The Realms of Ancient, Book 1
By S.M. Beiko
About the book:
Roan Harken considers herself a typical high school student — dead parents, an infected eyeball, and living in the house of her estranged, currently comatose grandmother (well, maybe not so typical) — but she’s uncovering the depth of the secrets her family left behind. Saved from the grasp of Death itself by a powerful fox spirit named Sil, Roan must harness mysterious ancient power . . . and quickly. A snake-monster called Zabor lies in wait in the bed of the frozen Assiniboine River, hungry for the sacrifice of spirit-blood in exchange for keeping the flood waters at bay. Thrust onto an ancient battlefield, Roan soon realizes that to maintain the balance of the world, she will have to sacrifice more than her life in order to take her place as Scion of the Fox.
American Gods meets Princess Mononoke in this powerful first installment of a trilogy sure to capture readers’ imaginations everywhere.
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Praise for Scion of the Fox:
“A thrilling tale underscored by excellent, deep, and unique world-building.” — Kelley Armstrong, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“A smart, complex, animal-based fantasy.” — Kirkus Reviews
“S.M. Beiko’s Scion of the Fox is the thrilling first installment in what will surely be an exceptionally imaginative trilogy. Roan Harken is an instantly relatable heroine, a girl with guts and moxie in spades, and Beiko moves her story from hilarious to heartbreaking with true literary grace. Evocative prose and crisp, crackling dialogue perfectly define this rich fantasy world. I can’t wait for Book Two!” — Charlene Challenger, author of The Voices in Between and The Myth in Distance
“In Scion of the Fox, S.M. Beiko introduces us to Roan, a wry, fierce young woman whose world changes in the blink of an infected eye. She’s more than she has ever imagined, and there’s enchantment everywhere — flying, running, and swimming around her — transforming everything and everyone she has ever known. Beiko’s magic-steeped Winnipeg is a marvel, and Roan is a delight. I look forward to following her into her next adventure.” — Caitlin Sweet, author of The Pattern Scars
About the author:
S.M. Beiko has been writing and drawing strange, fantastical things since before she can remember. She currently works as a freelance editor, graphic designer, and consultant and is the co-publisher of ChiZine Publications and ChiGraphic. Her first novel, The Lake and the Library, was nominated for the Manitoba Book Award for Best First Book as well as the 2014 Aurora Award. Scion of the Fox is the first book of the Realms of Ancient trilogy. Samantha lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Social networking links:
What is on your nightstand?
Too many things. This just reminds me to clean it off!
A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle. A lamp from Winners. A copy of Faerie Magazine. The three-quarters-read The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan. My water bottle. And my microphone cord—go back down to my desk where you belong, cord!
What author would you totally fan?
Since I’ve already actually fanned over Neil Gaiman, it would next be Diana Gabaldon. I first read Outlander when I was a sprightly naive 12-year-old, and those books have changed my life. I’ve re-read the series multiple times, and am anxiously awaiting book nine (and, of course, season three of the outstanding show). Were I to meet her in person, I’m afraid I might cry and she’d be like “omg what is happening.”
What makes you cringe?
So many things, but I’ll try to stick to my current one—my addiction to my phone/social media. I am working on it very keenly and am setting limits for screen time so I can just enjoy the world around me, and also put more time into my creative endeavours. Social media is essential for author promo and staying in touch with people though. I just need to set limits. It’s a time-suck and it gives me an emotional migraine. Once, right before I went on a trip to Halifax, I left my phone in Winnipeg by accident, and it was really the best thing that has happened to me. I felt like a cursed princess who had been woken up! Crazy, right?
Do you obsessively plot out each point or just go with the flow?
The go-with-the-flow method is how I operated for many years—until I found I had a three book deal, and some very real and serious deadlines. This year, I wrote the sequel to Scion of the Fox, titled Children of the Bloodlands, in 30 days. I definitely could not have done it if I hadn’t done some serious plotting. The way I conceptualize ideas is that I ‘see’ or visualize snippets of action or dialogue, and then I try to piece them together, like I’m sleuthing my own brain. I used to be very laissez-faire, but that won’t do when you’ve got publisher expectations. And once the book was done, I learned A LOT about myself as a writer—a part of my identity I pushed to the side since my first book, The Lake and the Library, came out, because my career as an editor and publisher meant focusing on other people’s work over my own. It really opened my eyes! Going with the flow can work for some people, and I use aspects of that approach still, but to a point. Writing with direction and knowing the complete result has helped me complete more than one struggling project! That said, I don’t ‘over-plot’; a lot of things come out of the process more organically that way.
Is there a word you love to use?
Only one?! I’ve got so many good ones in my brain-cache! Right now my favourite is ‘vacillate’.