Happy Tuesday and welcome to my interview with Tanaz Bhathena, author of Hunted by the Sky! I am so excited for you to discover what Tanaz would do if she spent the day with Gul and Cavas, plus some other fun info that didn’t end up in the book!
Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena
Series: The Wrath of Ambar #1
Published on June 23, 2020 by Farrar
Genres: YA, Fantasy
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Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul's mark is what caused her parents' murder at the hand of King Lohar's ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge.
Cavas lives in the tenements, and he's just about ready to sign his life over to the king's army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girl--Gul--in the capital's bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance--and discovers a magic he never expected to find.
Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king's domain in Ambar Fort . . . a world with secrets deadlier than their own.
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?
For a day, maybe Hermione Granger from Harry Potter! (Preferably during a quiet Christmas at Hogwarts when I could enjoy myself without any death threats hanging over my best friend.) But any more than that would be a problem—tough as it is, I’m okay with my real life at the moment. ☺
What would you do if you spent the day with Gul and Cavas? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
I would totally hang out with them at the moon festival in Ambarvadi. We’d eat chandramas (this amazing moon-shaped sweet) at the bazaar, drink cold rose sherbet and just have a good time laughing at people trying to woo each other that day.
If Gul and Cavas were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
I think they would totally hang out with Zarin and Porus from my own book, A GIRL LIKE THAT. Gul and Zarin have similar personalities and Cavas and Porus would have a good time laughing at their antics.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
Medieval India is a pretty violent place—it was fairly common for rulers to have elephants crush the heads of people who displeased them! (Read Rebel Sultans by Manu Pillai) I have a lot going on already in the book so I decided to hold back the raging pachyderm for another one.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Hunted by the Sky?
“Every heart holds a warrior. Some are born, some are made, while some choose to never take up arms. What you are and who you will become will be entirely up to you.”
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
For this one, I didn’t consider any alternate endings. I sort of knew where the story was headed overall, but it took me a while to figure out how to get there.