I remain ashamedly unversed in modern epic or heroic fantasy, despite growing up on Howard, Leiber, Tolkien, Eddison and the rest of the early canon. My dreadful ignorance is not due to any lack of interest, but merely lack of time. The mode involves capacious tomes that come in sets, and unless one catches any certain series at its kickoff, getting up to speed quickly becomes more and more daunting with each new entry.
Nonetheless, I have recently enjoyed work along these general lines by Robert Redick, Daniel Abraham, K. J. Parker, Patrick Rothfuss, and Ken Liu. And of course, I am up-to-date on George Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, perhaps the dominant template these days for its successors. (Note that I did not say I am up-to-date on Game of Thrones, a show I will herewith also confess I have never seen. When much of my media-viewing time is spent on acquainting myself with, say, every film Ida Lupino ever made, then hours to be devoted to current miniseries are nonexistent.)
Consequently I think I have some small idea of what fresh things can be done in this genre these days by top-notch talent—as well as how to recognize the shared lineaments of a rousing adventure tale of any stripe—and so I can affirm that the debut novel by Brian Lee Durfee, The Forgetting Moon, while not necessarily breaking new ground, provides plenty of well-crafted spectacle, thrills, suspense, blood, thunder and general sense of wonder. (I call it his debut novel, for although the dust-jacket copy mentions a previous horror novel, the internet reveals no trace of such a book, at least under his own name.)
With any book of this type, a literal “subcreation,” we always need and expect a solid foundation of world-building without the kind of deadly and pedantic information overload rightly derided by M. John Harrison. Durfee’s book hits the mark. First, he creates some fascinating topography conducive to great plotting. Five isles, each self-governing as a whole, yet with a variety of polities within, lie next to each other. So the scale is relatively compact, allowing easy interactions among the peoples. The backstory along historical, political, economic, religious and cultural lines is deftly sketched in by nicely placed referents with any coarse infodumps. Everything seems to cohere realistically, with no imbalances. And the societies differ from each other in satisfying and believable ways.
Additionally, there is the matter of the distinct races. Besides the humans, there are dwarves, the fey-like Vallè, and the hideous oghuls. Now, these categories are hardly brand-new in the genre, but as I said about this book in general, Durfee’s light and clever hand freshens whatever it touches.
The book opens with a killer set piece: a mysterious warrior figure named Shawcroft rescues a three-year-old boy from quasi-supernatural assassins—on the edge of a crumbling glacier, no less. Then we cut to that same lad, named Nail and now aged seventeen, living a humble, even oppressed life in a small fishing village, Gallows Haven. Shawcroft remains by his side, his only “family” and only link to his mysterious past. Several chapters illustrate for us Nail’s personality and temperament and character with some exciting action-filled moments. Then we abruptly leave him to jump to other personages in the vast canvas.
The main factions we are going to observe are the royal Bronachell family in Amadon, the innocent victims in this war. Two sisters—older Jondralyn and younger Tala—serves as our POV figures, and they are both inordinately intriguing: smart, feisty and complicated.
The other camp is that of the aggressors, the invaders from Sør Sevier. What a nasty lot they are, led by the Angel Prince, Aeros, and his sadistic female Knight Archaic, Enna Spades, a woman who makes Elizabeth Báthory look like Pollyanna. In their camp is a more nuanced fellow of some honor, Gault Aulbrek. Mentioning his conflicted role brings me to an observation about Durfee’s troupe. He has a wide spectrum of all types, from the purely evil, like Spades, to the purely good, like Nail. And of course, the folks who are at the interface between good and evil are often the most interesting.
Now, needless to say in a volume of almost 800 pages, there is a lot going on, from battlefield heroics, to duels, to brawls in taverns, to traversals of hidden palace passages, to courtly backstabbing. Durfee stages each incident compactly, with no waste or overstuffing. And the succession of incidents carries the various subplots along at a fair clip. And the main impulse behind this novel—and the whole series to come—is sufficiently majestic to bear the burden of so much storyline.
