We are very excited to be a part of the blog tour for Eleanor Herman’s Dawn of Legends, the final book in the Blood of Gods & Royals series. We had the chance to ask Eleanor a few questions, but before we dive into that, how about we tell you a bit about the book!Dawn of Legends by Eleanor Herman
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: Legacy of Kings, Empire of Dust
Published by Harlequin Enterprises, Limited on June 26th 2018
Prince Alexander of Macedon has battled both men and monsters, but his final war will determine his fate…and the future of mankind. While Macedon’s enemies close in from all corners of the earth, Alexander must fulfil one last prophecy that dictates only he—and he alone—can ensure humanity’s survival against the age of the deadly Spirit Eaters.
As the threads of fate draw Alexander closer to his destiny, an exiled queen will meet a runaway princess, a young sorceress will set the final path of her heart and generals will choose their final battles. Before the light of victory can shine, enemies must become allies, Death must be tamed and hearts must break.
Who will rise and who will die?
Describe Dawn of Legends in 5 words.
With no spoilers, what was the hardest scene for you to write in Dawn of Legends and why?
The hardest scene I wrote was the death of one of the main characters. One of them had to die, you see. It wouldn’t have been realistic for so many people to face great dangers, including vicious battles, throughout four books, and all emerge unscathed. But after spending so many years with these guys, killing one of them was like killing one of my puppies. In order to honor the character, I made sure the send-off was one of sacrifice, honor, and beauty.
Were there any scenes that had to be cut that you wish would have stayed in?
No, they all got in. Some of them I had to redo a couple of times so that time-wise all the characters could all come together for the final epic battle.
What type of research have you had to do for this series and what was the most interesting thing you learned/found?
Believe me, I researched just about every aspect of life to make the 4th century BC experience granular and accurate. What they wore, what they ate, how they traveled, and how they saw their world. When researching Alexander’s half-sister, Cynane, I was amazed to find how authentic it was to portray women as warriors, Amazons. Viking women have been found with arrows in their bones, heads smashed in with axes, and an array of weapons beside them. In the late 19th century, burials of Scythian “kings” were unearthed in Ukraine, skeletons laid out with rich booty, weapons, and sacrificed war horses. Recently, scientists tested the remains and discovered that some 25 percent of them were women! And Cynane was a real warrior woman who ended up losing her life in battle many years after our story’s end.
I love when an author weaves history into a fantasy book. What was it that made you decide to focus on Alexander the Great?
Alexander was one of two people in history—along with the Apostle Paul—who made the most significant changes in the world. He opened up the cultural divide between east and west. Suddenly goods, ideas, religions, and people were moving back and forth in a way they had never done before. No one knows much about him as a teen before his father died. People only started writing about him once he became king. This gave me as a novelist an opportunity to imagine who he might have been at sixteen or seventeen. To do that, I needed to study who he was as an adult and extrapolate backward, imagining him struggling to get to who he wanted to be.
This is book four, so we are pretty far in the series, but despite that, did any of your characters surprise you by doing something you didn’t expect?
They all surprised me! I think bringing a group of characters through four epic books is like raising kids—you think you can control them but they end up being very much their own people. All of the characters grow up, find themselves, understand who they really are and where they want to be in the world. Some are heartbroken by the loss of dreams, some realize their wildest dreams, but all come to an acceptance of their own authenticity.
What’s next for you? Are you working on anything right now that you can tell us about?
I am! A seventeenth-century YA historical novel about the court of young Louis XIV! Another period I am wild about.
Can you share (without spoilers) a line or section of Dawn of Legends that was your favorite?
Without a doubt, I loved best the epic ending where everyone comes together to save the world, and how each contributed in his or her own way. The ending is full of surprises, sometimes horrifying, powerfully beautiful, and very satisfying. If I say so myself!
What book(s) are you reading right now?
I love how Sabaa Tahir weaves ancient Roman culture into her An Ember in the Ashes series and can’t wait to read Book #3, Reaper at the Gates!