Title of book and/or series: Halayda (Star-Fae Trilogy book 1)
Brief summary of the story:
Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.
If we were to visit Kyure as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Make sure you go to Sabellyn on a solstice or equinox day! At each change of season, the fae visit the city and hold lavish celebrations to honor the peace treaty between Faerie and the mortal world. Sabellyn is usually pretty drab, but on these days it comes alive with color and magic.
What dangers should we avoid in Kyure?
If you venture into Faerie, make sure you have a trustworthy guide. There are plenty of stories about mortals going there for adventure or a fling with a fae lover and never returning. When you’re in Sabellyn, stay away from the high-ranking alchemists—unless you want to risk becoming a science experiment.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Kyure?
Depends where you go! Each fae people has a favorite food: spiced river weeds for naiads, rich chocolates for Maithe, raw venison for the Wild Hunt (I recommend skipping that last one). The food on Sabellyn is a lot more practical and less interesting (just ask Taylan for his opinion on oatmeal).
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Kyure?
The fae have developed an intricate, elegant sword-fighting style, and they also incorporate magic into their weapons and fighting techniques. On their own, humans are no match for the fae in battle. They’ve spent centuries developing weapons that can effectively counter the fae, though, resulting in excellent firearms and an arsenal of lethal alchemical potions.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Kyure?
Most people in Sabellyn travel on foot or by horse-drawn carriages, or by train or river barge if they’re venturing beyond the city. If you’re traveling in Faerie, you’re walking, unless you can get a ride from a pooka (horse shifter) or a lift from a faerie who’s willing to transport you through the elements. Be careful, though—they’re likely to ask for a favor in return, and that rarely ends well!
A dice game called Ruj is popular in Faerie, especially among the lower classes.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Kyure as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Days and months have different names, but seasons are the same, and years are the same length. The biggest holidays are solstice and equinox days, when the fae and mortal realms come together. The people of Sabellyn also celebrate a few holidays honoring scientific progress and the founding of the city-state, but their celebrations tend to be low-key for the sake of practicality. The fae, on the other hand, will use any occasion as an excuse for a lavish party.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Kyure? Please describe what it involves.
There are no organized religions , but people fervently adhere to certain philosophies. The fae seek pleasure above all things. The “religion” of Sabellyn is progress, and the people of the city-state see scientific advancement and cultural refinement as their highest ends.
|Taylan Ashkalabek, King of Faerie|
What is the political or government structure in Kyure? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Faerie is always ruled by a monarch, who is the highest magical as well as political power. The current king is Taylan Ashkalabek, who has been in power for 1200 years. He is a capable leader who does his best to govern his unruly realm, but his people see him as a killjoy as best and a traitor at worst. Sabellyn is officially governed by an elected Ruling Council, but its true rulers control the city-state from the shadows.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
A lot of the world-building were influenced by my real-world experiences and interests. I’ve been interested in Celtic folklore and balladry for years, so it was a natural choice to base my faeries on the traditional Irish, Scottish, and Welsh sorts (although I took a lot of liberties!). Subtle traces of Arab and Turkish languages and cultures sneaked in too, thanks to the time I spent in the Middle East. The locations were mostly just wish fulfillment, though!
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
None explicitly. My first goal is always to tell a good story. Some subtle commentary on culture worked its way into the world-building, though. There are two contrasting societies in Kyure: the amoral, pleasure-seeking fae and the straight-laced, progress-driven humans. Both of these cultures go extremes and reap the consequences.
Sarah Delena White was raised by wolves in an alternate dimension. She writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is also the Benevolent Firebird (acquisitions editor) for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, drinking tea, and working a variety of odd jobs. She can be bribed with dark chocolate.
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