Wednesday, October 14, 2015

BOOK BLITZ~Glittering Shadows (Dark Metropolis #2) by Jaclyn Dolamore [Oct. 19 - 23]

The promo event for the second book in Jaclyn Dolamore's young adult fantasy series has ended.

Series: Dark Metropolis #2
Release date: June 16th 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:

The revolution is here. 
Bodies line the streets of Urobrun; a great pyre burns in Republic Square. The rebels grow anxious behind closed doors while Marlis watches as the politicians search for answers—and excuses—inside the Chancellery. 

Thea, Freddy, Nan, and Sigi are caught in the crossfire, taking refuge with a vibrant, young revolutionary and a mysterious healer from Irminau. As the battle lines are drawn, a greater threat casts a dark shadow over the land. Magic might be lost—forever. 

This action-packed sequel to Dark Metropolis weaves political intrigue, haunting magic, and heartbreaking romance into an unforgettable narrative. Dolamore's lyrical writing and masterfully crafted plot deliver a powerful conclusion.


Originally, the antagonist of this book, Ingrid, was Freddy’s long lost sister! And Sebastian, the revolutionary leader, was originally the spoiled son of a wealthy man whom Ingrid fell in love with, and the true antagonist was a creepy traveling sorcerer. It was an utterly different story. And also a story that was not working at all! It took me some months to figure out what the real story was. Thank goodness for revisions. And time.

The key to figuring out this book? Marlis. Once the character of the Chancellor’s daughter walked into my head, the rest fell into place.

“Dark Metropolis” was inspired by Metropolis, the German silent film by Fritz Lang. As an homage to Lang, in the opening scene of “Glittering Shadows”, Marlis is watching an opera that is basically Fritz Lang’s “Die Niebelugen”, the silent film he made before Metropolis that is a retelling of Wagner's Ring Cycle and Norse mythology. 

The battle scenes in this book were so hard for me! I knew I had to write them, and I wanted them to be good and realistic. But I simply can’t conceive of how a battle ought to go, despite all the time I’ve spent playing Dynasty Warriors games... Luckily my guy is a military history buff. I made him draw me detailed maps and write very involved battle plans!

One of my favorite things about this book is that Freddy gets a new kitten. I want to put that out there, for everyone who was traumatized by the cat death in book one. I would never write an EXCESSIVELY sad pet death, but I still really, really wanted to fit a new kitten in there. At one point I wasn’t sure it was going to work, and I was like, “NOOOO, MUST HAVE KITTEN.”

Many of the names of minor characters and places in this book come from the anime “Legend of Galactic Heroes”, and there are two airships in the book named after Final Fantasy airships. 



