It's incredible how today's technology can connect us in ways that make it seem as though it were tailored to us. I, for instance, was able to attend the final stop on the book tour for Sword in the Stars by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta. Now I will be honest, I joined the live Zoom because I was curious about the book from how pretty the cover. I never in a million years would have thought that I would find something so inspirational.
As a straight woman having her first child soon (a biracial child), I can appreciate so much dedication these ladies put into publishing books that cater to the LGBTQ+ community. I have never read their first book, Once & Future the first book in this duology. Both, Once & Future and Sword in the Stars, of these, are now in my TBR list because after watching the Zoom I knew, that these ladies invested themselves, heart and soul, into these books. That alone brings me tears of joy. You know when someone loves their work, and you can definitely hear it, feel it, when listening to Cori talk about the book. In case you didn't know, the Once & Future duology is a retelling of King Author.
Apparently, this book is filled with some incredible plot twists that were left from the first book. The way they included LGBTQ+ heavy vibes when they travel to the past (Spoiler, if you didn't know this is a YA time travel book.) was a huge part of their story. It was important to them to make it as important and realistic to the characters because in the past, being LGBTQ+ would have been a slap to the face. The queer characters are coming from an LGBTQ+ future that is inclusive, friendly, not what they would have experienced to where they're traveling to.
Cori did talk about how writing Queer stories wasn't her comfort zone. Her published work would carry a queer character that would eventually be cut during the editing process. So even though this wasn't something she was used to, she definitely opened up to the possibilities with the help of Amy Rose. In the process of making this book, they listened to a lot of Imagine Dragons but also it was Cori's idea originally. "Something in me wanted queer fiction because something in me couldn't have it when I was younger." -Cori McCarthy
I especially loved, how Cori and Amy Rose spoke about their characters. In detail from Merlin to Ari, even the main villain has a backstory with reason. There is a character in this novel who was initially supposed to die. Because almost every book with an extensive cast typically has someone parish but Amy Rose and Cori decided that they didn't want to be like other writers. Even the readers didn't want said character to die, so they recrafted the story to keep this character alive. If you're curious about who it might be, the only clue we were given is that they almost died in the first book. ;)
From all the scenes they wrote, the ending was their favorite. They left it in a cliff hanger which was new territory for either of them. However, it was overall a happy ending for everyone. When asked how well they liked working together, they genuinely enjoyed it. You could see it in the way they communicate how much they complement each other. As a couple, they understood that the book belonged to itself, and they had to trust one another to know what was best for the book. I was deeply moved by the dynamic of this incredible writing couple, although I haven't read this book I would recommend you as well as myself to give it a try.
Purchase your signed copy today from Bear Pond Books. Don't forget to support your local bookstore! Now that they're in quarantine, they're working on a new series that will remain a Sci-fi, queer genre! If you're wondering what the next book will be, I swore an oath I wouldn't tell. But thank you so much for taking the time to come on over to my blog! Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads.