Thursday, January 10, 2008

Silk Palace by Colin Harvey

1 - Tell us a bit about your book.
I'll let the Library Journal do it for me, because I'm so proud of this review!
"The city-state of Whiterock, with its Silk Palace formed from nearly indestructible spiderwebs, is perched atop a high mountain between two rival empires. Here, changing one's name is tantamount to heresy, and the gods themselves sometimes take a direct interest in the world. Into this volatile situation arrives a young woman named Bluestocking, ostensibly to translate some rare and puzzling scrolls, but the secret she bears may rescue or undo the world. Harvey (Lightning Days) brings to life a compelling world of flying machines, wizardry, and divine magic."

2 - Tell us about the best friend - gender, age, appearance, how they came to be with the hero or heroine and anything else we need to know about them.
The princess Lexi is the middle child of the King and Queen of Whiterock. She's a plump blonde in her early twenties, pampered and spoilt, a captive of circumstance due to be married to a fat foreign ruler and is bored to the point where she could scream. But she is lonely too, and recognizes a kindred spirit in Bluestocking, for all that the latter is an intellectual and Lexi barely knows which way up to hold a scroll, and has a kind heart as long as she is indulged.

3 - Who does the "best friend" help in the book?
She helps Bluestocking by providing friendship and support at a time when the heroine is very lonely.

4 - Does the best friend have a specific purpose in the book?
She is the catalyst for the falling out between Bluestocking and at least one of the other princesses, inadvertantly placing her friend in mortal peril.

5 - How does your hero or heroine feel about the best friend?
Bluestocking likes her, but is aware of the precariousness of their friendship; Lexi can turn on her at any time having absolute command over anyone in the country with a few exceptions, such as her mother and father.

6 - How would your hero or heroine handle their problems or difficulties with the best friend?
Discreetly! Bluestocking knows that she cannot afford to alienate a third member of the Royal Family, but must instead humour her as best she can.

7 - Are there problems between the best friend and your main characters?
Oh, yes; She's owner to Kyr, Bluestocking's slave lover, she falls out with her two sisters and falls obsessively in love with a visiting prince, and clashes regularly with her fiancee's representative.

8 - Do you see the best friend ever having their own story?
Possibly -- but there are too many other stories to tell first....

9 - Was the best friend inspired by anyone you know?
In the best traditions of fiction, she is a composite of many spoilt, beautiful young women.

10 - Is there anything else about the best friend that we need to know? Feel free to share.
Like almost everyone else in the book, she has a dark and terrible secret that has a major impact on the course of The Silk Palace, and which (of course) I cannot reveal.

11 - Please provide your website link.

Novels from Swimming Kangaroo Books:
Lightning Days -- SF, Finalist for the USA Book News Awards
The Silk Palace -- "compelling" Library Journal
"Intrigues, betrayals, murders, love affairs, transformations, and
revelations," Bruce Boston, author of The Guardener's Tale