By: Claire Luana
Publisher: Soul Fire Press
Publication Date: June 14th, 2016
When 17-year old Kai is exposed as a female sorceress—a moonburner, she knows the punishment is death. Despite the odds against her, Kai escapes her fate and undertakes a harrowing journey to a land where moonburners are revered and trained as warriors.
But the moonburner citadel is not the place of refuge and learning that Kai imagined. The ongoing war against the male sorcerers, or sunburners, has led the citadel leadership down a dark path that could spell the end of all magic. Armed with a secret from her past and a handsome but dangerous ally in the sunburner prince, Kai may be the only one able to prevent the destruction of her people.
Discuss your inspirations for the setting and world of your characters. Be it literature, personal experience, etc:
My inspiration for Moonburner was loosely based on China’s One Child policy, which led to generations of Chinese families choosing to have boys over girls. It made me think: what would happen in a world where families didn’t want girls because those girls had some magical ability that was forbidden? This led to the premise of Moonburner, where Kai, the main character, is born into a land where magic is forbidden to women, and she is forced to masquerade as a boy to hide her powers. This inspiration is also why I set Moonburner in a world with more of a medieval Asian influence, rather than the typical European fantasy world readers are used to.
Age: 17 years old.
Appearance: Average height with a lean figure. Square face with freckles on her nose. Hazel, almond-shaped eyes. Silver hair.
Seishen: Kai’s animal spirit companion is a fast-talking silver fox named Quitsu.
Personality: Strong. Caring. Takes other people’s problems on as her own. Strong sense of right and wrong. Doesn’t judge people before getting to know them.
Weaknesses: Lived a sheltered life and so is uneducated about many things. Insecure about her place in the world. Stubborn.
Special skills: Moonburner (she can use the light of the moon to create heat). Has advanced weapons training from her father, and healing skills taught by her mother.
Aspirations: To find a place she belongs and can be herself. To learn to control her moonburning abilities. To find a way to stop the war between her country, Miina and its neighbor Kita.
Age: 20 years old.
Appearance: Tall and well built, with golden hair he wears in a short ponytail. Handsome face with a strong jaw, a dimpled chin, and green eyes.
Seishen: Hiro’s animal spirit companion is a golden lion named Ryu.
Personality: Intelligent, loyal, open-minded. Confident and self-assured but not full of himself. Knows the names of the people in his camp and sees that their needs are met.
Weaknesses: Shares some of the prejudices of his society against women and moonburners.
Special skills: Sunburner (he can use the light of the moon to create heat). Excellent warrior and horseman. Has the resources and wealth of the Kitan royal family.
Aspirations: To be a good king and find a way to reach a peace between the nations.
What are some fun facts 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?
-The dress, weapons and architecture of Kita and Miina is based very loosely on medieval Japan. My inspiration for the citadel was Himeji Castle, in Japan.
-The seishen are the sun and moonburners’ magical connection to the earth. Only the strongest burners have seishens. The seishen can walk through walls, talk to each other telepathically, and don’t have to eat or breathe. They also seem to play the role of a burner’s conscience.
– I chose Kai, the main character’s name, because I had realized that all my favorite YA heroines had names starting with the letter “K” (Katniss from The Hunger Games, Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Katsa from Graceling). Kai is a Japanese name that can be for a boy or a girl, and so it seemed perfect, since she has to hide as a boy at the beginning of the book!
– Also, Kai’s horse in the first chapter (Jaimo) is named after my dog Jameson (his nickname is Jay-mo)
-Moonburners ride on great black bats called koumori. Sunburners ride huge golden eagles.
Discuss how the cover and/or title relate to your book, be it themes, a certain scene, a reoccurring element of the story, or how it captures the essence of the story in general:
The title, Moonburner, is derived from the magic system in the world. Female magicians pull their power from the light of the moon, “burning” it into heat. Hence they are called moonburners. Male magicians are sunburners, deriving their power from the light of the sun.
The cover for Moonburner was designed by Michael James Canales of MJC Imageworks. He did an awesome job of pulling together the themes, colors, and symbols of the book into something really eye-catching—the navy blue of the night sky and the moonburner uniforms, the silver of the Moonburner symbol (two crescent moons back to back) and power, and the Asian influence of the world. Kai, the main character, is featured on the front with the trademark silver hair of the moonburners. I’m thrilled with how it turned out!
Claire Luana grew up in Edmonds, Washington, reading everything she could get her hands on and writing every chance she could get. Eventually, adulthood won out and she turned her writing talents to more scholarly pursuits, graduating from University of Washington School of Law and going to work as a commercial litigation attorney at a mid-sized law firm.
While continuing to practice law, Claire decided to return to her roots and try her hand once again at creative writing. Her first novel, Moonburner, will be published in 2016 with Soul Fire Press, an imprint of Christopher Matthews Publishing. She is currently working on the sequel, Sunburner. In her (little) remaining spare time, she loves to hike, travel, run, play with her two dogs, and of course, fall into a good book.
Check her out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/claireluana/
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author image, information, giveaway, and more were provided by Chapter by Chapter Book Tours.