Cover Reveal + Author Interview: The Boy With Fire, an Indian-Inspired Fantasy about War, Prophecies, and Betrayal, by Aparna Verma

We love doing cover reveals at The Quiet Pond, and we are thrilled to be able to host one today! We are incredibly excited to share with you all the cover reveal for The Boy With Fire by Aparna Verma, a dark Indian-inspired fantasy about an assassin, an heir to the throne, and a tyrant in a story about war, prophecies, and betrayal. Sound awesome? We think so too!

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Maiya Ibrahim, Author of Spice Road – On Crafting Tea Magic, Her DVPit Journey, and Sharing Cultural Mythology in Storytelling

Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Maiya Ibrahim, Author of Spice Road – On Crafting Tea Magic, Her DVPit Journey, and Sharing Cultural Mythology in Storytelling

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of May, where Asian and Pasifika authors are invited to celebrate being Asian and Pasifika work and literature! Find the introduction post for Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month here.

At the Pond, we love rich worldbuilding with fascinating magic systems inspired by culture and mythology. So when I heard about a new young-adult trilogy titled Spice Road set in an Arabian-inspired land with a teen who must protect her people’s tea magic – yes! tea magic! – I was immediately enthralled, and I wanted to learn more.

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Let’s Go On a Pond-cation: A Tour with Ashaye Brown Through the Visionary Realms and Places in Dream Country

Let’s Go On a Pond-cation: A Tour with Ashaye Brown Through the Visionary Realms and Places in Dream Country

Let’s Go On a Pond-cation is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond that celebrates and highlights worldbuilding in stories! In our Pond-cation posts, the Pond friends and authors team up to take all of us on a virtual vacation through the real life places in books or the places that inspired fictional places and worldbuilding. Find out more information about this guest feature here.

Xiaolong the axolotl, wearing big glasses on her head, holding a suitcase, and a camera around her neck.

We’re going on a wonderful journey today, friends. When I heard about Dream Country, a forthcoming YA fantasy about sibling rivalry and triplets gods, I was immediately intrigued! When I had the opportunity to work together with Onwe, a Black women-led independent publisher, to celebrate the worldbuilding of Dream Country by Ashaye Brown as part of the book’s blog tour, I absolutely had to say yes. I have the honour of having Ashaye Brown herself visiting us today to take us on a journey through the wonderful places in Dream Country and their inspirations. So, let’s go, friend. Ashaye’s going to take us on an adventure!

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Book Review: She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan – A Glorious and Brutal Queer Epic about Ambitious Desires, Fighting Fate and Ascension of Power

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-

“I refuse to be nothing…”

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.

When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.

After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.

I was given an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Upon finishing She Who Became the Sun, I gently placed my e-reader down, laid down on the ground, and just let gravity and the implications of the story’s ending bear its crushing weight upon me. What a book, She Who Became the Sun is. I cannot adequately express my pleasure over the fact that She Who Became the Sun was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2021 and, in its phenomenal storytelling and unforgettable characters, delivered, and more.

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