Book Blitz: DISENCHANTED by Brianna Sugalski
Welcome to my leg of this Storyteller's book tour for Brianna Sugalski's DISENCHANTED! Congratulations for your recent release, Brianna! Read on for an author interview, a book review, a chance to win a physical copy of the book, and more!
Publication Date: 10 March, 2020
Tour Dates: 4 May - 8 May, 2020
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, YA/NA
A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents' castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst... Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of LupineGrotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever.
Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.
Links to DISENCHANTED
Initial Impressions: I am ecstatic to begin reading Disenchanted! It seems to include all of the things I love: war, supernatural creatures, scriptures, and names you can't pronounce! The spot for my favourite YA fantasy book is sitting open, and I'm eager to see if Disenchanted will fill it. Just studying the cover and reading the blurb, I am receiving a lot of Throne of Glass vibes, which is a good first impression!
Opinions: This is a tale of the underdog through perseverance, creativity, and strength. Lilac is an inexperienced character that finds a place in our hearts through her naivety and misplacement in society then wows us by her development throughout the novel. By the end of the book, I was nearly falling out of my chair and squealing at Lilac's improvement in confidence, skill, and relatability to the reader! Sugalski's world building was impressive and immersive, the plot was complex and forthcoming, the themes were supported and pertinent to readers - what can I say, it was a fantastic book! I would reread Disenchanted by Sugalski in a heartbeat because it is inspirational and thought-provoking. If you're looking for meaning in fantasy, you'll find it here!
My Favourite Thing: If I must choose one thing I love the most, I would say I truly enjoyed the atmosphere of Disenchanted. I appreciate Sugalski's use of diction and other literary techniques to create this effect and completely immerse the reader into the world. Although there could've been more world building within the various locations, the tone and themes of each scene were overwhelmingly present and encapsulating. Disenchanted was not only a good book, but a pleasant read!
My Least Favourite Thing: Hmmm... to be honest, Disenchanted isn't my favourite book in the entire world, but there's nothing wrong with it! I enjoyed all of the elements without any hesitation: characters, themes, writing style, plot, setting, and context. I strongly recommend this book to any curious readers!
Total Rating: PG-13
Adult Content: PG-12
Recommended For and Similar Reads: Like I originally thought, Disenchanted was a magical, adventurous, wild ride for readers who are Team Gollum all the way. This is a classic fantasy story, complete with an alternate universe setting, supernatural creatures, and normalised magical elements. No more sparkly vampires sneaking into the normal world! Similar reads are The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien, Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Two Worlds of Provenance by Angelina J Steffort, Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal, Good Omens by Pratchett and Gaiman, and any other iconic fantasy novel. I definitely recommend Disenchanted to readers who want to sit down for six hours and cry, laugh, scream, and fall off of their chair out of anticipation!
With an education in Mass Communication—and an engrossment in all that is curious andbewitching—Brianna Sugalski is an author and blogger. Previously, she was a staff contributor forLifestyle & Fashion online magazine, Sarah Scoop, and also served as Copy Editor and Editor-In-Chief at her school publications.
Brianna was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, but now travels the country every fewyears with her husband and children. She admires the luminaries of the Victorian Era; growing upreading period literature has inspired her to paint vibrant settings of nature and narratives thatreaders will hopefully enjoy.
Ultimately, she aspires to make her own readers laugh, to challenge their perspectives and to helpthem discover the magical meaning of their own powers within.
Find Brianna Sugalski
Interview with Brianna Sugalski
If you could ask a famous author three questions about their books/inspiration/etc, who would it be and what are the questions?
Ah it’s hard to choose just one… I would be very keen to pick Dan Brown’s or Deborah Harkness’s brains, and I’d love to ask both of them for their prowess in intertwining their stories and characters into real history. My questions would be: 1) What are the “rules”, if there are any steadfast guidelines, to writing historical fantasy? Where can we as authors and students of history stray? Where and when should we adhere to fact? 2) How do you do your research? Do you embark on research trips? 3) What advice do you have for young or aspiring historical fiction and fantasy writers?
Is there a story you’ve always wanted to write but never have?
Hmm… Not anymore, and not yet. The story I’ve always wanted to write was Disenchanted, because it was the story I’d always wanted to read. Nobles, vampires, Medieval magic, tongue-in-cheek humor and jousts only few will get. But now, one day, I’ll be walking down the street or watching a tv show and a new idea will pop into my mind. That being said—one comes to mind (see?). I’ve always wanted to write a fantasy novel regarding chinese/ asian immigration to Victorian London.
Do you write for yourself or for your readers?I write for myself. I edit for my readers!
What is your favourite part of the writing process?My favorite part of the writing process has to be letting the characters’ backstories reveal themselves to me. I start with wants vs needs for every protagonist and antagonist, and the plotline builds itself upon that—but, what about the character’s stories? Lilac’s backstory was formulated from my and my mom’s experiences growing up. Garin’s backstory was inspired by one of my best friend’s heritage and the history the Hundred Years’ War, which I’d loved studying long before Disenchanted was a thought.
Disenchanted is your debut novel. Will you stick with YA fantasy for your next? Why or why not?
My next and current project is the sequel to Disenchanted, but I see my next project after the Disenchanted series being an adult fantasy venture mixed with mystery. I have a lot to learn about the Mystery/ Thriller genre, but my husband has turned me on to an author called Brad Meltzer, whose work I enjoy. Leigh Bardugo’s brilliantly executed Ninth House is inspiration for this change, as well.
What advice can you give to aspiring authors?
I’d want to tell them what I’m glad I was told. To believe in your stories enough to finish them. Write, even if you’re a tad embarrassed of the premise of your story. Even if you start with the middle or end scene, the story will flesh itself out once you get to know your characters. And your characters… Get to know them, truly. They aren’t just figures of your imagination, they’re real, and have to be in order for you to write them believably. I’m on several different tangents here, but if you ever get discouraged writing, or are afraid, don’t be. Lean on others in the writing community, or heck, message/ email me! I’ll be your hype girl. And above all, your first draft is just telling yourself the story. I have to remind myself of this time and time again.
What does success mean to you? When does one become an 'author' rather than a 'writer’?
I think this question is so good but difficult for me to answer. Writers who aspire to become published one day should always act and interact with others and think like an author, or like someone who WILL achieve it one day. Spruce your social media. Talk about your WIP, get excited about it, get others excited about it. These days, there are several great approaches to publishing, whether it be indie, traditional, or self. Who’s to say where that line is really drawn?
Success to me as an author/ aspiring author is not in numbers or rankings, but in knowing I’ve made someone laugh, or cry—feel something. I’ve read something that made me grin more from a three-star reviewer over a five-star reviewer. I’ve teared up in happiness over reading that Disenchanted helped pull a reader from their reading slump. It’s all in knowing my characters have impacted someone’s life for the better. That’s all I seek from this.
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