I'm getting at writing this rather late, but here at least this time I'm doing it on a computer so I should be able to get the pictures in this time. This week I had the chance to read The Raven Trilogy: The First Journey by Melka Stansah. This was a fun story with a fairytale sort of feeling to it.
Author: Melka Stansah
Summary from Amazon.com:
Raven is an outcast in a dystopian medieval world at war.
When Raven embarks on a journey to avenge his father's death, he meets someone that turns his life
upside down and discovers the truth of his origins.
Will Raven find the answers he is looking for?
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Trilogy-First-Journey-
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28490385-the-raven-trilogy
It was a cold winter night. Snow had fallen, covering the stone roads and rooftops of a quiet village,
Kiolz. Each family stayed in their houses and sought the warmth of their fire places. It was an
unsettled night for a man who was riding his horse in the cold, seeking shelter from the cruel winter
weather. The night was getting dark and the wind started to change its demeanor into a horrible
“It’s not looking good,” said the man to his horse, his only companion. “We have to find shelter for
He focused his eyes, hoping to catch a glimpse of a light from a house. At this hour most of the
villagers would be sleeping, but he had hopes that one or two would still be awake. He was grateful
when he eventually saw a blurry light in the distance, in a window of a small house.
The man got off his horse and willed himself to knock on the wooden door. He did not have to wait
long as the door was opened quickly by a blind man.
“I am sorry to be so impolite,” he said to the house owner. “A horrible storm is coming and I have
nowhere to stay. Would you be kind enough to let me stay the night?”
“I am quite surprised to have someone knocking on my door on a terrible night like this; everyone
should be staying in their homes where there is shelter. You must be coming from quite a far place.”
The house owner said. “Bring your horse to the barn and come in afterwards.”
The horse rider thanked him and did as he was told.
The house was warm and comfortable; the man could tell it belonged to a small happy family. The
house owner invited him to a small round dining table where he was waiting with a lady. He then
poured some rokha, a kind of fragrant wine, and served it to his guest. Let’s have a sip of this good rokha. This is a helpful friend on a winter night like this.” He then
poured some for himself. “My name is Radeth and this is my wife, Vea.”
Vea was carrying a little baby who was sleeping soundly in his mother’s arms. “This is our son, he
was born just five days ago and we are still deciding the best name for him.”
“Ah,” the man looked at Radeth’s son and smiled. “He is adorable.”
“He is a strong boy.” Radeth said with pride. “And like his father, he will be a great warrior.”
“I’m sure he will.” The man said. “My name is Nicholas and I am very grateful for the shelter
Vea soon took her baby back to her room while Nicholas and Radeth stayed for a few more sips of
“So where are you heading, warrior?” Radeth poured more rokha into his cup.
“Oh, how do you know I am a warrior?” Nicholas said ina shocked tone before he realised his
question might offend Radeth due to his blindness. “Ah, I’m so sorry. I have no intention to offend
Radeth smiled. “No, don’t be. I understand. How could a blind man tell who someone is whilst he
can’t even see them? I know as I can sense the big sabre you are carrying. It’s not just an ordinary
sabre; it is made of two layers of steel which have been forged together, this process makes it twice
as strong. No man but a warrior is capable of carrying such a heavy, extraordinary weapon on a
long journey through wild storms.”
“You are right to say it’s not an ordinary sabre and it’s very heavy.” Nicholas said, amazed. “But to
be more precise, it was not only double layered but also forged three times.”
“You are the blacksmith?”
“Yes,” Nicholas said proudly. “One of my skills I am proud of.”
“Could I hold it for a second?”
Radeth held the sabre and felt the blade surface with his fingers then returned the sabre to Nicholas.
“It is a great weapon,” Radeth said. “But it’s too inconvenient for a battle.”
“It was never meant to be used in a battle,” Nicholas said, receiving back his sabre. “It is very
Nicholas silently observed his new acquaintances. He was delighted to meet Radeth as they shared
something in common. Even though Radeth was blind he did not seem to have any difficulty doing
things. He had brilliant senses; dark black hair and strong confident posture, there was no doubt he
was born a fighter.
“So, where are you heading?” Radeth repeated his unanswered question.
“North.” Nicholas said.
Here are the answers to my interview questions with the author:
1)When you start to write a book do you like to outline things first (like a planner) or just let the ideas carry you on (like a pantser)? I usually start with a brainstorming process (a planner). Once I have an idea in my mind, the first thing I do is conceptualizing the characters, the main events and plot as well as the message I want to convey to the readers. Once I’m happy with these parts, I then divide the plot into chapters. At this stage, I change into ‘a Pantzer’. I would try to stick into the original plot but whenever I feel there is a ‘miss’, something doesn’t feel right or I don’t feel comfortable with the character’s reaction, I would not hesitate to change the plot or review back the chapters. There were occasions I had to rewrite couple of chapters completely. However I would always try my best to keep the characters, the main events and the message even though the flow of the story might change.
2) I see that our plan is to write a trilogy, do you already know the next stage, and have an idea when it might be completed? The next stage is the sequel of Raven which is in the writing process right now. There will be the third book for sure and a prequel. I’m targeting the sequel to be out sometimes next year, most probably in the middle of 2017 (June or July). The second book will have a different vibe or feel compared to the first one. It will still be Raven in his element but I can see it as a quite different adventure. Getting excited!
3) If you could spend the day with one of your characters, who would you chose and what would you do?
This is my favorite question! I would choose Chavet to spend a day with :) As a writer, I am an anti Super-Hero and anti Super-Villain. I always believe no-one is a perfect; everyone has a flaw, good and dark side. So if a character is so wicked and evil, then it would be interesting to know why he or she becomes such a character. Yes, in ‘The First Journey’ Chavet was a savage who knew only to kill and destroy but I do feel the character has so much in depth to explore. That’s why if I get a chance to spend a day with him, I would bring him out for a cup of hot chocolate and ask him about his past, why he wanted to become an Emissary and if he had ever fallen in love – maybe try to seduce him a bit :P An idea has even come to my mind to write about his character alone but haven’t got much materials to write on at this stage.
4) Which of your characters would you least like to be on a deserted island with, and why? I love all of my characters so it's hard to pick one I least like. Nevertheless to answer your question, the character is not in the first book, she will be in the second book. She is a very significant character and represents a significant element in the story. I pick her not because I least like her, but because as a character, I don’t have any resemblance to her in any way. I just feel like I would never be like her or want to be in her position.
5) What do you think writing this book has taught you about yourself? Writing this book has taught me a lot about myself. It was a book written with the message of not being afraid to become who you are even though your identity sometimes betrays you and makes you an outcast. I do feel like Raven sometimes. I am a writer with English as a second language and I grew up in the environment where reading and writing is not a common habit. And I often feel like an outsider when everybody else around me talks about something else I cannot relate to. There were times I wished I were someone else living in a totally different world. But then I won't be who I am today! Writing this book has given me strength to rise up to the challenge of discovering myself as a person and a writer, the determination to just give the best I can and have fun!
For more information, please check out the other stops on this blog tour :)Brooke (http://www.brookebibliophile.wordpress.com)
Blog Tour Organized by: Happy Lil Book Tours
*Hosts were provided with a copy of the book for review purposes in exchange for their honest
reviews and opinions.*