About the Book
Book: Quest of Fire: Resurgence of Dawn
Author: Brett Armstrong
Genre: Christian, Epic Fantasy
Release Date: December 19, 2023
Hope returns with the dawn…
Haunted by tragedies and failures, Anargen and Jason each struggle to find their way. Night has fallen in the Lowlands and neither teen has an easy road ahead. In Anargen’s Era, Monarch Ilyron’s powers and influence grow, forcing Anargen and his dwindling list of allies to travel the length of the Lowlands in a desperate attempt to keep the Quest and all they hold dear from falling into ruin.
Jason meanwhile must find Aria and her grandfather to help unite the Knights of Light from across the Lowlands against his brother, Dorian. But agents of darkness and painful vestiges of his past mix with vindictive new enemies to make the hope of seeing the dawn of the longed-for King’s Day ever so faint. If either teen gives in and surrenders, doom will come swiftly on their world.
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About the Author
Brett Armstrong has been exploring other worlds as a writer since age nine. Years later, he still writes, but now invites others along on his excursions. He’s shown readers haunting, deep historical fiction (Destitutio Quod Remissio), scary-real dystopian sci-fi (Day Moon and Veiled Sun), and dark, sweeping epic fantasy (Quest of Fire). Every story is a journey of discovery and an attempt to be a brush in the Master Artist’s hand. Through dark, despair, light, joy, and everything in between, the end is always meant to leave his fellow literary explorers with wonder and hope. Always busy with a new story, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and spending time with his wife and son.
More from Brett
Resurgence of Dawn takes the main characters, Anargen and Jason, and those they care deepest about through some intense trials. Everything seems to be falling apart around them and each character has a mountain of guilt weighing down on top of them. They know that their mistakes in Shadows at Nightfall enabled the forces of darkness to advance their evil campaign. The lives of others they cared about were lost or endangered and the Quest is overlooking the precipice of failure and ruin. They have repented of their errors and turned back onto the path of light but these consequences still haunt them. And in that haunting lies a continuingly heinous fear that they will falter again. Things are only complicated further when trusted allies abandon and betray them.
Epic fantasy stories are often filled with darkness, but the best of these stories show that the light is never so far away as we imagine. When I write the entries in this series, I’m acutely aware that in our world too it seems as if darkness is winning the war. It’s my sincere hope that as readers encounter the perseverance and surrender to the High King’s will that Anargen, Jason, and so many other characters choose to pursue, they will be encouraged to do the same in our world. I have watched friends fall away from the faith, been buffeted by the storms of life, and been battered by the continual assault on my faith that come from living in our fallen world. I know others have endured the same and often far worse. So, if these stories of Knights and valor and steadfastness as the world crumbles can encourage one person to pursue the Light and hold fast to the Way, the Truth, and the Life; then every hour spent in dreaming and drafting and agonizing over edits is worth it to me. Stories can and should entertain, but they should also inspire and encourage readers to face the real world when the story ends. All the more, because “the night is far gone; the day is at hand.” *
* Romans 13:12a, ESV
Interview with the Author
Describe your view as you’re sitting in your writing chair.
My writing chair is a pretty mobile thing. Since I work a full-time job and try to keep from impinging on family time, I tend to write when I can, where I can. Lately, that’s been in our living room after my family is asleep. It’s quiet, open, has a nice comfy chair, and so long as I don’t pay attention to our low-level chaos in the room I can usually focus pretty well. In general, I write on my laptop or type on my phone and transfer it later to help keep my notes organized. I also do some sketching, so I have blank paper on hand for that and reference maps to help with keeping things straight geographically in Quest of Fire. I also have a mini encyclopedia I maintain on the series that I reference quite a bit.
What inspired this book?
All of Quest of Fire has been inspired by Scripture referring to the Lord Jesus as the King of Kings. When I first started writing what became Quest of Fire, I realized kind of early on that particularly in America we tend to have a disconnect with what kingship means. At the same time, throughout Scripture God is referred to as a consuming fire and when the Holy Spirit comes down in Acts chapter 2 tongues of fire appeared over those receiving Him. So those are motifs that get repeated throughout the series and are central to it. At the same time, there are repeated points where the main characters are faced with a choice, keep true to their oaths to the High King or turn back. Usually this is when things are at their bleakest and victory seems impossible. All of us face that same choice regularly, but especially in our low points, so I wanted to tell stories that would encourage those reading it to hold fast to their faith even when things are hard. Not to mention, Quest of Fire is two threads of a saga woven into one. Jason’s understanding of things, his response to them is informed by what happens in Anargen’s era and you see that unfolding together, the things that shaped Anargen also shape Jason, because he’s benefitted by the stories of what Anargen endured and overcame. That’s central to all of the Quest of Fire series.
