Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Michael Haddad and his young adult fantasy novel, Frostborn.
The Frostborn—the one destined to end the war, the one blessed by the magic of Aether—was supposedly nothing more than a hopeless fairytale, a myth lost to time. But as the centuries-long war between the kingdoms of Eljud and Surtrol forces Elias Jökull to evacuate his village, a run-in with the fearsome Gjallarhorn army awakens within him a dormant power long since forgotten by the people—a power signaling the existence of the Frostborn.
With such critical news, hope of victory against Surtrol becomes contagious, yet Elias’s former life of slavery leaves him apprehensive about lending a hand to his own flawed kingdom. Even still, knowing the world will soon be in search of him, the newfound Frostborn must choose his allegiances quickly. And after encountering a ranked Surt captain, he does just that.
But while acting as a double agent, feeding intel to Eljud’s southern enemy and working both sides of the same border, his conflicted self struggles to anchor his loyalty to a single kingdom as buried secrets begin to unearth.
The incessant clash between the north and south is soon coming to an end and Elias will have to find a side to stand on. The hard question is: which side? Everyone wants the Frostborn for themselves, but for how long can Elias let the world string him along?
Grabbing a Moment in the Spotlight
In my books I’ve always have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. So when authors visit this blog, I love to ask them if there was such a character in their novel. It turns out this happened in a big way in Frostborn, but Michael Haddad warns you that this answer is somewhat of a spoiler for his book.
This has happened quite a few times and I’m glad it’s not just me! When creating my standard cast of characters, I had planned for an obvious protagonist (Elias) and a secondary character that is significant enough to debatably be the second protagonist (Katerina). If I considered this as a tier list, below them is a group of minor secondary characters who appear in a handful of scenes. Just to warn you, what I’m about to say is a spoiler so don’t read further if you plan to dive into my novel.
One of Katerina’s peers, General Eira, is a compassionate and respectful character who does her best to please those around her. She rarely speaks out of turn and never argues against higher authorities. I never intended her character design to grow much from that, but when finalizing the plot, she somehow pushed through to earn a massive spotlight in the final arc of the story. During the siege on the city, Eira not only switches allegiances, but also unleashes a dark, otherworldly power to defeat the opposition and put an end to the bloodbath. It’s such a jarring revelation when the readers see that the demon-like wraith plowing through the battlefield is actually the sweetheart general they’ve known for years. In that moment, Eira took the spotlight and even confronted the main antagonist when the protagonist couldn’t. I enjoyed the contrast and decided to keep it.
From then on, I used the Norse goddess Hel as a frame of reference for Eira’s character design because Hel is a symbol for the duality of the universe and that juxtaposition only adds to the depth of my story. There are other characters who’ve done the same, but not to this extent.
The Author’s Story
Hardworking university student and recent John Abbott College graduate, Michael Haddad doubles as a fiction author of the fantastic who throws himself into his own writing—who can’t stop imagining new worlds, new ideas, new characters. His passion for roleplaying games has earned him his fair share of teasing, but he’d be lying if he said it didn’t open his imagination. When not at his computer, typing away, Michael is often with his friends and family, losing terribly at tennis, hunkering down for movie marathons, and trying to get a good night’s sleep. As someone born and raised in Montreal, he is no stranger to having ice rinks for streets and snow up to the knee—but that’s nothing a warm cup of coffee can’t beat.
Find the Author
Buy the Book
AMAZON.CA — https://amazon.ca/dp/0228849640
AMAZON.COM — https://amazon.com/dp/0228849640
BARNES & NOBLE — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/frostborn-michael-haddad/1139075432
BOOK DEPOSITORY — https://www.bookdepository.com/Frostborn-Michael-Haddad/9780228849643
Win the Book
Michael Haddad is running a Goodreads ebook giveaway for Frostborn. Enter at https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/325053-frostborn
Yes, there is a giveaway
The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.
My Favorite Excerpt
The Gjallarhorn positions her weapon above her head.
The hand-axe plummets with a snap of her wrist.
Dalia has her arms up, but she knows they will be paper under the sharp edge of the axe. The life of a slave is not easy, yet Elias made it bearable. Seeing him with his ghostly face half in the mud, beaten down by someone who is supposed to protect the kingdom, enraged her. At this point, it is no longer a matter of survival. This is what has to be done. She needs to show the people of Brimir the corruption that spoils the ranks of the Gjallarhorn Army. Her death may inspire a movement of change. The chances are slim, but it is all she has left to give her life some droplet of meaning, of purpose.
Seconds pass and the axe has not run her through. She opens her eyes.
Elias is up on his feet, his fingers curled over the hand-axe’s blade, locking it in place. The shackles once constricting his wrists are busted and Rayna’s eyes grow wide, her jaw stuck in alarm. “How? You were as good as dead.”
“Elias?” Dalia says.
There’s no answer. His face is empty of emotion, with an expression as rigid as stone.
Rayna releases her weapon, stepping to the left then bolting forth, her fist ready to hit. Elias reacts, moving with a dexterity Dalia has never seen. He shifts his weight, using the back of his hand to guide the Gjallarhorn’s strike past his flank. He then tosses the axe away to free up his other hand and at a dizzying speed, he rams Rayna’s throat with the heel of his palm. The impact unleashes a blast of icy wind that rockets Rayna into the crowd, knocking over people nearby.
Dalia brushes her tears away and struggles to stand with her quaking knees. “Elias, what are you doing?”
The winds start to roar, loose snow picking up from the earth in a flurrying storm. The gales rotate around Elias and the very mud he once laid in has frozen over into a sheen of ice. The remaining Gjallarhorns circle him, fighting against the blustering wind as they close in.
Michael Haddad — we appreciate your sharing your book Frostborn with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.