Shadow & Flame (Rime Chronicles #2)
By: Mindee Arnett
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: June 4th, 2019
From acclaimed author Mindee Arnett comes the thrilling conclusion of the stunningly epic, action-packed, and romantic fantasy adventure about a powerful girl possessed of strange magic, the outcast prince she loves, and the kingdom that has torn them apart.
Kate and Corwin are on the run, desperate for allies in a new world of war among the kingdoms of Rime. As the book opens, Kate suffers a massive loss, one that will shape the struggle for freedom of all wilders and magic folk—that is, if Kate can learn to control her own power.
A book goes through a lot of different versions and rounds of editing before its 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?
Behind the Scenes with the Rime Chronicles (Including a deleted scene!)
Hey there readers, I’m so excited to be visiting here today to help celebrate the release of Shadow & Flame, the conclusion of the Rime Chronicles that started with Onyx & Ivory. As my lovely hostess, Emily, recently pointed out books go through a lot of different versions before making it onto the shelf, and mine have been no exception. So I’m here to share a couple of fun facts about the making of these books as well as an exclusive look at a deleted scene from Onyx & Ivory. Along with that I’ve got to give a spoiler warning. If you haven’t read O&I, you might want to stop now and come back once you do so.
One of the things that seem to change the most often in my books during the writing / editing process is names. Oftentimes I’ll start off with a name that I think works for a character only to change it later. Onyx & Ivory, in particular, seemed prone to this phenomenon. To give you some examples, in the original draft Kate was called Jane. I picked the name for two reasons. One, I wanted something that sounded right with the moniker “traitor” and two, I wanted a name that paid homage to the Pony Express, one of my core inspirations for the story. But then my sister reminded me that “Traitor Jane” was a title given to Jane Fonda back in the seventies, and I didn’t want to have that baggage on my main character. So she became Kate instead.
Like Kate, Corwin had a different first name, too. He was originally Rowan, a name I still adore, but one of my critique partners pointed out that this name had been used in a popular YA fantasy series recently, and so once again I changed it to avoid that unintentional echo.
Raith was another another significant character who received a name change. He started off as Thane. But the big prize to the most significant name change goes to the title of the book itself. From the beginning I had referred to the book simply as Traitor Kate, but when the duology first sold to B&B it was under the title Of Flame and Stone, and by the time we announced it was finally Onyx & Ivory. Fun fact, in the advanced copies, the placeholder for the map is “TK,” referring all the way back to that first title.
And now for a deleted scene. *Spoiler warning again!* Below is the original epilogue for Onyx & Ivory. This takes place after the events of book 1 when Kate and Corwin have decided to head to Seva to rescue Kate’s kidnapped brother. Please note that this is from a very early draft, well before I finalized the map world details, so some of it may not match or make sense from the published version. Also, Signe’s character went through some significant changes after I deleted this.
The Wilder Prince
The waters of the Penlaurel Sea lived up to its name, green and glistening, as clear as glass when he peered over the edge of the boat. The wind licked at his hair, chilling the skin on his face. He shivered.
Standing beside him, Kate noticed and slid an arm around his waist, offering her warmth. Corwin took it gladly, pressing his nose against her hair to breathe in her scent. He would never tire of the way she smelled, the way she felt in his arms.
“It will be warmer in Esh,” Signe said, distracting him from his obsession. He turned to smile down at her where she sat in a chair brought up to the deck just for her. Six weeks had passed since the Hellgate and still she hadn’t managed to walk so much as a step on her shattered foot. She seemed to be handling it as well as could be expected, but her mood had darkened once they made the decision to travel to Esh before heading to Seva.
“If that’s true,” Dal said, putting a hand on Signe’s shoulder. “I might never leave your little island again.”
A weary smile crossed her lips. “It is my island no longer.”
“Yes, but surely it will be nice to go home for a while.”
Signe didn’t reply, but lifted her gaze out over the horizon. Corwin suspected that bringing her with them might prove dangerous. Although she still hadn’t revealed any of her secrets about her past, Corwin guessed it must be something dreadful. She feared this homecoming—and Signe was never afraid.
Not that they would be visiting her home. The plan was to stay in the port city of Algot for as long as it took for them to transform into Eshians. At least well enough to fool any non-natives. As Rimish, they would draw too much suspicion once they entered Seva. But Eshians were welcome everywhere. Signe would be their guide, tutoring them in clothing and accents, whatever it took.
Once done they would depart for Seva, on the hunt for Kiran and the rest of the wilders imprisoned by King Magnar. It was a dangerous mission, maybe even a futile one. But coming here had been an easy decision for Corwin. This was about the wilders, yes, but it was also about Rime and the people who called it home. My people. Corwin was at war with his brother, but protecting Rime mattered more than anything—even if he had to protect it from itself.
He was risking his life and more to come here. Every second he stayed away from Norgard, the more support Edwin gained, the power of uror weakened by Corwin’s absence. Before they boarded the ship, Corwin had seen a royal decree nailed to the notice board at the dock that declared him a traitor. The parchment bore his picture but not his name. Instead it called him the Wilder Prince. It seemed Edwin had decided to strike Corwin’s name from all public records, same as their nameless great uncle who had forfeited the right to uror all those years before. Not that Corwin had been condemned alone. There was one for Kate, too, and all the rest of them.
We are all outlaws.
It was a good thing that the captain of this ship was Eshian and unconcerned about Rimish criminals. Then again, Corwin suspected Signe’s presence might have made a difference as well. The moment the captain found out she was a Leth, he’d welcomed them with open arms. It was another piece in the ever-expanding puzzle of Signe’s background, but a welcome one.
Kate slid her fingers into his and squeezed it. “I hope we find them soon.”
Corwin nodded, hoping the same. He turned back to the sea and the wind in his face. Seva lay ahead of them, some two days in the distance.
Rime lay behind.
Corwin felt its pull even now, growing stronger with every league he slipped farther and farther away.
Kate’s hand rose to touch his back. “Are you alright?”
He nodded, then bent his head down and kissed her. He liked doing that—whenever he wanted, wherever, and with no worry about decorum or expectation. Those worries were gone forever. Even once he returned to Rime—and he would—never again would he let the expectation of others determine his choices or feelings. Even if I am made king, he thought, no one will keep me from making Kate my queen.
But he wasn’t going to be made king any time soon. If ever. Not with the dangers of Seva awaiting him.
And yet, in his heart he knew that the chance was still there, and for the first time he didn’t fear it. The scar on his palm burned with the certainty of his destiny. For even now, somewhere far away, grazing on the autumn grass of Norgard, was a colt of strange markings. Half black. Half white. The uror sign.
Edwin was wrong. Corwin hadn’t forfeited his right to uror. The gods knew it if no one else.
The colt still lived, and with it, the hope of Corwin’s future. And of Rime’s.
YA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author info, image, giveaway, and more were provided by The Fantastic Flying Book Club.