Synopses & Reviews
This stunning epic fantasy debut introduces two exciting new authorsand a world brimming with natural and man-made wonders, extraordinary events, and a crisis that will test the mettle of men, the boundaries of magic, and the heart and soul of a kingdom.
Thanks to its elite Dragon Corps, the capital city of Volstov has all but won the hundred years war with its neighboring enemy, the Ke-Han. The renegade airmen who fly the corpss mechanical, magic-fueled dragons are Volstovs greatest weapon. But now one of its more unruly members is at the center of the citys rumor mill, causing a distraction that may turn the tide of victory.
With Volstov immersed in a scandal that may have international repercussions, the Ke-Han devise an ingenious plan of attack. To counter the threat, four ill-assorted heroes must converge to save the kingdom they love: an exiled magician, a naive country boy, a young studentand the unpredictable ace airman who flies the citys fiercest dragon, Havemercy.
But on the eve of battle, these courageous men will face something that could make the most formidable of warriors hesitate, the most powerful of magicians weak, and the most unlikely of men allies in their quest to rise against it....
Filled with adventure and discovery, treachery and betrayal, Havemercy is a thrill ride to the unexpectedand an unforgettable journey that will linger long after the fire of battle has cleared
"Jones and Bennett vividly convey the testosterone-saturated world of fantasy fighter pilots in this fast-paced debut. When the stereotypically Asian Ke-Han threaten the Volstov empire, graduate student Thom is sent to rehabilitate the Dragon Corps, an ersatz air force of rebellious, violent young men who fly enormous metal dragons animated by magic. As Thom struggles with his task, challenged most by the brutish ace Rook, the Margrave Royston, banished for an illicit homosexual affair, befriends Hal, an innocent but brilliant tutor who eventually becomes Royston's lover. These four join minds and skills to solve the mystery of a devastating plague and defend Volstov from the foreign army. The insular corps culture of combative homoeroticism and masculine archetypes dominates the book, as female characters fade far into the background. Despite few surprises or original flourishes, Jones and Bennett credibly bring the decadent empire and its inhabitants to life. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
With a unique and imaginative blend of epic fantasy, humor, and heroism, this debut author team crafts a riveting tale of a kingdom at war, and the four men who stand poised to defend it.
About the Author
Danielle Bennett is from Victoria, BC, where she studied English literature at Camosun College. She has never seen a firefly, but has held many interesting jobs that merely got in the way of writing, and knows exactly how to make your decaf iced Venti unsweetened one pump mocha soy café con leche. Her parts of Havemercy were written between four A.M. openings at Starbucks. This is her first published work, but definitely not her last.
Jaida Jones is a nervous Japanese student at Barnard College, Columbia University, studying monsters in modern Japanese literature and film. She's a native New Yorker, and lives in Brooklyn with her two cartoonish cats and equally cartoonish parents. She has had poems published in Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky and Hanging Loose Press Magazine, and a collection of poetry, "Cinquefoil," published by New Babel Books. At some point, she assumes someone is going to wake her up and tell her she's not allowed to write books about giant metal dragons. Until then: more metal dragons.
ABOUT THE WRITING PROCESS:
Music listened to during writing:
Regina Spektor. "Begin to Hope" came out that summer and it was the soundtrack to the book–until both our roommates were driven completely insane and never wanted to hear even a few bars of “Après Moi” again.
Forgetting to eat. While writing Havemercy, both of us would be glued to the computer, forgetting all necessary social and hygienic propriety (if we ever knew it to begin with).
Best moment in the writing process:
Danielle — Waking up in the morning to see that Jaida had sent me literally fifteen pages, all of them brilliant, and having to sit down with a cup of tea in my pajamas to try and wrangle what came next.
Jaida — Getting the next part from Danielle to read something that I completely wasn't expecting, and having the characters suddenly react spontaneously to a situation I was just as surprised by as they were.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Favorite scene/bit in the book:
Jaida — Definitely the final battle scene. I remember working on it up until the very last second before class, and knowing if I didn't just get the scene finished, I wouldn't be able to make it through the day. It was a moment I'd actually been dreading, because it was all action and I didn't trust myself to juggle so much, but once I sat down and started it, it immediately became my favorite scene to write.
Danielle — It's hard not to pick the final battle scene also, but just to be different I'm going to go with the ballroom scene, if only because I have a deep and abiding love for political intrigue. Not that I consider myself smart enough to always pull it off, but the many layers of what's really going on with the magicians, not to mention Thom and Rook, all the things left unsaid never fail to delight me.
Favorite character in the book:
Jaida — Rook. It’s so much easier to write an angry potty-mouth than someone who's actually eloquent.
Danielle — Balfour. I love everyone so much, but I spent a lot of time thinking about the littlest Airman and in the end found I'd grown quite attached, bless him.
The one line high-concept:
We're working on a semi-sequel to Havemercy about the other side, the Ke-Han. Hopefully there will be a full incorporation of Japanese folk legends, culture shock, and cross-dressing!