Blade Singer by Aaron de Orive & Martha Wells
Manuel "Manny" Boreaux, a troubled adolescent from Texas, is magically transported into the body of a goblin pickpocket in an alternate world inhabited by faerie creatures. Manny must quickly adapt to the danger all around him and try to find a way to get back home, a feat complicated by the pickpocket's association with a notorious gang of thieves. But when Manny uncovers a plot to assassinate a young king, he must enlist the aid of an elf cavalier and a cat burglar to thwart a Sidhe witch's scheme to ignite a civil war between humans and the Fae.
Inspirations for Blade Singer
It all started with an incredible duel.
It was the climax of Scaramouche, the 1952 movie starring Stewart Granger and Mel Ferrer as Andreu Moreau and the Marquis de Maynes. The amazing swordplay lasted around eight minutes and ranged all across a lavish theater, ending on a stage with a shocking reveal. It's one of my favorite cinematic moments and one of the finest sword fights ever put on film. I longed to write a story that featured a duel like that.
My love of swashbuckling films started early. Movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood such as The Black Swan, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Captain Blood, and The Three Musketeers (the one that starred Gene Kelly) made an indelible impression on my young mind. I've watched the 1973 version of The Three Musketeers (the one that starred Michael York) so many times, I've memorized every line of dialogue. And there are some zingers in there courtesy of Alexandre Dumas and George MacDonald Fraser (who also gave us the entertaining Flashman novels).
I suppose it was inevitable that I would write a story like Blade Singer. But it didn't start out as a novel. My background is in film production, which I studied at the University of Texas. My focus was on screenwriting. I took very naturally to the screenplay format. Some find it overly mechanical and restrictive, but I loved it. It's ideal for training storytellers to think in terms of scenes and beats, for understanding the narrative flow, and for achieving the maximum amount of drama with the fewest words possible. Blade Singer's first incarnation was as a feature-length screenplay.
A few years after I wrote the screenplay, I got the opportunity to show it to one of my favorite authors, Martha Wells. I had just finished reading her wonderful novel The Death of the Necromancer and found myself sharing a panel with her at ArmadilloCon. I expressed my admiration for her work, and then helped her prepare for a Star Wars trivia contest (I forget who won). I was fortunate enough to become her friend. When I told her about my desire to turn the screenplay into a novel she was incredibly supportive. And when I asked if she'd be interested in co-writing it with me, I was delighted (and stunned) when she said yes.
The screenplay became the spine of the novel, and together Martha and I fleshed out the setting, characters, and subplots. We settled on how we'd share the writing duties and we dug in. It was an amazing experience. Martha's talents as a storyteller are both enlightening and humbling to witness in action. When the novel was finished, we were both very proud of what we had created.
Blade Singer is a middle-grade fantasy novel that features faeries, swashbuckling, monsters, intrigue, ancient sorcery, and a singing crystal sword. It's fun, it's scary, it's suspenseful, it's exciting, and it's funny. And of course it features an incredible duel worthy of the one that inspired this story all those years ago. We're confident that if you check it out for yourselves, you'll agree.
About the Authors
A graduate of the University of Texas' film program, Aaron de Orive began his professional writing career in the video game industry, serving as a lead or senior writer on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, Tabula Rasa, Anarchy Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. He is also the creator of the fantasy role-playing game SHARD: World of the False Dawn. Blade Singer is his first novel. Aaron lives in Austin with his wife, daughter, and two very spoiled terriers.
Martha Wells is the author of a number of fantasy novels, including The Cloud Roads, The Siren Depths, The Wizard Hunters, Wheel of the Infinite, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her YA fantasy, Emilie and the Hollow World, was published by Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry in April 2013, and the sequel, Emilie and the Sky World, was released in March 2014. Two collections of Books of the Raksura novellas will be published in September 2014 and Fall 2015. She has had short stories in Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Stargate Magazine, and Lightspeed Magazine, and in the anthologies Elemental, The Year's Best Fantasy #7, Tales of the Emerald Serpent and The Other Half of the Sky. She has essays in the nonfiction anthologies Farscape Forever, Mapping the World of Harry Potter, and Chicks Unravel Time. She has also written media-tie-in novels, Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary and Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement, and a Star Wars novel, Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge.
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