Island of Exiles (The Ryogan Chronicles, #1) by Erica Cameron
Genre: YA Fantasy Published by Entangled Teen
To Be Released on February 14th, 2017
On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.
But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya’s home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she’s never seen.
To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.
Books and Facts
- I’ve never been to Venice, but I have twelve handcrafted masks my family brought back for me from their trips. They’re all up on my walls. Hopefully, one day I’ll get to see the city for myself.
- My TBR pile has officially grown to ridiculous proportions. I have three six-foot shelves of books, some stacked vertically, of wonderfully enticing stories waiting for me to have time to devour them. That isn’t even counting the ebooks I haven’t gotten to yet. Not being able to read much when I’m on tight deadlines has left way too much of a backlog.
- I have always greatly admired Tamora Pierce. My sister knows this, and she met Tammy at a conference back in 2012. Because my sister loves me, she asked Tammy to write me a note encouraging me. It was brief but wonderful, and I received it a few months before I sold my first novel. I’ve always kind of thought that was a lucky charm.
- Growing up, I danced a lot, even on pointe. My ankles weren’t the strongest, and my arches were pretty high, so I had a hard time finding shoes. I held onto them as long as I could once I had a good pair broken in. One pair was so broken down they were borderline dangerous to dance on, but I kept them anyway. I used them to test new teachers. How long it took them to demand I never use those shoes again was a sign of not only what they knew but how much they were paying attention to my technique.
- Apparently, when I was small enough to still be in diapers, I had a special fondness for “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. I knew my own version of the whole song and would sing it often, early proof that my mom’s theory I could learn anything if it’s put to music is right.
- I don’t like sports, but I love sports movies. I don’t like horror or gore, but I watch crime shows a lot. I’ve stopped trying to figure out my own viewing habits. They’re weird.
- When I was in high school, I had zero sense of direction. I got lost so often my friends knew I had to have someone in the car with me if we were going somewhere new. Once, I ended up on a toll road with no money because I was so turned around. I may have started immediately crying. Oddly, my first job in college was pizza delivery.
- As much as I love sci-fi and fantasy, I’ve never been to a Con before last year. As a birthday present, a friend bought me a premium pass to MegaCon in Orlando. It was a lot of fun and I may have bought way too many shirts and patches. I regret nothing!
- Once, I won a signed first printing of a Stephen King book. It’s now wrapped in plastic and sitting carefully on my shelf. At the same convention, I was lucky enough to not only watch clips of Princess Bride with Cary Elwes in the room, I got to be the first to ask him a question at the end of the panel. It was clearly an amazing convention.
- I am very bad at picking favorites. Blue is my favorite color, and both Linkin Park and Twenty One Pilots are tied for favorite band, but I can’t really choose favorites in any other area. My mind usually goes blank when people ask me to try. That being said, below is a list of authors who create gorgeous work, one story or many that have lingered in my memory. There’s something unique I wish I could emulate in the work of each author, a level of perfection I aspire to. I highly recommend all of them.
- Andre Norton & Mercedes Lackey – sci-fi/fantasy – Halfblood Chronicles
- Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz – ya fiction – Colin Fischer
- Brandon Sanderson – sci-fi/fantasy
- C. S. Lewis – fantasy – Narnia series
- Dan Wells – thriller – John Cleaver series; Hollow City
- Eleanor Estes – middle grade – The Hundred Dresses
- Frances Hodgson Burnett – middle grade – The Secret Garden
- J. K. Rowling – ya sci-fi/fantasy – Harry Potter
- Jacquelyn Carey – sci-fi/fantasy – Kushiel Legacy series / Naamah trilogy
- Jane Austen – romance
- Jasper Fforde – literary fiction
- Jim Butcher – sci-fi/fantasy
- Julie E. Czerneda – sci-fi/fantasy – Web Shifters series
- Philip Pullman – ya sci-fi/fantasy – His Dark Materials trilogy
- Ray Bradbury – sci-fi/fantasy – Fahrenheit 451
- Roald Dahl – middle grade – everything, but especially Matilda
- Shel Silverstein – poetry/picture books
- Stephenie Meyer – sci-fi/fantasy
- Tamora Pierce – sci-fi/fantasy
- William Goldman – fantasy – The Princess Bride
I breathe the briny air and try to consider the options objectively. As objectively as I ever can when my brother is involved.
Yorri was the first person to tell me that one day I’d be kaigo, just like our blood-parents, serving the Miriseh and earning high honors in Ryogo. I’d flicked him on the shoulder and said “Of course I will be,” but his faith had been what convinced me I was right.
Yorri gets so excited he stumbles over his own words when he’s explaining how he solved some new, impossible puzzle. He devotes himself with frightening fervor to anything that ensnares his arrow-quick mind, but sometimes needs reminding that the rest of the world exists.
Forget objectivity. It’s worth the risk.
I am going to keep him safe, just like I always have.
“You’re going to be late for the vigil if you stand here staring into nothing for much longer, Khya.”
I tense, keeping my eyes on the angry, dark, blue white-capped waves. I’d heard the footsteps approaching, but several people had come and gone already and left me alone.
Tessen, however, never was able to keep his thoughts inside his head.
“I won’t be late.” I answer without looking at him until he moves into my peripheral vision.
He leans against the wall to the left of me, his forearms crossed on the ledge and his head tilted up. With his arms folded on the ledge and his body held slightly away from the wall, I can make out the lines of muscle under layers of cloth, all of it hard-earned—though I probably won’t ever admit that to him. I don’t look directly at him, but I turn my head enough to get a better look at his face.
He’s taller than me, so looking down on him like this is strange. Seeing him without the hood and atakafu we always wear on duty is stranger. I don’t think I’ve seen his whole face since he became nyshin over a year ago.
His thick eyebrows sit low over his deep-set eyes and the line of his nose is straight, because somehow he was always quick enough in training to avoid all but the most glancing blows to his face. The setting sun highlights the red in his terra-cotta skin and makes his oddly pale eyes flash. Usually they’re limestone gray, but now they’re paler than ever and gleaming almost as bright as the sunlight off the ocean.
“Shouldn’t you be off training? Or guarding something?” I ask before he speaks. Continue reading