Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Doom of Undal by Author Katrina Sisowath

HTLM or The Doom of Undal
Anyone ready for a dark fantasy?

Genre; mythology/folktale 
(Quote from the publisher, "Sci-fi /fantasy/mythology/history. Think ancient aliens.") 

Synopsis; The Dragon Court has ruled uncontested for millenia,  bringing knowledge and prosperity to all. The Strongholds of Madayi Kavu, Tartaria, Magan and Shiimti have trained generations of royal children. Ningi has built a line of Ziggurats known as ‘the Band of Peace’ around Magan, protecting those within its borders.

Yet all is not as it seems---far to the West in the land of Undal, mightiest of the nations, the Royal Queen and her children are struck with a mysterious illness and perish. Whispers are that the Dragon Court is responsible, while those in the Temples claimed she had sequestered herself in her chambers, experimenting with dark magic.

A grieving son, trained as a Mulla Xul by Eris herself, swears vengeance. In his quest for truth he will become the greatest threat Tiamut has ever known.

Three Princesses of Magan, sisters by blood, hold the fate of the Dragon Court in their hands

Pick up your copy here

Katrina Sisowath ,(1979--) British-American, born in Frankfurt, Germany. Grew up in South-east Asia and Europe, now lives in England. Mother of 2.5 children (dog thinks he's human), experienced in making brownies.

On a personal level, Katrina is an avid book reader and loves mythology, history, ancient civilizations and anything to do with occult ideologies and practices. Mages, Serpent Priestesses and the 'real' Gods, aka the ANNUNAKI(the prototypes for those we know today in the form of Greek, Roman, Indian and even the Biblical characters) are all addressed on her website, with descriptions of Dragons, consciousness altering drinks and powders and what the scarlet clad priestesses really got up to in their sacred chamber. She also is a guest writer on Ancient Origins, writing about the Serpent Cult, Mystery Schools and their politico-military branches find more about Katrina here:

*I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

There is so much awesome packed into this book, I am unsure where to start raving. 
OK... We are picking up here in book 2 close to the end of book 1 and we get to see the development of all the characters. 
I was amazed by how intricate the weaving of the story became as I read on. Every word was so seamlessly written that it made me feel like I could not stop reading.... so when I came to the end and there was no more.... I was upset. I really do need to have more.
You will love reading this series. Do pick up both books and be prepared to fall in love with those you will love to hate!

That evening Rhea was taken to the entrance of the Black Pyramid where she had to make her way through the chambers alone, shedding one piece of jewellery or clothing at each chamber, until she was completely without any protection from the heat of the stones that had soaked in the warmth of the earth, the cold of the air that drifted down from the entrance, or the hardness of the pebbles that littered her path.
       The shedding of her garments symbolised the forsaking of her parents and their ways, along with who she was as Princess of Magan. Yet to her it felt more than mere symbolism, it was a severance from all she knew and loved. In the center chamber Rhea met an altar lit softly by a single candle, with only a skull and crossbones placed by its side. Rhea knew she was meant to stay awhile and meditate on the mysteries of life and death, but hoped to steal away, the sense of foreboding was overwhelming, and she who had been born of a dark nature shivered in fear. Two hooded figures came out of the darkness and stood, one on either side of her, not speaking, yet their presence comforted her.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m British-American and have spent a lot of time in Asia, where my parents worked. Living in many different countries has given me an appreciation of different cultures and a love of the myths and lore that are part of each culture. I’m married and we have two daughters who are clever, kind and utterly exasperating. I’ve learned raising children to question information that they’re presented with and to think for themselves means I have to be prepared with a lot of answers.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I take care of our daughters and our dog. I also do some freelance work, editing mostly (though it is far easier to edit someone else’s work than your own. It’s very humbling to look at your work and think “How did I miss that?”). I’m also a guest writer on Ancient Origins, submitting articles that are based on what I’ve discovered while researching for my books.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing in 2012. Serpent Priestess of the Annunaki was the first piece of fiction I’ve ever written. I didn’t write short stories or poetry or even make up a lot of stories as a kid. I’ve always been a bookworm and wished I could write but never seemed to find the time and also had no idea what I would write about.  Then I found myself recovering from an injury which meant I was no longer active and so had quite a lot of time on my hands once my youngest daughter started school. A story had been forming in my head about Ninkharsag and Enki—the figures in Sumerian mythology who created us and one day I plucked up the courage and began to write it.
It was daunting, but the feeling of achievement when it was finished was empowering. It did not get picked up until 2014, when 5 Prince Publishing accepted it, but the year between writing it and it getting published was one spent in writing groups, getting valuable feedback.

Do you ever experience writer's block?

Yes, quite often. I find I write in bursts and then take time off, come back a while later and write another chunk. I can’t write 1,000 words per day until it’s finished. I’ve tried and gotten very frustrated.

How did you come up with the title?

Undal was the name for Atlantis written in the Emerald Tablets of Thoth, which are an account of the destruction of Atlantis (though the age of the Tablets and the authenticity are questionable, still the story is good) and as events which occur in that country spark the war in the book, I knew I had to include it in the title. The Doom the title refers to is because once a country decides to go down a certain path—whether from desire to forge an empire or for revenge, and along the way it accepts and excuses crimes of greater and greater magnitude—then that country and its people are doomed. Violence begets violence and the Hermetic Principles (which form the foundation of the religion in the book) are very clear on that.

Do you base your characters on people you know?

No. Maybe I should. Trying to envision them as priests, priestesses and assassins is a little difficult.

If yes, do you tell them?

If I did base a character on someone I knew, I don’t know if I’d want to tell them. What if they hated it when I was trying to be complimentary? If it was an unflattering description of someone I didn’t like, then I may give the book to them as a gift to see if they realise, but that’s only if I was feeling particularly evil on that day.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism is that Serpent Priestess of the Annunaki had a lot of information packed in—it does. Some feel it should have been split into two books. At the time I thought getting one book accepted by a publisher was a long shot, if I’d said I’d written a duology then there would have been no chance. I also don’t like ‘filler’ in books I’m reading, so I tried to avoid that with my first book. I have listened to reader feedback and tried to implement it with The Doom of Undal—which is why it’s in two parts.

The best compliment is when people have told me they don’t like the genre but they love my book. Though, I'm not exactly sure what genre my books fit into. At best guess they are occult/alternate history/mythology in a fantasy setting.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you for taking a chance on a new author. I do hope you enjoy the book and I love engaging in discussions about the ideas and characters presented. You can contact me through facebook or email.

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