I’m so thrilled to have Amanda McCrina here on the blog today to tell us more about the Salt Road, a very important element in the world in which her new novel Blood Road takes place! I found this information fascinating, and I can’t wait to read the book!
About the Book
Title: BLOOD ROAD
Author: Amanda McCrina
Pub. Date: April 25, 2017
Format: Paperback, eBook
Nineteen-year-old Torien Risto has seen dissidents dealt with before. He knows the young local girl who just knifed him will hang for assaulting an Imperial officer, unless he can stop it.
Someone inside the provincial government is kidnapping Imperial citizens and selling them across the desert to the salt mines, silencing anyone who tries to intervene. The girl’s brother is one of those who has been taken. Rejected by the corrupt courts, she’s waging a personal war against the Empire.
Determined to save her life, Torien sets out in search of answers on the Salt Road, the ancient trade route running deep into the heart of a desert—territory claimed by the hostile Mayaso tribe.
Now, Torien is no longer sure where his own loyalty lies, or how far he will go to break the cycle of tyranny, political bullying, and social injustice in an empire that seals its borders in blood.
Amanda McCrina Discusses the Salt Road
As Blood Road opens, my main character, Torien, a young Imperial army officer, is on his way to Tasso, a remote desert outpost on the Empire’s Salt Road. The action takes off pretty quickly, and there’s not much time for history lessons. Besides, Torien’s own unpreparedness and failure to understand the complexities of the situation are part of the point: he’s made painfully aware of his own privilege and has to face the consequences of his ignorance. I’m glad for the chance to share some of the background information he might wish he’d known sooner.
Salt was a precious commodity in the ancient world. We derive our word “salary” from the Latin salarium, salt money, and it’s been popularly suggested (though never conclusively proven) that the salarium was either an amount of salt allotted to Roman soldiers as part of their wages, or a monetary stipend toward their purchase of salt (thus the idea of being “worth one’s salt”). Whether or not that’s actually true, what’s clear is that salt—essential as a nutrient and for food preservation—has always been closely linked to economics and empire-building.
The same is true in the Romanesque world of the Vareno Empire. The Salt Road has been a source of contention for centuries—hence its nickname, the Blood Road. Two tribes, historic enemies, currently lay claim to the Road: the Mayasi, who first excavated the salt mines, and the Asani, who allied themselves with the Empire to take over the mines and oust the Mayasi. The Asani now control the mines as an Imperial client state—a mutually beneficial relationship, but a fraught one. Peace is fragile, threatened internally by rampant corruption and externally by the ever-present danger of Mayaso raiders. Torien has to deal with both in his attempt to uncover who’s been trafficking Imperial citizens into the mines. As another character suggests, he’d better hope he’s a quick learner.
About Amanda McCrina
Amanda McCrina has studied in Italy, taught English in Japan, and currently tutors Latin in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History from the University of West Georgia, and is now pursuing her MA. She writes stories that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks far too much coffee and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey season.
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Follow the Blog Tour
YA and Wine is one of the last stops on the tour, so be sure to check out some of the awesome blog posts for this book in the links below!
4/24/2017- Rockin’ Book Reviews– Review
4/24/2017- Month9Books– Excerpt
4/25/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Interview
4/25/2017- Doodle’s Book Reviews– Review
4/26/2017- Don’t Judge, Read– Interview
4/26/2017- Book-Keeping– Review
4/27/2017- A Backwards Story– Review
4/27/2017- Hazel West’s Character Purgatory– Excerpt
4/28/2017- LILbooKlovers– Interview
4/28/2017- Wishful Endings– Review
5/1/2017- Exploring the Inner Universe– Review
5/1/2017- So Few Books– Interview
5/2/2017- Book Review Becca– Review
5/2/2017- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview
5/3/2017- Reading for the Stars and Moon– Review
5/3/2017- I am not a bookworm!– Review
5/4/2017- YA and Wine– Guest Post
5/4/2017- Mundie Moms– Review
5/5/2017- Never Too Many To Read– Review