I have been such a huge fan of the Skybound Saga. Talk about magical birds, queer characters, and siblings. You might as well just shove this book in my face. When I had the opportunity to interview Alex London, FINALLY, I jumped on it!
Red Skies Falling
In this thrilling sequel to Black Wings Beating, twins Kylee and Brysen are separated by the expanse of Uztar, but are preparing for the same war – or so they think.
Kylee is ensconsed in the Sky Castle, training with Mem Uku to master the Hollow Tongue and the Ghost Eagle. But political intrigue abounds and court drama seems to seep through the castle’s stones like blood from a broken feather. Meanwhile, Brysen is still in the Six Villages, preparing for an attack by the Kartami. The Villages have become Uztar’s first line of defense, and refugees are flooding in from the plains. But their arrival lays bare the villagers darkest instincts. As Brysen navigates the growing turmoil, he must also grapple with a newfound gift, a burgeoning crush on a mysterious boy, and a shocking betrayal.
The two will meet again on the battlefield, fighting the same war from different sides―or so they think. The Ghost Eagle has its own plans.
Is one of the siblings easier to write then the other? Has this changed from Black Wings Beating to Red Skies Falling?
In Black Wings Beating, I found Brysen much easier to write, in some ways, than his sister, and in that ease, he was also much harder. While the circumstances of our lives were quite different, I built him out of my own psychological wounds and some of the darker places in myself. So, in one sense, I had a lot to draw on, but also, in writing him, I had a lot to face. By Red Skies Falling, however, he’s in a very different place emotionally than I am and his journey is going in a whole new direction, so he became in some sense easier to write—less emotionally taxing–but also harder as he goes places in his character arc where I had to follow him instead of leading him. I hope readers enjoy watching him come into his own. And maybe fine a little love and a little joy…
Kylee, on the other hand, came to me more fully formed from the beginning on her own terms and with more of a drive behind her, so I’ve found her both easier to write, and more of a challenge to bend to my will. She sometimes moved the plot in surprising directions as she exerted herself or refused to. I found myself having to revise the plot in response to her actions!
Is it possible for you to pick your favorite side character in the series?
I love Nyall, for being just such a good, solid, kind dude, and I love Jowyn for being the closest thing this series has to a cinnamon roll, something like if Bram from Simon Vs.The Homosapiens Agenda had escaped a matriarchal owl cult and racked up a body count…
If you had to sum up Red Skies Falling in one sentence, what would it be?
The war on the ground is only the beginning.
What do you do to inspire you or get yourself ready to write?
Drink a lot of coffee, stare at the birds out my office window, and peruse Pinterest for pictures of hot falconers in wild landscapes.
Choices are a huge part of Red Skies Falling, is there a choice you made that without it, the Skybound Saga wouldn’t be here today?
Yes. I thought of the idea while on a flight to do school visits and a bookstore appearance in the Philippines, so (a) if the Filipino YA community hadn’t been so supportive of my work to invite me back to Manila and (b) if I hadn’t said yes to a 12 hour flight there would be no Skybound Saga. I also had a cold and was quite medicated on the plane, so cold medicine might have something to do with the idea too…
What are your top three birds and why? What kind of bird would you be (in the book or real life)?
I love the goshawk, which is Brysen’s favorite (and also the favorite hawk of the writers Helen McDonald and TH White)
The lammergeier, as known as the Bearded Vulture, is a creepy bone eating scavenger and sometime turtle hunter, but they look like dragons.
And, as my husband and I are new fathers, I love how committed gay penguins are to raising their young.
As for what bird I’d be in real life? Probably a Bowerbird. I like to rearrange my furniture in interesting ways and to dance around it like no one’s watching, in the hopes I’ll impress my husband, who actually is watching. He is not impressed.
About the Author
Alex London is the author of over 25 books for children, teens, and adults, with over 2 million copies sold. For middle grade readers, he’s the author of the Dog Tags, Tides of War, Wild Ones, and Accidental Adventures series, as well as two titles in the 39 Clues series. For young adults, he’s the author of the cyberpunk duology Proxy and the epic fantasy Black Wings Beating. He’s been a journalist reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, a young adult librarian with New York Public Library, an assistant to a Hollywood film agent, and a snorkel salesman. He lives with his family in Philadelphia, PA.
Blog Tour Schedule
|The Clockwork Bibliophile||September 1|
|Books and Ladders||September 3|
|Books in the Skye||September 4|
|Literally Lenny||September 4|
|The Fandom||September 5|
|Beautifully Bookish Bethany||September 5|
|Utopia State of Mind||September 6|
|Bookish Connoisseur||September 7|