Title: The Bird and the Blade
Author: Megan Bannen (Debut)
Release Date: June 5, 2018 from Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 432 (US Hardcover)
Synopsis: As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.
Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.
Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of … even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
Here’s the link to the full schedule for this awesome tour! We have awesome people to do promotional posts, reviews and other creative stuff 🙂
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan Bannen is a librarian and the author of THE BIRD AND THE BLADE. In her spare time, she collects graduate degrees from Kansas colleges and universities. While most of her professional career has been spent in public libraries, she has also sold luggage, written grants, and taught English at home and abroad. She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, their two sons and a few too pets with literary names. She can be found at http://www.meganbannen.com.
Social media links:
Q&A with Megan Bannen
Guys, how cool is this that I get to ask an author some questions? This was so cool to send these questions to Megan in honor of this blog tour and her upcoming book 🙂
1. What’s your favorite way to explain the synopsis for The Bird and the Blade?
Megan Bannen: It’s not really a synopsis, but my favorite pitch for the book is this: It’s a retelling of an eighteenth century French fairy tale based on a medieval Persian poem set in the thirteenth century Mongol Empire you never knew you always wanted!
2. Your book is inspired by the opera Turnadot. If you could write another retelling of any opera, which one would it be and why?
Megan Bannen: If could tackle another opera retelling, I might try Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro from Cherubino’s point of view as a madcap romp, or if I wanted to stick with a more serious, literary tone, Aaron Copeland’s The Tender Land.
3. Your author’s note talks about the idea of this novel coming to you clear back in 2008. Looking back on it now, how much of your original idea stayed?
Megan Bannen: The basic spine of the story never changed, really. I was always very clear on the theme and tone of the book. Over the years, the novel definitely became less magical/fantastical, because for whatever reason, the story seemed to work better in a more realistic setting. I always knew it would be a non-linear tale, so the hardest part was figuring out the right order of events. The order of the scenes changed drastically from draft to draft until I finally figured out where everything should go.
4. What are some of your favorite 2018 books so far? (They don’t have to be published yet to count)
Megan Bannen: Joy McCullough’s Blood Water Paint, Carrie Fountain’s I’m Not Missing, L.L. McKinley’s A Blade So Black, Nisha Sharma’s My So-Called Bollywood Life, Sarah Henning’s Sea Witch, Natalie C. Parker’s Seafire, Tessa Gratton’s Strange Grace, Kati Gardner’s Brave Enough… I could go on here. And I can throw in a 2019 book? Because I can’t wait to read J.A. Reynold’s Opposite of Always!
5. What’s three things you want the reader to take away from the novel?
- Girls are strong and resilient because they don’t behave like men. Girls are strong and resilient because they’ve had to learn selflessness and self-sacrifice from an early age. Don’t let anyone tell you that’s “weak.” It isn’t. It’s the opposite of weak.
- Selflessness is a good thing, but low self-worth (which is not the same thing) is the undoing of too many girls.
- If readers aren’t reading diversely already, I hope that The Bird and the Blade leads them to other fantasies set in non-European locations, especially by #ownvoices authors, or that readers want to learn more about the Mongol Empire or the Song Dynasty or any other epoch or culture their education might have glossed over.
A huge thank you to Megan for answering these questions! I loved seeing her answers on how her book developed and the important things she hopes readers will take away from the book. This unique, debut novel shouldn’t be missed to experience. There’s a giveaway for this book as well, linked down below!
The prize for this giveaway is 1 copy of THE BIRD AND THE BLADE. It goes from 5/31-6/12. The giveaway is unfortunately US only, but still enter if you want a chance to win this book!
Again, a HUGE thank you to the amazing ladies at The Fantastic Flying Book Club and Megan Bannen for this fun tour 🙂 If this book sounds interesting to you, go check out the other people and the tour schedule and find this book when it’s out on June 5th! 🙂
Are you excited for this book? What books set in a non-European setting would you recommend?