Quest of Fire: Succession & The Gathering Dark Book Tour: Author Interview + Giveaway

 

Quest of Fire Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Quest of Fire: Succession & The Gathering Dark by Brett Armstrong, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!




Succession
Title: Succession 
Series: Quest of Fire #0.5 
Author: Brett Armstrong 
Publisher: Expanse Books 
Release Date: November 10, 2020 
Genre: Christian Epic Fantasy 

Son of the Northern Realm’s Defender, raised among the dwarfs of Ordumair, Meredoch was anticipated to succeed his father. Some whispered he would bring the longed-for peace between Ordumair and their ancient foe, Ecthelowall. All of that changes when Ordumair’s Thane is killed and Meredoch and his family are exiled. From prestige to poverty, the young boy must chart a new course. 

As the years pass and the idol that was his father’s legacy tarnishes, his past threatens to resurface. An artifact of immeasurable worth to Ordumair is found and if recovered by the cruel Elder Ulster it means disaster for those Meredoch cares about. Battling creatures he believed only myths and racing Ulster’s minions to the prize, Meredoch must face the truth of his place in the world and claim his right of succession. 


 

The Gathering Dark
Title: The Gathering Dark 
Series: Quest of Fire #1 
Author: Brett Armstrong 
Publisher: Expanse Books 
Release Date: June 24, 2020 
Genre: Christian Epic Fantasy 

Jason is an expert at running from his past. But when it catches up, he finds himself hiding in a peculiar inn listening to a tale from centuries past. 

The story is Anargen’s, a teen who is pulled from all he loves to follow his oaths of loyalty to the fabled King of the Realms. Together with his mentor, Cinaed, he rides north on a special quest to mediate peace talks between ancient foes—the men of Ecthelowall and the dwarfs of Ordumair. Nothing goes as planned. Many on both sides of the dispute despise Anargen’s Order. Worse, an arcane evil has returned to the North. This “Grey Scourge” seeks to ruin the peace talks and ensure a lost treasure held by the dwarfs is never found by those for whom it is meant. 

As Anargen’s story unfolds, Jason begins to wonder whether it is truly just a fable. He soon finds himself drawn into the conflict Anargen faced. A battle which has shaped and can destroy his world.



Brett Armstrong

Brett Armstrong has been exploring other worlds as a writer since age nine. Years later, he still writes, but now invites others along on his excursions. He’s shown readers haunting, deep historical fiction (Destitutio Quod Remissio), scary-real dystopian sci-fi (Day Moon and Veiled Sun), and dark, sweeping epic fantasy (Quest of Fire). Every story is a journey of discovery and an attempt to be a brush in the Master Artist’s hand. Through dark, despair, light, joy, and everything in between, the end is always meant to leave his fellow literary explorers with wonder and hope. Always busy with a new story, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and spending time with his wife and son.

CONNECT WITH BRETT: Website | Facebook | Twitter



Hi Brett! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and giving my readers the chance to get to know you and your series- Quest of Fire a little bit better!  I like to start these interviews the same way with something fun to break the ice: can you share 5 random facts about yourself that we will NOT find in your bio?

1. I've been blessed to grow up in and attend the same small church my whole life. The building moved and the name changed, but I've had the privilege of getting to see several members go through the different phases of life and the examples they've set along the way. That means a lot to me.

2. My day job is being the infectious disease data manager for the state of WV. Which basically means that I get to troubleshoot the surveillance systems and extract data for analysis by our epidemiologists. Things have been beyond crazy for me since March, so prayers are appreciated.

3. I haven’t personally read any of the Harry Potter series, which probably seems odd given I was in the prime age for it when it was first released and grew up reading Arthur legends and all sorts of fantasy stories.

4. I can throw out an annoying number of quotes from books, movies, and TV. At least annoying is the word my wife politely chooses not to use for it.

5. Thanks to my little boy, I found out I can do pretty good impressions of Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Grover.

Let’s talk writing! You started writing at a very young age, did you always know that this was something you would pursue professionally?

In sixth grade I had to write about what I would be doing in the future. Apparently at that time I thought I would be writing books. Somewhere along the way I stopped believing that and convinced myself writing wasn’t an option for me. It wasn’t until my junior year of college and having taken a few writing classes for fun that I had an epiphany. Much like 1924 Olympian Eric Liddell is quoted as saying, “God made me fast. When I run I feel His pleasure,” I realized when I write I felt like I was doing something for which I was made. I do other things well enough and enjoy doing other things, but nothing feels quite like writing. That’s not to say I have any crazy notions of being the best or even particularly good. But from that day till now there’s not been a day where I felt wrong about pursuing writing or that the Lord couldn’t use it for His purposes and glory.

What do you imagine you would be doing if not writing books?

Maybe drawing more, I’ve always enjoyed both immensely. Possibly reading more or spending time on other creative hobbies. I’m not sure where I would be or what job I would have though. I got my current job straight out of college and part of why I chose it is at the time it was stable work hours, close to family, and it gave me plenty of time to write and to complete a master’s degree program in English and creative writing. If writing hadn’t been part of the equation, I might’ve picked a different job and maybe ended up somewhere else by now.

The Quest of Fire series is an epic young adult adventure with mythical elements… What drew you to this particular genre?

