Oh yes, for the pleasure of every book lover, I grabbed the opportunity of the Royal Captive Blog Tour to ask the lovely Heather Frost to take us all on a virtual tour of her wonderful Eyrinthia! So, without further ado, I’ll let Ms Frost take the lead and leave you to enjoy quite the exciting trip 😉
EXPLORE THE KINGDOMS OF EYRINTHIA
by Heather Frost
I’m excited to walk through the world of Eyrinthia with you today! It’s the setting for my Fate of Eyrinthia YA fantasy romance series, and I’ll cover the creation of the map, as well as provide a brief overview of each kingdom—and maybe throw in some behind-the-scenes info on the way.
So, let’s dive in!
When I started writing the Fate of Eyrinthia series, it quickly became clear that I was going to need a map. Eyrinthia is a big world with four diverse kingdoms, and we were going to be traveling ALL OVER THEM. I knew I needed help keeping everything straight, so I sketched out a map to help me in the writing.
It was a rough sketch, though—definitely not something I could put into a book. (Mia is the artist in this world, not me!) But a fantasy book deserves a map, so I asked my brother to design a map with his digital art skills. I gave him the sketch, and we talked back and forth in order to fill in the blanks and get the style just right.
I was editing Royal Decoy at the time, and I remember freaking out about finalizing the names of all the cities in Zennor before publishing the first book in the series—fully knowing that we wouldn’t even visit that kingdom for a few books!
But despite the stress of getting the map finalized, I absolutely LOVE how it turned out. I love that I can look at this world that used to only exist in my mind, and that I can share it with others. I also think it’s cool that you can easily see the individuality of each kingdom, just in the names of their cities, and even the icon that represents each capitol.
I love building new worlds, and the map was just one part of that process. Even though there is no magic in Eyrinthia, I had four unique kingdoms with different cultures and political structures to develop. So much of what I came up with never made it into the books, and that’s all right—I needed to know it, but the reader didn’t necessarily need to.
Let me take you through a quick rundown of each kingdom, and I’ll throw in some behind-the-scenes trivia along the way.
- Rulers: The Demoi family
- Kingdom Color: Royal Blue
- Capitol City: Iden
- Standard/Crest: A falcon, soaring between two mountain peaks
- Key Characters Who Live Here: Clare, Bennick, Serene
- Key Characteristics: Medieval Britain vibe ○ Lots of valleys, hills, and forests ○ Farming is a prevalent industry, and much of the food produced is shipped to Zennor
- Ally: Zennor
There is a lot of unrest in Devendra, which plays a big role in the story. A civil war a decade ago left some deep scars and fractured a lot of families, and many resent the fact that King Newlan retained the throne. The Demoi family has a strangling grip on their people, and it leaves one wondering which will snap first—King Newlan, or the Devendrans he rules.
On top of civil unrest, Devendra fears an invasion from Ryden. To avoid this potential war, they are arranging a marriage alliance with the kingdom of Mortise. Not everyone likes that idea, though, which is where our main character Clare comes in. She’s a kitchen maid turned princess’s decoy, and she’s there to make sure Princess Serene lives long enough to marry the Mortisian prince.
- Rulers: The Kaelin family
- Kingdom Color: Emerald Green
- Capitol City: Lenzen
- Standard/Crest: Two snakes twisted around a long sword, fangs bared at each other over the hilt
- Key Characters Who Live Here: Grayson, Mia
- Key Characteristics: The closest real-world place I can think of is Germany, with a Scandinavian flair ○ The climate is northern; the weather is often cold, and the terrain is heavily forested and towering mountains create a natural barrier from the rest of the kingdoms ○ They have no real allies, though they have some trade agreements with Zennor and Mortise ○ The top occupations in Ryden include: soldier, farmer, sheepherder, lumber/wood work
Ah, Ryden. Home of Eyrinthia’s most twisted royal family: the Kaelins. King Henri and Queen Iris (also known as the Poison Queen) have five sons, who they’ve shaped to fit specific roles:
- Peter: the crown prince
- Carter: the poison maker
- Liam: the spymaster
- Tyrell: the soldier
- Grayson: the enforcer; also known as the Black Hand
Separately, every Kaelin is a lethal threat. Together, they are downright terrifying. Grayson is our main character in Ryden, and he shows us just what it’s like living with such ruthless people.
Out of all the kingdoms, I put the most effort into designing a standard for the Kaelin family, because it felt really important to know their symbol. I love all the layers to that one image. It communicates how fierce Ryden is, and how cutthroat the royal family is—especially toward each other. (You can see it on the cover of Royal Captive!)
