I’m so pleased to bring you a guest post from Catherine Egan, author of the Witch’s Child trilogy! See below for information about the book, Catherine, and to enter the giveaway!
Title: JULIA DEFIANT (Witch’s Child #2)
Author: Catharine Egan
Pub. Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Fans of The Rose Society, Graceling, and Six of Crows will thrill to the masterful world-building and fiercely flawed heroine in this heart-pounding follow-up to Julia Vanishes, book two in the Witch’s Child trilogy.
Adventure, murder, romance, intrigue, and betrayal with a 16-year-old heroine that is both fierce and flawed at the same time. Hypable.com
Julia and a mismatched band of revolutionaries, scholars, and thieves have crossed the world searching for a witch. But for all the miles traveled, they are no closer to finding Ko Dan. No closer to undoing the terrible spell he cast that bound an ancient magic to the life of a small child. Casimir wants that magic will happily kill Theo to extract it and every moment they hunt for Ko Dan, Casimir’s assassins are hunting them.
Julia can deal with danger. The thing that truly scares her lies within. Her strange ability to vanish to a place just out of sight has grown: she can now disappear so completely that it’s like stepping into another world. It’s a fiery, hellish world, filled with creatures who seem to recognize her and count her as one of their own.
So . . . is Julia a girl with a monster lurking inside her? Or a monster wearing the disguise of a girl?
If she can use her monstrous power to save Theo, does it matter?
In this riveting second book in the Witch s Child trilogy, Catherine Egan goes deep within the heart of a fierce, defiant girl trying to discover not just who but what she truly is.
Praise for Julia Vanishes:
Egan’s debut novel sparkles. A beautifully rendered world and exquisite sense of timing ensure a page-turning experience. Publishers Weekly, starred review
Readers will find themselves immediately immersed in the narrative and invested in the fate of Julia, who is both feisty and flawed. Booklist, starred review
Julia’s a wonderful, fully realized heroine. . . . For those readers waiting for the sequel to Marie Lu’s The Rose Society, a well-realized page-turner in the same vein. Kirkus
Haven’t started the series? Make sure to grab the Paperback of JULIA VANISHES!
|My books: JULIA DEFIANT, JULIA VANISHES, Shade & Sorceress, The Unmaking, Bone, Fog, Ash & Star
My superpowers: high-kicking, list-making, simultaneously holding two opposing opinions
My weaknesses: fear of flying, over-thinking and then making bad decisions, excessive list-making
My allies: my made-for-walking-in black boots, Mick, the English Language
My enemies: decaf, low blood sugar, the passage of time
My mission: the coexistence of ambivalence and joy.
photograph by Isabel Chenoweth www.icportraits.com
And here’s the guest post from Catherine Egan!
3) Do you write a girl struggling with identity as a character in hopes that young people, including non-binary, can see themselves in the process of self-discovery and acceptance?
I don’t write with an audience or even particular themes in mind – it’s a leap of faith each time that the true heart of the book will emerge as I write, and even when I think I know what the true heart of the book is going to be before I start, I’ve never yet been right. So the short answer to that question is no, and the slightly longer answer is no-not-really-but-also-yes. Once the book is done and out of my hands, I would like to think that teens or anyone wrestling with identity and their place in the world might find Julia’s arc to be rich ground for their own imaginations.
The terror, joy, and strangeness of emerging from childhood and working out what you want / who you are / where you fit / what you owe to the world is precisely what draws me to YA. Adolescence is a state of feeling constantly out of context. The ground is shifting. It’s intense and fraught for most of us, but all the more so for teens who feel that the categories they see out there just don’t apply. And then what? To Thine Own Self Be True is all very nice, but how, exactly?
Julia isn’t a particularly introspective character until she’s forced to be. She’s held a lot of contradictions in her mind for a long time, avoiding looking at them too closely: she can do something that must be magic / only witches can do magic / she is not a witch; or: witches are evil / her mother was a witch / her mother was not evil. Julia tries to live in the moment – what does it matter, when you have to eat and you’re in love and your mother is dead and the answers won’t bring her back? But the contradictions and questions do force their way to the fore eventually. Figuring out who or what she is becomes, in JULIA DEFIANT, a matter of survival.
Julia’s circumstances are quite specific and not intended to be metaphorical – after all, how many of us have to figure out if everything we believe ourselves to be might just be a vessel for some other ancient creature that might choose to shed us like a snake sheds its skin? But Julia also confronts a set of fairly universal questions. Is there an essential self? How much are we defined by our choices and actions, and how much are we the unchangeable products of other forces walking around in our skin? For a kid who feels like the world is an easy fit, there might be less at stake in such questions. For anyone who has examined various labels and found them wanting, those questions will be more meaningful.
In both JULIA VANISHES and JULIA DEFIANT, Julia looks around for models of the kind of person she wants to become. She is surrounded by unconventional people who have foregone the common paths, but she doesn’t see a path for herself. I’m not sure if self-acceptance is what Julia finds, in the end, but (teeny tiny spoiler) a minor character in the third book (coming 2018) sparks a small revelation for her – a hint of the path she’s going to have to blaze for herself. It can be very unsettling to look around at the world of adults and not see anyone you want to be like. We all look for models and idols. I still do. But we are all building ourselves from scratch as well. Words and stories are the tools I reach for every morning and I suspect every writer’s deepest wish is that the words and stories we hammer together as we’re trying to find our own way will be of some use to somebody else as well.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of JULIA VANISHES & JULIA DEFIANT, US Only.
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