It’s June and that means it’s time for another year of Pride Month spotlights! I’m so excited to spotlight The City of Dusk by Tara Sim and share the interview with the author!
Welcome Tara! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
Thank you for having me! I’m Tara Sim, author of YA series Timekeeper and Scavenge the Stars, and most recently The City of Dusk, my adult fantasy debut. All books are fantasy with a widely queer cast. I’m from the Bay Area, California, and I love dumplings and cats.
How would you describe The City of Dusk in one sentence?
A dark, goth fantasy full of gay 20-somethings who want to fight/kill god.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of The City of Dusk?
I actually have a very handy Twitter thread that introduces all the POV characters, but in less meme-y terms:
Taesia: The middle child of House Lastrider who hates politics and just wants to be free from it. Her magic is shadow manipulation, and she’s beautifully morally gray.
Risha: The heir of House Vakara, who is very dutiful and loyal (perhaps to a fault?). Her power is necromancy, and she’s basically the mom friend.
Angelica: The heir of House Mardova, who is aggressive and bitchy but in a fun way. Her power is wielding the elements, but she can only do so by playing musical instruments.
Nikolas: The heir of House Cyr, who is uncertain and sad but is trying his best. He wields light magic, which is similar to teleportation and can also grant him wings.
What representation will readers find in The City of Dusk?
The main POV characters are: a bi woman, a lesbian woman, an ace woman, and a bi man. There are also a plethora of queer side characters. For example, Risha’s younger sister is a trans girl, and Angelica has two mothers.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I typically have an idea or a vision for how I’d like the book to end, but in a very general sense. While I draft, I typically discover the details as I go, especially as I round out the characters and learn what their motivation might be for reaching that conclusion.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
I’m quite fond of several scenes in the book, including Risha’s first chapter, the gala, and the climax of the book. I love big, grand, cinematic scenes, if you couldn’t tell.
What is something readers will find in The City of Dusk that they may not realize based on the synopsis?
There’s quite a bit of political intrigue, since all the heirs are from families that descended from the line of kings and, technically, all have a claim to the throne now that the king is heirless. There’s also plenty of humor in the book–gotta even out all the dark stuff somehow.
What’s something you hope readers will take away from The City of Dusk?
Honestly, I just want them to have fun. I hope they relate to or fall in love with the characters, and get excited at the action scenes, and laugh at the jokes. I hope I can provide them a nice escape for 500-some pages.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed The City of Dusk?
I’d recommend A Darker Shade of Magic, Gideon the Ninth, and The Poppy War.
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
I’m working on the sequel to The City of Dusk, as well as my next YA book, We Shall Be Monsters, which releases next year!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk is the first in a dark epic fantasy trilogy that follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.
The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.
But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city. And without it, all the realms are dying.
Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Risha, a necromancer struggling to keep the peace; Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with rebellion in her heart; and Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light— will sacrifice everything to save the city.
But their defiance will cost them dearly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tara Sim is the author of the upcoming CITY OF DUSK (Orbit), as well as the SCAVENGE THE STARS duology (Little, Brown) and the TIMEKEEPER trilogy (Sky Pony Press). She can often be found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California.
When she’s not writing about magic, murder, and mayhem, Tara spends her time drinking tea, wrangling cats, and lurking in bookstores.
Tara is represented by Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
Name pronunciation: “tar-ah” (not “terr-ah”).