The Firelight of Maalda by Melissa Douthit
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a young adult fantasy novel, second in a series.
The Firelight of Maalda: A story that unites the real with the fantastical and turns science into magic …
Chalice and her group leave Barenthren to travel to Portalis. There she and her friends discover the beautiful city, its people, its history, and its secret that has been kept hidden for thousands of years. During their stay, they learn that Dar’Maalda has the Firestone and that he plans to use it.
What is the Firestone and what does Dar’Maalda plan to do with it? What are the Naezzi? What does the title, The Firelight of Maalda, really mean? And … what is the secret of Portalis, the secret that has been guarded so jealously for so long – so jealously, that many have given their lives to protect it?
In The Firelight of Maalda, the second novel of the trilogy, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia, you find out. It is a tale of intrigue and wonder where two opposite worlds collide in an explosive journey that leads Chalice and her friends to the dark islands lurking just beyond the horizon of Ielieria, where the Firelight of Maalda sits … and waits.
This book takes place not far from where the first book left off. Chalice has a whole lot of thing happen to her right from the beginning. Things change and Chalice and Jeremiah romance is tested and they won’t have it easy.
Basically starting in a new place, this author stays true to her style and world builds with rich Technicolor. The vivid imagery helps build the palate in your mind as you read. I found the story line very interesting and captivating. Sometimes, I wanted to plunge forward but I had to wait for events to unfold.
This ending will leave you waiting for the next. As I will be.
So for those readers who enjoyed the first in the series, this one will not disappoint. Pick it up now and read. For those fantasy lovers, pick this story up. It’s fresh and new and will hold your interest.
INTERVIEW with Melissa Douthit
1. When did you realize you wanted to be an author? Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I began writing notes for this trilogy back in 2005 but never really got around to writing the first novel until 2007. It was when one of my favorite authors died. I wrote about it in the preface of The Raie’Chaelia:
On the morning of 21st of September, 2007, I sat down at my computer with a cup of coffee and clicked a familiar bookmark on my internet browser. The link took me to a website that I knew well. In doing so, I learned that one of my favorite authors had passed away. His name was James Oliver Rigney, Jr., also known as Robert Jordan. The website was www.dragonmount.com.
Ever since I was seventeen, I have been reading his epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. I remember buying the first book, The Eye of the World, from a local bookstore and rushing home to read it. I remember it like it was yesterday. To this day, after twenty-one years, I am still reading his series as it quickly draws to a conclusion in its final completion by Brandon Sanderson.
I never thought I could be a writer given that my talents lie in other areas, mostly in mathematics and science, but when I learned of Jordan’s passing, I decided to start writing a story that I had been tossing around in my head for a while. The ideas were there but the realization of those ideas into a book was a problem. I didn’t believe that I could do it. So, that morning, inspired by Jordan’s life story, I sat down and started typing.
2. If you had to summarize your book The Firelight of Maalda it in less than 25 words what would you say?
A sequel where Chalice and friends discover more of their world, the dangers in it, and what is required overcome the forces set against them.
3. Can you tell us a little more about your book The Firelight of Maalda? What was your inspiration for your Raie’Chaelia series?
The Firelight of Maalda is the second book of the trilogy, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia, and is a continuation of the story where The Raie’Chaelia left off. In it, the characters learn more about their world and themselves. They actually do a lot of growing up. Chalice learns more about herself and her abilities and Jeremiah discovers the reality of the resentment between the two races - the Terravail and the Naeon. The book introduces new characters, as well, who discover that Chalice is not the princess they think she is or that they want her to be. Personalities clash and tempers flare when they find just who she is and what she has to do. I loved writing this book, especially the explosive ending that is both triumphant and heartbreaking at the same time.
4. How do you come up with the names for your characters and places?
Sometimes they just pop in my head and sometimes I come across a cool name of someone or something in a different country and/or a different time period and I use that as an inspiration for a name. I don’t use the exact names I come across but instead I use them as a sort skeleton for one that I make up - like the sound or resonant of the word.
5. If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? And why?
I would be Bunejab because he gets to ride the Naezzi!
6. What genre would you place your books into?
This story is very hard to place. Some say it is epic fantasy. Some say Sci-Fi or paranormal or dystopian. I would say it is a futuristic fantasy.
7. After you complete the Raie’Chaelia series, what is your next project?
I have several books that I want to write. I have already written the notes for them. They won’t be a fantasy though. More like urban paranormal.
8. Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I choose the title first.
9. How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It depends. My first book took a long time from notes to finished product. The second took only about six months.
10. What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Don’t try to write to the market. Write what you love and you will be much happier ... and it will show in your writing. Also, when you decide to publish, know that there are many choices out there now for writers. You can try to break into the traditional publishing world (large press or small press), which right now is very hard. Or you can go indie - publishing on your own. Research both avenues and decide which is best for you.
Contest for Free Kindle from Melissa Douthit:
Enter a drawing and win a free Kindle by answering the following question:
What genre is The Firelight of Maalda?
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Contest ends March 10, 2012. Winner will be announced March 11th on Melissa Douthit's Blog.
The Firelight of Maalda on Amazon and B&N:
Book One and the Prequels are free on Smashwords and Amazon:
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