Title: BLOOD ROAD
Author: Amanda McCrina
Pub. Date: April 25, 2017
Format: Paperback, eBook
Nineteen-year-old Torien Risto has seen dissidents dealt with before. He knows the young local girl who just knifed him will hang for assaulting an Imperial officer, unless he can stop it.
Someone inside the provincial government is kidnapping Imperial citizens and selling them across the desert to the salt mines, silencing anyone who tries to intervene. The girl’s brother is one of those who has been taken. Rejected by the corrupt courts, she’s waging a personal war against the Empire.
Determined to save her life, Torien sets out in search of answers on the Salt Road, the ancient trade route running deep into the heart of a desert—territory claimed by the hostile Mayaso tribe.
Now, Torien is no longer sure where his own loyalty lies, or how far he will go to break the cycle of tyranny, political bullying, and social injustice in an empire that seals its borders in blood.
~AUTHOR INTERVIEW with Amanda McCrina~
1) What gave you the inspiration for the storyline?
I didn’t really have one moment of inspiration. I had two characters and a setting; the rest I just kind of made up as I went along. I will say that the world of BLOOD ROAD was generally inspired by research I’d done into the later Roman Empire.
2) Are there any hidden themes in the book that you hope readers will discover?
There are definitely some underlying themes that can be picked out—the balance between justice and mercy, for example—but my hope is that readers will make their own interpretations and draw their own conclusions. There’s no one right answer, in other words.
3) Are any of the characters based on real people you know?
Not really, though I think my main characters all tend to reflect parts of me.
4) Who has influenced you most as a writer?
As far as style, I owe equal amounts to Ernest Hemingway and Rosemary Sutcliff. As far as love of the craft itself, Tolkien was an early and lasting influence.
5) If you could have any three literary characters over to your place for game night, who would you invite, what would you play, what would you serve, and why?
Ultimate battle of wits and snark: Gen from Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief, Julie from Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity (and the upcoming Pearl Thief), and Pagan from Catherine Jinks’s Pagan Chronicles playing Diplomacy, the classic game of deception and world domination. (I’d have no hope of competing, so I’d just be hovering in the background, serving cognac.)
Amanda McCrina has studied in Italy, taught English in Japan, and currently tutors Latin in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History from the University of West Georgia, and is now pursuing her MA. She writes stories that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks far too much coffee and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey season.
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