Wednesday, May 12, 2021

BLOG TOUR: The House of Always by Jenn Lyons

 Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for The House of Always, the fourth title in the A Chorus of Dragons series, by Jenn Lyons! Today, on our tour stop, we have an exclusive excerpt AND a tour-wide giveaway to share! So... Be sure to check it out and catch up on the series now! Follow the tour, HERE.

Epic Fantasy
A Chorus of Dragons, #4
Publish Date:
May 11, 2021

For fans of Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, The House of Always is the fourth epic fantasy in Jenn Lyons' A Chorus of Dragons series that began with The Ruin of Kings.

What if you were imprisoned for all eternity?

In the aftermath of the Ritual of Night, everything has changed.

The Eight Immortals have catastrophically failed to stop Kihrin's enemies, who are moving forward with their plans to free Vol Karoth, the King of Demons. Kihrin has his own ideas about how to fight back, but even if he's willing to sacrifice everything for victory, the cost may prove too high for his allies.

Now they face a choice: can they save the world while saving Kihrin, too? Or will they be forced to watch as he becomes the very evil they have all sworn to destroy.



2: The Lies We Tell 

Kihrin’s story 

Inside Vol Karoth’s prison, just after Kihrin’s death 

The ruins of the city where I died stretched out around me . . .
Perhaps calling it a ruin was unfair. It was not, in fact, ruined at all.
Nor was it where I’d died, in this lifetime or the last. 
It was a memory of such places, however. The city’s buildings stood proud and  tall, but no trees lined the streets, no grass decorated the verge. The buildings— inanimate, mineral, lifeless—lay pristine as they wrapped around dusty streets. I  felt a strange disconnection—as if the city only existed when I directly gazed at  it, dissolving and re-forming as I moved my field of view. I couldn’t help feeling,  staring at the buildings stretched out before me, that I inspected a corpse. Noth ing living moved around me. No scent—good or bad—perfumed the air. Even the  colors were washed out, faded. 
The daytime sky loomed a dull leaden gray less like cloud cover than a  physical cap over the heaven’s zenith. I couldn’t see the sun. I’m not sure a  sun existed. 
Only then did I examine myself. I wore funeral white, just a misha and kef  with sandals, but the sword at my belt surprised me. It wasn’t Urthaenriel.  It was, in fact, the thriss-crafted blade I’d worn for years while training on  Ynisthana. Nameless and serviceable, with not a drop of magic owed to its  existence. No realer than the clothes, the city, the . . . everything. 
Including me. 
My illusionary reality manifested in a hundred subtle ways, from the lack  of scent to the way I didn’t feel hunger, weariness, or discomfort. Possibly a  failure of imagination on my part. Or perhaps neither hunger nor exhaustion  were necessary to communicate this particular metaphor. 
A wasteland. Bereft of life, hope, or joy.1 
But I wasn’t alone here. Somewhere out there a lurked a god. A haunted,  tortured god. The whole reason I’d come. 
If only I had a clue where to find Vol Karoth. 
So I searched. I walked through deserted streets for endless spans. I had  no way to track time. No way to tell the passing of hours or minutes when no  sun moved across the sky, the seasons never changed, my body had no needs,  and counting to myself had long since grown tiresome. Oh, I had time. Time  to contemplate how arrogant it had been to assume I could just step inside Vol Karoth’s prison and right all wrongs with a finger snap. That I could fix all the  mistakes when I barely understood what was wrong. 

Then, after some interminable time, I felt him. 

Vol Karoth was a hollow place just under my sternum, like the gut twist of  loss that scrapes one’s insides clean and leaves only stupefaction in its wake.  He lurked in the back of my throat, in the unbidden sting of tears with no  cause, in the creeping sour taste of malice under my tongue. Vol Karoth was  empty and dark and endless. A bottomless cup that could never be filled. 

Before I found him, he found me. 

There was no warning before the ambush. One moment, I was walking  along, and the next . . . a surge of anger, of hatred, of darkness barreled to ward me. I parried the blow; even then, the force of his swing pushed me back  along the street. Stones splintered underfoot. A sound wave blasted outward.  Had this been the real world I would have been dead. 

Vol Karoth slammed into me, darkness and shadow given form. I couldn’t  see his face—he existed as nothing more than an outline—but I knew his ex pression would have been the most hateful and malicious scowl.

