I’m excited to share an epic author Q&A with Ashley Holmquist today for her upcoming book, Sword of Audantei!!
Cannot go wrong with an epic new fantasy series, and this one sounds totally thrilling. Plus, it’s definitely catching some of my fave tropes there (helloooo enemies to found family).
Legendborn meets The Sword of Kaigen in this captivating YA fantasy epic. Incorporating ancient legends and a mystical atmosphere, book one in the Artifacts of Anarchy series will transport readers on an extraordinary journey full of magic, betrayal, redemption arcs, and belonging. Will Danilo discover his true destiny and uncover the truth behind Audantei’s dark past? Sword of Audantei is perfect for fans of C.S. Pacat & Dune. Out on October 12th, 2023!
Read it for:
♡ Found family
♡ Elemental magic
♡ Enemies to family
♡ Desert setting
♡ Magic sword
♡ Grumpy dad/ hyperactive son
Get ready to be swept up in a captivating fantasy of high stakes and vivid world building, as we follow Danilo on an unforgettable journey.
Thank you to MTMC Tours for having me on the tour!
Hi Ashley, I’m so excited to have the chance to chat with you about your gorgeous debut, Sword Of Audantei! Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey, from first idea to finished book in our hands?
The initial brainstorm for the Artifacts of Anarchy started in 2019. It was largely inspired by Assassin’s Creed and split into two or three novels. Today the series has developed into a series of five that reads more like Lord of the Rings meets Six of Crows, with a hint of Legendborn.
As Sword of Audantei morphed between these ideas, I enjoyed building a community of writers and authors who encouraged me to continue writing my story. A few of them even helped to develop my novel into its current work.
The actual publishing journey has been fairly wild from beginning to, well, I’d say end but it never truly ends does it! Between novel formatting to copywriting, the publishing process has challenged the extent of my administrative skills and forced them even further. It has been a change to grow as both an author and an individual. In fact, since beginning my publishing journey, I’ve found my personal goals have shifted and I’ve taken on an active role in pursuing even the ‘mundane’ tasks.
What drew you to writing fantasy and what was your favourite part of creating your world?
I’ve always been a fan of fantasy. My dad started that obsession at a young age with The Princess Bride, and from there it became Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, and honestly so many more. So it’s not entirely surprising that my first book is fantasy.
My favourite part of creating my world? I genuinely love researching and piecing together information to create a life-like world. I’m a detail-oriented person, and I find it satisfying when all the details connect.
Tell us 3 random facts about Danilo!
When do you usually write and what is your writing space like?
I usually write anywhere I can. My life is full and busy, there’s always some sort of chaotic background noise claiming the air of whatever writing space I choose. More often than not, I’m at the dining room table with my headphones cranked. And if that happens to not be working that day, I’ll carve out a little time before bed and light a candle.
Can we beg for a hint about what you’re working on next?
Danilo, having been sent to the Untamed North to aid Borak in his search for the Helmet of Nithar, meets a hauntingly familiar person from his past. Can he remain objective to the mission when his buried past continues to resurface? Meanwhile, the Medumara learn of Borak’s search. With the promise of more power, they send the Dagger of Mara after them.
And lastly! What have been some of your favourite author moments so far?
I think my favourite author moment has been the moment I held the book in my hand. After years of writing, rewriting, deciding on art, and finding an editor, when you get to the printing stage, you’ve almost forgotten what you sent out to accomplish. Getting the book and flipping through its pages, gives you a surreal feeling of accomplishment.
Thanks so much for all the amazing answers, Ashley!! And congrats on your new novel. ❤️
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley Holmquist is a first-time author of the mystical fantasy-adventure series—Artifacts of Anarchy. Her short stories have been published in multiple online magazines.She’s the eldest of five gremlin children, a socially-awkward Christian, and a book hoarder. She has been a racehorse owner, a counselling major, an office manager, an interior designer, and has travelled to multiple countries. She is also an avid gamer, so long as the video game is a solo experience. Ashley’s writing thrives in loud and chaotic surroundings that are usually impossible to focus in. And despite that success, her writing is best done in her quiet church office, where her flawed characters can live in untamed, unabashed ruthlessness in an attempt to hide their soft hearts. Website | Instagram | TikTok
Lieutenant Commander Danilo Altamura is torn between his commitment to his city and his desperate desire to escape the clutches of his deranged father, High General Llodis Altamura. When Danilo’s blood bonds with a powerful Stormthrower sword, Llodis labels him a traitor and he flees to Audantei’s deadly alleyways, where survival means staying hidden. But after stumbling upon an unexpected incident during Audantei’s notorious Hanging Day, his world takes a dark and twisted turn.
Seeking refuge among Audantei’s enemies, the Stormthrowers, Danilo strikes a deal with their reticent leader, Enzo Sapienti. In exchange for safety, Danilo finds himself a captive among the most dangerous of their kind.
As secrets unravel and loyalties shift, Danilo’s dormant magic is awakened, revealing the true extent of his exile. When the Stormthrowers capture Llodis, they discover the vengeful Royal Beseecher hunts Danilo, leaving him to choose which fate to Enzo’s threats or the tantalizing promises of his father.
Incorporating ancient legends and a mystical atmosphere, “Sword of Audantei” will transport young adult readers on an extraordinary journey. Will Danilo discover his true destiny and uncover the truth behind Audantei’s dark past? Find out in this captivating fantasy epic that will leave you breathless.
out October 12th, 2023