Would you protect a girl whose forbidden abilities condemn her to death?
Welcome to the world of Myrrah, ruled by the Church of Four Orders – Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. But there exists another gift, dubbed magic, which is considered an aberration by the Church. To be born with the powers of magic is to be condemned to death. To be born with the ability to control an element is to be born to a life serving the Church… and obeying its rules. One Priestess will stand against the Church to protect sixteen year old Ria, beginning an epic fantasy adventure that leads four unlikely friends across the breadth of their world to seek answers hidden in the buried archives of the Temple of Dust. Secrets from an ancient war and discoveries of hidden power lead to a fight for survival that threatens to tear apart their world. What is magic and why does the Church want those who harbor its power exterminated?
What genre is it?
The Rise of the Fifth Order trilogy is epic fantasy or adventure fantasy.
If you like Avatar: the Last Air Bender comic series, you’ll love my book.
Tell us about your main characters.
Born of Water starts with four main characters who meet in the first chapter. Water Priestess Nirine belongs to the Church of Four Orders – the Orders of Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. She, like all new initiates, was taken from her home to serve the Church when her power was discovered. Now an acolyte for the Church, she seeks out gifted children and she just found Ria.
Ria is sixteen and has lived in fear of discovering that she has elemental abilities. Many of her relatives have been lost to a life of serving the Church. But Ria has just ‘survived’ a solstice ceremony, her first and swears her last, where she is seen by a member of the Church. And she wasn’t chosen. Relieved, she is spending the solstice party with her best friend Lavinia.
Lavinia and her brother Ty, who is smitten by Ria, belong to a sailing family in the port city of Mirocyne. Ty is on break from his two year apprenticeship sailing with the large merchant vessels that ply the Sea of Sarketh, or so he says. But things don’t add up about where Ty has been and what he has been doing, and he avoids the topic especially if it is his sister asking. When the three friends are confronted by strangers searching for Ty and saved by the Priestess who is seeking to right her failed duty in choosing Ria, events lead to a discovery of a forbidden gift with the result that Ria’s life is in far more danger than serving the Church.
Is any of them based on you – or who you’d like to be?
I envy Niri her powers. I wanted to use elemental magic in the book, but I didn’t want to use the humdrum, been there, read that, type of magic. I used a lot of science with abilities, which led to some interesting scenarios for sure, like water purification through particle displacement. Of course, it sounds a lot more snazzy in the novel! Ria, in this book at least, is everything I’m not now… but maybe a lot of what I was when I was sixteen and overwhelmed by how big the world was. And Lavinia… well, I envy her ability to sail and how she learns to use a sword. Ty though… he takes after my husband – a bit difficult!
How long do we have to wait for the rest of the trilogy?
Rule of Fire is the second book in the series and Spirit of Life is the final book.
And when will they be available for purchase?
All three are available on Amazon right now.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in a small cottage I built with my husband in the forest in Maine. We have two Cairn terriers that keep us active with camping, canoeing, kayaking, and hiking. We ride motorcycles too and I really miss my sailboat! I have a Master’s degree in Ecology and Environmental Science and work for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. But I really love writing and am constantly working on the next book. The next series is darker and starts with a series of short stories, the first will be released in August of 2014 for free! I’m also returning to the world of the Rise of the Fifth Order with a new trilogy. It is only roughed out, so the first release is over a year out.
Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work?
My website is www.AutumnWriting.com which is where you can find announcements, my blog, background info for my stories, and bits about the novels themselves.
Do you do social media?
On Twitter I’m @weifarer and my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/Author.Autumn.Birt.
Friends of my Enemy will be my next release. It is a dark fantasy, military, scifi, dystopian smashup (I love being an indie author because we can mix up genres so much!). It starts with a series of 10 short stories, which I’ll release for free on my website, Wattpad, Goodreads, and Smashwords (and distribution channels). I’ll compile them sometime in the winter of 2015 along with some background info and put them up on Amazon too with the subtitle ‘Stories from the War.’ Those will lead into two novels, which are in the works now. The story is set in the late 2050s in a world gone mad with global warming, plagues, and nations struggling to maintain order amid grabs for power and resources. Its been a ton of fun to write and I can’t wait to share! Oh, and I’m working on a new epic fantasy trilogy on the side that takes place after the Rise of the Fifth Order Trilogy ends… just because I apparently wish to have no social life and give up sleep…