Today I like to welcome Meg Jensen who promoting her upcoming release book The Sundering which is the third book in the The Swarm Trilogy .
The World of The Swarm
World building is a lot of fun! When I was working on The Swarm trilogy, I already had the rules of the world in place (The Swarm takes place twenty years after the end of the Cloud Prophet Trilogy), but it was a new locale. Even though the magical rules were firmly established, I was writing about two new societies. I wanted the Fithians and Dalagans to be very different from the Serenians and Malborn. Eventually their stories were going to clash, so it was important they had some very big difference.
World building is messy! I can’t tell too much about Fithia and Dalagan without spoiling the end of Sleepers (the first book in The Swarm Trilogy), but I can tell you that it took me more than a year to pound out their differences. Then I rewrote the entire book, and changed them again.
World building is hard! I try not to base any of the societies in my books off of real societies. I don’t want my books to be a political statement, or for people to try to read into them too deep. It was my intention to give each society their own, unique history, then use that history to shape their future.
World building is empowering. I have never played Dungeons and Dragons, but from what my friends have told me, I think the game is very similar to what I do when I create societies. I have pages and pages and pages of notes. I haven’t gathered them into an official canon, but I could probably create another whole book with backstory the readers don’t see in my books.
One of the best parts of writing high fantasy is creating the world. It’s not easy, but it’s so much fun!
[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]The morning of her sixteenth birthday arrives and she discovers that she has changed and that a secret she been kept from is revealed to her by her boyfriend Kellan, older from her by a matter of days. [/pullquote]
Sleepers (Swarm Trilogy #1)
Book Blurb :
An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she’s filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her.
Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy?
This is the first of the Swarming Trilogy that follows Lianne as she discovers her true destiny. Nearly sixteen year ago, she and two boys where sent by her people, the Fithians, to be raised by their conquerors, the Dalagans, as part of a greater plan. She has grown up as the handmaiden to the queen and has become close friends with Mags, the queen, and adores her youngest son. She’s content with her life despite everyone knowing she is a Fithian because of her appearance that distinguishes her from the Dalagans. There is one thorn in her side—her adopted sister who hates and tries to ruin her because of her close association with the queen.
The morning of her sixteenth birthday arrives and she discovers that she has changed and that a secret she been kept from is revealed to her by her boyfriend Kellan, older from her by a matter of days. She is horrified as he reveals how he learnt about it because she discovers he is the reason for the hanging of three of her people a matter of days ago. She is filled with worry and anger against the Dalagans now as well as Kellan who she starta to realize has his own agenda. She turns to the other adoptee, Baylyan, who was her first boyfriend until his accident that left him a cripple and awakened his changes years before his time. A spell has kept her hidden and unable to use her magic until the time is right while Baylyan’s accident revealed his prematurely.
The King makes a decree that has the queen and Lianne scrambling as her past and current life collides and she unearths the truth about two the boys she is interested in. She forms her own plan to save the people she loves and discovers her changes reveals something about her people that she thought was gone forever.
This is the first book I have read by this author and it won’t be the last since I’m reviewing all of the Swarm Trilogy for this tour. The premise of this series is interesting and they all intertwined so I recommend reading them in order. It a jam-packed little novel (only 100 +pages) that introduces us to Lianne but leaves a mystery around her that we will unravel over the next two books. This book is great example of indie YA fantasy.
Publisher : DarkSide Publishing
Source : BB Tours provided for review
Released : July 21st 2011(First Edition)
Afterlife (Swarm Trilogy #2)
Book Blurb :
The fire inside Lianne threatened to consume her, but she fought back and won. Unfortunately the collateral damage of her decisions won’t stop haunting her. She embarks on a secret trip to find Mags and return her son, but her search leads her into another nest of lies.
Everyone’s safety is in Lianne’s hands as the Malborn, an enemy more fearsome than her own people, looms over them. Will Lianne be able to unravel the secrets in time to save the ones she loves the most? Or will her lack of faith in her own decisions lead to disaster?
Afterlife weaves some of the favorite characters from the Cloud Prophet Trilogy (Anathema, Oubliette, and Severed) into The Swarm Trilogy as Lianne comes face-to-face with a character introduced at the end of Severed.
This continues directly where the first book of the Swarm Trilogy, Sleepers, left off. Lianne and Baylyan help their people successfully take over the Dalagans but they discover they had a plan too they didn’t like and Lianne is revered because she killed her adopted sister. They escape into the forest to find Mags, the former queen, and her youngest son but instead they are found by Chase. Chase is the son of Reychel and Mark, characters from the Cloud Prophet Trilogy, who has lived in a small secret community in the forest and knows that Lianne is special. He is surprised that she doesn’t know that her people are the least of her problems. There is the Malbourn a more fearsome race than the Fithian who want her because they know she is the only one who can stop them in their tracks.