I grew up reading the Arthur legends, so fantasy was always something I enjoyed. I also loved reading about ancient cultures and legends. Then my senior year of high school I read The Lord of the Rings which combines the fantastical with incredible attention to intricate details of the history and lore of its setting. I knew someday I wanted to tell a story that had depth to its world and richness of history like Middle Earth. Another part of the draw of fantasy is it’s particularly adept at helping us face real world problems in a way that doesn’t create the anxiety it might if directly presented. I read an article about a study into the way the brain processes what is read and it’s remarkably similar to how it processes lived events. So, when G.K. Chesterton spoke of children knowing bogeys and dragons exist but stories giving them a St. George to defeat them, he was spot on. Fantasy lets you tell sweeping, engaging stories unique to the genre and simultaneously say something really meaningful that can stick with a reader. That’s really special.


Can you tell us a little bit about The Gathering Dark, Succession or the series as a whole?

Quest of Fire as a series is a saga with past and present strands woven together and playing out for the reader at the same time. In The Gathering Dark you have one protagonist, Anargen, a teen who clings to his past unassuming life in a speck of a village during the Middle Era of the Lowlands, the series’ world. The other protagonist is Jason, who is a teen on the run from his past in that world’s Modern Era. Jason encounters a storyteller who relates Anargen’s adventure to help rescue a nation of dwarfs from their long-time adversaries who have created an alliance with a creature of myths. At first Jason doesn’t believe the story to be real, but over time he’s drawn into the same quest Anargen was on centuries earlier. In a lot of ways as the series progresses Anargen’s successes and failures help to shape Jason and either aid or deter him from completing his part in the quest.  

Succession takes a step back in time to show how Meredoch, who is a central figure in The Gathering Dark, became the man he is by then. His path parallels the other two protagonists, while giving a deeper look into the conflict between the dwarfs of Ordumair and the men of Ecthelowall. It helps give context for that centuries old feud and frames what Anargen and the others are trying to accomplish in The Gathering Dark in a new way while also telling an intensely personal story for Meredoch. Its tag line is, “The heir must prove his worth or die trying.” That’s no exaggeration of the risks for him and along the way he has to decide whether those risks, in part on the behalf of others, is worth it.

My plan for the series is to give readers the major sweeping novels that follow the saga directly and in between each novel, have novellas that expand the view of the story world, show other characters, and in give a chance to catch a breath before the next novel comes.

Succession is a prequel to The Gathering Dark. Do you recommend reading in chronological order of the story or in order of release?

It’s a fair question and I’m kind of torn on that. There are pros and cons to each. If you read Succession first, I think there are several moments where the emotional payoffs are enhanced and you come into it with a better sense of the conflict between the Ords and Ecthels. But there are a few surprises in The Gathering Dark that are revealed in Succession. I would say if you’re a reader who likes to be surprised, read The Gathering Dark first, but if you’re a reader who enjoys having some inside knowledge the protagonist doesn’t, then read Succession first.

What do you hope readers will take away from the series?

I of course hope they enjoy reading the books and find the various facets of the Lowlands as interesting to explore and wonder after as I do. The most important thing I’d like to impart through the series is encouragement to stand firm in their faith and experience a renewed sense of Christ’s majesty as King of Kings. I feel like especially in the US where we have no sense of what a monarchy is there’s kind of a disconnect between the awe-filled respect you see biblical persons showing the royalty of their day and how we view Christ Who is seated at God’s right hand. I think the courage to stand firm in the faith and a renewed sense of awe at Who Christ is really go hand in hand. If the series encourages a reader to keep running the race to which we’ve been called, I consider it a success.

Thank you again for taking the time to answer these questions. Before you go, are there any other projects you are currently working on that you can share?

I have a few things I’m working on. The biggest news is that I’m working on the third book in the Quest of Fire series, Shadows at Nightfall, which is set to release September 14, 2021. It picks up right after the events of The Gathering Dark, though there are hints of things that will be important for that book in Succession. There are a ton of new places, characters, creatures, and Lowlands lore to be discovered, along with dangers from ghosts of the past and new arcane threats seeking to prevent the protagonists in both eras of the saga from completing the Quest of Fire.

I’ve also been making some good progress on finishing the last entry in my dystopian sci-fi Tomorrow’s Edge series. The second book, Veiled Sun, released early this year, and the final entry in the trilogy has a lot of intense moments and some twists and turns I don’t think anyone will anticipate.

There are a few other stories I have starts to, but I’m hoping to finish shortly a historical fiction novella. It’s set in early 4th Century AD Rome, and is kind of companion to my first published novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio. At least when I started it was a companion, but really it has become a complex story all its own with three protagonists: a coward, a traitor, and a spy.



(1) winner will receive a story inspired prize package including: • One copy of The Gathering Dark and Succession (Winner’s choice print or e-book) Custom signed bookplates for each if print chosen • One copy of Wardrobes, Wizards, and Halflings: A Faith in Fiction Devotional (Winner’s choice print or e-book) • Two pieces of book swag (winner’s choice from bookswag pics) • Flash Drive with Digital print of previously unreleased The Gathering Dark artwork, MP4 of Quest of Fire’s theme music “Lament for Father” and Digital poster “The Making of Wirgerd” describing the visual and story development of Succession’s monstrous villain!

Quest of Fire JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 26, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 2, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


 

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