Pati Nagle is the contributor for this week’s Take Five, a semi-weekly series where we ask authors to share five facts about their latest books. Nagle is the author of Heart of the Exiled, a follow-up to her novel The Betrayal:
The Bitter Wars left a world divided. Now the ælven governors convene a Council at Glenhallow, while the savage kobalen gather in numbers not seen in five centuries. Vastly outnumbered, the ælven clans will send barely trained guardians to confront the kobalen, and a young female warrior, Eliani, will be entrusted with the most crucial mission of all: to reach distant Fireshore and learn why their governor has not responded to the call to war. Bound to her lover Turisan by the power of mindspeech, Eliani will feed vital information to the Ælven Council across vast distances. But Eliani cannot see the dark force watching from the Ebon Mountains. There, Shalár, the ruler of exiled Clan Darkshore, has given the mindless kobalen both power and a plan to cut off the ælven from their brave and gifted mindspeaker—and to reclaim for Shalár’s nearly extinct vampiric clan their ancestral land: Fireshore. But Shalár guards her secrets carefully, and even Eliani cannot know what terrible purpose lurks in the heart of the exiled.
1. Like many writers, I write the stories I want to read. I’ve always loved elves (major fan of Tolkein growing up), and for a long time wished I could find more stories where elves were the heroes instead of the supporting cast. Therefore when I created the fantasy world for Heart of the Exiled, I cast my ælven characters in the leading roles.
2. Some potential readers have expressed concern that the ælven would be too perfect, and thus hard to identify with. After reading my stories these folks have come back and told me they were glad to find that this isn’t the case – the ælven may be immortal, but they have problems and make mistakes just like any “real” people.
3. While Heart of the Exiled is the second book in a series, it stands on its own as a novel. I checked, by having some folks read it without having read The Betrayal, the first book in the series. They gave Heart the thumbs-up for stand-aloneability.
4. Rephanin, a minor character in The Betrayal, is a major, point-of-view character in Heart of the Exiled. Was this a clever plan? Er, no. Sometimes these things come out of the blue. In this case, Rephanin’s viewpoint enhances and deepens the story, and I’m really glad he volunteered.
5. The cool leather armor that Eliani is wearing on the cover of Heart of the Exiled was custom-made for the model especially for this cover. She was photographed wearing it, then the cover artist worked from the photo to create this gorgeous cover. It’s my favorite of all my novel covers so far.