This week was such a fun book event week here in UT, because we got to celebrate the launch of two amazing books by two of my favorite local authors! Sara B. Larson’s Dark Breaks the Dawn came out on Tuesday of this week, and Emily R. King’s The Hundredth Queen came out on Thursday! Check out some highlights from their events below!
Dark Breaks the Dawn Launch Event!
Sara’s story was so honest and incredibly heart-warming. I personally found it to be truly inspirational. It’s so refreshing when authors speak so openly and honestly about the difficulties and pressures that come with writing. I think it’s something that aspiring authors definitely need to hear more of.
Kathryn Puride, local author of the Burning Glass series read a passage from Dark Breaks the Dawn, which happened to be one of my favorite scenes in the book and was absolutely lovely. My favorite scene in this one though is, of course, THAT ENDING. This book really has just a PHENOMENAL ending. You will have to read to find out!
- The title for book two is Bright Burns the Night (add it to Goodreads here!).
- Book two should be coming out around this same time next year, but we don’t have an official release date just yet.
- If you think you know which characters are “good” and which characters are “bad” after reading the first book, you may be in for a big surprise. Apparently, there were some unreliable narrators in book one, who may just shake things up a bit in book two!
I loved this book and can’t wait for the next one! Check out my full review here!
The Hundredth Queen Launch Event!
If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’ve been championing this book for months! So getting to attend this launch party was so neat for me. I absolutely love The Hundredth Queen, and I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to read an ARC copy. Not only is this book beautiful, captivating, and well-written, it has so many amazing themes that are so important to me personally. I could gush over this book for days, but you can also just check out my full review here!
During the launch, Emily talked about why she chooses to write YA. This is another topic that I love to listen to authors discuss. YA is very unfairly labeled as being lesser or not literary enough by so many people, and I can only imagine how often YA authors get asked why they choose to write what they write. I can only hope that one day that stigma will no longer exist, but in the meantime, I love listening to YA authors speak out about it.
Emily had a very unique high school experience. Her dad just happened to be her high school principal. So while it was incredible for her to see him everyday and have him be the one to hand her that high school diploma, she did get excluded from a lot of experiences, because her peers didn’t want to invite the girl who was the principal’s daughter.
She also had a unique high school experience in that that is when she met, and fell in love with, her husband. Yes, they are still together and have an absolutely beautiful family!
So writing YA for Emily really gives her the opportunity to revisit some of those experiences and emotions she had, and that people just feel so much more acutely when they’re teenagers experiencing them for the first time. She can write teen characters who are outcasts and forced to find their own inner strength, and she can write about about young adults falling in love for the first time. And she does it all so very well.
In reading The Hundredth Queen, I can definitely see the influence Emily’s past experiences have had on her art, and I think that the fact that she was writing from the heart, certainly comes across in the book and makes it feel more authentic and genuine.
About Dark Breaks the Dawn
On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.
But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn onto the throne much sooner than she expected.
In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.
About The Hundredth Queen
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.
But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda’s only hope for escape lies in an arcane, forbidden power that’s buried within her.
In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.
Have you read either of these books yet? If so, what did you think? What are some of your favorite books by local authors near you?