Path of Bones
by Steven Montano
Series: The Skullborn Trilogy #2
Expected publication: February 7th 2014
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Return to the world of Malzaria in the highly anticipated sequel to the best-selling epic fantasy adventure CITY OF SCARS.
Hunted by Empires and crime lords alike, Ijanna Taivorkan and the young warrior Kath Cardrezhej make their way north through the dire Bonelands, a twisted wastelands populated by unnatural terrors. Hoping to find the answers to her dark destiny and driven by a need to escape her fate, Ijanna won’t rest until she locates the last of the Skullborn.
Azander Dane, fallen Dawn Knight, pursues Ijanna to help her as a way of making amends for the crimes of his past. Aided by an exiled giant and gripped by a magical disease that is slowly driving him mad, Dane must brave the dangers of the Phage-controlled city of Kaldrak Iyres in order to reach the Dream Witch in time.
Beset at every turn by evil magic, powerful assassins and dark revelations, Dane and Ijanna will ultimately find themselves in the ruined city of Corinth, where ancient artifacts may hold the key to the world’s salvation…or its untimely doom.
Grab your copy of City of Scars (book #1) now…
Hi, Steven! Thank you for stopping by My Book Addiction to chat with me today. It’s wonderful to have you on the blog. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of your books yet. Can you tell me a little about the series, The Skullborn Trilogy?
Hi, thanks for having me! =D
It might be difficult to break down The Skullborn Trilogy, since it’s been with me for so long. This epic fantasy is a project a long time in the making, as I drafted it about 10 years ago and I’ve been sloooooooooooowly revising it a piece at a time ever since.
The first book, City of Scars, follows two main characters: Ijanna, a Witch who believes she has to sacrifice herself in order to defeat a great evil, and Dane, a disgraced mercenary knight who’s been hired by a crime guild to track her down. Book 2, Path of Bones, expands the overall plot and scope of the narrative, introduces a bunch of new characters, and makes clear exactly what’s at stake. Book 3 (The Black Tower, which will be released late this year) wraps everything up and sets the stage for another trilogy.
Most of the elements of epic/high fantasy are here – swords, sorcery, knights, deadly monarchs, strange creatures, etc. – but I also like to keep things fresh, and I mix a lot of new elements in with those already familiar to readers of heroic fantasy. I take pride in the unique magic system of The Skullborn Trilogy (magic comes at a heavy price, either on a personal level or to the world at large), and I’ve spent a great deal of time developing the setting, a once prosperous continent that’s still recovering from a devastating decade-long war.
I absolutely love world building – the places, the people, the politics, the exotic creatures and religions and cultures – and hopefully that comes through in the books.
I also like to mix in some elements of steampunk and sci-fi, just to keep things interesting.
Wow, it sounds like such an awesome series! I may have to start moving things around in my schedule. 😉 How long have you been writing?
Since I was 18 years old, so almost 21 years. (Wow. I’m old.) I published short stories in college, and though I wrote as a hobby for a long time it wasn’t until around 2001 that I started publishing work for Dungeons & Dragons, which eventually led to me finally publishing my first novel in 2012.
You published work for D&D? Holy crap, that is so unbelievably cool!
What is the first thing you wrote – whether it was on a Post-it or a stained napkin under your favorite glass of wine – and has anyone else read it?
Oh, man…the first thing I wrote was a 40-page short story about two women trying to rid an old New York church of a demon. It was called Cathedral, and it was terrible! (Oddly, some of the elements from Cathedral – like the evil creature known as the Grim Father – leaked over into my post-apocalyptic dark fantasy series, Blood Skies.)
What are your hopes for the future with your writing career?
It would be nice to eventually make enough money from writing that it’s all I have to do, but that can be a very hard place to get to. These days, I just enjoy it for what it is: I have fans (which is weird, but I feel lucky as hell that anyone would give me or my work the time of day), I’ve made some wonderful friends, and I get to engage in my favorite hobby and make a few bucks on the side. What’s not to like? =D
Sounds like a great life to me! As an aspiring writer myself, I’m interested in how you balance work, family, your dumb dog and writing? I mean… I have a really smart dog so that’s a variable I don’t have to add to my equation. Haha! What kind of dog do you have?
Honestly, you have to make the time. Even if you’re not a routine-oriented person, the best way to fit writing into your hectic life is to find a time that works, a place that works, a WAY that works, and then to do it, no matter what. You need to make writing as much of a priority as paying the bills, working out, watching your favorite show, etc. No, it isn’t always easy, but I guarantee that if you stick with it you’ll feel very rewarded. =D
And, uh…we’re not sure what our dog is. She looks like a giant version of a Jack Russell Terrier, and my daughter is convinced she’s part Staffordshire Terrier, so we’ll go with “Other” Terrier…
“Other” Terrier? Haha, that’s awesome… and so is your advice. I am actually getting better at making myself sit down and write, just not as often as I should. I’ll keep working on that.
Your “about me” section on your website has me itching to ask you a lot of personal questions. I hope you don’t mind.