The main religion of all the isles is the worship of Laijon, whose church has a hierarchy and bureaucracy reminiscent of our own Roman Catholic enterprise at its prime. But within the Church is an esoteric order, the Brethren of Mia, and they know a secret. An apocalyptic event is coming which may be forestalled only by uncovering the long-lost weapons of the Five Warrior Angels and using them in battle. Moreover, the talismans can be hefted only by the five current avatars of the old lineages. And guess who is one of the Five?
Alternating between the countryside trials of Nail and his comrades and the cityside machinations of the Bronachells, Durfee keeps our interests always at a peak. The language he employs during all of this is not archaic, nor overly slangy, but rather a believable speech of another era and place, whose descriptive passages occasionally veer from sturdy visualizations into poetry and gravitas. Rough and scatalogical dialogue also has its appropriate moments.
Now, I should mention one aspect of the book as a kind of consumer caveat. I know enough about contemporary epic fantasy to be aware of the “grimdark” trend. Durfee definitely hoists that flag high. And in a fashion that is not initially obvious. For the first 200 pages or so, the book is not particularly grimdark. But with the invasion of Gallows Haven, the blood commences to flow like red wine at an art gallery opening. Interpersonal relationships assume a kind of Darwinian savagery. And there is really no assurance that any character you have identified with will survive.
It makes for some enthralling reading, to be sure—but perhaps not for those who would rather spend the day dreaming in Rivendell.
Written by: Paul Di Filippo has been writing professionally for over thirty years, and has published almost that number of books. He lives in Providence, RI, with his mate of an even greater number of years, Deborah Newton.
(Read the full review by Jeff Somers here.)
Your celebrated metatextual genre deconstructions are all well and good, but Brian Lee Durfee is here to make fantasy EPIC again. His debut novel The Forgetting Moon (the first in the Five Warrior Angels series), is epic fantasy turned up to eleven, a bracing reading experience that reminds you why you fell in love with the genre in the first place. Durfee writes with admirable energy and verve, delivering a story that does absolutely nothing in moderation.
As the first book in a new series, this one needs to do a lot of heavy lifting to establish the universe of the Five Isles. Durfee doesn’t waste time: the opening chapters threaten to overwhelm you with eye-popping detail as Durfee introduces his point-of-view characters and the world they inhabit. It’s a setting both intimate and huge—geographically, it’s fairly contained, giving us an opportunity to orient ourselves. But the history and culture are sprawling, from a Christianity-inspired religion, to a social structure whose basis in familiar Western European-inspired hierarchies is only a staring point. He seeds in details that slowly blossom into something unique and refreshingly messy. Readers will play catch-up throughout the early chapters as a torrent of detail builds the world piece by piece—but it’s well worth the effort to follow along.
In the world of the Five Isles, Prince Aeros Raijael of Sor Sevier believes he is the second coming of god’s son, and has spearheaded an invasion of the kingdoms of the Five Isles, assured of an inevitable, blessed victory. As the story opens, the kingdom of Gul Kana is the only realm left outside Aeros’ reach—and its time has come. Aeros is a fantastic antagonist, imposing and beautiful, completely convinced of the righteousness of his actions, and shrouded in just enough mystery to keep us fascinated. His army is a monument of grimdark cruelty: his key generals, the Knight Archaic, are incredible warriors entrusted with Aeros’ personal security as well as the prosecution of his war. The casual cruelty and violence they inflict on anyone who gets in their way is shocking, occasionally even revolting—but never without fanatical purpose. One of the Knights Archaic, a beautiful woman named Enna Spades, numbers among the fiercest, darkest characters in recent fantasy—a vile creature who makes deals and plays games with prisoners and enemies alike, at one point setting a captured boy free only after he successfully swims through shark-infested waters. She is cruel and deadly—and entertaining as hell.
Speaking of Enna Spades, she’s not the only homicidal maniac waiting in the wings, (she is responsible for only some of the worst moments of torture in the book, which gives you an idea of what’s in store). Durfee doesn’t shy away from darkness, moderate the cruelties of an invading army led by a religious fanatic, or underplay the problems of a psychotic and sociopathic boy king (that would be King Jovan of Gul Kana, who inflicts his share of increasingly disturbing suffering on his subjects and even his own family, including his resilient sister Jondralyn. Jondralyn is but another of the many characters through which we view this story, a familiar but effective method of chopping a way into a sprawling tale, from the humble existence of the orphan Nail, raised by a gruff man in a small town, and clearly someone of incredible significance (if Aeros interest in him is any indication); to the royal families, religious leaders, and the knights and assassins plotting and dueling across the land. Durfee’s approach to establishing narrators is “the more the merrier,” and the result provides us with a rich and detailed view of all stratas of society.
