Today, I’m happy to have author, Ariel Paiement on Fantasy Reads. World-building is one of my favorite parts of fantasy writing, and Ariel is here to give us the inside scoop on her novel, Bane of Ashkarith.
Behind the Scenes of Bane of Ashkarith
By: Ariel Paiement
Bane of Ashkarith was conceived in a rather roundabout way. The world where it takes place—Alcardia—had already been built for Pathway of the Moon. I’d been playing around with the idea of creating some sort of a prequel for the series that gave some insight into the pantheon and the prophecies that feature in Pathway of the Moon.
Back in January of 2019, I’d begun working on a short story about some of the events that led to Banach’s becoming Queen at Ashkarith. I wanted to go further, but I had two other novels going at the time, however, so I kind of pushed the idea off. Then I was asked about joining Wattpad’s Open Novella Contest. One of the prompt choices to write with revolved around truth and untruth switching places. The idea fit perfectly with the mythology and history of Alcardia’s pantheon, and so Bane of Ashkarith was born.
As I wrote, it became clear that the novella was becoming more than just a prequel meant to give readers a richer understanding of the main series. It took on a life of its own and began to add to the extensive world-building I’d already done. Bane of Ashkarith really took me deep into the cultures and the politics of Alcardia, something I’d only touched on at surface level when planning for Pathway of the Moon. It was rewarding to watch as the world came to life in ways I hadn’t planned for or anticipated when building it. I mean, I had all the groundwork laid for it to go in a lot of directions, but the one it took was better than I’d anticipated.
The best part about Bane of Ashkarith is that it opened the door for more books about famous historical figures in Alcardia’s past. It became more about telling the stories of renowned or infamous individuals in Alcardian history than it was about sharing things that Pathway of the Moon just couldn’t include. From that, I already have a plethora of ideas for novels and short stories within the world. The one for Dhiabhan’s story is already in the planning and drafting stages.
The story follows the two main characters, Kaidan and Zerua, through various locations in Alcardia as they hunt for the truth about the legends told of Bane of Ashkarith and Sedra Valmurith. The theme of the story centers around the idea that truth is a priceless treasure in a world of uncertainty and lies, and as such, it should be sought after and protected no matter the cost.
I’m excited about the opportunity to share the world of Alcardia with readers through Bane of Ashkarith and the following Alcardian novels. It’s very different from what I’ve done with other novels where the world was just the backdrop for the characters. Here, the characters’ stories would never have existed without the world.
Kaidan Tadegan is working on a new site trying to prove the myth that two armies of the gods clashed there. While on the dig site, he discovers the evidence he’s looking for, but he gets more than he bargained for when he discovers a woman’s bones in a section of the dig site where no other remains have been found.
As he digs the bones out, he discovers a journal with the woman’s body, which tells a story that, if true, will turn the myths of the old world and the established concepts of good and evil on their heads. Startled by the find, Kaidan sets out to discover whether the diary’s claims have any validity.
But when the diary leads to a city that’s supposedly long gone, Kaidan’s journey becomes more difficult than expected. Things become even more tangled when he discovers that the city isn’t gone, but it’s no place for the living.
Unable to give up on his quest, he forges ahead. What lies ahead is uncertain, and even more uncertain is whether Kaidan will survive this quest. He has only two questions in his mind. Will he find the truth in this city of the dead? And will the world accept the truth?
Ariel Paiement is a fantasy author who writes the occasional historical fiction or science fiction novel. She enjoys all ranges of books and writing when it comes to reading, though fantasy and science fiction are her favorites. She likes to spend time coming up with new ideas or in wild flights of imagination. If asked what she spends most of her time doing, she’d tell you that she spends most of it reading or writing one thing or another. She is the author of On the Narrow Way in the anthology Above and Beneath: The World of Angels and Demons and has also written and published In Darkness Lost, a stand-alone fantasy adventure novel. Her novel, Bane of Ashkarith, is coming out on July 31st and is the first in the Legends of Alcardia series.
Before you go, take a moment and connect with Ariel on social media and check out her upcoming release, Bane of Ashkarith.
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