Sunny Moraine on Sword and Star ~ Guest Blog

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Sunny Moraine for stopping by today.


Title: Sword and Star
Author: Sunny Moraine
Publisher: Riptide
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Release Date: 05/23/2016


Three months after a brutal battle at Peris, Adam Yuga, Lochlan D’Bideshi, and their rebel fleet are embroiled in a new conflict. But things aren’t going well. Even with Lock’s homeship, Ashwina, at the head of the fleet, the Protectorate forces are adapting to their tactics. Before long, two devastating blows send the ragtag rebels on the run. But the greatest threat may come from within.

Since the battle at Peris, Protectorate loyalist Isaac Sinder’s determination to eliminate the rebel fleet has only intensified—along with his ambition. The Protectorate is decaying, and it’s clear to Isaac that only he can save it, by any means necessary.

As the situation worsens for the rebels, the strain begins to tell on everyone. But more than exhaustion grows within Adam. Something alien has started to change him. Lochlan fights to hold on, but even he may not be able to follow Adam down the dark road ahead.

As Isaac’s obsession turns to insanity, it becomes evident that more sinister plans than his are at work. Bound together by threads of fate and chance, Adam and Lochlan turn their eyes toward a future that may tear them apart—if they’re lucky enough to survive it at all.

Story Endings

Welcome to the SWORD AND STAR blog tour!

SWORD AND STAR is the conclusion of a trilogy I started (with my co-author for LINE AND ORBIT Lisa Soem) over a decade ago. It’s been a long, strange journey and now it’s over. It’s not the first book trilogy I’ve finished, but it’s certainly the closest to my heart.

It’s been amazing getting to know this world and these characters over the course of three books, and it’s been even more amazing getting to share it all with readers. Adam Yuga and Lochlan d’Bideshi’s story is done, Eva Reyes and Kyle Waverly have found their own conclusion, Kae and Leila’s part in this tale is over (though you’ll see those two again in the forthcoming LINEAGE), and I’ve bid a fond farewell to the Bideshi seer Nkiruka. Goodbyes are never easy, but when you arrive at a good one, it’s immensely satisfying.

I’m so grateful to everyone who’s traveled with me, and just as grateful to the people coming to the story now. Whatever category you fall into, I hope you’ll find this final volume a fitting end.

Thank you for being here!


Story Endings

The beginning of a story can be incredibly hard. But personally, I think the ending can be just about impossible.

(Now imagine ending a story that spans the course of three books.)

The thing about a beginning is that the stakes are relatively low. You can begin anywhere. You can do anything you want. If it doesn’t work, you can easily scrap it and try something else, and you can do it without losing very much. With an ending, none of that is true. You’re carrying the weight of the entire story on your back, and if it’s a good story – or at least a complicated one, which, yes, does not always mean good – that’s a considerable weight.

One of my favorite quotes about writing is from William Gibson, regarding writing an ending: “Finishing a novel is like trying to do your very best dance moves while single-handedly carrying a standard-sized fridge at waist level.” It is exactly like that. Not only do you have to carry the thing and dance, but you have to dance well, you have to do your best, and that’s incredibly hard.

I think I can count on one hand the number of stories I felt I ended almost perfectly, and I like to think I’m a pretty good writer.

This is why I now have so much sympathy for writers who don’t completely pull off an ending. Yes, as a reader it’s very frustrating, but having experienced it from the writer’s side, I’ve gained something of a different perspective. Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t expect a lot from your writers, and yourself if you happen to be one. The most important job of a writer, aside from writing, is to write as well as you can (and to be trying to get better all the time, regardless of whether or not you actually do).

All I’m saying is that endings are terrifying.

But they’re also exhilarating, and not just because you get to be done and you can take a break. They’re exhilarating because of that weight, because of the difficulty, because a good ending can often work backward and make the entire story a good one, or at least make it better. Among other things, good endings are redeeming. I think in many ways they’re the most satisfying parts of the entire story, at least when it comes to writing them.

I look back on my good endings, and writing them was positively euphoric. The terror only made the euphoria more intense. Writing the last word and knowing I had stuck the landing, it didn’t even feel like something I had done. It felt like something I had been given.

So endings mean so much, from both sides, and they should be respected from both those sides as well. If you’re a reader and you come to an ending that truly satisfies you, appreciate what a task it was to get it right. And if you’re a writer and you manage to get it right, appreciate what a gift that is, and what it means to a reader that you’re able to pass that gift onto them.

The end of the Root Code trilogy – the end of the trilogy as a whole and the end of the book itself – is probably not perfect. No ending is. But I think it’s a good one, and I hope you’ll agree.


Sword and Star on Goodreads
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA


To celebrate the release of Sword and Star, Sunny is giving away a signed copy of the book and a handmade necklace. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 28, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

About the Author

Sunny Moraine’s short fiction has appeared in ClarkesworldStrange HorizonsNightmareLightspeedLong Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, and multiple Year’s Best collections, among other places. They are also responsible for the novels Line and Orbit (cowritten with Lisa Soem), Labyrinthian, and the Casting the Bones trilogy, as well as A Brief History of the Future: collected essays. In addition to authoring, Sunny is a doctoral candidate in sociology and a sometimes college instructor; that last may or may not have been a good move on the part of their department. They unfortunately live just outside Washington DC in a creepy house with two cats and a very long-suffering husband.

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3 thoughts on “Sunny Moraine on Sword and Star ~ Guest Blog

  1. I really love this series. I fell for Adam and Lochlan from the start. I’m looking forward to reading the final book, but I’m sad it is going to be the last one!

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