Interview with Cassandra Page, author of Isla’s Oath
Isla’s Oath is the second book in the Isla’s Inheritance trilogy. Tell us a bit about the first book.
The series is a young adult urban fantasy set in Australia. Isla’s Inheritance follows Isla’s journey as she discovers that her father has been keeping secrets from her. She thought her mother died during childbirth, but during the course of the book she learns there’s a lot more to it than that. Her mother is fae, one of the ruling class called the aosidhe, and is very much alive—Isla’s father fled to Australia with Isla when she was a baby to get them both away from his angry bride.
Unfortunately, when Isla turns eighteen and becomes an adult, her half-fae heritage starts to manifest and it draws all sorts of unwanted attention.
What can we expect from Isla’s Oath?
In short: kissing, self-discovery, a sexy bad guy, and some running. (Love the running!)
The fae, or duinesidhe, in Australia are almost all refugees of one kind or another: “lesser” fae who want to live free of aosidhe oppression. Members of the fae ruling class are renowned for their cruelty. Needless to say, the duinesidhe wild about discovering a half-aosidhe in their midst, as they’re concerned not only that she might try to enslave them but about what she might draw down on them, however inadvertently.
While trying to navigate that side of her life, Isla is also trying to navigate a new relationship with Dominic. He’s suspicious of her friendship with Jack, her duinesidhe friend—largely because Dominic doesn’t know anything about that side of her life.
And then Everest, a full-blooded aosidhe, turns up and things get really interesting.
Reviewers of Isla’s Inheritance have commented on Isla’s close-knit family. Tell us about them.
Isla lives with her aunt and two cousins in the city, because her father’s farm is far enough out of town that it was difficult for her to get to school each day. Sarah, the younger of her cousins, is almost the same age as her and is her best friend. Isla still lives with them now she’s graduated, while she’s trying to find work and is learning about her fae heritage. And despite her mixed feelings about the things her dad kept hidden from her for so long, she is still very close to him in Isla’s Oath.
I love to see strong families in YA. So often the parents are absent, neglectful or the bad guys! Isla’s biological mother certainly qualifies in some or all of those categories, but her aunt is something of a surrogate mother, treating Isla the same way she does her own children. And while the rest of her family isn’t all sunshine and roses—she argues with her cousins and doesn’t get on with her grandmother at all—Isla knows they are there for her and that she can rely on them when she needs to.
Where did the idea for Isla’s Inheritance come from?
It was a combination of a few ideas, but the main one was a story idea I had for a psychic vampire—the sort of undead critter that feeds off emotions rather than blood, and can leave people a burnt-out husk. But by then Twilight had already hit the big time and everyone’s interest in vampires was waning. I decided to take the basic idea of an empath who can absorb emotions and turn it into something different. Thus Isla was born.
What sort of research did you do while planning the series?
I did a lot of reading about mythological creatures—mostly European ones like the various fae races—but also some from further afield.
One thing I found really interesting during my research was seeing the echoes of those myths in other authors’ books. For example, I’d bet that J. K. Rowling’s Dementors were inspired by the myths of the sluagh, with a touch of Grim Reaper in their look. Her house elves are very much like the English myth of the hob. (I also have hobs in my series, but I made them quite different, partly because I love Dobby and didn’t want to tread on his toes. I’m glad I did, though, as I’m a big fan of Jack, my leading hob!)
When should we expect the third book to hit the shelves? And does it have a title yet?
It’s called Melpomene’s Daughter, and it’s scheduled for release in April this year. So excite!
How do you pronounce aosidhe again?
Ae-oh-shee (the “Ae” is the same as the a in baby).
Duinesidhe is pronounced din-a-shee. Sidhe is the word for the faerie mounds. The aosidhe are the rulers of the mounds, and the duinesidhe are the people of the mounds.
Publication date: January 20th 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Australia is a long way from the Old World and its fae denizens … but not far enough.
Isla is determined to understand her heritage and control her new abilities, but concealing them from those close to her proves difficult. Convincing the local fae she isn’t a threat despite her mixed blood is harder still. When the dazzling Everest arrives with a retinue of servants, Isla gets her first glimpse of why her mother’s people are hated … and feared.
But Isla isn’t the only one with something to hide. Someone she trusts is concealing a dangerous secret. She must seek the truth and stop Everest from killing to get what he wants: Isla’s oath.
Add Isla’s Oath to your Goodreads shelf.
About the Author