Author Name: Charlotte Ashe
Book Name: The Heart of All Words, Book One: The Sidhe
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Pages or Words: 442 pages
Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Sarah Sanderson
Since his childhood, Brieden Lethiscir has admired The Sidhe, the beautiful and magical beings native to the Faerie world outside his homeland of Villalu. Though he grew up in a culture accepting of Sidhe enslavement by Villalu’s elite, Brieden finds that he can no longer tolerate the practice when he becomes a steward to Prince Dronyen, who is viciously abusive of his sidhe slave Sehrys. Captivated by the handsome and mysterious sidhe slave, Brieden vows to free and return Sehrys to his homeland.As they escape the capital and navigate a treacherous path to the border, Breiden and Sehrys grow close. Breiden soon learns both the true power of The Sidhe, and that the world that he thought he knew is not what it once seemed. If they survive to reach the border, he will have to make a choice: the love of his life, or the fate of his world.
Review by: multitaskingmomma
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
The Sidhe is one huge book in both number of pages (450 total) and content. There is no rushing through this one and to be honest, I did take a rest in between reads. Why? Because I did not want to miss a detail because of either rushing through the pages or getting tired from the details. No, it is far from a boring book. And best of all, would you believe I actually read something that was once a fan fiction work?
Fear not, this is no 50. This is a fantasy where we finds the beautiful Sidhe (elves) enslaved through the corrupt practices of the humans they share their world with. One such human did not like what was going on. Brieden Lethiscir had always admired the legendary beings and it hurt his heart to see them abused so. One such sidhe he got close to is Sehrys and Brieden decides to risk all by rescuing him. They both knew it was a futile attempt but Brieden could not stomach Sehrys' abuse much longer. They run and their master, Prince Dronyen, exhausts every means possible to get both back. In the meanwhile, there is some other intrigue going on in the palace.
This is an ongoing saga of how Brieden and Sehrys escape, get captured, escape once more and meet all manner of people on the road to freedom. There is a lot of power play happening here which makes for one interesting and hugely entertaining read.
I love fantasy stories told the right way. This is one of them. This has an MM twist making it even more entertaining and oh, so worth it.
Note: the tale is not over yet....
The sidhe was tall, supple and lithe, as all sidhe tended to be, with milk-pale skin that glowed like moonlight over lean, taut muscles. Like all the others before him, he was naked, giving potential buyers a full picture of what they were bidding on.
And he was extraordinary, head to toe.
His chin-length hair was violet-red and it gleamed in the afternoon sun. His lips were pink and delicate with a pronounced bow, his nose had a narrow, smooth slope and his eyes...
It wasn't that they were the most incredible color imaginable: a storm of deep, contrasting, impossible greens unlike any Brieden had ever seen. And it wasn't that they were large and almond- shaped beneath a fan of plum-colored lashes.
It was that they were full to the brim with life.
Never before had Brieden seen a sidhe slave with such lively and expressive eyes, even as he stood for auction. Those eyes were not dull or defeated in the slightest. Wary, yes, and utterly devoid of trust, but also blazing.
Blazing like the eyes of that sidhe Brieden had seen at the riverbank when he was twelve years old— the only free sidhe Brieden had ever had the chance to behold.
The elf stood on that platform as if he owned it. As if he were judging every human man before him, and not the other way around.
He tucked a lock of hair behind a delicately pointed elfin ear, then jutted his chin to reveal a chiseled jaw that contrasted beautifully against his tender features.
And though he knew it was insane, Brieden was quite sure that he was in love.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Charlotte Ashe, author of The Sidhe, the first book in The Heart of All Worlds trilogy.
Hi Charlotte, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thank you for having me! I am a social worker in Portland, Maine , and The Sidhe is my first novel. I majored in creative writing and literature way back in college, but it took me some time to find my way back to writing. I am so excited to finally write the books I’ve always wanted to write, combining elements of fantasy and romance with a focus on LGBTQ characters.
1) How do you develop your plots and characters?
I never get too far with a character before I start thinking about their childhood. I always start with characters and setting, and the plot comes later. Once I have a sense of the people, their motivations, and the rules of the world in which they live, I build a story around them. Developing the plot just kind of happens at that point--it feels like slowly putting together a jigsaw puzzle, like I’m figuring something out rather than creating something new. It can be a slow and frustrating process at times, but I always figure out how the pieces fit together eventually.
2) Who doesn’t love a good hero? Tell us about your protagonist. Was there a real life inspiration behind them?
The Sidhe has two protagonists, Sehrys and Brieden. Like most characters I write, bits and pieces of their characters were based upon actual people, but for the most part they came to life on the page. They’re both kind-hearted and passionate men who are willing to take enormous risks to do what they believe is right, and I think they complement one another well in the story. The essential difference between them is that Brieden is trying to find the person he truly is whereas Sehrys is trying to find his way back to who he believes he should be.
3) What real-life inspirations do you use when world building?
I use the natural world extensively, and I spend a lot of time out in nature in search of inspiration for world-building. I use my bookshelf: books on fairytales and mythology and quantum physics and spellbooks for the modern witch. And I use sociopolitical structures that actually exist in this world, both as something to emulate and something to contradict.
4) Did you learn anything from this book and what was it?
I learned a lot from writing this book. The first and most important thing I learned was that I can indeed write fantasy novels. I learned that testing my own limits and pushing myself to write the hard parts is both important and exhilarating, and I learned that listening to my editor and killing the darlings that need to be killed is essential to writing something good.
5) It’s your last meal on earth. What do you choose?
I’m a vegan 98% of the time, but I’m a Maine girl at heart and I do allow myself to eat lobster about once a year. If it were my last meal on earth, I’d probably eat two of them, with lots of melted butter, corn on the cob, and fresh strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert. And now I’m hungry.
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About the Author
Charlotte Ashe is a social worker by day and a writer of romantic fantasy by night. A long-time fan of speculative fiction that skews feminist and features LGBTQ characters, Charlotte loves writing stories that are sexy, heartfelt, and full of magic and adventure. She has put her B.A. in literature and creative writing to use over the years as a writer of online fan-based fiction, and her most popular work has drawn more than one million readers worldwide, been translated into several languages, and been featured in online publications including The Backlot.
Charlotte lives in Portland, Maine and can be found sleeping at the beach all summer and clomping along the cobblestones in her Bean boots all winter, writing fairytales in her head to distract from the cold.
Goodreads Link: goodreads.com/user/show/32040943-charlotte-ashe#_=_