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SPFBO Character Interviews - Neas from Danu's Curse by Nicole Pierman

This is part of the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off character interview series! Every year, Mark Lawrence (he of Prince of Thorns fame!) heads up a contest where 300 self-published fantasy novels duke it out to be the favourite of 10 respected fantasy bloggers and reviewers. You can read more about the contest and follow along on Mark's website here.


I wanted to meet a few of their characters and introduce you to them as well.


Next up is Neas from Nicole Periman's Danu's Curse.





As Paul vanishes just as Evyn is about to ask the juicy questions, a new person arrives sitting exactly where Paul had been, sitting at the table. She's a little younger than Evyn herself, with beautiful red hair and striking green eyes.


***


I scramble to standing. "Hi! Please don't panic. There's something screwy going on in the multiverse right now, but I'm sure either it'll sort itself out or, um... I'll try something?" I know that's a weak ending but really, that's all I have right now. "What's your name and where are you from?"


The girl looks around with interest and then gives me a wide smile. "My name is Neas. I live on an island known by many as Ireland during the time we were given iron. We are beginning to use iron for not just weapons, but axes, nails, and anything else that might be useful for battles and building. We are still learning what iron can and cannot be used for, and we must be careful that the lesser Faes are susceptible to the metal."


"Okay, okay. I haven't been to Ireland, but I'd like to. What's it like?"


"I haven’t been outside my uncle’s clan lands, but it is full of beauty. The forests are thick and luscious green. The animals are wild and free, and the Tuatha De Danann roam the area and visit often to make their presence known so as not to scare the villagers and farmers."


I rub my forehead. Maybe there's a correlation somewhere. I have to keep digging. Gathering and synthesizing information is my superpower. "What do you do?"


"I do not have a job or occupation, but I train with my dear friend Aoibheann to enhance my magical abilities. I have immortal magic but I am mortal, and I've mastered all earthly magics by my sixteeth birthday. And protect my uncle’s lands and the people that he cares for."


That sounds super promising. We have had a princess, some kind of undead and now a mage. "Do you like what you do?"


"I like everything about it and can’t imagine my life any differently. I don’t know what I would do without my abilities. I’ve had them since I was born."


"Cool cool cool. And, uh, are you aware of other worlds?" I wince. Smooth, Evyn.


"Yes, absolutely. I have a grotto the Tuatha De Danann gifted me on my thirteenth birthday that resides in the Otherworld after I pass through the entryway. I have to be mindful of the time and how long I’ve been away from my family because half a day away could mean three days in the Otherworld, but other than that concern, it is easy to step in and out of the Otherworld through my grotto’s portal."


"And did you do that just now?"


She shakes her head. Rats. Not going to be so easy. "Anything going on right now that's... different?"


She purses her lips. "Well, I regret agreeing to an arranged marriage and watching my childhood love, Finn, grapple with such news. I do not regret wanting to keep the clans at peace, but I wonder often at what cost to my sanity?"


"You poor thing. I'm wondering if that's got something to do with why you're here, on this world."


She nods slowly. "I need to get back, to Finn, my cousins, and Aoibheann. They are my world, my protectors, and they mean everything to me. I would die for them, and they would die for me too." She lets out a small sigh. "And I suppose I should get back to my husband."


"Oh? Is he... okay?" I don't want to work on sending her back to a horrible situation.


"His name is Maoris, and he is a prized warrior from another clan. My uncle and his warriors were feuding with them for years over petty things. Too many people were being killed, and something needed to be done to stop the bloodshed. When my uncle told me about the marriage, I said yes. With great hesitation, of course, but I thought I was doing what was just and good. I do not know what the future holds, but I hope everything will settle down, and I find my way in this new ever growing and ever changing world without death and blood. We have been so used to it that I don’t know what my life will look like as a wife not in love with her husband. But marriage usually does not end in love. That is a fool’s wish for women related to powerful men in grand positions. If it keeps my people safe, I will do my best."


"That's really self-sacrificing, but you know you can choose, right?"


She gives me a motherly smile, like I'm the naive one, and then she's gone. This is getting really out of hand. There are so many people and their varied stories flickering on by. What's going on?


***


Read the full review from SPFBO Judge Before We Go Blog here.




Congrats to Nicole!


Can Evyn get to the source of what's going on? Tune in next time to meet whoever gets pulled through next.





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