He kidnaps her and takes her home while Baylyan goes back to the castle so people don’t know she has disappeared. There, Chase starts to open up her eyes to the great world and she gets help with her magic; however, her birth mother is searching for her and wants her for the purpose of taking over the Fithians and Dalagans.
Forced to make herself go back to the castle, she makes her intentions clear but it is too late for one of the people she loves, leaving her heartbroken once again. She decides to take a stand against her people and the Malbourn.
The second book of the trilogy introduced me to characters that I hadn’t met yet as I haven’t the chance to read the Cloud Trilogy which is part of the overall series. It did seem, though, that the author was trying to continue with what worked with a love triangle again but this time Lianne wasn’t interested in Chase like he was with her. We got to discover more about Lianne and (for me) introduced to new characters since we lost half of the characters in the previous book in changes of location. This one I would give a warning about as it features scenes that may be not suitable for those younger readers that read YA as the author does spice things up between Lianne and Baylyan.
Publisher : 80 pages
Source : BB Tours provided for review
Released : May 2012
The Sundering (Swarm Trilogy #3)
Book Blurb :
After defeating the Malborn and losing the person she loved most, Lianne escapes to Chase’s homeland. With her appearance forever marked by death, Lianne feels like a monster both on the outside and the inside. She retreats into herself, fearful of what she’s become.
But she can’t hide forever.
The Malborn, damaged but not broken, send a deadly message to Lianne. They are coming for her and now she’s brought danger to a peaceful land that believed they’d driven the Malborn from their shores forever. Lianne must force herself to trust again and make the ultimate sacrifice to save everyone she loves. In a world ruled by whoever harnesses the most powerful magic, no one can be trusted – no one is safe.
Kidnapped by the Malbourn and losing her beloved, the third book follows LIanne as she tries to stop everyone from using magic to save the world. LIanne is now safe thanks to Chase and his family and his Malbourn friend but she’s not over her troubles. She has been moved to where Chase’s family lives by his magic and starts discovering things about the people around her. The Malbourn are still regrouping after their defeat at her hands and decide to send a message to Chase and Lianne that leaves Lianne wondering if Chase is truly interested in her. Meanwhile, she is communicating with Eloh, the goddess, whose guidance is puzzling her.
She discovers the secret village where the people she has been seeking are. There she finds Mags, the queen, and her young son whose minds have been severed via a spell to remove potential magic and past memories. They agree to help out as well as Lianne’s mother whose mind has also been wiped and who she thought she’d never see her again. But she doesn’t know this and believes that her mother is the person she is seeking and soon begins to visit them secretly in order to try and get them to remember so they can help her.
She meets Wren, the little girl who doesn’t have a voice, and speaks to her to the surprise of everyone else and she is left pondering as she prepares for the final task of severing everyone so that the world can be become a better place. Nothing goes as planned, as she knows from her past, and she discovers that she has been seeking the wrong person while the person she needs is right in front of her.
The third book of this trilogy sees this part of the saga come to an end and I wasn’t happy with one thing in particular. There is a love triangle of sorts again in this book, with Chase in the center as he loves LIanne and his Malbourn friend that we learn when she dies. Please! Stop using a love triangle as part of a continuing theme. I was so tired of this after the second book and to see it used again when Chase tells Lianne he has been seeing her in his visions and drawing pictures so that he had a constant remainder of her made it clear to my mind that he had only eyes for her in the previous book and he was drawing her still. So I don’t get why we needed a love triangle. I have to give this book 3 couples as I didn’t enjoy it as much but I would say that If you have been following this series you don’t want miss reading it.
Publisher : 80 pages
Source : BB Tours provided for review
Released : October 1st 2012
I’ve been a freelance parenting journalist since 2003 and began writing YA novels in 2009. I co-run DarkSide Publishing, am a member of SCBWI, and I blog about writing while juggling freelancing, volunteering, and family life. I live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband, two kids, and our miniature schnauzer, Ace.
For more information on me please visit my website at
Anathema is available on Amazon for Kindle and at Barnes & Noble for Nook.
A medieval prize pack:
- A hand-stitched pillow made from a tapestry fragment. I actually watched the owner of RavenStone Castle put it together!
- A handmade pouch from Idiorhythmic Designs. The owner, Raechel, lives in my town so I was able to select the perfect bag (and if you read The Sundering, you know why this bag is important).
- A set of postcards and a bookmark from Mystic Moon Media.
A copy of the entire Song of Eloh Saga in your choice of ebook format (contains: The Initiate, Anathema, Oubliette, Severed, Sleepers, Afterlife, The Sundering)
A $25 gift card to Amazon