Joseph Elliott’s first novel – The Good Hawk – was one of the best books of 2020 and now he is back with a sequel.
The Broken Raven continues the story set up expertly in Elliott’s outstanding debut and is available to buy now.
Told from three distinct perspectives, the book bridges an important gap for younger readers while pulling no punches.
Can you tell us a little about The Broken Raven
The Broken Raven is the second book in the Shadow Skye series – a fantasy trilogy set in a mythical version of Scotland and the Isle of Skye. Described as a mix between Game of Thrones and His Dark Materials, it’s an epic tale of warring clans, mythical creatures, vengeful monarchs and dark magic. The Broken Raven begins a month after the end of the The Good Hawk, and features many of the same characters, including the unconventional heroine, Agatha – a fifteen-year old girl with Down’s syndrome.
Your characters all have such distinct voices. Were you able to flit between them when writing or did you have to take a break between each chapter?
The book is told from the perspective of three different teenagers – Agatha, Jaime and Sigrid – and I wanted to make sure each one sounded distinct, so I made some bold choices when coming up with their voices. I wrote each characters’ chapters separately, to make sure I kept their voices consistent, and then threaded the three narratives together once I’d finished.
What is the first piece of fiction you ever remember writing?
I remember spending chemistry lessons at school writing a book called The Adventures of Bert and Petulla, about a man and his pet pigeon. My friend Miri, who sat next to me, illustrated it. We didn’t learn much science, but we had a lot of fun.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your writing career to date?
Not to compare yourself to others and definitely not to read reviews on public platforms – both play havoc with your brain.
All your characters feel so real, even those who only get a few pages of action. If you wrote a spin-off, which of them would you like to explore further?
I like this question! I should say I’m in no way planning a spin-off, but if I was maybe it’d be about Nathara, ‘The Mad Queen’, who was abandoned in a castle as a child and grew up surrounded by nothing by murderous shadows creatures. Her story breaks my heart, and I’d love to explore it further.
Which song do you think would be the perfect soundtrack to The Broken Raven’s final scene?
The final scene is incredibly dramatic; without giving too much away, I’d say when the party’s over by Billie Eilish. Such a great song.