GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Fantasy Author Stephen Zimmer' heroine Rayden Valkyrie shares her thoughts with him + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Fantasy Author Stephen Zimmer' heroine Rayden Valkyrie shares her thoughts with him + giveaway

Rayden Valkyrie Shares a Few Thoughts With Her Writer

By Stephen Zimmer

Today, I am sharing a few thoughts that I sensed from Rayden in the aftermath of the events in the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy. Below are those thoughts of hers along with my responses.

Rayden: “Where will I be going next? I see a lot of possible roads ahead now that the fighting against the Teverens is over.”

Stephen: That’s the biggest question I hear from Rayden Valkyrie now that the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy has concluded with the recent release of When Shadows Fall. The events that take place across the pages of Heart of a Lion, Thunder Horizon, and When Shadows Fall do come to a solid conclusion that I am confident will satisfy readers of the trilogy, but there is no question that there will be much more ahead for Rayden. The alert reader will definitely gain some hints about what lies beyond over the course of the trilogy.

Rayden: “I have seen it happen too many times that the wicked things of this world are part of even greater evils yet to be faced. I have a lot weighing upon my mind, and my thoughts keep returning to a journey I took to the east, long before I ventured across the sea and to the lands far to the south where I stood with a noble people swept up in the storms of a vicious tribal war.”
Stephen: I think that Rayden is referring to the events depicted in the stand-alone novellas Blood of a Queen and Prowling the Darkness. Both took place in lands farther to the east of the lands inhabited by the Gessa and other northern warrior tribes that Rayden grew up among.

Following those adventures, her travels eventually took her far south, across the Great Sea and deep into rolling grasslands inhabited by other warrior tribes where she helped bring a bloody war to the end. A sorcerer named Dreaghen then called out to her from the far north, using his arts, with a plea for Rayden to return to her homeland. Her journey back to the north in the company of her friend Ammanus is what begins the story told in Heart of a Lion.

Rayden: “A shadow has been lifted from many lands with the fall of the Imperator, but an even greater threat lies out there. Things that should have been left in the depths of the Abyss have been allowed into the world and doors have been opened. In their arrogance, sorcerers believe they can control the things they discover and set loose, but sometimes those things have a purpose of their own.”
Stephen: I suspect that Rayden senses something even deadlier than the threats she has just overcome is beginning to rise somewhere within her world. I know that she has made some big discoveries and witnessed several things in the events that occur in When Shadows Fall that point to an underlying menace of a supernatural nature, indicating the presence of an adversary whose threat to Rayden and the world she inhabits spans beyond the Imperator and the Teveren Empire.

Rayden: “I also know I have friends in need of me. Doros still needs to search for her family and I do want to do what I can for her. My heart tells me that Ingassa will not remain in place in the areas being settled by the former slaves on Tega land.”
Stephen: Rayden’s intuition regarding her friends is accurate, in what I see ahead. Doros proved to be a stalwart and loyal friend during the events of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy. She is a tough fighter, very skilled with a bow, and has some valuable additional skills with her knowledge of boats and navigating currents on rivers. Rayden is definitely sympathetic to Doros’ desire to find and reunite with surviving family, and I foresee a time when the two of them undertake a quest together.

In the same way, Rayden is very sympathetic to Ingassa, the strong Teveren woman that she wrestled early in When Shadows Fall. Ingassa, like Rayden, has no family of blood left. In some ways, she is on the outset of the kind of journey that Rayden took when she stepped out of Gessa lands at a young age. I think Ingassa will be looking to Rayden as a mentor in addition to her being a friend. I have a strong hunch that Ingassa will have a part to play in some future Rayden Valkyrie stories.

Rayden: “There are many times I have seen my journey take a turn that I did not see coming. When I rescued Hamilcar from being sacrified I did not think I would soon find myself being pitted against an entire empire. The unexpected happens and some may call upon me that I do not anticipate. Queen Murithesos and her fae may have need of me someday and I must be ready if I am called upon. I do not make promises idly.”
Stephen: Rayden has made many new friends and allies during the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy and she does not take it lightly when she tells another that she will be there for them if ever they are in need of her. Her promise to Queen Murithesos stands and may end up becoming of those unexpected elements at some point in the future. One thing that Rayden has come to know well in her life is to expect the unexpected.

Rayden: “If you think that telling my story can be of help to others traveling along their own life journeys, then keep telling it, Stephen.”
Stephen: I definitely will, and I am honored to do so, Rayden. 😊

When Shadows Fall (Dark Sun Dawn Book 3)
by Stephen Zimmer
December 2, 2019
339 pages
Publisher: Seventh Star Press; 1 edition
When shadows fall, the dominion of light reigns.

Rayden Valkyrie and her companions enter the Imperial City, the heart of the rising Teveren Empire. Never before has her gaze taken in a city so vast, wealthy, and populous.

Sensual delights, grandiose spectacles, and the spilling of blood enthrall wealthy and poor alike. Beneath the surface, Rayden senses an undercurrent of a darker nature.

Learning everything she can of the venomous secrets lurking within the shadows, little time remains before a host of northern tribes arrives outside its walls.

Power lies within blood, and dark rituals have unlocked mysteries from the depths of the abyss.

Legions are on the march, a storm is about to unleash, and a dark sun will soon rise.

When Shadows Fall, the conclusion of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy!

About the author
Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based out of Lexington Kentucky. His works include the Rayden Valkyrie novels (Sword and Sorcery), the Rising Dawn Saga (Cross Genre), the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Hellscapes short story collections (Horror), the Chronicles of Ave short story collections (Fantasy), the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk), and the forthcoming Faraway Saga (YA Dystopian/Cross-Genre).

Stephen’s visual work includes the feature film Shadows Light, shorts films such as The Sirens and Swordbearer, and the forthcoming Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot.

Stephen is a proud Kentucky Colonel who also enjoys the realms of music, martial arts, good bourbons, and spending time with family.

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