Epic and Classic
Durfee revels in the classic tropes of fantasy—mad kings, powerful magical relics, massed armies, knights in armor, assassins so skilled they can stab you without you even feeling it—but he twists them just enough to make them his own. The Vallé, who have pointed ears and lithe, agile movements that mark them as inhuman, are the elves of this universe—but are highly offended if you call them that. Religion plays a vital role, offering a complicated mythos that has direct bearing on both the plot and the motivations of the characters. It’s as if Durfee was so excited by his every idea for this universe, he couldn’t help but dive into each and every detail with gusto—and that delirious energy pulses throughout the book, creating an addictive reading experience. Durfee hasn’t held anything back—this is a deeply imagined world packed with incredible violence, cruelty, and compelling characters and mysteries. The result is a fantasy that brings epic back in a big way.
The Forgetting Moon is available August 30.
The Forgetting Moon
Hardcover $19.87 | $25.99
THE FORGETTING MOON by Brian Lee Durfee (Five Warrior Angels #1)
Rob B · Aug 2nd, 2016 · 2 Comments
When a young boy, Nail, is orphaned and taken in by a gruff and mostly silent warrior named Shawcroft, you might have an idea that Brian Lee Durfee’s The Forgetting Moon is going to tread into the waters of Epic Fantasy. You’d be mostly correct, but the routes he takes are down some of the more shadowy, grim, and darkest roads traveled in this popular sub-genre of Fantasy. To say that The Forgetting Moon leans on the shady grimdark side of fantasy would be an understatement, but nothing else about Durfee’s epic novel (and saga) is understated.
Durfee introduces Nail and his friends/peers as they are on the cusp of becoming adults in the land of the Five Isles, specifically the village of Gallows Haven in the unconquered kingdom of Gul Kana. Nail lives a hard life and gets few answers about his family, his parents, or why his guardian has him constantly in the mines when he would rather be what amounts to in this world as a naval officer. Since this is an epic, EPIC fantasy, Durfee juggles multiple plot-lines and points of view. In the same fashion that George R.R. Martin broke the chapters into different character’s points of view, so does Durfee. In addition to Nail, we have Princess Jondralyn, sister of the (Mad) King Jovan, perhaps one of the few truly Good characters in the story and much more than the “Beautiful Princess” many expect her to be; Tara, the younger sister of king and Jondralyn’s who is reluctantly drawn into a scavenger hunt in order to save her poisoned cousin Lawri; Ava Shay, a young girl and target of Nail’s affections taken prisoner by an invading army and Gault, a weary knight from the invading army.
About that invading army, they are led by Aeros Raijael, who thinks he is the second coming of God’s son. His army is led by some extremely devious and malicious cruel generals; Spades, who was like a female version of Ramsay Bolton; stood out the most. At one point Aeros commands the arms and legd to be cut off a general of Gul Kana (and the man to whom Nail wanted to pledge his service) and have the man pushed around in a cart just so he can send a message back to his kingdom. Though one of the crueler acts depicted in the novel, it is far from the only element of cruelty.
OK, there’s a lot to process in this novel, from the grand scope (a man thinking he’s a savior reincarnated), magical objects including the titular axe the Forgetting Moon, a mad king on the brink of sanity; a young ‘farm boy orphan,’ and a young woman looking to upend the gender norms of her world. The cosmology and mythos Durfee has packed into his world is expansive and impressive, though at times it feels a little overwhelming. The plot at times was slowed down by the weight of the world-building and there could have been a little less revealed here in this big first volume (700+ pages) of the series.
