Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing Kyle Alexander Romines, the author of the Warden of Fál fantasy series.
Kyle Alexander Romines is a teller of tales from the hills of Kentucky. He enjoys good reads, thunderstorms, and anything edible. His writing interests include fantasy, science fiction, horror, and western.
Kyle's debut horror novel, The Keeper of the Crows, appeared on the Preliminary Ballot of the 2015 Bram Stoker Awards in the category of Superior Achievement in a First Novel. He obtained his M.D. from the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
AN INTERVIEW WITH KYLE ALEXANDER ROMINES, THE AUTHOR OF THE WARDEN OF FÁL FANTASY SERIES
Question: Tell us your elevator pitch for Warden of Fál.
Answer: Five kingdoms. Five kings and queens. The High Queen rules over all, and her wardens keep the peace between realms.
The series features cover art by superstar Jeff Brown, audio by legend Matt Addis (2015 Audible Narrator Nominee), character illustrations by Matt Forsyth, and map illustrations by Maxime Plasse. It’s been a blast to work with such an amazing team.
Question: Describe the series. What is the fantasy subgenre?
Answer: Warden of Fál is a sword and sorcery series that follows the adventures of Esben Berengar, one of the High Queen’s wardens. Each book can be read as a standalone adventure, but taken together, the series tells a larger story.
Question: Tell us about the world of the warden.
Twenty years before the start of The Wrath of Lords, the dark sorcerer Azeroth attempted to conquer Fál’s five kingdoms. He was stopped by Queen Nora of Connacht, who united the other kingdoms under her rule and became High Queen of Fál. To ensure the dark times never returned, she appointed five wardens to keep the tenuous peace between realms.
Each of Fál’s five kingdoms has unique political, economic, and religious dynamics. Attitudes toward magic vary between the kingdoms but have largely soured since Azeroth’s defeat, and few magic-capable humans remain. Fewer mages and magicians means more monsters, especially in rural areas.
Question: Tell us about your protagonists.
Most of the High Queen’s wardens are beloved heroes. My protagonist, Esben Berengar—the most dangerous man in Fál—is hated and feared. Berengar is a hardened and cynical warrior who prefers to solve problems with his axe. He’s a deeply flawed, broken man with a dark past.
Berengar’s companion, Morwen the magician, is a young idealist and pacifist who truly believes she can make a difference in the world. These two make great foils for each other, and they’re a ton of fun to write.
Question: How many books are in your series?
I have finished the first four books in the series—The Wrath of Lords, The Blood of Kings, The City of Thieves, and The Will of Queens. The Wrath of Lords and The Blood of Kings are currently available to purchase in paperback and available for pre-order on Kindle. Books three and four will be available this summer.
Books five and six—The King of Monsters and The Lord of Shadows—are in the plotting stage.
Additionally, there is a fifty-page prequel short—The Path of Vengeance—available on Amazon for ninety-nine cents or for free for anyone who subscribes to my newsletter at http://eepurl.com/bsvhYP.
Question: Tell us about book one, The Wrath of Lords.
The job sounded simple enough.
Rid the village of an ogre and rescue the girl. In return, the local lord would overlook that ugly business in the church.
It was nothing he hadn’t dealt with before.
That was before he heard the howls coming from the Bog of Móin Alúin. Before he crossed paths with the headless rider. Before he woke to find the witch’s crooked fingers on his face.
Now Berengar must unravel the labyrinth of secrets and lies surrounding the village before a deadly curse claims his life, all while a darker evil looms in the shadows…
Question: What inspired your series?
I had the good fortune to travel to Ireland not long ago. I fell in love with the countryside and its history. Celtic mythology and ancient Irish history heavily inspired the story.
Question: What fantasy stories does your series draw inspiration from?
The world of the warden was mostly influenced by The Witcher and The Kingkiller Chronicles.
Question: What are some of your other favorite fantasy stories?
The colossal graphic novel Bone, by Jeff Smith, is possibly my favorite story of all time. Bone was my first introduction to the world of fantasy.
As I grew older, I delved into The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Harry Potter, which led to other fantasy books. More recently I discovered fantasy video games (Skyrim and The Witcher) and tabletop gaming (Gloomhaven).
Question: Tell us about book two, The Blood of Kings.
Being a warden is tough work at the best of times. Keeping the tenuous peace between the five kingdoms of Fál is a difficult business, especially in a land of monsters and magic.
Esben Berengar, the realm’s most feared warden, relies on his wits and his axe to deal with unscrupulous rulers, bloodthirsty outlaws, and the occasional witch.
When the king of Munster is murdered, Berengar is called upon to investigate. Many had cause to want the king dead, and treachery lurks behind every corner.
As tensions between humans and all others threaten to boil over, the warden finds himself reluctantly partnered with Morwen, Munster’s court magician, to solve the murder before the killer strikes at the royal family again.
Question: Describe the Warden of Fál in one sentence.
Answer: When heroes fail, sometimes it takes a monster.
The Wrath of Lords and The Blood of Kings, the first two books in the Warden of Fál series, are available for purchase on amazon in paperback and for preorder for kindle. The Wrath of Lords arrives in kindle and audio on April 5th. The prequel story The Path of Vengeance is now available for kindle on amazon.
Find out more about Kyle Alexander Romines and his books at https://www.amazon.com/Kyle-Alexander-Romines/e/B016SH7KVU/&tag=rs_article-20.