How dare you. 

His voice was a raspy whisper, a hollow echo bouncing down long, empty  streets. 

Now you return? Now you think to conquer me? You fool. 

“Wait,” I stammered out. “You wanted me back—” 

It was hard to explain oneself while fighting for one’s life. His sword strike  bounced past my defenses and sliced a line of brilliant pain along my arm.

Explain how you think I’m a mistake. Explain how you think you can control  me. Dominate me. How you can destroy me, take my place. Do you think I cannot  recognize betrayal? Was I not born in the fires of betrayal? 

So I had a problem. 

This wasn’t a child. This wasn’t someone injured and hurting, whose will  wasn’t strong enough to fight off a more spiritually mature opponent (myself,  I had naïvely assumed). Vol Karoth was a full-grown adult. A full-grown god.  A full-grown god who saw through all my plans, knew what I’d intended to  do, and laughed at my intentions. 

Is it fun, I wonder? To think yourself so much better than me? Than our  brother? But the two of you are not so different. 

He never stopped attacking. 

I wanted to ignore his words, but it was difficult when he began comparing  me to Rev’arric. “Don’t—it’s not like that.” 

Is it not? Don’t try to hide how you feel. You can’t. Not from me.

The next strike fell along my hip. I screamed as I stumbled backward.

I expected you to be better. His voice was grim, amused, hateful.

I didn’t know what to do. I was keeping him back, but only barely. I didn’t think I’d be able to do so forever. He seemed in no danger of becoming fatigued; I had the terrible suspicion it wasn’t possible for him to become fatigued. He’d stay here in this prison, with all this power, never tiring, never waning, all his hatred focused on me. Forever.

So I did the only thing I could: I ran.

1 But not, it would appear, of melodrama.

Praise for The Memory of Souls

“Lyons has cleverly taken the epic fantasy tropes of prophecy and lineage and stood them on their heads, all while delving deep into her multidimensional characters and spinning great battles with high body counts.” ―Booklist, starred review

Praise for The Ruin of Kings

"[A] jaw-dropping, action-packed story of betrayal, greed, and grand-scale conspiracy . . . Lyons ties it all together seamlessly to create literary magic. Epic fantasy fans looking for a virtually un-put-down-able read should look no further." ―Kirkus, starred review

"Rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it." ―Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians

“It was one hell of a ride. I gobbled it up and was hungry for more.” ―Glen Cook, author of The Black Company

“The Ruin of Kings is a fascinating story about a compellingly conflicted young hero in an intriguingly complex world.” ―L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the Recluse series

"A thriller plot of revenge and loyalty with a get-under-your-skin and keep-you-reading-all-night mystery at its heart. I loved it."―John Gwynne, author of Malice

"The Ruin of Kings revs up with the glitz of a high-speed, multi-level video game, with extreme magic and a teen hero with angst." ―Janny Wurts, author of The Curse of the Mistwraith


A Chorus of Dragons series:
(cover link to Goodreads)



**About the Author**
Jenn Lyons’s childhood was spent in the safe havens of local libraries and bookstores, where even as her artistic talents began to develop she continued to nurture her love of science-fiction, fantasy, and noir detective stories. Being pale, not a friend of sunlight, and not much of a morning person, she set her sights on a career that would allow her to stay indoors or work at night (her favorite career pick was ‘cat burglar’) but she was devastated when she discovered that she would not, in fact, ever be able to marry Batman. Older but wiser, she turned from the life of a jewel thief to tackle a career as a graphic artist and illustrator, spending the next 20 years working in print media and advertising. A woman with too many hobbies (a list that included video games, fountain pens, table-top RPGs, LARPing, comic books, and costume design), Lyons was irresistibly drawn to making things up storytelling.

After making a dramatic shift in careers from graphic artist to video game producer, Jenn Lyons dedicated herself to writing. The Ruin of Kings and The Name of All Things, the first two books in Lyons’s five-book debut epic fantasy series from Tor Books, A Chorus of Dragons, are available now. The third book in the series, The Memory of Souls, arrived August 2020.

Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Michael Lyons (who is also a writer — and may or may not be Batman), a bunch of cats, and a whole lot of tea.

Stay connected with Jenn Lyons


***The Giveaway***

Giveaway Open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter
- ends May 31, 2021
Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box

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