A Sword Named Sorrow
by Kara Dalkey
Author of the acclaimed fantasy novel "Little Sister", Kara Dalkey has created a new, epic historical fantasy novel that takes us on a harrowing journey through heart-breaking discoveries in a haunted, mysterious land.
How far would you go to find out the truth?
Erculeo Salamago, the finest sorcerous swordsmith in all of Alta Califia, has vanished. His young apprentice Filipo, and Coraza, who may be Salamago’s daughter, find their fates bound together in a land drenched in dark magic.
Guided by the blacksmith’s last and most mystifying creation, a sword named Sorrow, they travel the countryside in search of the truth, in search of Erculeo.
But the road to truth is not an easy one. While evading the holy servants of the Mariana church, and battling demons called tzinn, they are pulled into a war of forbidden magics, one in which Coraza and Filipo must risk their lives to discover their destiny, save their county and each other.
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Without giving too much away, tell us a little bit about "A Sword Named Sorrow" and where you got your inspiration from.
I was born and raised in Southern California, so I absorbed some knowledge of its history. If the stories are true, the very discovery and exploration of California was inspired by a fantasy novel Las sergas de Esplandián, written around 1510. California seemed always a world-between, with its ties to Latin America to the south. At the time I was conceiving of the book, there were questions in publishing as to why there wasn’t more representation of latinx themes and characters in genre fiction, and I thought it would be a good blend. For the world building, I changed many things including how religion in Europe was more a blend of Roman paganism and Christianity than in ours. The existence of magic leads to those wishing to do terrible things to enhance their powers and I played with how that affects the political situation in this fragile little colony on the far side of the known world, where they must rely on ancient witches and desert demons for protection.
Read the first chapter on our blog here!
Kara Dalkey is the author of sixteen published novels and more than twenty short stories of fantasy and speculative fiction. She was born in Southern California and studied Anthropology at the University of California at Los Angeles. She always knew the creative arts were her destiny and she has been an artist and musician before becoming a writer and author through membership in the Scribblies writers group in Minneapolis. Most of her work is historical fantasy, and she is best known for her books Little Sister and Heavenward Path, set in Heian era Japan, as well as The Water Trilogy set in Arthurian Britain. A Sword Named Sorrow, although an alternate history, is drawn from the rich historical heritage of the state of her birth.
Ms. Dalkey currently lives in the beautiful Puget Sound region near Seattle.