Publisher: Faery Ink Press
Publication Date: October 13,2012
Series: The Violet Fox #1
Goodreads Page: Click Here
That’s what instinct told me.
But in order to save the secrets of my people
and to protect my brother
I have to become the enemy.
| I received this book for review from the Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for them.|
The Violet Fox is a story about a young girl name Kiera Driscoll who lives in the land of Marlenia. Kiera lives underground in the tunnels below Marlenia, her people being forced to do so after a war that took place two hundred years prior. Kiera along with her brother Rordan and best friend Laoise are Fighters, forced to sneak above ground to provide there people with much needed supplies. Kiera's alter-ego is that of The Violet Fox. Kiera's alter-ego is notoriously known to the Guards above but miraculously she has somehow always been able to conceal her identity. One day Kiera is asked by the Elders to undertake a task infiltrating Prince Keegan's Name-day celebrations and steal back an important tome lost to her people long ago. Kiera gladly accepts but what she finds makes her question everything she has ever known.
The Violet Fox was a great book, in fact it is safe to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I truly enjoyed it. The world Clare Marshall has created is brilliant, to me I felt almost like I was reading instead of watching the show Once Upon A Time. It was that vividly detailed. I could imagine the gorgeous gowns and the sights and smells of Marlenia. It was a visual treat for the senses.
The Characters were also great. Kiera is fearless and a bit reckless but I think it really made for a great character. Her persona as The Violet Fox was equally enjoyable to read about, she really truly thought she was doing the best by her people but is able to realize when she was wrong and accept that things are always so black and white. Keegan I found to be a bit arrogant but I also found him to be noble and I loved how Kiera and Keegans relationship unfolded.
My one flaw with this book was perhaps having to read Kiera speaking in her own Dialect. It's a bit rough translating a language into your own when you've never heard it before. It's a small gripe but I thought it should be noted.
Overall this was a great book with fantastic world building, great character development and just a nice touch of romance and mystery thrown in to satisfy even the most picky of readers. I will be rating The Violet Fox by Clare C. Marshall ★★★★.
1.When did you decide that you wanted to write The Violet Fox? How did you choose which characters would be the focus?
The Violet Fox is one of my “inner core” stories. A story that’s always been there, waiting to be written. I started writing it in elementary school, but never really completed it. Around last year, I decided if I wanted to take publishing seriously, I would have to dig out this story that I loved so much and show it to the world. So within 8-9 months, I wrote it, polished it up, and had it edited, and well, here we are! As far as characters go, I didn’t really decide which characters I would focus on, as much as they told me, and I obliged. See one of the forthcoming questions for an explanation of Kiera.
2.What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
It’s always a little tough to receive any criticism. On my last book, Within, some people didn’t like my characters or parts of the story. Some of this is understandable, as it’s hard to classify Within as any one genre in particular, so a person looking for a pure thriller might not be satisfied, a person looking for a YA contemporary romance may also not be completely satisfied.
I’m getting lots of great feedback on The Violet Fox. As an author, though, probably the most gratifying compliment came from a woman at my mother’s workplace who bought my last book, and when approached to see if she was interested in The Violet Fox, said that she loved the way I wrote, and she’d collect everything I put out.
3.For those readers who might not know your work, Can you tell them a bit about the books you write?
My books feature young female protagonists in extraordinary circumstances, usually in a fantasy, science fiction, or dystopian setting. They usually have a darker edge to them as well. I am not afraid to take the story in a more disturbing direction if the narrative demands it. I class my books (mostly) as mature young adult. The Violet Fox, however, appeals to the younger teens (12-15) because it’s filled with more action & adventure & romance, with only a sliver of darkness/realism.
4.How did you come up with the concept for the character Kiera?
Kiera always existed in my head, but her character arc deepened as I matured. Kiera, at her most basic was more of a hothead, fearless go-getter than a “fight for the people” character that she is today. Writing her at 23 instead of at 10 or 11 made this difference. Also, stories/movies like Mask of Zorro influenced how Kiera was portrayed within the fantasy world. I wanted the authorities, the guards to hate her and chase her down, but for the people to love her and the idea of her. That by following her lead, she could set them free.
5.Would you compare Kiera to a female Robin Hood?
Yes, definitely! It’s my elevator pitch to people to say, “The Violet Fox is Robin Hood/Mask of Zorro meets Cinderella with a dash of the Little Mermaid.”
6.What is your favorite quote or line from The Violet Fox?
My favourite exchange is between Kiera & Prince Keegan:
I tried to walk around him, but he slammed his hand against the wall, blocking the library entrance. He forced his face into mine. “Do you believe you’re free?”
I stared into his eyes and decided for once to tell the truth. “No, I y’am not free.”
“Tell me what I can do to help you.”
I was about to reply with something disarming when the meaning of his words hit me. It was the first time anyone besides Rordan had extended a hand to me without asking for something in return. For once, words escaped me.
“I . . . I . . . have not’in’ to say.”
“You defended a man’s life today. Your mouth was full of words then.”
“I guess I’ve spent my daily limit.”
7.If you were to cast Keegan and Kiera in real life who would you choose?
Definitely Kit Harington as Prince Keegan. He’s got the right look, the right presence, the best voice. Kiera…I’m not sure. I would say maybe Jennifer Lawrence, but she was already Katniss in the Hunger Games. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m terrible at naming actresses & actors. Whenever my boyfriend and I watch a movie or TV, I’m always saying, “Oh it’s that lady from that place.” And then my boyfriend uses his magical brain to name the lady from the place. So yeah
8.Kiera isn't your typical heroine, How do you think this has affected the characters development over the course of the book?
I was really worried that she would be unsympathetic. I also have a habit of making my female characters stronger than my male characters. I like reading stories where the woman rescues the man. So my challenge was to make sure Kiera didn’t overwhelm Keegan’s character, so that romantically, they could have chemistry.
9.Have you hidden any Easter eggs in your books? Personal stuff or jokes known only to a chosen few?
Hmmm…in my first book, Within, there’s a scene where two of the characters are discussing what food they want to eat. I wrote Within as a part of the 3-day-novel contest in 2010. My boyfriend came in, and brought Thai food. Delicious, delicious Thai Express. Guess what my characters decided to eat? Yup, Thai food.
10.One last question. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
Absolutely! I am working on several things.
As a writer: I’d like to publish a series of novellas in the coming year called Two-Spirit. It features the adventures of a young hermaphrodite living in a Native-American-inspired fantasy village who longs to explore the rest of his/her world. The narrative switches between the male and female soul within our young protagonist, as both are fighting for control of the body. H/She ends up taking a magical amulet from the village’s wise woman and escapes the village, only to find that a powerful thieves guild is interested in the amulet…and that it holds more power than h/she realizes.
I’m also working on a sequel for The Violet Fox, entitled The Silver Spear. In the sequel, Marlenia is in the verge of war, and Kiera must find the mythical Silver Spear to rally the Freetors to fight with the Marlenians to defend the western province.
As the publisher: I’m working on expanding my distribution network. I’ve gotten into a few bookstores and libraries in Canada, but I’d like to increase that number. I’m thinking about going to a couple of conventions, because they are super fun and a great way to get your name out there and sell books to people who really love fantasy & spec fiction!
Want to win your very own copy of The Violet Fox or some awesome swag? Then hop on over to Faery Ink Press and Enter!
Thank you to Clare for taking the time out of her busy schedule and granting an interview. It was a pleasure.