Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.
More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.
What was January Black?
It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost...or call the king’s bluff.
Refreshingly intelligent and loads of fun!
I lost a few hours as I read this book. It's a Young Adult novel that is refreshingly and astonishingly intelligent, and the love story is perfectly played out.
~Christine Ashworth, Amazon Review
The mystery was intriguing - I loved how Wendy Russo weaved in all her secrets throughout the book, how she incorporated just enough to keep you reading, while never actually divulging much of anything. I was guessing for most of it and that's pretty hard to make me do.
~Julie, Clean Teen Reads
Wendy Russo has created a masterpiece.
~Ivan Amberlake, Author
1. If you could choose one book cover to put on your wall as a poster, what would it be?
The Snow Queen, by Joan D. Vinge. The painting is so beautiful.
2. What do you normally like to read when not writing?
Science Fiction and Fantasy. Always have. Probably always will.
3. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas. I love spending time with family. The lights. The music. Peace on Earth and good will toward men. What's not to love?
4. How different would you say the final version of January Black is from the first draft?
Very. The entire middle third is different rewritten. There are revisions on almost every page, and the ending different.
5. How many blurbs did you have to write before the final one?
Probably 20. In fact, there are two "official" versions of the blurb floating around now.
This is or That
Knives or sword? Dagger. Best of both.
Movies at home or Movie Theater? Movies at home. Better popcorn. Pause button.
Actual book or Audiobook? Actual book. I like turning pages. Even if they're digital, there's still text passing me by.
Spring or Summer? Spring. Summer in Louisiana is brutal.
Action movies or Chick flicks? Action Films. We didn't want a lot of chick flicks in my home growing up. I don't relate to most of them all that well.
Author Wendy S. Russo
Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.
Blog Tour Giveaway
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