Welcome to the Blog Tour for Quest of Fire: Desperation by Brett Armstrong, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Delighted to have Brett on the blog today to give us a setting tour!
DESPERATION by Brett Armstrong
SERIES: Quest of Fire #4
GENRE: Inspirational Epic Fantasy
PUBLISHER: Expanse Books
RELEASE DATE: September 13, 2022
Guarding his nation’s last hope, a teen must escape enemy lands.
While Anargen, Caeserus, and Bertinand are held captive in Stormridge, the war to restore Ecthelowall’s Commonwealth has been waged for months. Their friend Terrillian is on its frontline and hopes are high.
For Barons Fenwrest and Sornfold the fight is too close to their children, whose union represents the only viable challenge to the Monarchists claim to Ecthelowall’s ancient throne. Enter Thomas Fenwrest, an orphan and page to Sir Hurstwell, who is captain of Baron Fenwrest’s guard. The pair must escort the teens to Castle Yerst expecting boredom to be their only danger. Everything quickly spirals out of control when the Monarchists somehow deliver a devastating blow to the Restoration army and Thomas and Sir Hurstwell face the increasingly difficult task of keeping their charges alive. Ancient sorcery and bitter grudges combine to ensnare them. As desperation sets in for the Restoration and Thomas, to where will they turn for hope?
Other Books in This Series
a tour of the Quest of Fire settings
by Brett Armstrong, author of Desperation
One of my favorite parts of writing the Quest of Fire series is getting to include so many unique locales with rich history and cultures underpinning them. World-building is really important to me, because I believe the setting, characters, and plot all mutually shape one another as the story progresses. The setting can say a lot about the characters from there and how the characters interact and respond to the setting can say a lot about the story and its theme(s).
Quest of Fire: Desperation has quite a few fun locations it explores including the enormous cultural centers and port cities Valence and Merlais, the still and quiet Primrose Glade where a terrible battle took place, and the twists and turns of Cromwell March’s forests. The two most poignant locations for the story are the ruins of Old Emeral and the Mortal Mire on the Isle of Geists.
The characters visit the ruins of Old Emeral overnight while on the run. In the dark it’s an intensely ominous place for the protagonist, Thomas. His people were the ones who destroyed it. A once thriving capital city and it’s now moldering, collapsing, overgrown with vegetation. Despite how it unnerves him, he is forced to wind his way up the crumbling stone steps, from city terrace to terrace. Darkened doorways of homes shattered speak to him as he realizes he’s suffering the same brutality the citizens of Old Emeral once had. The whole of the ruins insists that everything is futile and falters in time. Facing that oppressive sense of fatalism is a key point in his growth as a character and in him being readied to stand firm in his loyalty to the High King during the greater challenges to come.
As much as Thomas might regret the cruelties of the past, the Mortal Mire holds an ancient evil that bears reminder of why some things from the past are best cast aside. Once more the setting is eerie. A small, craggy island with strong winds and choppy gray seas. The Isle of Geists got its name from legends of spectral horrors besetting its Krad Mountains, such that there’s only a small village on the northernmost point of the island. The village, Kinsbane, attracts people with a predilection towards the darker things of the Lowlands, or perhaps the evil on the island corrupts those who linger unprepared for too long. Thomas and those he must protect have to seek sanctuary on the island, but it’s quickly apparent that the unforgiving terrain and lack of settlements will make it a difficult place to hide. Kinsbane’s villagers are quick to let them know that if they are foolish enough, they can journey to the Mortal Mire located at the peak of the island where a dormant volcano’s crater has become a fetid bog filled with forbidden relics of a past most take as fable. But beneath a twisted black tree belonging to the lost isle of Tislatna is one who saw the catastrophe and dispersion of the dark things of the past. And will do all in its power to bring Thomas and the others to ruin.
Neither location is very inviting, but the book is called Desperation. These are the darkest hours for these characters. If they can cling to their High King in allegiance and weather the storms through ruins and the most sinister places of their world, they’ll emerge on the other side with hope and the promise of a better tomorrow secure. And that is what Quest of Fire is about, facing the darkness of our world through stories so that when we must make our stand in faith in Christ, we’ll be that much better readied to do so, knowing that ultimately on the other side is our tomorrow ever fair.
Brett Armstrong, author of the prize-winning novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio, started writing stories at age nine, penning a tale of revenge and ambition set in the last days of the Aztec Empire. Twenty years later, he still tells stories enriched by his Christian faith and a master’s degree in creative writing. His goal with every work is to be like a brush in the Master artist’s hand and his hope is the finished composition always reflects the design God had in mind. He writes to engage, immerse, and entertain with deep, thoughtful stories. Continually busy at work with one or more new novels to come, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and playing with his beautiful wife and son. Brett’s book The Gathering Dark is a 2020 Selah Awards Finalist in the Speculative Fiction category.
Connect with Brett by visiting brettarmstrong.net to follow him on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.
(2) winners will receive a $25 Amazon gift card, a copy of Quest of Fire: Desperation, a digital map of the western Lowlands, a digital copy of a limited-release short story about a character in Desperation, and Quest of Fire‘s theme music.
Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 8, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 15, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
What about you? What makes you want to read Desperation by Brett Armstrong?