Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour for Spark to Shadow by Atima Kim. I’m wanting to find more indie authors and was so excited to get a chance to do an interview with the author. I’m currently reading this and will provide a full review once I’ve finished, but I’m loving it so far! Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the tour schedule for other content creators.
Thank you to Atima Kim for providing me with an copy for this review
Atima has been coming up with stories for as long as she can remember. As soon as she learned how to read and write she was putting pen to paper and dreaming up new worlds and adventure. Her life has always been on the page and as she grew up and her interests changed so did her writing. She loves creating places to escape, and more than anything she loves writing about love. She was born in the Midwestern US, to a Thai mother and American father. Her home has always been a mix of languages and cultures, and remains so today. She likee to draw on the places and people and culture that influence her life as inspiration in her writing and she hopes to join the ranks of other Asian American authors representing diverse cultures and voices in the writing community through her books.
About The Book
Title: Spark to Shadow
Series: Spark to Shadow #1
Author: Atima Kim
Publisher: Self Published
Publishing Date: February 2nd, 2021
Page Length: 468
Age Range: YA
Witch. Warrior. Dragon Rider.
Long ago, the covens of the east made a pact to bring peace to the continent. To unite the clans and create a new era of witches, starting with the next generation of matrons. Fang is the first witch of her generation to reach her debut, as the next matron of her coven she has the unique honor of being the first one to fulfill the pact. For the first time in centuries, a Miangese witch will take a foreign consort. Luckily, Fang already has someone in mind. Taken in by the Sun coven in the mountain kingdom of Anda, Fang is more than happy to entertain the alluring young lords of the ruby clan as they compete to win her affections, not knowing her choice has already been made. Or so she thought. Until a chance encounter brings to light the existence of something Fang previously thought to be quite rare, a male witch. The meeting of this young shadow witch— a boy who Fang now owes a debt— starts a chain of events that will make Fang question everything she thought she knew about her Andan allies. In an effort to help him escape his oppressors, Fang and the shadow witch discover a dark presence that is slowly poisoning the innocent citizens of mortal Anda, and a dangerous weapon that could threaten the very peace of the pact that Fang is bound to uphold. As she, her friends, and her new shadow witch companion work to fight against these looming forces, Fang’s feelings towards her own choices slowly start to shift. She must decide what is more important to her, who she wants by her side, and most of all- what she’s willing to give up in order to be the leader her people need.
Rep: Asian (Thai, Korean) – Own Voices
Content Warning: Mild mentions of abuse
I’m about 50% into the book and I’m loving it! The magic and political system are detailed and interesting. It is complex and I’m still learning so much about the world. The main characters and her two best friends are interesting, complex, and badass! The other character that ends up intertwined in Fang’s story is still very mysterious, but his backstory was emotional and exposes the world for its darker traits. I can’t wait to keep reading to find out how open and complex this world ends up being. The “bachelorette” component is interesting, but I feel we have only reached the surface of it so far. I’m hoping we get to learn more about each Lord, especially once they get narrowed down. Atima’s writing is detailed and easily digestible. I found she’s written the characters to feel like real people and I can’t wait to get to know them more and the world’s history.
You mentioned in your notes that you used stories your mother told you as inspiration for Spark to Shadow. Was there a story you wished you could have included, but were unable to.
Oh my mother’s real life stories could be a book all on their own. Her childhood in Thailand always sounded like an adventure to me, it was such a thrilling but dangerous and often hard place to grow up, and my mom was one of ten siblings so there was no shortage of trouble. Honestly even the stories my sister and I could tell of our childhood when we would spend time in Thailand are their own adventures. I never thought much of it when I was young because to us it was just normal, but as an adult I realize that battling cobras, riding crocodiles (yes, this is something we did I have picture proof), dodging stings from maddened giant scorpions, and bathing with the elephants is not exactly a daily occurrence for most people.
Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?
That’s a hard one, off the top of my head I think it’s the scene where Fang and Sanha are first alone together after they first meet and get to know each other a bit better. It’s fun experiencing that spark of a new relationship through their eyes all over again.
Was Fang and her sisters, Pim and Nita, inspired by anyone?
I didn’t have any particular intention of making them resemble anyone, but in a way I think that the close sisterhood Fang has with her friends unintentionally resembles the bond I’ve had with my group of friends that have been with me since childhood.
Were there any interesting facts that you found while researching for this book that didn’t end up being used?
Not that they were new to me but, but there a lot of cultural references that don’t get expanded upon about both Anda and Miang. We only get the barest glimpse of Andan politics in history in this first book and an even briefer view of Miangese life, and I would love to be able to explore and show my readers more about both because of the real-life inspirations behind these cultures. I hope that to have one book set almost entirely in Miang in the future as well.
What inspired the magic system and the inclusion of Celestial patterns?
I wanted to tie in some way to connect each elemental power to specific clans and I always loved the concept of the birthstones so linking them to an elemental power was a lot of fun. I’m kind of obsessed with horoscopes in real life and I love the concept of your birth month determining aspects of your personality and in this case your power, and elemental magic is something I always love to read about in books and see in media like TV shows.
Was there any significant reason for picking 11 lords and narrowing it down to 6 lords?
I actually had a much larger random number at first and then narrowed it down to a number of suitors I thought seemed more manageable. Making the final number six was more about leaving a little room for competition and so that no one felt too comfortable with their standing with Fang.
Was there anything you learned after writing Spark to Shadow that helped you write your next book?
I did really kind of perfect my writing technique and my strategy on how to plan and finish a book with this one. Of course the next book I wrote was the sequel, so it helped that the world and magic system had really already been set up and I could kind of expand on it and dive deeper into detail.
Are you working on anything else? Are you able to tell us about it?
At the moment I’m working on getting the editing and polishing books 2 and 3 (book 2 will be released this fall). I have been brainstorming a new series that will be more heavily focused on romance and will likely be NA, but since the details aren’t finalized I don’t have much to share about it yet.