Ingrid bent over and rummaged around on the floor. When she came back up, she had Thea’s book of fairy tales. “I saw this poking out of your bag. Running away with clothes and lipstick and a book of Irminauer tales?” She smiled a little. Her teeth were neat and straight.
“Father Gruneman gave it to me when I was little,” Thea said. “At my father’s memorial.” She thought Ingrid might know Father Gruneman, since he’d been a revolutionary leader.
“Father Gruneman must have understood that the forest always calls us home, even here in the city,” Ingrid said, putting the book in front of Thea and opening it to an image of a girl in beautiful stylized robes plucking a mushroom from the forest floor. “The pictures are lovely.”
Thea glanced at her uncertainly. She was still holding Thea’s wounded hand, her touch featherlight but never breaking contact. “Are you going to heal my hand?”
“Yes, of course I am. But it might hurt a lot, just for a moment. Have some more medicine”—Ingrid poured from a bottle on the nightstand—“and look at your beautiful book.”
Thea took the medicine. “It’ll be all right, though?” she asked. The medicine had deadened some of her fear, but in the back of her mind she thought that if she lost the use of some of her fingers, she wouldn’t be able to work many places anymore.
“It will be fine very soon.” Her voice was even, soothing. Thea heard the actual words less and the rhythm more. The words were like water running over rocks, constant and sweet, and she closed her eyes. 
“Your voice is like a song,” Thea said. “My mother used to sing to me when I was sick.” Mother sang all the time, before her sickness. Sometimes it was annoying, Mother throwing open the curtains and waking her up for school singing. But other times it was nice. She wished Mother were here now.
“I could give you a song,” Ingrid asked. “It will help.”
Ingrid began to chant—it was more like a chant than a song—long, beautiful tones. The music seemed to spin its way into the picture of the girl in the forest, so the colors grew brighter and Thea could almost smell moss and earth. Ingrid’s hand upon her arm was like a thread to another world, not unlike that fairy-tale forest that was a little bit frightening but also full of wonder. Anything could happen. The chant filled her with a sense of Ingrid’s power.
Thea felt something bite her wrist, heard a grinding, and her eyes snapped away from the book.
Ingrid held a bone saw in one hand, driving the blade just above Thea’s wrist with long, slow strokes. The saw was bright with Thea’s blood, but Ingrid had put cloths down so none would drip onto the bedspread or the carpet. Thea saw this through a haze of soothing tones and visions. She tried to say something, but her body was too dulled to speak or move. Ingrid’s eyes were half-closed, almost dreamy, as her lips moved with her strange song, but when she saw Thea looking, her note trailed off. 
“I’m sorry if it still hurts a little.” Ingrid’s words retained their rhythm. “I didn’t think I’d be giving this gift to you. But one must trust in fate.”

Sigi messed with the camera for a little while, her lips pressed together thoughtfully. She looked up and caught Nan’s eyes.
“Stay like that,” she said softly. “Just like that.” She took one picture, told Nan to look toward the dining table for a profile shot, and took another. “Maybe put an arm up over your head. Lean back?”
After a few more shots, Sigi stopped and regarded Nan for a moment. “I don’t usually take photographs like this. I’m a street photographer. I like to look for the beauty in ugly things, but you’re just. . .beautiful. I don’t know if I can do you justice.”
“You can certainly flatter.”
“I mean it,” Sigi said. “You don’t seem real. A photograph might ruin you, might turn you into an ordinary girl.” Then she suddenly looked pained. “I’m sorry. That’s actually what you wanted, isn’t it?”
“If you see that in me. . .I don’t mind. I don’t see it. I see that I’m different, but not the beauty.”
Nan didn’t know how to describe the way Sigi looked at her. The word “hungry” sounded too crude. Closer to awe, but also more than that. She felt as though in giving Sigi permission to look at her so closely and capture her on film, she had offered Sigi some of her power.
“You know,” Sigi said, “the thing about art is that it’s like a quest that never ends. You always have something in your head that is so beautiful, and you never manage to create it. Sometimes you come close. And that moment. . .is madness. It’s so fleeting. If you’ve tasted it once, you have to keep searching. You look like that moment.”
“Like madness?”
Sigi just looked at her.
Nan stood up from the couch and kissed her hard. She kept her eyes open. Colors flashed in her vision—gold and brown furniture and the blue sky out the window. Her heart hammered. Just let me hold onto this. . .let me feel.
Sigi’s mouth was yielding and tasted like tears. Her eyes were closed and Nan heard a little catch in her throat. She touched Nan’s back, lightly, like she didn’t want to trap her. Nan ran her fingers through Sigi’s wild hair.
Nan was afraid to stop because she didn’t want to lose the colors. Or this feeling.
Sigi was the one who pulled away. “Nan. . .” She looked like she knew it was about more than her.
“I don’t ever want to go back,” Nan whispered. The colors in the room had muted, but they weren’t gone, and Nan couldn’t stop staring. The room was so different now. There was the gold upholstery and a blue vase and a green houseplant. Everything was brighter. “I don’t want to see Ingrid again.”
“I understand,” Sigi said. She didn’t need to say but. It was already in the room with them.
Nan walked over to the crumpled dress, picked it up and slipped it back on. When she poked her head through the collar, the room was gray again.

