If you’re looking for a fantastic escape from essays and homework, pick up Bloodline or Red Dragon— the first two installments in Katie Thornton-Kinch’s The Bloodline Saga. Thornton-Kinch was an undergraduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University when she began working on her young adult fantasy novels, and has since published Bloodline and Red Dragon, with the latter published just a few weeks ago.
The Bloodlines Saga takes place in the fantastic lands of Ayrenia, where magic flourished three hundred years ago. In Bloodline, the gods are seeking to save the dying land by choosing a young warrior heroine in slavery, Braelyn. In Red Dragon, Tessa Oak and Autumn Storm are two new heroines following in the footsteps of Braelyn to keep their world safe.
As an undergraduate student, Thornton-Kinch studied archaeology and medieval studies, which had a huge influence on her writing.
“You can see from my first book, Bloodline, that the classical courses I took had a huge influence on one of the cultures in the book … I have a crazy emperor as well, like Nero, and I used the Greek pantheon to create my own gods and goddesses for the Lands of Ayrenia,” explained Thornton-Kinch.
The university environment influenced Thornton-Kinch’s writing when creating the Mage schools and the Red Dragon Rangers outpost, which was introduced in Red Dragon.
“[The novella] takes place between the first book and second… [It’s] is about how the first dragon rider in the Second Age of Magic came to be—the character was introduced in the second book of the series as the First Rider, the leader of the Dragon Riders, and then as one of the main character’s father. Others in the book had asked about his story, so I thought I’d write a novella for him,” Thornton-Kinch explained.
Beyond the university setting, there are novels and movies that influenced Thornton-Kinch’s writing. She loves young adult fantasy—Tamora Pierce and Kristen Britain are two of her favourite authors.
“I wanted to create a female heroine of my own and so Braelyn was born, and then Autumn Storm and Tessa Oak,” she explained. “My editor said that she normally didn’t read fantasy, and that when she was growing up there were not a whole lot of female heroines to look up to.”
Thornton-Kinch has also begun working on the third novel in The Bloodline Saga. The Storm Gathers takes place another three hundred years after Red Dragon ends. A cult is seeking to eradicate magic from Ayrenia and four heroes have the power to prevent it if only they discover their true power in time. The novella will be published during the summer and third novel will likely be published during the fall or winter.