to the GIVEN Fantastic Flying Book Club Blog Tour!
Thank you all for stopping in and showing support for this tour and author’s newest novel!
BLOG POST TABLE OF CONTENTS:
– THE BOOK –
– THE AUTHOR –
About the Author
‘The World of Given’
Stay in Touch with the Author
– THE TOUR –
– TAKE ME HOME –
⫸ BOOK STATS ⫷
AUTHOR: Nandi Taylor
RELEASE DATE: January 21st 2020
PUBLISHER: Wattpad Books
GENRE (S): Fantasy
PAGES: 352 [HARDCOVER]
SERIES: Stand – Alone
⫸ SYNOPSIS ⫷
A subversive fantasy-romance steeped in West-African and Caribbean traditions.
Yenni has never been this far from home. With only her wits, her strength and her sacred runelore, the fierce Yirba warrior princess is alone in the Empire of Cresh. It’s a land filled with strange magics and even stranger people—many of whom mistrust anyone who’s different. But Yenni will prove herself, and find a cure for her father’s wasting illness. She will not fail.
No one warned her about the dragons. Especially not about him.
Yes, there is something powerful and compelling about the violet-black dragon known as Weysh. In human form he’s muscular, beautiful—and completely infuriating. What kind of arrogant creature claims a stranger as his Given; as his destined mate? Yenni is no man’s—or dragon’s—plaything. But other magics must be at work here, because Weysh might just be her best hope at finding the answers she seeks.
Only now Yenni can’t tell if she’s fighting her attraction to a dragon…or fighting fate itself.
⫸ BOOK LINKS ⫷
⫸ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ⫷
Nandi Taylor is a Canadian writer of Caribbean descent based in Toronto. She’s a two-time Watty award winner, and her Wattpad story GIVEN has garnered over one million reads and earned the 2018 Worldbuilders Watty award.
Nandi grew up devouring sci-fi and fantasy novels, and from a young age wrote books of her own. Her books are an expression of what she always wanted more of growing up—diverse protagonists in speculative settings. Common themes she writes about are growth, courage, and finding one’s place in the world.
Her debut novel Given will be published by Wattpad Books in January 2020.
Nandi on Creating ‘The World of Given‘
World building is my jam. One of the main compliments I get time and again about Given is that the world building is detailed and immersive. In fact Given received a “World builders” Watty award back in 2018. So what is it that’s so special about the world of Given?
One of my main characters, Yenni, comes from a culture inspired by the traditions of West Africa and the Caribbean, which until very recently was not something we saw much in fantasy fiction, and especially not in fantasy-romance. Her culture is contrasted to that of the neighboring Empire of Cresh, which more closely resembles the pre-industrial European template that dominates fantasy writing.
Yenni struggles to acclimatize to Creshen ideals, in particular the way they perform magic. On her home island magic is done through “runelore” which involves drawing runes on the body and singing wordless rune hymns to infuse them with magic. In the empire of Cresh, magic is done through incantations bolstered by an ironclad faith in a collection of theories, laws and principles. Yenni is incredibly skilled at runelore, but struggles with Creshen magic, as she hasn’t grown up with and lacks the belief necessary to make it work.
I had a lot of fun getting into the nitty-gritty details about the two magic systems, and how they are viewed. For example the reason island rune hymns have no worlds is due to a belief that the magic of the gods is too sacred to be expressed by human language. And the rune hymns can also act as a form of prayer or worship. Islanders have a deep reverence for runelore, but the people of Cresh consider it “primitive”, which leads to a lot of conflict for Yenni throughout the book.
Creshen magic is all rooted in a shared belief in theories and laws. For example, one law states that all incantations must have exactly seven syllables. Creshens view their magic as progressive and superior, but Yenni finds it cumbersome, and her people consider it foolhardy of Creshens to pull magical energy directly through their bodies as they do rather than through the protection of a rune.
Though the magic is by far the biggest example of the way I compare and contrast the two cultures, I also include detailed descriptions of food (a trick I picked up from George R.R. Martin) Yenni’s opinions on Creshen clothes, architecture and social customs.
There’s so much that went into crafting the world of Given, and I think it’s attention to both the major elements of the world and the little details that make it feel real.
⫸ STAY IN TOUCH WITH NANDI ⫷
⫸ THE TOUR ⫷
SEE FULL TOUR SCHEDULE HERE:
⫸ TAKE ME HOME ⫷