Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Welcome to the FFBC: Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Even the Darkest Stars

(Even the Darkest Stars #1)
by Heather Fawcett
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Set in a fictional Himalayan kingdom, this is the story of a girl enlisted by a legendary explorer to help him climb the kingdom’s deadliest mountain – only to discover that his true mission may threaten her whole world.

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer every known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister, Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means cimbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then, Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and other dangers at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth about their mission and her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.

Hello Heather! We are super excited for EVEN THE DARKEST STARS and to have you in our FFBC tours. 


Favorite Book?

It’s impossible to pick one! I love above most other books: Howl’s Moving Castle (& everything else Diana Wynne Jones); Wizard of Earthsea; Far from the Madding Crowd; Jane Eyre; Goblet of Fire.

Favorite TV show?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Favorite movie?


Favorite Song?

As the World Falls Down by David Bowie (all the Labyrinth soundtrack, really)

Favorite Food?

Vegetarian pizza with pineapple. I could eat it every day.

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

The version of Oxford in the His Dark Materials trilogy; Red London (A Darker Shade of Magic); the Starship Enterprise.

What were your favorite books growing up? (I was a Fear Street girl!)

I loved Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and various lesser-known fantasy series…I basically haunted the fantasy section of my local bookstore. Fear Street was good too! I was also really, really obsessed with Animorphs for a while.

 Favorite Quote?

“It’s impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default”—JK Rowling

What are your fandoms?

Harry Potter. Sherlock. Star Trek. Buffy.

Name a recent book you read that you would recommend to our YA readers?

The last ARC I read was SHIMMER AND BURN by Mary Taranta, and it was very good.


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about EVEN THE DARKEST STARS?

It’s about a 17-year-old girl from a small village in the mountains who dreams of becoming one of the Emperor’s explorers. In this world, “explorer” is an actual job description and class of people venerated for their skills and bravery. They’re sent out by the Emperor to map his lands, spy on his enemies, and, yes, bring glory to the Empire by climbing deadly mountains. The world’s most famous explorer visits her village and hires her to lead his expedition to Mount Raksha, at the same time as her overachieving older sister sets off to climb it first for her own mysterious reasons. Various complications, magical and romantic and otherwise, ensue.

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

It was partly inspired by early twentieth-century expeditions to Mount Everest, as well as historical accounts of other famous explorers, like Ernest Shackleton…also, I enjoy climbing, so some of it was a product of that, too.

Climbing a mountain like Raksha sounds intense.  What are you favorite movies or books that feature epic adventures?

So many! Lord of the Rings; Into Thin Air; Wild; Graceling; The Thief.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of EVEN THE DARKEST STARS)

Ooh, tough question. I’m terrible at hashtags. #mountainmagic? #snowandstars? #girlmountaineers?

Tell us your favorite quote from EVEN THE DARKEST STARS.

This is from the main character, Kamzin:
As much as I loved Azmiri, I didn’t fit there. I never had. Life in the village was small and quiet and contained, while I craved noise and excitement and wide-open spaces stretched out before me like a blank scroll upon which I could write my own stories.

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?  Or which part was the most difficult to get through?

I love a good “meet cute” (I use that term loosely here, as this book is not exactly a romantic comedy), and I like writing humourous scenes, so I enjoyed writing Kamzin’s first encounter with River. 

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for EVEN THE DARKEST STARS– Which one would you pick?

Myth by Beach House.

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read EVEN THE DARKEST STARS (specific music, snacks…)? 

A hot cup of tea and a warm fire and a pet at your side (if you have one). For music I’d say anything by Of Monsters and Men—I listened to them a lot during drafting.

What’s next for you? 

I’m currently working on the sequel to EVEN THE DARKEST STARS. It’s out next fall!

Thank you so much for everything, Heather!  I love that Contact is your favorite movie!!  I loved that one too.  And Animorphs freaked me out as a kid because of those covers!!!!  Otherwise, I probably would have loved it.  Thanks for all the fun recommendations, my movie and book list has grown a lot reading through this interview!!

I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, where I enjoy wandering around in the wilderness and only occasionally getting lost. I’ve also spent extended periods of time in Italy, where I learned very little Italian but ate quite a lot of pizza, and Ireland, where I searched half-successfully for puffins and selkies.

Before becoming a writer I worked, among other things, as an archaeologist, a technical writer, and a backstage assistant for a Shakespearean theatre company (which I could write several novels about). I have a Master’s degree in English Literature and briefly considered becoming a professor, before I realized it involved more than reading books, drinking excessive amounts of tea, and wearing colourful elbow patches.

I’m represented by the amazing Brianne Johnson at Writers House. EVEN THE DARKEST STARS, my first novel, was purchased by HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray at auction in a six-figure, two-book deal.

  • Signed Bookplates for EVEN THE DARKEST STARS
  • A kinnika necklace, modeled after the talismans in the book (pictured above)
  • US only
  • Please read the rules in the Rafflecopter
  • NO giveaway accounts please!!


  1. This one sounds so good! I really love that cover too. I love these author interviews. It's fun learning more about the person behind the book. Also, I'm a big Buffy fan too! haha! I used to watch it all the time

  2. I think EVEN THE DARKEST STARS sounds very interesting! And I've added to to my growing TBR shelf!

  3. This sounds like such a good book, and the premise is pretty unique. And of course that awesome cover! I enjoyed the quote from the book. Looks fun!