Hi Everyone, What I a way to start your weekend. As you may all know I'm having a fantasy month on the blog, so as well as reading fantasy books, I'm also featuring some of my favourites as well as discovering some new authors too. So next guest author on my blog is the brilliant Sara Holland with her bestseller novel Everless.
I still have this on my shelf and I still need to get read it. Shameful I know. But I'm so excited to have Sara on blog. So before I hand over to Sara talking about the concept behind Everless, her is a little bit more about her book.
Time is a prison. She is the key. Packed with danger, temptation and desire - a perfect read for fans of The Red Queen.The concept behind Everless... by Sara Holland
In the land of Sempera, the rich control everything - even time. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry.
Jules and her father are behind on their rent and low on hours. To stop him from draining himself to clear their debts, Jules takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family.
There, Jules encounters danger and temptation in the guise of the Gerling heir, Roan, who is soon to be married. But the web of secrets at Everless stretches beyond her desire, and the truths Jules must uncover will change her life for ever ... and possibly the future of time itself.
I’m often asked how I came up with the idea for my YA fantasy novel Everless—or more specifically the central conceit of the world, that time is transferable and can be bought and sold, hoarded and stolen. At first, it seems pretty out-there: time can be extracted from blood, bound to metal, and consumed; and in Sempera, the feudalistic queendom where Everless takes place, it’s molded into coins, called blood-irons, and used as currency. The land is ruled by a selfish Queen and subdivided into estates controlled by powerful families. The rich live for centuries, while the poor—like Everless’s heroine, Jules Ember—trade their time away just to keep a roof over their heads, and invariably die young.
But even in this world of alchemy and blood-irons, the basic dynamics of Semperan society aren’t too dissimilar from the ones that govern our own. We see the same patterns: a privileged few living their life without any thought for how their actions affect people below them on the pecking order; and the greater number just struggling to survive. Some people fighting the system, and most just trying to get by. Everless’s heroine, Jules, is driven mostly by a desire to protect the people she loves, but there’s no small amount of resentment in there too—resentment that through no fault of her own, she has to struggle and fight while others sail through life, because that’s just the way the world is.
While in real life our time isn’t literally money, the two are tied together in all sorts of ways—the phrase “time is money” has some accuracy to it. If you’ve ever been paid by the hour, that’s literally saying an hour of your time is worth $8 or $12 or $20 or whatever. And frighteningly, zooming out, it’s pretty obvious that our wealth or lack thereof does impact the length of our life as well as the quality. With our society being what it is—with issues of healthcare, housing, and access to resources coming into play—the rich live longer, and we usually take it for granted. Just as those in Sempera do.
So I think the concept of time as currency resonated with me because it takes something that’s already an abstract reality in our world—the connection between time and money—and making it tangible. I think the best fantasy concepts are ones that don’t feel totally alien; as readers, viewers, and audience members, we can buy in better to a fantasy conceit if in it we see a reflection of our own struggles. It’s like looking at a funhouse mirror, or viewing the world through a pane of stained glass—we can see ourselves, albeit in a warped or exaggerated way.
It’s my hope that Everless does that for its readers, offering an escape from the real world while still reflecting it back to them.
Evermore the second book in the series is coming very soon.
About Sara Holland
I grew up in small-town Minnesota among hundreds of books. I graduated from Wesleyan University and worked in a tea shop, a dentist’s office, and a state capitol building before heading to New York to work in publishing. These days, I can be found exploring the city’s bookstores or finding new ways to put caffeine in my bloodstream. EVERLESS is my debut novel.Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram
Thank you so much to Team BKMRK and Sara for being part of my #FantasticalFeb!