Today marks the release of John Marco’s The Forever Knight. It’s my pleasure to host the first stop on his blog tour (see a list of all stops here) which he’ll be doing for the next month.
Posted below is my review of The Forever Knight, and my interview with John Marco.
Lukien is the Bronze Knight, beloved by his kingdom and renowned in battle throughout his world. After betraying his king and losing his beloved, he wishes only for death, but rather than die, Lukien is given a chance for redemption: to be the protector of the Inhumans—those fragile mortals who live deep in the desert, far from the prying eyes of their world. These remarkable individuals have been granted magical powers in exchange for the hardships and handicaps life has handed them. And Lukien, now immortal himself, must be their champion. But how can one man, even an immortal warrior, protect hundreds from a world of potential enemies? – Description from Amazon
The Forever Knight by John Marco is an entertaining read, filled with believable characters, triumph and tragedy.
Following Lukien and Cricket, his novel is the 4th installment in The Bronze Knight series, however it serves as a “reboot” to the series and sits as a standalone. Readers don’t need to have read the first three to be able to pick up this one and enjoy it. (I’m able to say this as I have yet to read them, but did find this to be quite easy to get into). I have avoided mentioning specifics and plot details, just to avoid the possibility of spoilers from earlier books as much as possible.
Marco has created a vast and interesting world. His concept of the afterlife was an intriguing one, which I’m looking forward to seeing explored in future novels. Although, at times his magic system (the near-immortality granted to Lukien) felt a bit too convenient, and added an element of predictability to the story, giving the sense that he was never really in any danger. Despite this, the story was still overly enjoyable.
Exploring elements of sacrifice, rebirth, and magic, Marco does a good job with showing the character growth and the dynamics of relationships between characters, as well as exploring their interactions in relatable circumstances, bringing them to life.
Marco has written a story which will pull readers in and have them enthralled until the last page; hoping for the survival of characters that they will come to love, even when it seems impossible.
I will be going back and picking up the first three novels in The Bronze Knight, as well as any future installments. You can look forward to a review of The Eyes of God (Book 1) Later this month.
Without further ado, below is the interview which I had to pleasure of doing with John.
R: Hi John! Thank you for taking the time to do this, I really appreciate it.
In interviews everyone asks “Tell me something about yourself”, but can you tell me something most people don’t know about you?
J: Most people probably don’t know how private I actually am, because I tend to be pretty open on my blog. But actually, I’m very introverted. That’s not to say I’m shy; I’m not. I’m just a loner who tends to keep to himself a lot. For example, I just left what I used to call my “day job.” I was there for two years, and in all that time no one knew I was a published author. It was just something I kept to myself that whole time. I remember my sister calling me a loner when I was just a kid, and I remember liking being called that! I’m not a team player; I even dislike the word “team.” Probably makes sense that I became a writer. It’s not just something I love doing, but it fits me perfectly.
R: Yeah, seems to make sense for you to be a writer, given that.
Can you describe The Forever Knight in 10 words?
J: I would call it “A tale of bloody revenge and the curse of immortality.”
R: And what was your inspiration for The Bronze Knight series? The near-immortality through the Akari is quite interesting and unique.
J: Right now I am hard at work on a new novel called The Bloody Chorus, and have been posting little tidbits about it from time to time over at my blog. This one has a lot of sea-based mythology in the world building. It’s also the first time the gods and goddesses in the story actually interact directly with the characters. I’m closing in on the halfway point of the manuscript, and have been working hard to get it done.
As for more Lukien books, yes, there are more on the way. Two more at least. I already have a number of ideas for the next one, and will start writing it as soon as I’m done with my current project
R: If you could spend a day with any of your characters, which one would it be, and what would you do?
J: I love this question, because it’s actually difficult for me to answer. A lot of my characters are deeply flawed, even the so called “heroes.” On the other hand, I like so many of them. If you were to ask me which one of them I’d like to meet in person, I would have said Count Biagio from my first series, Tyrants and Kings. He was a real favorite among readers, because he was so machiavellian. But since you asked who I’d want to spend a day with, I’d say Lorla from my second book, The Grand Design. She was a young girl who wasn’t able to grow up, at least not physically. She was curious and tragic and I always felt she was robbed of having the good life she deserved. I’d probably take her to Disneyworld or something like that.
R: Do you have any advice you can share with for aspiring authors?
J: Okay, let me try to answer this one as honestly as I can, because it’s one of those questions that writers get asked all the time, and personally, it’s one of my least favorite things to be asked because everything I come up with sounds like a cliché. Writing is hard. I like to say that if you think writing is easy, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re working hard at it, you’re on the right track, but honestly it doesn’t get easier because you’re always learning and striving to get better. So strive. Understand that it’s a struggle, and that it’s filled with setbacks and disappointments, and even when you think something you’ve written is great someone else will think it sucks. Once you’re fully on-board with that, you’re ready to start. Learn to love the struggle.
R: Alright, and a bit of a sillier question… Do you have a zombie survival plan? If so, what is it?
J: Survive a zombie apocalypse? Me? Let’s not put any money on that. I’m too much of a creature of comfort. I’m pretty sure I’d have a heart attack and drop dead on day one. Which is probably a good thing, because I really don’t want to live in a world with zombies. Or vampires for that matter.
R: Is there anything else you would like to add?
J: There is actually. First, thank you for doing this interview and for helping me spread the word about my new book. I’ve gotten to know many book bloggers and reviewers over the years, and they’ve been wonderfully gracious and helpful to me.
Just as importantly, I really want to thank my readers. They’ve waited patiently for this new book to come out, they’ve stayed with me the whole time, they’ve written me encouraging notes, posted reviews, recommended my books to others…they’ve been amazing. I want them all to know how much I appreciate it.
R: Thanks John, I really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to do this, and for making it possible to be a part of your book tour!
The Forever Knight was released today, I highly encourage fantasy readers to go an pick it up.