Hello Everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen hosted by TBR and Beyond. This stop includes an exclusive Q&A with the author and I am so excited to share it with you.
You can check out the Tour Schedule here.
Title: The Faithless Hawk
Series: The Merciful Crow #2
Author: Margaret Owen
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: August 18th 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Where can I get this? Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble |Indigo
Check out the synopsis below!
Kings become outcasts and lovers become foes in the thrilling sequel to Margaret Owen’s The Merciful Crow.
As the new chieftain of the Crows, Fie knows better than to expect a royal to keep his word. Still she’s hopeful that Prince Jasimir will fulfill his oath to protect her fellow Crows. But then black smoke fills the sky, signaling the death of King Surimir and the beginning of Queen Rhusana’s merciless bid for the throne.
With the witch queen using the deadly plague to unite the nation of Sabor against Crows—and add numbers to her monstrous army—Fie and her band are forced to go into hiding, leaving the country to be ravaged by the plague. However, they’re all running out of time before the Crows starve in exile and Sabor is lost forever.
A desperate Fie calls on old allies to help take Rhusana down from within her own walls. But inside the royal palace, the only difference between a conqueror and a thief is an army. To survive, Fie must unravel not only Rhusana’s plot, but ancient secrets of the Crows—secrets that could save her people, or set the world ablaze.
Can you share with us something about The Faithless Hawk that isn’t in the blurb?
Margaret: There is a DRASTIC increase in the number of cats involved!
Without revealing too much, what was your favourite scene or moment to write in The Faithless Hawk, and why?
Margaret: I always enjoy writing the endings, the big final clashes and the dust settling. It’s when all the dominos you’ve set up get to fall, and the pattern you’ve been building finally reveals itself!
What song would you choose as the theme song for The Faithless Hawk?
Margaret: “The Bleeding of Mercy” by the Telepathic Teddy Bears! The first time I listened to it, I was really captivated by the mournful yet hopeful tone. In particular, the line, “Don’t mourn the setting sun, for it will rise again” struck me as particularly close to home for this book.
I adored your characters—especially how Fie is so unapologetic, unafraid, and full of grit and determination. How did you choose the names for your characters?
Margaret: Thank you so much! For Fie, I wanted her name to evoke a sense of both spite and mischief, and the word “fie” seemed perfect. I wound up compiling a list of old-timey insults for the other Crow names, according to their customs, and I tried to match them up with their personalities the best. The rest of the names I made up, though there’s a bit of a naming convention for the ruling families to adhere to, where the firstborn child’s name is based on the name of one of their parents. (For example, Jasimir’s mother was named Jasindra, and we learn Rhusana’s son is named Rhusomir.)
Looking back, what was the most difficult and what was the most enjoyable part of the whole process of writing and publishing your books?
Margaret: There was a period of time last year when I felt like if I wasn’t making everyone happy, I was failing. That meant if people didn’t like my book, or if I wasn’t able to deliver things on time, or if I wasn’t able to provide cool incentives to preorder my book, I was going to fail as an author, and my career would be over. Needless to say, I was struggling quite a bit to write at that point. There’s a phrase I wound up writing on masking tape and pasting on my desk, which is “The only way out is through,” which was true but a little bleak, so underneath I added, “but you can make it.” And I did!
I’d say the most enjoyable part has been seeing how The Merciful Crow and The Faithless Hawk have touched people, especially when it inspires them to create something themselves. When people reach out to me to say “I loved this part!” or “those monsters were so gross!” or “I HATE this character so much!”, it’s a similar feeling as when your friend texts you as they watch a movie you really love, and they’re super into it. But it’s even better, because I made that movie! (Kind of.)
The Merciful Crow was such an intense and enthralling read. What can fans expect from you in the future? Can you tell us about any future projects?
Margaret: Thank you so much! The Faithless Hawk wraps up the duology, so there aren’t any plans for more books in that universe at the moment, but I never say never. However, I do have a third book due out, likely sometime next year. It’s a loose retelling of The Goose Girl, from the perspective of the fairytale’s villain, a wicked maidservant who stole the princess heroine’s identity. When we meet our narrator, she’s spent the last year or so using the princess’s identity to make it into high society parties and pull off a string of jewelry heists. Then she steals from the wrong family, crosses a local deity, and winds up cursed to turn into jewels herself… unless she can make up for everything she’s taken. It’s a lot of weird magic, scammers scamming scammers, and unorthodox uses of breakfast foods, so all in all a good time! Well, for everyone but our narrator.
There’s a zombie apocalypse! Which four YA protagonists would be on your team and why?
- Katniss from The Hunger Games, she’s got all the outdoor survival knowledge of a Girl Scout on steroids, plus she’s killed before and will kill again.
- Jane McKeene from Dread Nation, she is literally trained to kill zombies.
- Amaya from Scavenge the Stars, because she can sail a boat, and honestly zombies are less of a problem at sea, I feel.
- Nina Zenik, so someone can help me hold down the waffle situation. (And heal the wounded, and possibly control the zombies? But waffles first.)
What would be your supervillain name and powers?
Margaret: Margaret Owen, and making people cry, probably.
Okay, okay, it would probably be something like Her Majesty, because I would 100% be down to do a hivemind-type situation and make people do things like recycle and wear masks and, if we can rope Bezos into this, donate their massive amounts of money to charity.
And finally, whilst there is an endless amount of writing resources online, if you could share one unique piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
A huge thank you to Margaret for your time!
Born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, Margaret Owen first encountered an author in the wild in fourth grade. Roughly twenty seconds later, she decided she too would be an author, the first of many well-thought-out life decisions.
The career plan shifted frequently as Margaret spent her childhood haunting the halls of Powell’s Books. After earning her degree in Japanese, her love of espresso called her north to Seattle, where she worked in everything from thrift stores to presidential campaigns. The common thread between every job can be summed up as: lessons were learned.
Fortunately, it turned out that fourth-grade Margaret was onto something. She now spends her days wrestling disgruntled characters onto the page, and negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her two monstrous cats. (There is surprisingly little difference between the two.) In her free time, she enjoys exploring ill-advised travel destinations, and raising money for social justice nonprofits through her illustrations.
Okay, the fun bit… the giveaway!
Prize: Finished copies of The Merciful Crow and The Faithless Hawk (US and Canada Only)
Start date: August 23rd, 2020
End date: August 29th, 2020
Again, please feel free to follow the next tour stops. The Tour Schedule can be found here.