You've heard me speak and rave about my blogging friend Hannah! She has such a beautiful way of writing that is truly elegant and sparks your imagination. I loved her book and will continue to love it as I read and re-read it! I highly suggest you add this amazing work of art to your book shelf. If you want to learn more, you can find lots of information on her blog here.
I love reading books and stepping into the shoes of the characters - allowing myself to be completely swept away to the Shire, Narnia, Old England, Sherwood forest, or wherever else my book takes me. (I preferably read old English books, therefore I am not particularly familiar with fairy tale lands.) That is, perhaps, one of the greatest things about being an author - creating my own world and the people in it, and going on adventures without all the uncomfortable parts. (Such as going without second breakfast ;) So it was a wonderful pleasure to "interview" Hannah's main character Alen. I also interviewed the author herself and you can read that here.
But enough of my talk. Allow me to introduce Hanna's vibrant character, Alen.
How would you describe yourself?
Answer: Ah… short, curious, and noncommanding? It’s hard to explain who I am. I try to be a loyal prince, but I also like to be a fierce warrior and a clever planner. Although my friends would describe me differently.
Looking back on your adventure, when would you say you were at your darkest?
Answer: My time as a raider was of course dark and dangerous, but the worst days were those just before my final encounter with Galer. I had so much guilt and fear trapped inside of me that I could hardly see clearly what was in front of me.
Who would you say was the most difficult person to deal with?
Answer: I hope he won't be affronted, but Turomar was troublesome. I believe Brandis used to call him a faultfinder- and that was one of the gentler names. And as harsh as that sounds, Turomar was not the easiest companion for any mission, least of all mine.
If you could go back and change one mistake you made, which would it be?
Answer: I would erase everything and start again if I could. I think my gravest mistake was abandoning Tian and the other innocent people in Arail to Galer’s fire, for if I had stayed and faced that trouble, the civil war and all the rest would never have happened.
Do you feel more comfortable with a Bow or Sword?
Answer: A crossbow, of course! I can use a sword in a pinch, and I have a nice one from my raiding days, but my father himself taught me to use a crossbow. Anyway, I don't much like getting close to my enemy to kill him.
Do you think your time with the raiders was beneficial in any way? If so, please explain how.
Answer: Well, for one, I met one of my dearest friends and allies, Brandis. I also learned to sail, to fight on the sea as well as on land, and how to use a gun. At the end of six months, I was a good deal stronger and tougher-skinned than I had been as a prince in Agran. Yet I also saw a new side of life- the one of hard everyday decisions and constant trouble. It is true that kings have their own trouble, but a ruler also needs to know what the common people of Agran face.
Just for fun. If you had one day with no responsibilities, what would you do?
Answer: First I would read books. I never tire of hearing about the ancient legends of the sedalfen, and I learned most of what I know of practical politics from old stories of adventure. Then, if I had any time before night, I would love to sail on the sea on one of Arila’s smaller barges and feel the sunset wind.
What was the worst thing you had to do on your adventure?
Answer: Oh. Pleasant thoughts... I did many terrible things on my adventure, though not all of them were necessary. The very worst was having to pull the warships out of the harbor at Abil after a mistake, leaving at least a quarter of my men to fight a losing battle. I can never forget that fight.
What was the best moment of your adventure?
Answer: The best moment was when I realized the truth, just before the end of the war. I realized that night that no matter who won the final battle, no matter who became the king of all Agran, I would still have the forgiveness of the people dearest to me. I wish you could have been there to see it- it seemed that the entire world changed before my eyes.
What will you do now that the war is over?
Answer: I will need to continue learning about governing a kingdom. I have much to learn about being a king, but after all, I don't see as I have much choice in the matter. But besides that, I want to work at mending Agran. My father once told me that a civil war is worse than one between two different kingdoms because the kingdom has to live with itself after the war is over. One half wins over the other, and people have to learn how to treat their own families after so much hurt and betrayal. I want to help Agran learn to do that- to live again.
If you find yourself intrigued by this bold and daring young prince, please join him on his adventure through the kingdom of Agran with a troublesome navigator, amusing/dangerous raider, and so many other characters that will capture your heart.