Azaria M.J. Durant
(Darkened Destiny Saga #1)
Publication date: July 29th
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
An ancient power long kept dormant stirs in the shadows once more as one boy embarks on a quest to
earn his freedom and the freedom of his world!
Magic has turned to myth, the Vaelhyreans of old to legend, and the power wielded
by the ancients has long been forgotten. However, with Ealdred, a mere half-breed
slave boy, myth becomes real, the forgotten remembered, and the power of legend is
reborn within him.
Ealdred is merged into a world of mystery, brimming with deceit, where the
remaining Vaelhyreans are in a desperate fight for their very survival. When Ealdred is kidnapped by the power-mongering dark lord Zeldek himself, he must make a choice; to commit his newfound magic to Zeldek’s service or die. But when he meets Bellator, clever yet treacherous servant of Zeldek, an alternative is presented to him: to escape from Zeldek’s stronghold and embark on a quest to find a cursed arrow and free the Vaelhyreans from the spell that keeps their powers at bay.
Yet how can he survive in a world where magic is illegal, half-breeds are hated, and
the four countries are on the brink of war?
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FAQ with Azaria M.J. Durant, Author of Broken Arrow
Hello! My name is Azaria and I am the author of Broken Arrow (Book 1 in the Darkened
Destiny saga). I am twenty years old, an artist as well as a writer, and I write fantasy, sci-
fi, historical fiction, and some fanfiction (so far). I started writing my debut novel Broken
Arrow when I was fourteen, and six years, two editors, and many, many cups of tea later,
it is finally published!
I just want to share some things about my book with you, as well as answer some
questions you might have about the cast, the writing, and the world of Broken Arrow.
What is the genre and age range?
The genre is young adult fantasy, and the age range is 13+ for some violence. Even though it is classified as young adult, I find that a good portion of my audience tends to be adults as well, so it’s hard to narrow down to a specific age range.
What is Broken Arrow about?
In the land of Theara, half-breeds are the most despised race, second only to magic users, who are rounded up and executed. Luckily for Ealdred, he’s just a half-breed. That is, until an unexplained event has him pegged as a sorcerer, and he is forced to flee for his life. Suddenly, he has the attention of the mysterious and devious sorcerer Zeldek, who demands one thing of him in exchange for the world: his undying allegiance. Ealdred must choose between his freedom and a life of acclaimed luxury. When he meets Bellator, Zeldek’s clever yet treacherous right hand, a new choice is presented to him: to escape and free a golden arrow from an ancient curse, and claim the power it wields. But exactly how far is Ealdred willing to go for his freedom? And is there more going on than he realizes?
Who is the main character?
There is actually a lot of confusion about this, because I talk about Bellator all the time, as she is the most interesting character (in my not-so-humble opinion). The real main character of the story is Ealdred. It’s told from his point of view. He’s the one that suffers and bleeds for the story to happen, and he definitely doesn’t get close to the recognition that he deserves. He’s a very sweet child, fierce in his own way, and empathetic who just needs to be protected.
What is my favourite scene?
My favourite scene in Broken Arrow is the entire flying sequence with Bellator and her dragon, and introducing the layout of Gaiztoak. It is all very breathtaking, and I loved writing it!
What is my least favourite scene?
There aren’t any scenes that I don’t like, but there were some that were more difficult to write than others. The one that comes to mind is the section after the fight in Bynvantalyn, when Ealdred is remembering the death of his half-breed friend. The emotion in that scene was more difficult to capture, and the entire memory was disturbing to me.
Who are my five favourite characters?
1. Bellator (for being so epic)
2. Ealdred (he’s such a sweet, precious little bean)
3. Zeldek (because he’s a good villain)
4. Hamish (my tortured child 😥 )
5. Either Uri or Marianna (I can’t decide… they’re both cool in their own completely
Who is my least favourite character?
I would say Queen Algitha wins top least favourite, though it’s a close tie with Ralcher. They’re both just terrible people (though are still great characters in their awfulness).
Out of all five countries of Theara, which one is my favourite? It’s difficult to say, because the answer keeps changing. Though Valamette is the country the story is set in, I love the simplicity and beauty of Lavylli, the corruption of Zandelba, the strength of Avia, and the mystery of the ruined Sylvaria. I’ll pick Lavylli, though, because that’s what I’m focusing on right now as I go into writing the third book.
How important is the lore and mythology to the story?
The lore and mythology is as important to understanding the cultures and people as the happenings of the story are. Not only was it fun to write, but it is extremely relevant, which adds a feel of realism to the world. It feels like an echo from the ages that only grows louder and more prevalent over time.
Are there any hidden messages or themes worked into the story?
When I started writing this version of the book (there were many, many drafts) I had started to notice a lot of things in books and movies that I had issue with. Bellator especially is an embodiment of my rebellion against these things. Fantasy as a genre tends to depict women a certain way, and that way is not usually very good. Women warriors are highly sexualized instead of showing real strength, and other women in fantasy are abused, made submissive to the culture and to men, and really just depicted as love interests or weak damsels that need saving (if there are women in the story at all). Men, on the flip side, are depicted as cruel, tough, and unloving, hardened, and (in the case of the main character) there to win the story goal and gain the love interest as a prize in the end. My goal while writing Broken Arrow is to show women as truly strong in their own rites, not sexualized, taking shit from no one, with flaws and weaknesses without being made pathetic and useless. You know, like real people. I do this not only with Bellator, but also with my other female characters (and there are many). In contrast, I want to show men with weaknesses, empathy, and a respect for other human beings, seeing women as equal and valuable, not just as prizes to be won. Yes, sexism is an ugly thing in Theara as it is in all flawed worlds, but I hope the way I address it is a refreshing breeze in a world so often torn apart by gender inequality. It certainly is for me.
Are there any pronunciation issues with the names in the story?
While most of the names are self-explanatory, there are two which are pronounced differently than you would expect. Hamish is pronounced Haw-meesh instead of Hay-mish (in my preference; honestly, you can pronounce it however you want), and Lavylli is pronounced La-vil-lee.
Are there more books?
If so, how many? Broken Arrow is the first in a series of six books, so there’s a lot more epic story to come. I plan to release the second book around this time next year.
If you have any comments or further questions about the book, or if you just want to chat with me, please feel free to visit my website (https://ofswordsandquills.wordpress.com ), twitter ( https://twitter.com/HerMajestyMJ ), or the Broken Arrow FB page ( https://www.facebook.com/azariamjdurant/ ). I would love to chat with you!
Paperbacks coming soon!
Azaria M. J. Durant is a young, passionate writer of fantasy with plans to branch out
into sci-fi and dystopian. She enjoys writing stories with action, adventure, unexpected plot twists, and fleshed out characters that challenge gender roles and
Azaria lives in Atlantic Canada with her family, cats, and dogs, and her big dreams
to travel the world. In the moments when she isn’t writing, she is sketching concept art for her stories, participating in community theatre, or curled up with a good book and a bag of mint chocolates.
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