Go for it! =D
First, what made you decide you to become a writer? You’re an accountant by day. Was the right side of your brain screaming to be utilized? 😉
Actually, I was a writer before I was an accountant…honestly, I’m still not sure what it is about accounting that appeals to me, except that I’ve been doing it for ages and I seem to be relatively good at it. ;D
I got into writing because of a love of reading. I was a bit of a late bloomer in that regard, but in high school I REALLY got into reading, especially horror and suspense (Clive Barker, Tanith Lee and Stephen King were my favorites, and later I discovered China Mieville), and later in college I started reading epic fantasy (Tad Williams, Robert Jordan, and later J.V. Jones, John Marco and George R.R. Martin). The more I read the more I realized “I can do this”, and while my work is admittedly nowhere on the same level as any of these greats they helped me discover that writing is what I do. It’s when I’m happiest, even when it’s challenging, and I love the rewarding feeling of finishing a book.
I’m definitely looking forward to reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m hoping that once I actually finish a book, writing one won’t seem as difficult the next time around. Maybe that’s not realistic, but it keeps me moving forward. 🙂
Being a part-time gamer myself, I’m interested in what your favorite video games have been, and whether you’re team Playstation or Xbox?
I’m an XBOX guy, though I must (sheepishly) admit I don’t play all that often these days. When I do play I’m a huge first-person shooter fan (Wolfenstein, Call of Duty series, Halo, Left 4 Dead), and I also love the extensive RPGs (Fallout, Morrowind, etc.) Those games are great for sucking away hours of time. LOL
I’m a Playstation girl, but I’m actually contemplating getting an Xbox One when I get my PS4. Of course, I won’t be playing often because I’ll be writing more. (Say it like a mantra, Toni!)
I noticed you wrote, “the darker the better” about your preference in movies, books and such. Why do you think you enjoy the dark side so much?
That’s difficult to say…I think I’m just naturally morbid. ;D It’s true, though, I do find myself drawn to darker literature and films, though I like there to be some spark of redemption or hope buried in there somewhere. For me that seems realistic, a true snapshot of the way the world works: horrible things happen, often to good people, but we find the will and drive to carry on in spite of how bleak things can get.
That, plus I just look great in black. ;D
How do you take your coffee? I’m a flavored creamer fanatic, but hate flavored coffee. Do you have to cut yourself off from the caffeine intake at some point during the day or do you consume it well into the night to get your writing done?
I’ve been accused of not being a *real* coffee drinker because I put so much “crap” (aka cream and sugar) into my coffee. I’m not satisfied unless the spoon can stand straight up. ;D I’m not a huge flavored coffee fan, either, though I do like a good Caramel Machiatto or a Latte every now and again. ;D
I do my writing during the day, most often, but the precious juice is required to get my ass moving. I would drink more at night, but I’m too busy drinking wine.
I guess I’m not a real coffee drinker either. I love flavored dairy creamer so much that I use about 4 servings in each cup! haha.
Part-time zombie hunter, eh? Would you like to join my zombie apocalypse survival team! 😉 At least join my Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/myzombieaddiction/
Ooh, thanks. Glad to have you on the team!
What is your favorite zombie movie, book, video game, YouTube video, or whatever your favorite zombie related thing might be?
28 Days Later. I know many don’t consider that a “real” zombie film, but I feel it captures the most important elements (the isolation, humanity’s disintegration, the importance of familial units in a shattered world), as well as just being a great kick-ass film.
For more traditional zombie stuff I do enjoy The Walking Dead TV series, as well as Zach Snyder’s remake of Dawn of the Dead.
No, you are absolutely right. I loved 28 Days Later for all of those reasons, plus the super fast zombies scared the shit out of me! I want slow zombies when the SHTF. I hope the scientist/government agency working on the virus is taking notes.
Is there anything you’d like to share with your fans that they don’t already know from reading your books or visiting your website? Come on now, be daring! Pick something super quirky that only one other person in the world might know about you!
I’ve been so open over these past couple of years I don’t know if there’s anything left to share! LOL
How about this: I desperately want to take tango lessons again with my wife. We did it a few years ago when we lived in Bellingham, but we haven’t had the opportunity to get back to it. I think that would be a lot of fun. =D
I keep telling my husband I want to take ballroom dance classes with him at some point. It looks like so much fun!
I want to thank you again for being here, Steven. This was a blast! I hope to start reading your work very soon.
Thanks so much for having me!
About the Author
Steven Montano is an author, accountant, and blogger, part human and part…well, we’re not entirely sure, but he sure does write a lot of books.
Steven is the author of the Skullborn novels (City of Scars, Path of Bones), the Blood Skies series (Blood Skies, Black Scars, Soulrazor, Crown of Ash, The Witch’s Eye and Chain of Shadows), Tales of a Blood Earth 1 and 2, Crucifix Point, and something black…. He’s currently hard at work on Blood Angel Rising, a paranormal
action/horror/thriller; Vampire Down, the next installment of the Blood Skies series; and The Black Tower, the conclusion to The Skullborn trilogy.
He and his family live in Michigan, where even zombies fear to tread.
Steven’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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