Durfee did seem to give fairly equal time to both Jondralyn and Nail, and while the rotating points of view provides each of the characters the opportunity to be the protagonist of their own storylines, the character of Jondralyn (Jon for short) was the one I found most intriguing. She lives in fear of her older brother, fear of his growing paranoia and psychosis, his cruel treatment of her, and his inability to rule. Jondralyn is training in secret (from her brother, or so she thinks) with the dwarf Roguemore, Hawkwood, a man who was initially sent to assassinate her and an imprisoned gladiator named Squireck. In fact, I would love to see a story focusing just on Jon and her circle of supporting characters.
In the preface to the book, Durfee calls out Tad Williams and George R.R. Martin as influences. The influence of both writers/storytellers is writ clear in the narrative. Readers familiar with both may see some parallels between King Jovan and the Storm King from Tad Williams’s Memory, Sorrow and Thorn or Mad King Aerys from Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Aside from those comparisons, the world-building in general is quite robust and the rotating POVs works quite well, too. I have to say; however, I think I admired what Durfee was doing more than I enjoyed it. His imagination and storytelling comes across quite impressively, but the grimdark and unsavory elements made it somewhat difficult to fully enjoy the narrative, if that makes sense. There is a teeny-tiny glimmer of optimism, so I hope that Durfee is able to build on that in the next volume(s) of the series.
I also have to complement the cover, which (in all the best ways for me) looks like it could easily be the cover of a heavy metal album. Richard Anderson has been creating fantastic images for genre book covers over the past few years and this one is no different in its’ power to draw the eye. What makes it even more “metal” is the shiny gold text of the title.
Readers who enjoyed Michael R. Fletcher’s Beyond Redemption (review) or Mark Lawrence’sBroken Empire will likely find much to enjoy and a world in which to immerse themselves.
© 2016 Rob H. Bedford
Hardcover, 775 Pages
Saga Press, August 2016
Review copy courtesy of the publisher
Today I am interviewing Brian Lee Durfee, author of the new fantasy novel, The Forgetting Moon, first book of the Five Warriors Angels series.◊ ◊ ◊
DJ: Hey Brian! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Brain Lee Durfee: I am an artist and writer who was raised in Fairbanks Alaska and Monroe Utah. I’ve done illustrations for Wizards of the Coast, Tolkien Enterprises, Dungeons & Dragons, Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust (Denali National Park) and many more. My art has been featured in SPECTRUM: Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art #3 and Writers of the Future Vol 9. I won the Arts for the Parks Grand Canyon Award and the painting is in the permanent collection of the Grand Canyon Visitors Center-Kolb Gallery. I am also the author of the fantasy series Five Warrior Angels. I currently live in Salt Lake City. I work in Law Enforcement as a day job. Reading is my first passion. Writing my second. Watching the Oakland Raiders third. Painting fourth. In fact, I might put watching football first because everything stops on NFL Sunday for me.
DJ: Now, I love epic fantasy – it is my favorite genre – and The Forgetting Moon is a massive book and solely from the book’s intro, I’m getting the feeling the Five Warriors Angels series is going to be quite vast! While that is so awesome(!), that means there is so much to cover! So, I will do my best to ask you questions that will cover as much as possible. Let’s start with the basic one: What is The Forgetting Moon about?
Brian: I am assuming you have a link to Simon & Schuster’s description so we needn’t re-hash that here. So I am going to paraphrase what one Goodreads reviewer (a good friend of mine who gave me permission) wrote, because she did a good job of describing the novel in a different way than what you will find on the back-jacket. “It has been nearly a thousand years since the death and supposed ascendency to heaven of Laijon, King of Slaves, one of five legendary Warrior Angels; history is mute on the fates of the other four: the Princess, the Thief, the Assassin, and the Gladiator. Since Laijon’s death, nations have divided into warring factions worshipping either Laijon, his son, Raijael, or his wife, The Blessed Mother Mia. Now, prophesies near fruition as the followers of Raijael plow a bloody track across the Five Isles, and the infamous weapons of the Five Angels have been rediscovered. (The doctrines and religious fervor that fuel the war remind one of the endless schisms and wars fostered by the Abrahamic religions of our world.)