In Resurgence of Dawn, there’s explicitly a theme of survivor’s guilt. Both Jason and Anargen are trying to hold themselves together as they watch the Quest seemingly fall apart around them and they blame themselves for it. For Anargen, he really has to lean on those still with him and Jason in turn leans on the example Anargen left behind for him, which echoes back to the central theme of the series, that much like the stories in Scripture, sometimes what happens in our lives echo beyond ourselves or even our own lifetime to encourage others to stand firm during the hardest moments in life.
Which character did you connect to best in this book?
I relate the best to Anargen, because his background leading into the books is the most similar to mine. I thoroughly enjoy going on adventures with Jason, because he’s a fun character and someone who has been through some of the worst in life and the world, but still is pursuing the Truth. I just feel like when Anargen makes choices, good or bad, I can see myself making the same ones. Which makes things really tricky, because there are points where I want him to not choose something, but the story is leading one direction and I know, without the foresight into what’s ahead I would make some of the same mistakes. At the same time, when he has a victory, I guess I celebrate it a little bit more. Though by this point in the series, I care very deeply about all of the main characters, even some of the villains. If for no other reason on the latter’s behalf then I know their backgrounds too and I really want them to not push deeper into the dark.
Which part of the book was the most difficult to write?
Near the end, Jason and Aria are desperate to help SPOILER escape SPOILER. While in one location in particular, they face some incredibly evil enemies and uncover secrets from Jason’s past he had forgotten or blocked out from memory. I’m not a huge fan of writing dark things and about the most wicked beings in the Lowlands. It hurts to see the characters I care about in those situations and so I feel like there’s always a risk of making things too light, too easy and it not feeling believable or as compelling as it should be. It makes those scenes more stressful to write and I’m always never about whether I got it right or not.
What does success as an author look like to you?
To build on what we were just talking about, even though I don’t want to diminish the dark the characters must face to ease my own anxieties and concern for them, readers don’t need to see darkness and despair in a story for their own sake. They need to see those things be overcome and done in such a way that they too see the darkness they face in real life as conquerable. Of course, we know Christ has overcome the world and that darkness cannot overcome His light. We also know that “this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” But sometimes we need extra reminders and often to keep our eyes fixed on the Author and Finisher of our faith. To come alongside each other and help each other through those hard times and I feel like that’s where stories like Resurgence of Dawn come in. Flawed characters in the process of being “built up in the faith” and “taking up their cross daily” even as they face tumultuous circumstances. If even one reader sees that and is encouraged in his or her faith to keep pressing on until the day they go to be with the Lord then that is success.
It would be a lie for me to say I don’t want the other traditional hallmarks of success—I need good sales to be able to keep publishing stories. I want readers to enjoy the books I write. I want them to win awards. But all those things are things that give me comfort and make me think, “Oh, I’m a good writer. I’m doing well.” Really, that’s not where my conviction to continue writing or my sense of these words’ worth should come from. It has to come from the Lord and knowing that so long as I’m following His leading, the outcome is in His hands and will be exactly what it needs to be. That is so hard sometimes to hold onto. In another interview I mentioned one of my favorite stories is when Christ walked on the water and the Apostle Peter went out to meet him. Much like Peter, it’s easy to be distracted by the storms around us. So, the Lord regularly has to grab me, keep me above the waves, and hold my focus on Him instead. That is success as a writer for me. Knowing that wherever I’m at in my writer journey or within a story world, I’m following Him.
What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?
For a long time now what the Apostle Paul wrote in his second epistle to Timothy has really resonated with me. Especially the portion of the letter in chapter one verses eight through fourteen, with verse twelve being particularly special to me:
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
Thank you for letting us get to know you better!
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To celebrate his tour, Brett is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, copy of Resurgence of Dawn, and digital extras (exclusive map and music)!!
To celebrate her tour, Terrie is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 gift card and paperback copy of book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.