Welcome to my stop on The Demon Race book tour! Thank you to Alexandria Warwick for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!
ABOUT THE BOOK
A race across the desert.
An unimaginable prize.
It occurs once every thousand years: the Demon Race. A test of will and strength, it is a race across the Saraj, a fight for the prize of a lifetime. And it is the key to Namali Hafshar’s freedom.
When shy, seventeen-year-old Namali learns of her arranged marriage, she flees home and enters the Demon Race for the chance to change her fate. But to compete, she must cross the Saraj on a daeva, a shadow demon that desires its own reward: to infect her soul with darkness.
Namali soon learns the desert holds more dangers than meets the eye. The only person she can trust is Sameen, a kind competitor seeking his own destiny. As her affection for him grows, however, so too does the darkness in her heart.
In this race of men and demons, only one can win. But the price of winning might be more than Namali is willing to pay.
It’s called the Demon Race, and it does only take place every one thousand years. People enter because the prize is worth the risk of crossing the Saraj.
Namali is entrapped in an arranged marriage her father concocted. Upon this realization (and much sooner than anticipated), Namali is left with no choice but to join the Demon Race. Giving up her most prized possession and friend, she barters with a merchant to buy the necessities to enter the race.
She would enter the Demon Race. She would win. And she would wish this marriage away.
She soon discovers that things aren’t as easy as they seem, and are in fact, way more dangerous, but it is entirely worth the prize of freedom. Understanding that she will have to ride a demon across the Saraj, she quickly realizes that her soul may also be at stake. Can she win the race without giving herself up in the process?
And the prize?…What do you get if you win?
“The deepest, most hidden desire of your heart…A wish”
I love that this was a standalone novel. Nowadays, we see everything turned into a series, and this was a refreshing change. Not only that, but the idea was so unique and so unalike anything we have seen before. The reader gets a taste of romance, but it is not overpowering (thank you!). As we read, we see Namali grow as a character, and the messages were those we all should follow and strive for. This was a fast-paced, learning, and unique read that everyone should read!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria Warwick is the #1 fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Demon Race is her first novel.
Q & A
Q: When did you first get the idea for The Demon Race and what was your inspiration for this novel?
A: I actually remember the moment pretty clearly. It was 2015 and I was in my last semester of university, sitting in one of my ecology classes and brainstorming, when I started thinking of the movie Hidalgo. That was the initial inspiration–a race across the desert. I’ve always been drawn to competitions because it’s an automatic high-stakes story, and I loved how the terrain would add additional obstacles for the characters.
Q: Did THE DEMON RACE have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?
A: The soundtrack to the video game Journey by Austin Wintory really helped me picture the setting of the Saraj. It’s very eerie. It made me think of solitude and desolation, and I feel that the harmonies he used (a lot of dissonance) were a good reflection of how Namali felt traveling alone through the desert.
Q: What is your dream cast for THE DEMON RACE?
A: Namali would be cast by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani. In the novel, Namali does not believe herself to be beautiful, but I imagined her to have striking features as Golshifteh does. Sameen would be cast by Palestinian actor Mousa Kraish, whose features are rather boyish and open. And finally the merchant would be cast by Iranian-American actor Pej Vahdat. I always imagined the merchant to have sharper features, so Pej would portray him beautifully.
Q: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
A: Hmm. This took me a while to think about because I wrote the story so long ago. I would probably say the greatest challenge was believing in the story. So many people said no to The Demon Race, and it did take a toll on my self-esteem as a writer after a while. There came a time when I began to doubt my writing abilities, my abilities as a storyteller, because the story I wrote was not the story publishing was looking for. But even when I trunked the novel, I knew I couldn’t let it stay there. So I decided to say yes to myself, to this story, and give it a chance at being read by people who would hopefully understand Namali the way I did.
Q: What writers inspire you?
A: This is a great question! I find that different writers inspire me for different reasons. When it comes to the types of stories I write, about young women finding their own path and learning their strengths, Tamora Pierce, hands down. She was the reason I wanted to become a writer. When it comes to navigating the indie world of publishing, Elise Kova, as she managed to build her own success. In terms of writing craft, Marie Rutkowski (her prose kills me) and Maggie Stiefvater. And if we’re talking about writing characters and character relationships that are painfully slow to develop but are wrought with tension, well, that would be none other than C.S. Pacat!