Sunday, 10 May 2015

Renegade by Kerry Wilkinson (Silver Blackthorn Trilogy, Book #2)

"Silver Blackthorn is a fugitive.
Silver Blackthorn has committed treason.
She is dangerous.
Do NOT approach her.
A large reward is on offer. Report any sightings to your nearest Kingsman.
Long live the King.
Silver Blackthorn is on the run.
She fled Windsor Castle with eleven other teenagers, taking with her something far more valuable than even she realises: knowledge.
With the entire country searching for the missing Offerings, Silver must keep them all from the vicious clutches of King Victor and the Minister Prime. Until now, no one has escaped the king and lived to tell the tale. Or have they?
With expectations weighing heavily on the girl with the silver streak in her hair, will she ever find her way home?"

It has been almost a year since I read and was totally gripped by Reckoning and you can read my review here.  Firstly, I have to thank Kerry Wilkinson and Pan Macmillan for including a quote from my review of Reckoning inside the front cover of Renegade - what an honour!

** REVIEW **

When I started reading the second book in the Silver Blackthorn trilogy, I had to get back into the swing of it.  I had wanted to re-read Reckoning first to fully remind myself and get back into the addictive nature of the plot but as soon as Renegade dropped through my door, I could not bring myself to wait any longer.  I dived straight in, knowing that I had loved it and knowing that it was comparable to The Hunger Games. As I found myself settling into Renegade I desperately tried to separate the things that had happened in Reckoning from the things that had happened in The Hunger Games in my mind; I mean this as an overiding compliment - they are both so fabulous and addictive and there are similarities that it is hard to separate the two.

Renegade is as good as Reckoning and then some! I once again found myself totally sucked in and on the one hand I was racing through, turning the pages as fast as I could and on the other hand I was praying that it would not end too soon as I could not bear to be left on another cliffhanger.  

When the ending did come, it was perfect but it left me willing the next, and final book in the trilogy, to magically appear in front of me.  Sadly, it hasn't materialised and I am told I will have to a whole year to discover what happens to Silver!! I know, without doubt, that it will be worth the wait.

There are plenty of twists and turns along the way to that ending, and I found myself holding my breath at a number of different points in the book as my heart thudded in my chest.  A lot of terrible things happen in Renegade and you find yourself wondering how on earth Silver is going to get herself out of the hole she has dug herself into this time.  There was nothing predictable about the path which this part of Silver's story takes and it continues to be ideal for fans of The Hunger Games.  I stand by my statement that it should be as talked about and celebrated as The Hunger Games trilogy because it is, without a doubt, just as good.

Renegade is not just the story of Silver Blackthorn, but also of her comrades.  As with Reckoning, the supporting cast pull the whole book together and makes it the story that it is.  You will have to seize the first copy you can lay your hands on to discover which of Silver's friends make it to the end of Renegade with her!


Kerry Wilkinson, the wonderful creator of Silver, has kindly agreed to answer a couple of questions for me and the readers of Book - Love - Bug (I tried my hardest to discover what happens to Silver in the end, I promise, but Kerry was not giving much away!):

Was the finished result of 'Renegade' what you had imagined it would be when you first finished 'Reckoning'?

KW: Renegade was an odd book to write in that, for probably the first time, I started writing it without much of a plan. Usually, I plot everything and, even though small bits might change, the broad plot remains the same. Renegade took its own path. I knew there were a couple of plot points from Reckoning on which to follow up - the information that Silver takes from the castle; Hart's injury; Opie; Imrin and Opie - but it turned into a story of friendship that I hadn't really expected.

The more I wrote the supporting cast of Jela, Pietra and Faith - particularly Faith - the more they became the focus of the story. Are they Silver's friends, or Silver's soldiers? Is their journey about what's best for Silver, or what's best for everyone?

Those are questions that Silver asks herself. Hopefully the reader, too. Does the end justify the means? Awful things happen in Renegade and the question could be asked: 'Would they have happened that way if Silver made different choices?'

Ultimately, I didn't want everything to be black and white - good guys/bad guys - I wanted it to be about the greys. 

B-L-B: This is definitely true - Renegade is all about the greys.  As a reader, I never knew who was going to turn on Silver next - it could have been a Kingsman or it could have been one of her 'friends'.  Also watch out for the people that come to her rescue!

Can you tell us anything about what is in store for Silver in 'Resurgence'?

KW: Well, she has one friend to heal, one friend to rescue from an impossible situation - and most of the country hunting for her. She also has to deal with the aftermath of Renegade, a King who wants her head and, if she gets through all that, there are two lads each vying for her attention and a decision to be made.

There's also my favourite scene of the whole trilogy. One part I'd been waiting for a long time to write. I wrote myself into the biggest trap I could imagine - and then tried my best to write myself out of it.

B-L-B: Wow, I cannot wait to see if I can guess which is the favourite scene and how you managed to write yourself out of the trap!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your other books; where do you get your ideas from?

KW: I started writing books in 2011 after a decade of being a sports journalist. It's gone pretty well! I'm now a full-time author, something I never thought would happen.

With the crime books I write, the ideas are easier to come by. Usually a tiny throwaway story somewhere that I've heard or read and then I let my imagination run wild. I have a massive pad of lines and ideas and it's always fun to take a single sentence and make it a 90,000-word novel.

For the non-crime books...I guess it's a lifetime of reading superhero comics and watching shows like Doctor Who. Silver came about from when I was on holiday, supposedly not woking. I liked the idea of an old castle coupled with far newer technology and then wondered how a world like that might pan out. Things like mad kings and crazy soldiers are always fun to write.

B-L-B: I will be jumping at the chance to read some of Kerry's other books!

Do you have a routine that you follow when you're in the full swing of writing?

KW: With the exception of Renegade...yes!

Usually, I'll start with a one-line pitch - a single sentence that sums up the general plan for the book. So, for instance, with Reckoning, it would have been something like: 'In the future, a teenage girl goes up against a crazed King'.

From there, I'll write a 'skeleton' of the plot. It'll be very bullet-pointy, 'this happens, that happens' and so on. After that, I'll write a proper plot, which is where everything comes together. That can be anything up to 17- or 18,000 words, with each chapter laid out to say what will happen. This is where I'll try to get rid of any plot holes or problems.

When that's done, I'll write it all properly. Sometimes what felt good in my plot doesn't quite work in the actual writing, so I'll switch things around, but the main parts - the beginning and the end - are rarely altered.

I usually work at a frenetic pace through the autumn and winter. I don't really like the dark or the rain - but I'm very disciplined. I can work 15- or 16-hour days no problem. When the sun comes out in the spring and summer, I take a bit of a break and usually work on plots as opposed to full-on writing. It's easier to dip in and out of that way but I usually have something on the go. I do some sort of work every day, be it writing, plotting, replying to reader emails, updating my website, contacting my mailing list, or whatever. There's always something to do.

It helps that I can write anywhere. The Silver trilogy was written in various countries; on planes and trains; on my sofa, in hotel rooms - and so on. I just get on with it. There's an awful lot to be said for just getting on with it.

B-L-B: A fellow sun lover! I am in awe of your ability to turn a single sentence into such a masterpiece. 


And finally...the chance to get your hands on your very own copy of Renegade.  

Entry is simple, just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. I was lucky enough to get a early kindle copy of The Renegade and have to agree it really is a wonderful book.I too am waiting for the third one and having to wait a whole year makes it all the more enticing.


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