Hey everyone! I’m SO SO SO excited for today’s post. It’s all about Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon, which I’m SO pumped for! Not only do I have the cover and synopsis to share with you, but I also have an interview with sisters Kammani and Nanaea about the cover. So, without further adieu, here’s the cover and synopsis!
In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.
When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.
But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.
Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.
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Question: Hi, Kammani and Nanaea. Thank you for joining me today! How are you both doing??
Kammani: Hello, I’m…I’m all right. Worried, of course, as you could imagine, considering everything going on in my life, but, I’m getting through it. It’s the only thing I can do.
Nanaea: Kammani, please, Sister. She’s asked us here to chat. The least you can do is put on a smile and give a positive answer. You’re missing everything with your gloom and doom.
Kammani: I’m trying to keep everyone alive, and you have the nerve-
Nanaea: Let’s just get on with it, shall we, Meredith?
Question: So, the Gravemaidens cover has been revealed!!! And it’s gorgeous!!! What are your thoughts?
Nanaea: *squealing* It is divine! As if Enlil above has sent it! The colors are so gorgeous, and I cannot wait to get that crown on my head. Sister, what do you think?
Kammani: I’m wondering why the tincture bottle is cracked. That cannot be safe. There could be particles of glass in the tonic, which could be deadly for anyone who has the grave misfortune to ingest the contents.
Question: Overall, what about the cover do you like best?
Kammani: I like that someone is finally thinking of all the healing that needs to be done. The ruler of our city-state is lying on a pallet, dying, and whatever is in that bottle might be able to save him.
Nanaea: It’s soooo pretty, although I don’t understand the moths. Is that some kind of joke about me and the other two Sacred Maidens? If it is, it’s not very funny. They could have put butterflies on there or something. Not some tattered-looking insects that are only attracted to bright, shining things. Oh. Wait just a moment–
Question: What part of the cover best represents you, personally?
Kammani: The muted gray, really. It shows how serious I am about getting the job done.” Blushes. “Plus, I suppose, the gold. It reminds me a bit of Dagan’s amber eyes. Kind of how they looked the night he–oh never mind that.
Nanaea: Those blooms on the crown! Oh, Sister. Think of how lovely they will look in my hair. Do you think the designer could make one just for me? A crown like that?
Question: Gravemaidens will be out in the world in just a few more months. Why are you excited for people to read it?
Kammani: If people only knew what sorts of horrid rituals that take place in our city, maybe they’d try to put a stop to it. It’s not an honor to die with the ruler to be his bride in the afterlife, for Enlil’s sake. You have to go with the Boatman to cross the river and he is frightening. Horrible!
Nanaea: But that’s just for a moment. It’s what’s after that counts. I’ll be a queen in the next life! And isn’t that something we’ve earned since we were cast out of our privileged life in shame? Haven’t we been through enough? I want people to read this so they see my side of things for once. The ruler must die, so I can be his bride.
Kammani: No, the ruler must live so I don’t have to lose you, too. Not after everything else we’ve lost.
Question: Any last thoughts or comments?
Kammani: Yes. There is nothing more important than family. I’d do anything to save my sister.
Nanaea: Yes! There is nothing more important than living the life you want to lead, even if your own sister is against you.
Kelly Coon is a young adult author represented by Kari Sutherland of Bradford Lit, an editor for Blue Ocean Brain, a member of the Washington Post Talent Network, a former high school English teacher, and the author of two test prep guides, ACT STRATEGY SMART and ACE THE ACT.
Kelly was the test prep expert for About.com for seven years, and has been published with both Scholastic and MSN in the education arena. In the parenting realm, Kelly has been published in The Washington Post, Scary Mommy, ParentMap, Folks, and others sites, regaling tales of life in the trenches with her three male pinballs of insanity. She adores giving female characters the chance to flex their muscles and use their brains, and wishes every story got the happy ending she’s living near Tampa with her sons, dashingly handsome husband, and a rescue pup who will steal your sandwich. Gravemaidens is her debut novel.
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