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Book tour and giveaway: THE BLACK TRILLIUM November 16, 2018

Posted by thejinx in books, plugs.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
The Black Trillium
by Simon McNeil
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy
Confederation rules in Trana—so says the king.
But Fredericton is a long way from the shores of Lake Ontario, and
schemes for power will bring together three extraordinary young
A desert girl who came to Trana looking for refuge but has never found
a home
A privileged city boy dreaming of rebellion and hardened by cruelty
The disgraced heir to the throne desperate to win back his place in his
father’s heart
Sworn enemies or reluctant allies, they all have one thing in common: an
incomplete half of the legendary fighting skill known as the
Triumvirate sword art. They fight for glory, for power, for the
monsters lurking beneath the streets, and for the mysterious society
moving in the shadows of Trana—the Black Trillium.
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Read on for my review, a guest post, and giveaway!

Simon McNeil is the author of The Black Trillium, a story of revolution and martial arts
set in the ruins of Toronto. This novel is published by Brain Lag Publishing.
He is an online marketing communications specialist with a major educational
institution when not wandering the world looking for trouble. He is a
life-long martial artist, has published several articles in Kung Fu
Magazine and he’s probably a little bit too fond of kung fu movies.
He lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife who has happily laid out rules to prevent the
sword-through-glass-lampshade incident from ever happening again. The
Black Trillium is his first novel.
Website * FacebookTwitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads * Brain Lag Publishing
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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I am, of course, a little biased in reviewing this book, considering that I was the editor and publisher for it. However, that fact says something right there—I had to enjoy this book to want to put in the work for it. I read it at least four times in the course of publishing it, and I loved it every time.
From the first line of the story, The Black Trillium drew me in. The folksy narration from Savannah’s POV sucked me right into her head and made me immediately want to follow her story. Each of the characters was fascinating and well fleshed out, including and especially Kyle, the antagonist, and their thoughts and motivations were well explored. I loved seeing how each character progressed through their successes and failures and how they all grew, either positively or negatively, through their experiences. The characters were unique and intriguing and fit in perfectly in the setting.
What I personally found most gripping about the story, however, is in where it differed from other fantasy novels. No, I don’t mean the post-apocalyptic setting or the wuxia aspect, though those certainly gave it a unique flavour that truly sets it apart from most other books I’ve read. What really kept me on the edge of my seat was the fact that while most fantasy novels are about the journey, all the major players in The Black Trillium are within a few miles of each other within the first few chapters. So, in the midst of growing dangers and history both brutal and mystical, the characters are frequently engaging and dodging each other, the tension high and almost any moment feeling like it’s going to be a catalyst to a dramatic encounter.
The way the characters’ stories wove together, the strange vision of future Toronto that was at once familiar and alien, the secrets woven through characters and events that seem innocuous, the bizarre and horrific history of this world that comes to light, all of it adds up to an exciting story I was happy to read again and again.
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Q: Do your characters hijack your book? Is there anything you would change about the book?

When I write a novel the only constant throughout the process is characterization. The entire plot may shift, settings change, timelines fluctuate, but the thread of character remains the lodestar of the story.

Kieran was always callow and passionate.

Savannah was always withdrawn but compassionate, more cynical than Kieran but still hopeful for a gentler world.

Kyle was always a selfish prick with daddy issues and far too much entitlement. How these characters bounced off each other and their secondaries was always what shaped the book.

So yes, they hijacked the story, but I couldn’t have written it any other way. But there is a weakness in this, and that’s one thing I would have changed if I had to do it over.

When I was finished the book I wasn’t entirely satisfied with Sophie’s characterization. There’s an interesting character there but the characters who served as my POV couldn’t see her.

Kyle was too fixed on the image of Sophie he had in his head and never bothered to really learn who she was within herself. Savannah only saw a monster to fight, and never tried to get to know her and Kieran had very little to do with her. I felt the absence of her internality was ultimately a flaw in the story, and I think, if I could ever do it over again, I’d make her a POV character in her own right.

— Simon McNeil





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