and Esha’s names fit them perfectly.
Can you share some things that we might not know about your characters?
Kunal is a soldier, but his secret passion was to be an artist. A painter, specifically. This pops up here and there in the books. Esha wanted to be a troupe dancer before she got thrown into the rebel life. So, they both had dreams of being artists. Who knows, maybe things will work out!
Swati Teerdhala is the author of The Tiger at Midnight series, which has appeared on both Barnes and Noble and Book Riot’s Most Anticipated Novels lists.
After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BS in finance and BA in history, she tumbled into the marketing side of the technology industry. She’s passionate about many things, including how the right ratio of curd-to-crust in a lemon tart. She currently lives in New York City.