Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw
by D. A. Mucci
St. Barts Publishing
YA fantasy, dark fantasy
The towering stone Castle Maol, the unrivaled seat of power in the Kingdom of Skye, sat inland almost bereft of life.
Once known for its inspirational beauty, Skye’s forests and meadows were more barren than green now, enveloped by stillness instead of bustling wildlife. Lakes and waterways once teeming with marine life lay stagnant.
Most of those who lived here survived under gray clouds of despair Several of the eldest knew of the prophecy that would return the land to its prior golden age and quietly hoped it was true.
Only a handful knew the secret that would allow the prophecy to come true. They refused to speak of it.
Fifteen-year-old Iggy is good at three things: languages, witty retorts, and running from a fight. When a guy pulls a knife on him during a high school argument, all the banter in the world isn’t enough to save him, so Iggy resorts to his backup plan—running. But before he can make his escape, the locket he always wears around his neck heats up, and someone tackles him from behind, pinning him to the ground.
Iggy’s never thought of himself as a fighter. He’s spent his life running from anything that can’t be solved with a quick one-liner or a snarky comeback. But as he learns more about the strange place he’s landed, one thing becomes abundantly clear: in the World on Skye, they need a hero. And Iggy just might be the one they’re looking for, even if he’s not so sure.
- What was your experience working full-time in an emergency room during the height of the pandemic and writing this book?
As a physician for almost 40 years, most of them in an Emergency Room setting, you see all kinds of ailments, accidents and death. While no two cases are exactly the same, experience and knowledge helps you decide quickly what action you’ll take to save a life or manage an urgent health condition. Then a pandemic hits that you don’t have a set of experiences to rely on to truly help you manage patients, and treating patients becomes a whole new level of stress as you make your best guess and read the latest medical news to help you treat those patients suffering significantly. All as you are praying none of your protective gear reeks so you don’t bring exposure home to the family you love.
These stressful circumstances pushed me to bring this fantasy world to fruition. Most of us binge watched shows during the pandemic and I simply needed a different outlet after a while to feel like I was doing something to help others escape and relax for their stress also.
- How did you go about world building for Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw?
I was drawn to the Isle of Skye for its rich history that includes folklore and magic, in doing research for the world I wanted to build. I used photos of the Isle of Skye as my inspiration for the landscape of The Kingdom of Skye and Matreach. As my family is comprised of different ethnicities, I wanted to reflect that in my lands, with the four lands having their own uniqueness.
My wife is a stickler for detail and keeping me grounded, so she had a map drawn up for the book and had the website developer create “hot spots” on the website map to help readers visualize locations and happenings.
- Though Iggy is the star, you’ve also created new languages and nearly 50 different characters. Which are some of your favorites?
I love the Madam Trinity character. She doesn’t appear to have it all together, but underneath the crazy facade you know she is an extremely capable, intelligent, and formidable person to have on your side.
I wanted a very diverse set of characters so readers of all ages had someone to relate to. Iggy is the geeky character while rebellious Lecque fights for what he feels is right. Ansel is the strong mentor Iggy needs. Kylian is one of the strongest male characters, holding true to his principles while being imprisoned for years. Allistair is the most powerful man in Matreach and has a physical disability.
And there are strong female characters along with Madam Trinity, each strong in their own unique way: Raraesa is physically a strong sword fighter with a soft side she doesn’t often show, Trafalga has a bohemian carefree look, with a gift that will help save many and guide Iggy. Nyreada is the strong, brave personality who is typically quiet unless she sees unethical practices, and Scathatch is known for being the best warrior that oversees all, helping in a stealthy critical manner.
I wanted to include different languages to highlight Iggy’s special ability to learn them, to showcase his intelligence. While this intelligence was ridiculed in a typical middle school and high school setting, language is one of Iggy’s strengths and he will use it along the way to accomplish his quests.
- What advice would you give to writers who feel like their time to write a book has expired?
At 67 years old I’m writing a story that caters to Young Adults. There is no age limit for using your creativity and imagination.
- Without giving spoilers, can you give readers any sneak peek into the rest of the planned series? Will we meet new characters, visit new places, etc.?
Kylian, the Death Knight and Ansel will struggle with the true knowledge they have of Iggy and how important he is to the Kingdom of Skye and the other lands. Lecque will have to face his own demons that will rear their ugly head, and Iggy will be the only one who can help Lecque with his personal battle. While the Kingdom of Skye and Matreach were featured in Book 1, Dinas Affaron and Cambria will be featured more heavily in future stories.
The author is running a Goodreads Giveaway to win 1 of 100 ecopies of Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw.
About the Author:
Being an Emergency Room physician for close to forty years, Dr. Mucci found that the pandemic brought forth new horrors in the ER. Writing this fantasy story about Ignatius became an enjoyable escape for him from all that was happening in the real world.
Follow D.A. Mucci Facebook: @D.A.Mucci and Instagram: @d.a.mucci