The story follows those who may or may not be the prophesied descendants of the Five Warrior Angels: Aeros Raijael, the White Prince, sociopathic leader of the invading army; Nail, an orphan from a remote fishing village; Jondralyn Bronachell, sister to a cruel and paranoid king; their sister, Tala Bronachell, who is following an anonymous assassin’s clues to save her cousin from poison; Gault Aulbrek, a disenchanted knight; Ava Shay, prisoner of war and Nail’s one-time girlfriend; Hawkwood, a deadly Bloodwood assassin; Squireck Van Hester, a political prisoner forced to fight in the gladiatorial arena; siblings Zane and Liz Hen Neville, Nail’s hometown friends; and their dog, Beer Mug. The reader should heed the motto of the Brethren of Mia: “Trust no one.”
DJ: What were some of your influences for The Forgetting Moon and the Five Warriors Angels series?
Brian: At 13 years old I read the SWORD OF SHANNARA by Terry Brooks. Ten pages in I knew I wanted to write a fantasy novel of my own. That Shannara novel hooked me on reading. I’ve read 3-4 books a week ever since from every genre: fantasy, horror, mystery, thriller, sci-fi, non-fiction, etc. As a kid I loved Lloyd Alexander, David Eddings, DRAGONLANCE, and Tolkien. But as I was writing THE FORGETTING MOON, for inspiration I purposefully studied the structure, pacing, and style of seven specific books: Ken Follett’s PILLARS OF THE EARTH, Larry McMurtry’s LONESOME DOVE, James Clavell’s SHOGUN, Stephen King’s THE STAND, Goerge R. R. Martin’s GAME OF THRONES, Robert Jordan’s EYE OF THE WORLD, & Tad Williams’ DRAGONBONE CHAIR. These are all mega-selling books and I really wanted to plumb their secrets. Luke Skywalker’s journey in Star Wars is also a huge inspiration.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
Brian: 1) Nail (a seventeen-year-old boy) is our main male lead character, always brave and a bit headstrong, but prone to make mistakes because of his arrogance. He works as a gold-miner, but would rather work on the whaling ship with his pals, and he loves to draw. He dreams of designing stained glass windows for cathedrals someday. 2) Tala (a sixteen-year-old girl) is our main female lead character. She is a pampered princess and full of mischief. She won’t do what anyone tells her. If she is told to stop sneaking about the castle, you bet she will do it, even when threatened by assassins. She is just too curious, like a cat. And that leads to a whole mess of trouble. 3) Gault (a veteran knight) is our main adult character. He is weary of ten years of crusading. He misses his daughter terribly. But killing is his life, and the only way he can truly feel at peace is when he is engaged in slaughter. He is a very conflicted man. 4) Jondralyn (also a princess & older sister of Tala) is our main adult female character. She hates the ruling class of men and wants to usurp the throne form her brother. Like Nail, she is brave and a bit headstrong. She is training to be a gladiator. She always over-estimates her own skills, which gets her in trouble a lot. The story is told through the alternate POV’s of those four.
Other characters of note are, Jovan (an inept king) Squireck (a gladiator) Roguemoore (a gruff old dwarf) Val-Draekin (an elven thief and warrior) Seita (an elven princess) Hawkwood (a former assassin) Lindholf & Lawri (friends of Tala) Shawcroft (an enigmatic ex-knight) Stefan (Nail’s best friend and archer) Jenko, Ava Shay, Liz Hen, Dokie, Zane, Gisela (other friends of Nail) Aeros (a ruthless crusader) Enna Spades & Hammerfiss (Aeros’ brutal henchmen). And lastly Beer Mug (a shepherd dog). Readers who have been given ARCs and pre-release copies have all commented that they absolutely grew adore Beer Mug and grew to hate, and I mean HATE, Enna Spades. Spades is one vicious, cruel, and unpredictable warrior woman. When she walks on scene….watch out.