The Chancellor was laying in state on his bed. Freddy had never seen the Chancellor’s private chambers. He felt like an intruder, seeing a painting of his late wife gazing upon him from the wall, a pile of newspapers on the nightstand, the slippers on the ornate rug. In Freddy’s mind, the Chancellor was always standing, speaking forcefully, with every situation under control. Now he looked pale and small beneath the heavy canopy, eyes closed, hands folded.
“How are you keeping him preserved?”
“Bathed in serum. It has a few uses, rather like baking soda.” Freddy could see the silent temper in Marlis’s face now. Even as a child, she had grown cold and fierce rather than crying when she was upset. She bit her thin lips, and gently smoothed her father’s brow, creased so he looked harried even in death.
“Revive him now, and I will assure your parents’ safety,” she said.
“I want to see them first.”
“I’m afraid it can’t work that way,” she said.
“You need my magic.”
“I do, but do I need your cooperation? You take pleasure in using your magic, I know.”
This was the test. He knew her weaknesses, but she knew his, too. She was poised yet tense, an animal waiting to strike. 
“Marlis, we shouldn’t act as enemies,” he said. “Don’t you realize how precarious all of this is?” He spread his hands to indicate the wider world.
“Of course. I’m sure I know much more than you do.” He saw the beginnings of tears in her eyes. “Please, just bring him back and do not let him go until I say so.” She turned to the wall abruptly, smoothing her hands over her face and hair, and then adjusting her glasses.
He stepped closer to the Chancellor’s body, feeling the familiar itch of magic in his fingers. He knew now that he couldn’t allow people to live, and when he let her father go, she could harm his parents anyway. His only chance to gain the upper hand was to show Marlis he meant business.
“I can’t agree to the terms,” he said. “I can’t let him live.”
She looked at the guards. “Tie him.”
Freddy had seen the guards quickly subdue the people he revived when they were occasionally panicked and violent. Now he received the same rough treatment as one guard grabbed him and the other pulled up a heavy wooden chair. They didn’t care if they bruised his arms or scraped his skin as they held him down with iron arms and bound his legs to the chair.
“Marlis!” He twisted his head to look back at her. The chair faced the Chancellor. “Is this really how you want it to go?”
She wasn’t watching the guards, and stood by the window, clutching the curtain in one hand. Sunlight turned loose strands of her dark hair to red-gold.
The guards yanked his hands forward and reached for the Chancellor’s hands. The dead man’s cold hands were pressed into Freddy’s and tied there, forcing his magic to flow. It had always flowed with a touch, and now he had to choke it back with everything in his power.
That meant touching death, touching the clammy, soft hands of the man who, along with Gerik and Uncle, had forced him into a childhood of imprisonment. His throat was tight and painful. Holding back magic felt oddly like choking back tears. Now the guards were roping his chest to the back of the chair, and then his elbows to the arms. He couldn’t even speak. It took everything in him not to revive the Chancellor.
“Leave him,” Marlis said, and he heard her walk from the room quickly. She was ashamed she’d done this to him. He heard it in her voice and her step.
He was faced with the ghastly sight of the Chancellor, now with his arms extended toward the chair like Freddy was a macabre puppeteer. Every instinct inside of Freddy screamed to bring life back to these cold hands and that slack face.
He tilted his neck back to look at the ceiling. The urge was dampened, ever so slightly, if he didn’t look at the man. He was breathing fast, wiggling his feet against his bonds, restless to work, and he still felt the Chancellor’s slack skin forced against his fingers.


About the Author
Jaclyn Dolamore was homeschooled in a hippie sort of way and spent her childhood reading as many books as her skinny nerd-body could lug from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister Kate. She skipped college and spent eight years drudging through retail jobs, developing her thrifty cooking skills and pursuing a lifelong writing dream. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives with her partner and plot-sounding-board, Dade, and two black tabbies who have ruined her carpeting. |

1 comment:

  1. I was already have been wanting to read Glittering Shadows but these excerpts are making really want to read it!!! It is moving up on the TBR list for sure!


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