Within Ash and Stardust (The Xenith Trilogy #3)
By: Chani Lynn Feener
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: July 16th, 2019
Having gone from kidnapped faux princess to the legitimate heir to an intergalactic throne, an impulsive, sarcastic teen must take charge of her own destiny in this epic YA novel.
On Earth, Delaney is a normal teenager who recently graduated high school with a fantastic best friend and a loving boyfriend.
But Delaney isn’t on Earth. She’s on Xenith, a war-torn planet half a galaxy away. Originally mistaken for an alien princess, Delaney has gone from kidnapped imposter to the recognized heir to an alien throne. Oh, and she’s engaged to the prince of an enemy nation whose ruthless father is on the warpath.
Torn between two planets, two fates, and two loves, Delaney is finally ready to choose her own destiny in Within Ash and Stardust, the stunning conclusion to Chani Lynn Feener’s Xenith Trilogy.
A book goes through a lot of different versions and rounds of editing before it’s complete. What are some fun facts or behind the scenes info you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?
There were a lot of things in this trilogy that didn’t make it into the final versions of the books—mostly for good reason, and/or because they weren’t necessary to the overall flow/plot. Some of the changes I’m about to mention may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t read the books yet I’d suggest waiting before reading this! Starting with book one, initially at the end it was actually Trystan who’s suspected of working with the Tars. That was changed early on, in the first round of edits or so. From the very beginning his character was meant to be the typical spoiled bad guy. He was meant to be the villain of the story, but it seemed like every time he popped up into a scene, he wouldn’t cooperate with me. In the end, keeping him as the main villain just didn’t feel right anymore, so I had to put the blame on someone else. Sorry, Brightan. In the first draft of book two, I had Trystan keeping Delaney in a more alien type setting, complete with strange aquatic alien creatures, etc. It didn’t really fit in and was a bit too complex to work, so it was eventually changed and she was just put in a regular room, but those alien creatures were some of my favorite species to come up with. They were also one of the ones mentioned during the card game Delaney plays with Gibus and Pettus towards the end of book one. I think creating new creatures for this world was actually my favorite part of writing an alien book. There was also a lot less Gibus in book two in the beginning, which fortunately, was also changed. He’s one of my favorite characters in the whole series, and I’m disappointed he didn’t really get to shine as much as I would have liked. At the same time however, the book wasn’t really about him so… Anyway, moving onto book three. There were more changes for book three than the first two, actually. I won’t go through them all, especially since I’m trying to avoid any huge spoilers still, just in case, but one major one is the device Delaney and them are trying to destroy was originally a mind control one. Because of this, the Tars actually turned out to be innocent. Obviously this would have changed a lot of things—and had, in the first draft—but ultimately we decided it was a bit too sci-fi for this particular series. Another difference is the entire ending! Without giving it away, the person Delaney ends up with in the end of the series wasn’t originally the guy she was going to. The first completed draft was even written with her ending up with the other guy. During the first round of edits, one major change happened that altered the entire course of the end of the novel. After that it no longer made sense for her to end up with the person I’d planned for her since book one. The change that did this was the death of a character I had originally let live. It’s always fun to compare the first and final drafts of a book, and I sincerely hope that everyone who reads this series is happy with the things that made the final cut!
Chani Lynn Feener has wanted to be a writer since the age of ten during fifth grade story time. She majored in Creative Writing at Johnson State College in Vermont, and graduated in 2012. To pay her bills, she has worked many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, telemarketing, order picking in a warehouse, and filling ink cartridges. When she isn’t writing, she’s binging TV shows, drawing, or frequenting zoos/aquariums. Chani is the author of Amid Stars and Darkness and the teen paranormal series the Underworld Saga, originally written under the penname Tempest C. Avery. She currently resides in Connecticut, but lives on Goodreads.com.Find the author:
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