DJ: I love epic fantasy with multiple POV and complex plots, but I have always wondered how writers approach writing these types of stories? How did you decide which POV to jump to next when telling the story and how did you actually write the story? (Do you outline the order the POV chapters will go in first, then write it like that; write all of one character’s chapters then move on)
Brian: So a couple of things here. I wrote the first half of the novel with zero outline. Then once I saw where the story was headed, I sort of plotted out the rest vaguely. But now that I am under contract for several more books, I have a pretty good set of notes and outlines for the entire rest of the series. As for POV characters, in the beginning, those 4 main perspectives (Nail, Tala, Gault, Jondralyn) just sorta grew naturally as the story went along. I write chronologically. So I do not write all Nail chapters then all Tala chapters etc. The story flows from one character to the next. Also, I have made a promise to myself that there would be exactly 55 chapters in each book no matter what. Let’s see if I can stick to that. That’s about 750 pgs hardcover. 250,000 words. For perspective that is about 30,000 words shorter than GAME OF THRONES.
DJ: Do you ever go back and rearrange the planned order or have to write a scene over again from another character’s perspective?
Brian: No. But my editor, Joe Monti, at Simon & Schuster’s SAGA PRESS, did ask me to re-arrange the order of the first ten chapters in Forgetting Moon, and add a prologue. The prologue was a brilliant idea and I do believe one of the best pieces of writing I have ever done. It is different than any prologue you will read. And really ties the story together in a way I didn’t think possible. I am jazzed about it, and about the fact that it will be the first thing people read when they open up the book. It really sets the tone for things to come.
DJ: What is the universe/world for the Five Warriors Angels series like?
Brian: Good question. The universe is called the Five Isles, consisting of, well, five islands, each about the size of England/Scotland. The environment is very European. Think Scotland Highlands but with the mountains the size of the Swiss Alps or the Alaskan Range. The Isles are high in latitude, so it gets cold!!! On the Five Isles we have humans, elves, dwarves, and oghuls (basically orcs) all living together. Religion is split into three warring factions: worshipers of Laijon, Raijael, or Mia. And these wars have plagued the isles for thousands of years. So the Isles are very violent. And very patriarchal (which gives the female leads something to fight for—which is part of the overall theme) No technology beyond swords and crossbows and chainmail armor, straight medieval. And here is the kicker. Magic is believed in, but never seen. There are many religious holy books full of stories and prophecies of Laijon, Raijael and Mia doing magic and having magic weapons and such. But these stories are no more founded than say Moses parting the Red Sea in todays Bible. Still, these stories propel much religious strife in the Five Isles. Especially ancient stories of The Five Warrior Angels and their magical weapons…
DJ: It seems like there is going to be A LOT going on there… could you tell the readers a few specific details about Sør Sevier and Gul Kana, that may grab there attention and shed more light on them?
Brian: Sør Sevier (one of the five isles) is led by the religious fervor of the White Prince, Aeros Raijael, a direct descendant of the ancient religious icon, Raijael. Sør Sevier is the western most isles, more destitute and rocky and less-prosperous than the others. Aeros bloody crusade is to reclaim the other 4 isles under one place them all under religious rule, his rule. Aeros allows women to fight in his armies, doubling his troops, and this is a huge advantage over Gul Kana (another one of the isles about to be attacked by Aeros), because Gul Kana is led by Jovan, and Jovan is merely a puppet for the highly misogynist and patriarchal religious regime of the Church of Laijon. Jondralyn, Jovan’s sister, desperately wants her brother to allow women to fight. But his church advisors won’t allow it even to their own doom. So this looming war and all of its religious implications combined with a belief in magic sets up the main conflict. Because all sides believe that the magic weapons of the Five Warrior Angels are out there somewhere, and if they can just find them, the wars will turn dramatically in their favor.
DJ: I am also curious about Shawcroft and Gallows Haven; what’s it like over there?
Brian: Nail is an orphan boy living in the whaling village of Gallows Haven. Shawcroft is Nail’s caretaker. Gallows Haven sits on the western coast of Gul Kana, right in the sights of Aeros invading army. Above Gallows Haven is a mountain range full of old gold mines…which may or may not hold ancient treasure…
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing The Forgetting Moon?
