Happy Release Day to author Janeen Ippolito!!
If you haven’t checked out her Ironfire Legacy series, I strongly recommend it. Plus, if today’s behind-the-scenes post says anything, it’s that Faithless has some fairy tale inspiration! So cool, right?
However, it’s not a super common one and might give a delightful surprise on what fairy tale it is.
Come check it out!
About the Book
One wild night, Shance Windkeeper discovers he is married to a death unicorn.
But that’s the least of his troubles.
As an agent for the Lawless, Shance is working with dragonshifters Kesia Ironfire and Zephryn Nightstalker, trying to end the dragon-human war and the organization that masterminded it. While on a mission in the Scepter of Knowledge, the Lawless is hit with a devastating death unicorn attack.
Out of the wreckage new allies emerge: Lirome Ukerys, and his twin sister Maira, the death unicorn queen—Shance’s long-lost wife.
Recently freed from captivity, Maira is fighting to regain control of her herd. Lurien Alistil, a rogue death unicorn, has bespelled the Scepter of Knowledge and taken Maira’s son. When Kesia unexpectedly challenges Lurien to a public debate, the Lawless has a chance to break the usurper’s hold. To obtain vital information they must infiltrate her lair—and as the husband of the death unicorn queen, Shance Windkeeper is the perfect prize to go in.
But Lurien’s power is stronger and more insidious than they realize. And if the final pieces of her plan fall into place, not even Shance’s newfound Talents and knowledge will be enough to stop her.
A steampunk fantasy adventure with much intrigue, unexpected romance, sudden tragedy, and a snarky cat-dragon.
When I originally brainstormed The Ironfire Legacy series, I had planned on each story being a pretty obvious fairy tale retelling. That plan quickly went by the wayside as I began building the history and cultures of Sekastra, the main country in the series, but echoes of those fairy tale frameworks still linger in some of the stories. None more obviously than in Faithless: The Ironfire Legacy Book 2.
The catch is that the fairy tale inspiration for Faithless isn’t well known. The True Bride is a little German fairy tale recorded by the brothers Grimm. It’s sort of a mash-up of Cinderella and some good, old fashioned girl sass. The female main character overcomes a horrid life of servitude and ends up with the handsome prince. But alas! Before they can marry, he leaves and never returns!
This is where it gets fun, because the new princess musters her gumption and tracks her absent guy down down. It turns out the prince has forgotten all about her (probably due to magic) and gotten engaged to another woman. But that doesn’t stop the true bride; she knows what’s hers. Over the course of three festivals, she shows up in these gorgeous dresses and keeps seeking after him at these three festivals. By the third one, he’s remembered her, and they go back and live happily ever after. In the Jim Henson Muppets adaptation, it’s actually a wicked troll woman who is literally collecting handsome men, and the heroine has to do the whole fancy dresses routine to win over the prince, plus she has to bribe the troll.
I’ve been a fan of this fairy tale for a while, partly because I love how the main female character is so steadfast and has so much courage in the face of awful circumstances. And even though Faithless is steampunk fantasy during wartime, with a lot of layers of intrigue and adversity, there are trickles of The True Bride. Maira Ukerys, Shance Windkeeper’s long-lost wife and the death unicorn queen, is committed to helping him reclaim his real past and memories, no matter what he did during their ten years apart. Like the troll in the Jim Henson version, villain Lurien Alistil does indeed misuse her powers of soul-empathy to collect an entourage of adoring men (including Shance’s son). And Lurien does try to sway Shance to her side, although in my story he intentionally infiltrates her lair to try and free the others.
Within this story, there are the festivals of the sun (Solaris), moon (Lunaris), and stars (Celestis)—in the True Bride, the bride wore dresses of suns, moons, and stars at three festivals to attract her wayward prince. And at the end, the true bride gets her man back. Maira wouldn’t have it any other way.
Of course, quite a bit of other things are different Faithless: The Ironfire Legacy Book 2—otherwise I would have just declared the whole thing a retelling! But the grit and commitment present in The True Bride definitely comes through. Maira Ukerys, while not a lead protagonist, is a strong main character with a great POV, and I love showing the determined faithfulness of a wife and mother in this story.
Check out this song inspiration from the author!
About the Author
Janeen Ippolito believes words transform worlds. She creates writing resources and writes steampunk fantasy. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com
Celebrate the launch of Faithless: The Ironfire Legacy Book 2 with featured author Janeen Ippolito and guest authors Angelique Anderson and R.J. Metcalf! Get your fill of steampunk, dragons, adventures, and more (re: death unicorns and a cat-dragon) with this fun-filled evening that includes giveaways, games, and an exclusive reveal or two.
Hosted by Laura A. Grace of Unicorn Quester and Uncommon Universes Press!
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, October 8th
– Map Monday Spotlight – Becky Gaines
Tuesday, October 9th
– Spotlight – Letters From Annie (Douglass) Lima
Wednesday, October 10th
– Character Interview – Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
– Guest Post & Interview – TheHufflepuffNerdette
Thursday, October 11th
– Behind-the-Scenes –The Simmering Mind
– Author Interview – Claire M. Banschbach
Friday, October 12th
– Behind-the-Scenes – Author Katherine A. Massengill
Sunday, October 14th
– Book Review – Smada’s Book Smack
Monday, October 15th
– Spotlight – A Hippie’s Bookshelf
– Character Interview with Shance – Becky Gaines
Tuesday, October 16th
– World Building Feature on the Scepter of Knowledge – K.A. Cummins
Wednesday, October 17th
– Spotlight – The Genre Minx Book Reviews
Thursday, October 18th
– Behind-the-Scenes – Unicorn Quester <— You are here!
Friday, October 19th
– World Building Feature on Death Unicorns – C. O. Bonham
– Spotlight – YA/NA Book Divas
Saturday, October 20th
– World Building Feature on Dragons – Empyrean Voyager
– Book Review – The Book Unicorn
Monday, October 22nd
– Book Review – Jessica Rachow: Author & Blogger
Tuesday, October 23rd
– Behind-the-Scenes – Anna Tan
Wednesday, October 24th
– Book Review – Anna Tan
Thursday, October 25th
– Author Interview – Laura VanArendonk Baugh
– Book Review – Becky Gaines