If you didn’t see my Can’t Wait Wednesday post that featured Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian, go check it out. It will provide context for:
- Why Sarah Harian has been stuck with me nipping at her heels for literally a year, by the time Eight Will FallEight Will Fall unleashes itself unto the world on 11/29.
- Why Harian is working to insure clarity around the premise for Eight Will Fall.
That context though, is just the tip of the iceburgh. From the pulled quote in the graphic to the interview. To what I tell you now and then through the interview I will publish this time next week, you can make up your own mind about Eight Will Fall. The Goodreads link is above, as it is in the post I made for CWW.
And while I don’t want to spoil my review, I will say this. While Eight Will Fall is absolutely nothing it was marketed to be? It is an incredible book and I will stand by Harian for as long as she will let me to die on that hill. I don’t know how much it will have changed since the ARC I received in April- yes APRIL. But I will happily find out when I buy it on November 29th.
And I hope that everyone will take Eight Will Fall on its own merits, away from the comparisons, the marketing and instead, listen to the author. Because no one can tell you the heart of a book better than its creator. In addition to the synopsis on goodreads and my post, there are trigger listings on Sarah’s website, as well.
That is, until it has a reader because then the readers know better than everyone, even the writer. Duh.
1) From the outside looking in, there seem to be a lot of misconceptions about the genre/content of Eight Will Fall. Do you want to take a moment to clarify the story line, genre and what readers can expect from the book in contrast to what they might perceive the book to be about, the genre, or how it might be structured?
I’m so glad you asked this question.
Eight Will Fall was announced as Suicide Squad meets Six of Crows. At the time I had not read Six of Crows or seen Suicide Squad, so I was pretty ignorant about this comparison (authors don’t have a lot of say in publisher marketing). Because of this, I can see why readers would go into this book thinking that it’s a multi-pov heist novel featuring shady characters when it doesn’t contain any of those things.
Eight Will Fall is for readers who are craving a high-fantasy setting with the tension and pace of a horror movie. It has magic, gods, and dynasties. It also has monsters, cosmic horror, and lots of gore. Most of the characters are good people who have been condemned for something they can’t control.
I’d recommend it for fans of The Descent or other monster horror, Stranger Things, and fast-paced high fantasy novels.
2) When I reviewed Steel Crow Saga, I started with my fear of authors running out of ways to create unique, flushed out magic systems- and then listing some recent fantastic ones (Merciful Crow, There Will Come A Darkness and Steel Crow Saga being among them)- as examples of why that fear is hopefully unfounded. Eight Will Fall also has a very unique magic system, can you pitch it to readers?
The only people in the realm of Demura who possess magic are Empaths. They can sense emotion and channel it to conjure or destroy. You can imagine why most of the realm are fearful of Empaths and how vulnerable everyone must feel around them.
The only reason why Empaths are not in power is because of the mineral luminite, which suppresses their ability to sense emotion. Many structures in Demura are gilded with the mineral.
3) Are you claustrophobic? If you are, what was it like writing the subterranean atmosphere of Eight Will Fall? If not, how did you find (or maybe who do you find) to help you really grab onto that dreadful feeling and recreate the setting and bring it to life as more than the setting, but a character in the story? What was your intended impact of it on the plot?
I am claustrophobic to an extent. I’m terrified of being trapped, like in a broken elevator or a locked closet. But I’m more afraid of the unknown, and of being lost, which are fears I drew more heavily upon when creating The Reach. Being lost in the dark without water and knowing you’re being stalked by an anonymous presence–now that’s the stuff of nightmares.
My intention of this was to parallel fear with how deep the characters descend, which, of course, amplifies their fuel for magic.
4) I’ve read a lot about how characters can talk to authors and as they are written but also can be defiant and have to be wrestled on to the page. Which characters were the easiest and hardest to write, and why?
Without giving anything away, characters who die on page are always difficult to write because their arc is shorter and the emotional investment on my end is more challenging since I know what happens to them. That being said, no character in Eight Will Fall was easy to write. And this certainly isn’t always the case! I’m working on a project right now where the main character is so vivid, she is just singing to me. But Larkin was a tough one to pin down, and that may have been because Eight Will Fall is a very fast book with a lot going on.
5) What can you tell us about your next project?
I’m currently working on a novel about a girl named Andi who lives on a space station. She gets into an accident and when she wakes up, all of the crew are dead or missing, and she must figure out what happened in order to survive. I’m absolutely in love with Andi and can’t wait until she’s able to share her story.
Pssst… I’m not sure if that was what her cryptic “the end” tweet was about last night– you never know– update– it was!!!
Sarah Harian Biography
Sarah grew up in the foothills of Yosemite. She received her B.A. in English Education and M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Fresno State University. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her dog and will likely (hopefully) be a West Coaster for life. She also has a fondness for hiking, open world RPGs, adventure novels, and sharing a wonderful meal with equally wonderful people.
Sarah is the author of the Chaos Theory series published by Penguin/NAL and Eight Will Fall published by Macmillan/Henry Holt. She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
Contact and Book Links:
THOUGH I HAVE FALLEN, DARKNESS WILL RISE.
In a land where magic is outlawed, eight criminals led by seventeen-year-old Larkin are sent on a mission to kill an ancient evil that plagues their kingdom. Descending into an underground realm full of unspeakable horrors, Larkin and her party must use their forbidden magic to survive what lies in wait, teeth sharp and jaws deadly.
As she fights for her life, Larkin finds a light in Amias, a fellow outlaw with a notorious past. Soon Larkin and Amias realize their fates are entwined. The eight of them were chosen for a reason.
But as the dangers multiply and her band of felons are picked off one by one, Larkin must confront a terrible truth: They were never meant to return.
Sarah Harian crafts a thrilling, high-octane fantasy adventure that explores the often-thin line between light and darkness, good and evil.