Brian: My favorite part of writing is when it’s done. Writing can be a slog. But once you have stuck it out, persevered, and the book is in print and folks are reading it. That’s my favorite part. As mystery writer Elizabeth George said, ‘Nobody really likes writing, but everyone likes having written something.’ Seeing the end result and being proud of it is really cool. Especially because this is the culmination of an idea that began forming in my mind when I was 13 years old reading THE SWORD OF SHANNARA that first time. But in the end, I truly do love world-building and character development. I love being surprised by what some of my characters say. I love being surprised when certain secondary characters start demanding more screen time because they have made themselves so interesting.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Brian: So far readers are talking about how much they loved the dog, Beer Mug, and how much they hated Enna Spades (things I was not expecting). But other feedback I have received. The pace never lets up! The world-building is detailed and VAST! The characters are diverse and distinct and interesting. The book is non-stop adventure, drama and action from the first page. Which is good, because I promised myself I wouldn’t let this series get bogged down in the endless boring political details that can sometimes drag in fantasy novels. That stuff is there, but minimal. I want the readers heart to be pounding. If anyone reviews my book and says they were bored…that would suck. And probably not be true.
DJ: What is your goal in writing the Five Warriors Angels series? The Forgetting Moon is only the first book, but is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across to readers when it is finally told?
Brian: The overall theme is ‘believe in yourself’. In the end, each character is defined by how they handle themselves when everything goes wrong, when all the things and people that they believed in fail them. How do they rise up and conquer with just the strength of their own will.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from The Forgetting Moon that you can share with us?
Brian: The opening line “trust is fleeting, betrayal is timeless”. And I advise the reader, as you read this series, trust no one. Everything is a puzzle to be figured out. Everything is a red-herring. Everything is in there to mislead you. Or maybe it isn’t…
DJ: Now that The Forgetting Moon is released, what is next for you?
Brian: Book two, The Blackest Heart is due Jan 2017. I am nearly done with that. And then it is on to book three, The Lonesome Crown and so on…
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about The Forgetting Moon that we haven’t talked about yet?
Brian: If you love GAME OF THRONES & WHEEL OF TIME, I think you will love THE FORGETTING MOON. I really think my novel is a good blend of new grimdark fantasy combined with old epic quest fantasy.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!◊ ◊ ◊
*** The Forgetting Moon is published by Saga Press and is available TODAY!!! ***Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Goodreads | Kobo◊ ◊ ◊
About the Book:A massive army on the brink of conquest looms large in a world where prophecies are lies, magic is believed in but never seen, and hope is where you least expect to find it.
Welcome to the Five Isles, where war has come in the name of the invading army of Sør Sevier, a merciless host driven by the prophetic fervor of the Angel Prince, Aeros, toward the last unconquered kingdom of Gul Kana. Yet Gault, one of the elite Knights Archaic of Sør Sevier, is growing disillusioned by the crusade he is at the vanguard of just as it embarks on his Lord Aeros’ greatest triumph.
While the eldest son of the fallen king of Gul Kana now reigns in ever increasing paranoid isolationism, his two sisters seek their own paths. Jondralyn, the older sister, renowned for her beauty, only desires to prove her worth as a warrior, while Tala, the younger sister, has uncovered a secret that may not only destroy her family but the entire kingdom. Then there’s Hawkwood, the assassin sent to kill Jondralyn who has instead fallen in love with her and trains her in his deadly art. All are led further into dangerous conspiracies within the court.
And hidden at the edge of Gul Kana is Nail, the orphan taken by the enigmatic Shawcroft to the remote whaling village of Gallows Haven, a young man who may hold the link to the salvation of the entire Five Isles.
You may think you know this story, but everyone is not who they seem, nor do they fit the roles you expect. Durfee has created an epic fantasy full of hope in a world based on lies.
About the Author:Brian Lee Durfee is an artist and writer raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Monroe, Utah. He has done illustrations for Wizards of the Coast, Tolkien Enterprises, Dungeons & Dragons, Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust (Denali National Park), and many more. His art has been featured in SPECTRUM: Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art #3 and Writers of the Future Vol 9. He won the Arts for the Parks Grand Canyon Award and has a painting in the permanent collection of the Grand Canyon Visitors Center-Kolb Gallery. Brian is the author of the fantasy series, Five Warrior Angels. He lives in Salt Lake City. – See more at: http://brianleedurfee.weebly.com/inde… and/or http://authors.simonandschuster.com/B…