I thoroughly enjoyed reading Emily Bain Murphy’s debut novel a few years back so it is no surprise that I am excited now about her new YA Historical Fantasy entitled SPLINTERS OF SCARLET. An utterly intriguing plot paired with Murphy’s style of prose? Yes please! Keep reading my post to find out more including my review and a fun guest post by Emily!
(Okay technically this tour was cancelled as The FFBC decided to shut its doors but I still wanted to support the authors whose books I promised to help promote so I reached out to Emily Bain Murphy and she kindly agreed to move forwards with this guest post! ♥ I’m not sure about the other bloggers who signed up but the banner is linked to the original tour schedule so feel free to check it out and see if there may be more support out there for this book!)
SPLINTERS OF SCARLET
by Emily Bain Murphy
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Release Date: July 21st 2020
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Enchantée meets Downton Abbey in this atmospheric YA historical fantasy set in nineteenth-century Denmark, where secrets can kill and magic is a deadly gift.
For Marit Olsen, magic is all about strategy: it flows freely through her blood, but every use leaves behind a deadly, ice-like build-up within her veins called the Firn. Marit knows how dangerous it is to let too much Firn build up—after all, it killed her sister—and she has vowed never to use her thread magic. But when Eve, a fellow orphan whom Marit views like a little sister, is adopted by the wealthy Helene Vestergaard, Marit will do anything to stay by Eve’s side. She decides to risk the Firn and uses magic to secure a job as a seamstress in the Vestergaard household.
But Marit has a second, hidden agenda: her father died while working in the Vestergaards’ jewel mines—and it might not have been an accident. The closer Marit gets to the truth about the Vestergaard family, the more she realizes she and everyone she’s come to love are in danger. When she finds herself in the middle of a treacherous deception that goes all the way up to the king of Denmark, magic may be the only thing that can save her—if it doesn’t kill her first.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an eARC to review!
I definitely enjoyed the play between Marit’s hopes and hunts as she seeks out the truth though doing so could cost her everything. And the magic system was really unique too! But of course it’s the character development and the relationships between them that are my favorite element of Murphy’s writing. So glad I was able to get a digital ARC even though the blog tour was cancelled! (Now how to get my hands on a paperback ARC…♥)
Emily Bain Murphy simply has a way of spinning prose and turning phrase that pulls me under, lulling me into a story with a gentle rhythm both magical and exciting. I genuinely enjoyed reading her debut novel The Disappearances and so I was eager to get my hands on a copy of her latest work. Splinters of Scarlet is a mysterious tale dipped in history and swept up in the dance of fantasy. Danger lurks in the shadows between heartbreak and smile, love warms the heart between hope and past, and with each pirouette the story spins upon the page one finds their self leaning closer and closer to catch every breath, every moment until the ending sweeps it all away. If you’re seeking a historical fantasy standalone that rings with something both lovely and chilling, something rather forgotten yet new, then you might just find yourself reaching for Splinters of Scarlet. (And you won’t be disappointed if you do!)
The Guest Post
Prompt: List 10 fun or interesting facts about yourself and/or your book.
- The original title for Splinters of Scarlet was All That Glitters. After it sold to HMH, we changed it to Splinters of Scarlet.
- When I was in college I went night sledding in the Swiss Alps, which consisted of taking a tram to the top of a mountain, being given a toboggan and a tiny glow stick to wear on my back, and told “See you at the bottom. Don’t fall off.” It was pitch black and one of the most scary and exhilarating things I’ve done. But I saw the most beautiful stars I’ve ever seen—and there was fondue waiting for us at the end.
- I always end up writing my books completely over from scratch at least once—often multiple times. I rewrote Splinters of Scarlet at least three times. At the beginning, it was set in a made-up fantasy world and had a completely different plot and ending. Eventually, my publisher and I settled on making the setting a historical time and place, like I did with my debut novel The Disappearances. After doing a lot of research, I ended up settling on nineteenth century Denmark, and it changed the story so completely that now I can’t imagine it any other way.
- One of the main characters, Helene Vestergaard, started off being named Helena Avercamp, and then as I shifted the story to Denmark, she became Helena Vestergaard. Then in copy edits we realized that a semi-famous person named Helena Vestergaaard already exists, so the character became Helene very late in the game. Sometimes I still catch myself referring to her as Helena because she was that name to me for so long!
- I was born in southern Indiana but I spent a lot of my childhood living in Hong Kong and Tokyo. I love Asia, and Tokyo is one of my favorite places in the world.
- I will eat almost anything except peanuts and peanut butter—unless they are covered in chocolate.
- I wrote Splinters of Scarlet over a period of living in three states: I began sketching out the idea in Connecticut, wrote a draft of it in California the next year, and rewrote and finished it when we moved to Missouri.
- I turned 21 on a tiny English island when I was studying abroad in London and we spent that weekend away on a remote homestay. I hardly knew anyone, but a bunch of strangers I’d never met toasted me at a local pub and gave me a special birthday anyway. I will always remember that kindness!
- I ran my first (and second) 5k two years ago, and then promptly quit running again.
- I usually write in silence, and my favorite scenes to write are almost always about old houses, mouth-watering food… or kissing. 😉
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Angela! I appreciate it.
Emily Bain Murphy was born in Indiana and raised in Hong Kong and Japan. She graduated from Tufts University and has also called Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California home.
Murphy is the author of The Disappearances, which was a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, an ALAN Pick, and shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize. Splinters of Scarlet, Murphy’s second YA historical fantasy, will be published in 2020.
Murphy is represented by Peter Knapp at Park & Fine Literary and Media. She currently lives in the St. Louis area with her husband and two children. Follow her online on Twitter @EBain and on Instagram @emilybainmurphy.
I absolutely loved Emily Bain Murphy’s novel The Disappearances (2017) and you can read my review for it here. I fell in love with her prose and the way she was able to weave mystery into a place and time that felt so real so if this new release is anything at all like it then I am doubly excited to give it a read. If you’re only now discovering the works of Emily Bain Murphy then be sure to also read her debut novel!