Original piece by Mary E. Pearson

Hello Uppercase Readers,

Writing is a strange endeavor—part art, part science, part a whole lot of trust and luck—and yes, at times it seems, even magic. Dance of Thieves is technically my fifth book in the Remnant World. It follows on the heels of The Remnant Chronicles trilogy, and the novella, Morrighan.

Never when I wrote the first words of the first book, The Kiss of Deception, did I imagine the vastness of this world and the many stories it would hold—and never did I imagine that Uppercase who featured that first book as their debut book for their subscription box, would one day be sharing yet again, another “debut” book in this world.

It feels like it has all come full circle—which is a recurring theme in The Remnant Chronicles—that history repeats itself. And in this case, I am very glad it did! I will count it as a bit of book magic.

So now we come to Dance of Thieves—a new cast of characters, and a partly new setting. The beginnings of this new world sprouted in my head four years ago when I was halfway through writing The Heart of Betrayal. It was inevitable, I suppose, that with twelve kingdoms on the map, my mind would wander to one of them. The three kingdoms I had already written about held some surprising secrets. What about the other places named on the map? Did they have secrets too? I tried to put it out of my head because I had other books to finish! But my mind returned again and again to a remote place that still didn’t have a name.

One thing I knew for sure, was that it held an important secret—the key to the beginnings of the Remnant World. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would ever write about this. It became what they call, “backstory in a writer’s mind,” the kind of stuff that helps you know your world and understand it—and the kind of detail that sometimes never makes it onto the page.

But over time, those details expanded—they grew—almost magically, just like the strange enormous trees that grow in Hell’s Mouth. Characters came whispering. And boy, once the characters whisper to you, it is all but over. Kazi, an orphan who grew up on the streets of Venda came first. Or maybe it was Jase? A few snippets from her, a few from him, no names yet, but their voices were distinct.

I finally gave in and wrote a few pages and I liked what I heard from Jase and Kazi. My editor did too, and Dance of Thieves and a tiny little kingdom with big secrets was born.

Thanks for going on this journey with me. I hope you enjoy Dance of Thieves!

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