Hey, everyone – we’re beyond excited to be on the blog tour for The Keepers by Anoosha Lalani! This is a YA paranormal book that promises to be full of action and adventure that came out on September 30 from REUTS Publications. But don’t take my word for how great it sounds – feast your eyes on the beautiful cover and blurb and see what I mean for yourself.
Sixteen-year-old Isra Kalb has grown up starving in the slums of Islamabad. But hunger is only the beginning. When her father is mysteriously murdered and madness corrupts her mother’s mind, she’s left alone to fend for herself and her sister. Homeless and destitute, the only thing she has to remember her loving family by is a commonplace necklace–an amulet barely worth keeping.
Or so she thinks.
Swept into a web of lies, deceit and turmoil, Isra struggles to find a place for herself and Zaffirah, wondering if the strange creatures and visions she’s seeing are indications of the madness that took her mother. But when Snatchers capture Zaffirah, Isra learns her amulet isn’t so useless after all. Transported to Zarcane–the beastly garden where Adam and Eve were born–Isra comes face to face with her destiny. She’s a Keeper, charged with protecting the borders of Zarcane and keeping the demon hordes lurking in the shadows from taking realms that are not their own. And she’s not the only one; there’s a second Keeper, a boy whose identity hasn’t been revealed.
Now, in order to save her sister and fulfill her family’s legacy as Keeper of the Amulet, she has to find the second Keeper and close the borders. Surrounded by betrayal, trapped between warring factions of angels, and desperate to save the only family she has left, Isra must decide:
Who can she trust when nothing is what it seems?
And if you’re still not convinced, here’s a book trailer for your viewing enjoyment:
Today’s guest post, from the author herself, is a creature “meet-and-greet”, where you get introduced to just a few of the wild and wonderful creatures in the world of Zarcane, the land that our heroine, Isra, eventually gets to in the framework of The Keepers. There’s some seriously cool Bible-inspired worldbuilding going on here that I really like, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the actual book.
Enough of me now – let’s turn it over to Anoosha Lalani, the author of The Keepers!
As you guys may have realized upon reading my blurb, a significant part of my story takes place in a mystical land I call Zarcane, but to those more closely acquainted with the biblical tale of Adam and Eve, it may also be known as the Garden of Eden. Like our very own Earth, Zarcane has its own special flora and fauna. Today, it will be my pleasure to introduce you to some of its lovely and not so lovely creatures.
I’ll start of with the exquisite Abaddon. The Abaddon was inspired by the New Testament Book of Revelation, where the Abaddon is presented as an angel who leads an army of locusts. My Abaddon is a fallen angel who not only has a creepy bug army, but she also rules over wraiths and centaurs and pretty much most of Zarcane. She also happens to be so beautiful and sophisticated that I am unfortunately unable to find you guys a picture, instead I will leave you with this description from Isra’s eyes:
Her burgundy dress fell behind her, but it didn’t drag on the floor collecting dust; it floated a few minute centimeters just above it. Her hair framed her face in loose curls that matched the color of her dress. The Abaddon met my gaze for a second, her cool, penetrating blue eyes on mine. Everything froze around me. She grinned, knowing the effect of her stare, and turned away. She was beautiful with high, protruding cheekbones and bee-stung lips.
Now, what exactly are these creepy bugs that the Abaddon has under her control you ask? Think of an insect— a big black flying beetle would be most appropriate. Now give it a face and human limbs and sharpened razor teeth. These bugs often come in huge clouds and can take the shape of other things like serpents or even other humans.
The more virtuous counterparts of these creatures are the rose flies. This time I want you to think of butterflies with human parts. These fairy-like creatures have beautiful voices and they roam around the rose gardens. They also happen to be the first creatures that Isra sees when she enters Zarcane.
As Isra spends more of her time in Zarcane, she meets Itai, a centaur warrior serving the Abaddon. Itai looks like what one would expect a centaur to look like, brave and strong. He also had a sketchy secret. Despite this, Itai has made his way into a special place in my heart and so again, I am unable to choose a random picture of a centaur and claim it to be him so instead I will leave you with another description:
A horse-like creature galloped towards me. He was a creature from another story book. Long, brown stallion legs supported his human torso. Tanned skins were tied on to his chest with thin threads of animal sinew. On his back was a quiver of arrows and a bow.
Accompanying Isra through the tale from beginning to end, we also have Dearg. Dearg is a traveller, meaning that he is the only creature that can travel between realms even when the borders are locked. He always knows more than he lets on and frustrates Isra on many occasions but she can’t sever her attachment to him. He’s almost like a pet dog meets old man and Isra feels somewhat responsible for him. Again, I present you with a description of this very special creature:
A dark grey creature about three feet high stood before me. His skin was made entirely of stone and he looked almost like a grumpy cat standing on its hind legs. Certainly not human but not animal either. A creature of completely different race altogether—one not from this world.
Now these are only a few of the creatures that roam Zarcane. You have yet to meet the glass men, the color changing demon servant of the Abaddon and the serpent. I warn you they happen to be creatures you don’t want to miss.
About the Author:
Anoosha Lalani has always had an insatiable desire to escape reality. It was a childhood trait that never seemed to fade out. If Anoosha were to make one wish, it would be to have wings to journey off the face of this planet and into the worlds of her stories.
When she’s not writing, you may find Anoosha attending high school in Singapore. Having moved around so much, she has had the wonderful opportunity to be exposed to a vibrant range of cultures, which often seem to find their way into her stories. Anoosha was born in Pakistan, the setting of her most recent novel, The Keepers.
Doesn’t that sound amazing? Be sure to add this book to your TBR – I know I am! – and be sure to follow along with the rest of the blog tour!