Indie Weekend is my effort to help Indie/Self-Published authors with the daunting task of marketing. Indie authors have so much on their plate. If I can help even a little bit, I’m happy to do so. I would ask for your help as well. Please share this book review with your followers so we can introduce it to as many people as possible. Be sure and check out my Q&A with the author below!
A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she, too, learns to heal death.
Denied a living heir, the widowed king spies from a distance. But he heeds the claims of the fiery Vicar of the Red Order—in the eyes of the Blessed One, Aster is an abomination, and to embrace the evil of resurrection will doom his rule.
As the king’s life nears its end, he defies the vicar’s warning and summons the necromancer’s daughter. For his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade. Armed with righteousness and iron-clad conviction, the Order’s brothers ride into the leas to cleanse the land of evil.
To save her father’s life, Aster leads them beyond Verdane’s wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a wilderness of dragons and barbarian tribes. Unprepared for a world rife with danger and unchecked power, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.
From best-selling fantasy author D. Wallace Peach comes a retelling of the legend of Kwan-yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. Set in a winter world of dragons, intrigue, and magic, The Necromancer’s Daughter is a story about duty, defiance, cruelty, and sacrifice— an epic tale of compassion and deep abiding love where good and evil aren’t what they seem.
What an amazing saga of a young girl who is brought back from death and learns to do the same for others. Raised by her Necromancer father, Aster learns to bring others back to life, but her own life is constantly threatened by men who seek power and control. As she flees assassins, her journey through her icy world has only one ultimate goal–peace and safety for her father and herself.
The descriptive ability of this author is impressive. I don’t recall an author ever doing such an amazing job of bringing their characters’ surroundings to life in such an immersive way. I could almost feel the icy wind in my face as I slid down frozen cliffs with Aster. Each character was so fully developed I could see and hear them as I read. I felt more like a part of the story than I ever have. I was captivated by every facet of Aster’s journey. The inclusion of dragons was a joyful addition for me, and I love the way they were portrayed and the way Aster connected to them. This is a remarkable, immersive journey through a frozen and warring land full of fascinating creatures and sometimes treacherous peoples. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, magical stories, and legends.
About The Author
A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked.
In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.
Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.
Q&A with D. Wallace Peach
Question: Let’s go beyond the bio. Tell us something about yourself that we might not know after reading your bio.
Thanks so much for inviting me over to your place for a Q&A, Bonnie. I never get tired of talking about books and it’s an honor to join you today. Probably most people don’t know that when I was a kid, I wanted to be a Shakesperean actor. I’d read more than half of his plays by the time I was twelve and got to live out my dream for a few years in college.
Question: Is The Necromancer’s Daughter a stand-alone or the beginning of a series?
It’s a stand-alone. For about seven years, I binged on writing series. But they take a long time to craft, and they’re a commitment for readers. I decided to give everyone a breather and write some stand-alone novels. Eventually another series will wheedle its way into my imagination.
Question: This is a re-telling of the legend of Kwan-yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. At the end of the book, you included a short version of the legend. What is the most important concern you have when you are writing a retelling?
Most of all, I wanted the retelling to be completely fresh to readers. The original story provided the inspiration and theme, and I pulled some characters, plot elements, and story details (like dragons) from the narrative. But the rest was up to me, and I was happy to add my own twists to the tale.
Question: The description of the icy world Aster lives in is so realistic that I felt immersed in it immediately. What did you use as inspiration?
I grew up in northern Vermont. The winters were so cold that when the thermostat rose to freezing it felt downright balmy. My family did a lot of snow-shoeing and winter camping, so sleeping on pine boughs in the snowy woods is familiar to me.
**Comment from Bonnie: That makes sense! You lived in a beautiful, icy world yourself.
Question: Although this is the first book of yours that I’ve read, I noticed that some of your other books also include dragons. What is it about the dragon legend that inspires you to write about them?
In addition to The Necromancer’s Daughter, I have one series that includes dragons, The Dragon Soul Quartet. In that 4-book story, dragons represent spirit, and merging with a dragon is the equivalent to connecting with one’s soul. In The Necromancer’s Daughter they’re simply semi-psychic, wild beasts. If I were looking for a common thread, in both cases, they represent immense power, something within our control if we dare to connect.
**Comment from Bonnie: I’m looking forward to checking out The Dragon Soul Quartet!
Question: If we were to take away only one message from this book, what would you like it to be?
Ah, that’s an easy one, Bonnie. That what is good and evil isn’t defined by political power or doctrine or wealth, or by the rules we’re taught or the biases we all navigate on a daily basis. All people are individuals, and “goodness” is a matter of heart, kind intentions, and a desire to do no harm.
**Comment from Bonnie: I love that!
Question: The cover and other artwork for this book are absolutely beautiful. I was looking for the artist’s name, and it appears you created these yourself. They are gorgeous! Do you always do your own artwork for your book covers?
Thank you! About half of my covers are professionally done. The other half, I created myself, along with my extraneous artwork for trailers and promotions. You’re not going to believe it, but I do it all on plain old MS Word, using free and purchased images that I blend and modify. When my brain is tired from writing and needs a break, I play with visuals.
**Comment from Bonnie: MS Word! I’m obviously not using MS Word correctly because that cover is gorgeous and I’d never guess it was made on Word.
Question: You have been an indie author for a long time and have written several series. Tell us a little about your journey as an indie author: Is marketing the hardest part? Do you feel you can be more creative as an indie author? Is there anything about indie publishing that you didn’t expect? Is there something you have learned about indie publishing along the way that you can pass on to new authors?
I started out as a traditionally published author and found the lack of control over my work frustrating. I had plenty of creative freedom, but everything took forever, and my naïve hope that my publisher would handle the hard task of marketing was a pipedream. Eight years ago, I canceled my contracts and republished as an indie. I’ve been an indie author ever since and never regretted the switch. My advice to new indie authors? Follow your creative dream, never stop studying your craft, and seek honest critiques of your work because that’s the fastest way to improve. Love what you do, because it’s not for the weak of heart.
**Comment from Bonnie: One of the things I love about the Indie community is the willingness of authors to help one another.
Bonnie: Thanks so much for answering my questions today, Diana! I appreciate it.
Diana: That was great fun, Bonnie. Thanks again for the feature and review and for the fun discussion. Happy Reading!
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