Check out an exclusive interview with the author... So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole (Interview) #newbooks #booktwitter #yabooks #yalit #fantasy @tbrbeyondtours @wordsiren

Welcome to my tour stop! I'm thrilled to get to share an exclusive interview with
the author of this just released (today) YA fantasy book. Check that out below...

So Let Them Burn
(The Divine Traitors #1)
By Kamilah Cole
Young Adult Fantasy
Hardcover, Audiobook & eBook, 400 Pages
January 16, 2024 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Whip-smart and immersive, this Jamaican-inspired fantasy follows a gods-blessed heroine who’s forced to choose between saving her sister or protecting her homeland—perfect for fans of Iron Widow and The Priory of the Orange Tree.

Faron Vincent can channel the power of the gods. Five years ago, she used her divine magic to liberate her island from its enemies, the dragon-riding Langley Empire. But now, at seventeen, Faron is all powered up with no wars to fight. She’s a legend to her people and a nuisance to her neighbors.

When she’s forced to attend an international peace summit, Faron expects that she will perform tricks like a trained pet and then go home. She doesn’t expect her older sister, Elara, forming an unprecedented bond with an enemy dragon—or the gods claiming the only way to break that bond is to kill her sister.

As Faron’s desperation to find another solution takes her down a dark path, and Elara discovers the shocking secrets at the heart of the Langley Empire, both must make difficult choices that will shape each other’s lives, as well as the fate of their world.

“By turns hopeful and devastating, So Let Them Burn is a masterful debut with a blazing heart. I was captivated from beginning to end by Cole’s sharp, clever prose and by her protagonists—two remarkable sisters with an unforgettable bond.” — Chelsea Abdullah, author of The Stardust Thief

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Author Interview

Would you tell us a little more about the main character from SO LET THEM BURN?

So Let Them Burn has two main characters. Faron Vincent is seventeen years old and burned out. She’s worshipped as a living saint by her people because she was chosen by the gods to channel their magic and win a war for her island against a dragon-riding empire. But that was five years ago, it’s peacetime, and she still has all this power and all this PTSD. So she’s rebellious and bored and makes so many bad, childish, inexplicable decisions because she’s sort of in this state of arrested development from being, well, a child soldier. The second main character is Elara Vincent, her older sister, who is eighteen years old and insecure. I mean, imagine being related to someone so famous? Elara wants to carve out her own path out of Faron’s shadow, but everything she does is defined by Faron, from her personality (the responsible, reliable one to Faron’s recklessness) to her dreams (to pilot a drake, a giant metal dragon war machine developed by her island, because the sister of a living saint can’t just go be a teacher). And they love each other dearly, but there’s resentment there.

What would Faron say she learned through her story?

I think over the whole duology, Faron learns to deal with her past in healthier ways, let more people in, and handle things less impulsively. By the end of book one, she is in a very different place than she was at the beginning, but I think she does most of her learning in the second book when she has to reckon with the consequences of the choices she’s made.

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

I think I really liked how I handled the nuance of the story. So Let Them Burn is set after the war that a YA fantasy would usually follow, and I tried hard to show the effects of colonization not only on the colonized country but on the people from the colonizing country. It’s truly horrifying to reckon with how much harm your country has done against others, and even more horrifying to feel powerless to stop it no matter how much you protest. Faron and Elara have their valid and justified perspective, but I think the way I layer in the perspective of the Langlish people they meet adds a nuance to the situation that I’m very proud of.

What is your favorite one-liner from the book?

“I am the queen of dishonesty, and you are full of s---.”

What’s one of your hobbies or something we might not know about you?

I’m probably way too open for there to be something you might not know about me; if I haven’t shared it already, I never will, haha! But one of my hobbies is playing video games, though my friend Chelsea would tell you my real hobby is collecting video games and then ignoring them to play Animal Crossing. And she would be right.

What are you working on next?

Next I have to turn in my Adult debut, THE SINISTER ELITE, which comes out in 2025. It’s a dark academia fantasy with a steamy academic rivals-to-lovers romance, a deadly supernatural mystery, and social commentary about being a first-generation immigrant of color in predominantly white spaces. Think Babel by RF Kuang meets Jordan Peele, or The Conjuring meets Inception. I’m so, so proud of this story, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. The official pitch is:

A twenty-one year old starting as a college freshman is haunted by a sense of deja vu that turns deadly when she finds a message scrawled on her skin written in her own hand that simply says REMEMBER.

About the Author

Kamilah Cole was a writer and entertainment editor at Bustle for four years, and her nonfiction work has also appeared in Marie Claire and Seventeen. A graduate of New York University, Kamilah lives on the East Coast, where she’s usually playing Kingdom Hearts for the hundredth time, quoting early SpongeBob SquarePants episodes, or crying her way through Zuko’s redemption arc in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Tour Schedule

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Have you read any other books set right after the end of a war? What sounds good to you about this book or what did you like about what the author shared in the interview?

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