- Rulers: The Cassian family
- Kingdom Color: Dark Crimson
- Capitol City: Duvan
- Standard/Crest: Crossed curved swords, with a rising sun behind them
- Key Characters Who Live Here: Desfan, Karim
- Key Characteristics: I channeled a mixture of India as well as an Arabian vibe for a warm and vibrant climate ○ Mortise contains diverse regions including: deserts, hills, rivers, and islands ○ One of their biggest exports is the spice trade ○ They have a trade agreement with Zennor, and they have tentative trade dealings with Ryden and Devendra; the marriage alliance with Devendra is seen as the best way to avoid war with Ryden
Mortise is probably my favorite kingdom to write about. It’s just so different from the others! Mortise has an extremely rich culture; their religions and traditions, the foods they eat, the spices they use—so many are unique to Mortise, and it adds a vibrant flavor to the world of Eyrinthia.
Mortise is the only kingdom to have both a monarch AND a ruling council, which makes the political climate all the more interesting. They also forgo the common titles for nobility, and instead cling to their traditional titles: serjan (king), seraijan (queen), serjah (prince), seraijah (princess), ser (lord), serai (lady).
Serjah Desfan is currently serving as regent, since his father fell ill. Desfan would prefer to be out at sea hunting pirates, but he’s quickly learned that there are plenty of criminals on land . . .
- Rulers: The Buhari family
- Kingdom Color: Royal Purple
- Capitol City: Kedaah
- Standard/Crest: A crouched panther, bordered by tall fronds
- Key Characters Who Live Here: Imara
- Key Characteristics: I drew on regions in Africa to get the feel of this kingdom; there are wide rivers, thick jungles, and sprawling savannahs ○ The Ivern river creates a natural boundary with the northern kingdoms, which protects Zennor from potential invasions ○ Zennor is the only kingdom that has stable trade relations with every country in Eyrinthia ○ Wine is one of their biggest exports
The kingdom was once made up of many different clans, but most of them united to form Zennor in an effort to stop territorial bloodshed. There are still some active clans that don’t recognize all of Zennor’s laws, and this has created friction within the kingdom. King Zaire (Imara’s father) has been working with the clans to find a peaceful co-existence. As part of that effort, Imara has recently been betrothed to the leader of the Kabu clan.
As you can see, a lot goes into creating a world, and this was just the tip of the iceberg! But hopefully you enjoyed this closer look at the world of Eyrinthia.
Heather Frost is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinthia series. Her books have been Whitney Award Finalists and Swoony Award Finalists. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and ghost stories and call it homework. When she’s not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and hold Lord of the Rings movie marathons. She lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in northern Utah.
Thanks to Heather Frost for enlightening us with such a great look at the world of Eyrinthia 💜
If you are interested in learning more about these intriguing kingdoms and characters,
be sure to check out the Fate of Eyrinthia series by clicking the buttons below!
ROYAL CAPTIVE by Heather Frost
Click on the cover to read my review!
A DECOY trapped in a dangerous lie
A SERJAH searching for the truth
A PRINCE caught in a deadly game
A WORLD choked by secrets
Abducted during a devastating ambush, Clare is now the captive of ruthless mercenaries. Dragged through the wilderness while grieving heart-rending loss, she must maintain the illusion that she is the princess. Because if she lets the mask slip, even for a moment, the Mortisians will have no reason to keep her alive.
After arresting traitors close to the crown, Desfan fights to rebuild his court, knowing that the imminent arrival of the Devendran princess will further upset the precarious balance in Mortise. But Desfan’s world is rocked when he discovers a rumor that rewrites the most devastating event in his life. He will stop at nothing to find the truth—no matter where it leads.
As Grayson struggles to find his footing in Mortise, he discovers new friends and enemies. His life is further complicated by the tenuous alliance with his spymaster brother. With secrets deepening around him, Grayson must decide where his loyalties truly lie. Through it all, his heart remains in Ryden with Mia. Unfortunately, his love for her is no secret, and the Black Hand is a coveted weapon . . .
Eyrinthia holds its breath as allies and enemies collide. Secrets. Lies. Betrayals. Nothing will be the same.
Psst, you’re still in time to receive an exclusive bonus story, The Captain and the Troublemakers, by pre-ordering your copy (in any format) of Royal Captive, and then filling this form. The story will be then emailed to you after the release on March 18th!