Sunday, November 29, 2020


Julia Ember is the author of The Seafarer’s Kiss duology and Ruinsong. Her work has been featured in USA Today, Bustle, Book Riot and Autostraddle, among many other prominent outlets. Ember has a lifelong appreciation for history and classic literature, and holds an MLitt in Medieval Literature from the University of St. Andrews. She currently lives in Seattle with her wife and two very fluffy cats.

Ember applied the Page 69 Test to Ruinsong and reported the following:
From page 69:
After so many years at the palace with Elene, I know her well. She might have forgiven the viscount for abandoning their love, but she could never have forgiven his betrayal of her ambition.

Elene likes to say that when she murdered the old queen, mounted the viscount's charred corpse on a pike in the city square, and took the throne, she'd been restoring control to where it rightfully belonged. After all, the divine quartet gave magic to us mages, not the noble folk.

And surely, if the goddesses had meant for the nobles to rule, Elene would purr, they would have given them more than the delusion of power.

I have faith in the divine quartet and know that we are all instruments of their will, but even I have a hard time believing that the goddesses wanted Bordea to become what it is.

I stumble through the overgrown courtyard to the hospital's door. The nuns are too busy with their patients to maintain the garden's former splendor, so weeds grow through the cobblestones, and the fountain is cracked, water pumping directly onto the walkway to create a muddy swamp. A film of algae grows over the front steps. I edge carefully through the garden on tiptoe, trying to keep my feet as dry as possible.
I think the test works in some ways and fails in others for my book! I think it gives us a great glimpse into the villain's psyche from the protagonist's perspective, but because most of the page describes the villain's backstory, I'm not sure it gives the reader the best understanding of the book's plot or the main character's motivations. It does, however, provide some insight into the political dynamics of the kingdom and the workings of the magic system!
Visit Julia Ember's website.

--Marshal Zeringue