Tuesday, October 30, 2018

"Roar of Sky"

Nebula-nominated Beth Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger duology and the new Blood of Earth Trilogy from Harper Voyager. Roar of Sky, the finale of the trilogy, is now available. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cats.

Cato applied the Page 69 Test to Roar of Sky and reported the following:
From page 69:
The Kilauea caldera stretched miles in circumference, the edges fringed by the dark silhouettes of trees. Off to the right, a long stretch of the steep cliff released billows of steam, but as if by gravity, her gaze was pulled into the abyss below. It was impossible to judge the drop in the scant light, but it had to be several hundred feet. The land below consisted of absolute blackness, Perhaps a mile in the distance, color returned in a splashing cauldron of red, orange, and yellow.

"That down there is the lava lake of Halema'uma'u," said their guide, his pronunciation of the place like lilting poetry. "That's the home of the goddess Pele. That is our goal."
This is actually the perfect excerpt from Roar of Sky! My characters Ingrid and Cy are posing like regular tourists as they journey into the Kilauea caldera in my alternate history 1906 setting. Ingrid is a geomancer, and her sensitivity to flows of earth energy make this an especially perilous place to be.

Tours like this were a regular nightly event over a century ago when safety standards were far more lax. You can even read Mark Twain's recounting of the journey. Tourists ventured on horseback along steep switchbacks to reach the dry lava plateau below, where they would walk on foot in the dark to the lava lake. There, they could stand on the very shore and cook hot dogs over the lava or pluck in coins to watch them melt. Of course, this was all sacrilegious to Native Hawaiians--Kilauea itself is part of Madame Pele's body--but well, tourists haven't changed much in a century. The journey into Kilauea has, though. When I took my research trip there in January 2017, my hike stopped at the bottom of the cliff. Toxic fumes were too dangerous from that point on. This summer's eruptions and earthquakes caused boulders to block the Halema'uma'u Trail. I'm not sure when it will open again.
Visit Beth Cato's website.

The Page 69 Test: Breath of Earth.

The Page 69 Test: Call of Fire.

--Marshal Zeringue