Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Gillian's SONGKEEPER blog tour.

Explore Leira Blog Tour: L is for Langorian Pirates

Thanks, Deanna, for hosting me here and helping me celebrate the (almost) one year book birthday for Songkeeper! It is the second book in the Songkeeper Chronicles, which tells the story of a girl who can hear the song that created the world.

If this is your first encounter with the #exploreleira blog tour, we are continuing a series of alphabet posts looking at the world and characters and magical creatures of the Songkeeper Chronicles (follow the tour at gillianbronteadams.com and find a list of all the stops at #exploreleira tour). And we have an awesome giveaway that you can enter below!

Today, we’re looking at the letter …

L is for Langorian Pirates

Because who doesn’t love pirates! Confession time. I used to be slightly obsessed with pirates. The good kind, you know. The swashbuckling, charming, roguish sort that you run across in Pirates of the Caribbean and—one of my favorites—Wayne Thomas Batson’s novel Isle of Swords. I may have held a pirate birthday party for five or six years running, in which everyone was required to show up in appropriate pirate garb and we devoured pizza by the pound (because all good pirates love pizza) and chocolate cake. (Pirates also love cake. In case you were wondering.)

So naturally, when young-writer-me decided to write a fantasy novel … guess what wound up on the page?

That’s right.


Did I ever tell you guys that Orphan’s Song went through five substantial rewrites and lost nearly 30,000 words before I even tried to get it published? Yep. That happened. In that time, the pirates morphed from something slightly Pirates of the Caribbean-esque into pitiless raiders from Langoria whose ships plague the coasts of Leira. They pillage villages, burn fishing ships, and carry off the typical plunder of gold and weapons and household goods.

But their main trade is in slaves.
Tales of the Langorian pirates had been a common subject of travelers’ tales at the Sylvan Swan. The tales spoke of a brutal people who valued strength above all else. Pity was a thing unknown to them, for pity was weakness, and slaves in a hold were considered little more than cattle, worth only what they could bring on an ever flooded market. With a fast ship, a brisk wind, and a crew of swordsmen, new captives were ever ripe for the taking.

The island of Langoria lies off the edge of the map, south of Leira. It is a nation of sea-faring raiders—somewhat like the Vikings, in that regard. (Though without the dragon ships, Norse mythology, and round shields.) Each ship is captained by a pirate lord who sails under the flag of their ruler, the Korsakk, and pays tribute to him.

In Orphan’s Song, we get our first glimpse of the pirates on the beach of Bryllhyn:
A motley assortment of people milled around the fire, all clad in strange bright tunics and sagging breeches, arms and necks glittering with gold jewelry. They held overflowing tankards in their hands and were surrounded by a ring of broached casks.
Just off the shore, a long, low ship, painted red and gold, with two masts and sails tightly furled, rocked on the washing tide. A massive iron prong stuck out from the prow like a giant spear. Three longboats were pulled up on the beach.
Orphan’s Song

That pirate ship changed quite a bit in the rewrites too. Originally, it was a black ship with black sails. It still had the iron ram and was long and low and propelled by oars, so not a complete rip-off from Pirates of the Caribbean, but I eventually decided that the Langorian pirates would choose something with more color.

Within the story, over the years leading up to Orphan’s Song, Langorian attacks on Leira’s coasts had become more frequent and violent. Most dismissed it as just another sign of the dark world that they lived in, but there were some of a more suspicious nature who wondered if something more might be at work … There are rumors that the Langorians have a treaty with the Takhran and that they supply him with a tribute of slaves for his camps in exchange for full rein to wreak terror on the coast.
Of course, they are only rumors.

While I still enjoy a good pirate tale or movie, you can bet that I won’t be inviting the Langorians to any pirate parties any time soon. (I’m pretty sure they don’t like pizza or chocolate cake.)

Do you like your pirates to be of the “good” sort (i.e. roguish and charming) or “evil” (cruel and despicable)?

Check out the links below for a place to purchase the books.

Barnes and Nobles: Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper

And before you leave, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! One lucky winner will take home a copy of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and a gorgeous handmade mug. Two lucky winners will take home copies of Songkeeper! Enter through the Rafflecopter below and be sure to visit www.gillianbronteadams.com to continue following the blog tour. You can earn new entries for each post that you visit along the way. Winners will be announced after April 15th.

Bio: GILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. She is the author of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.

Songkeeper Blurb: War ravages Leira and the Song has fallen silent.
Freed from the hold of a slave ship, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, and Ky, a street-wise thief, emerge to a world at war. Hordes of dark soldiers march across Leira, shadowed by whispers of plague and massacres, prompting Ky to return to his besieged home city in hopes of leading his fellow runners to safety.

Desperate to end the fighting, Birdie embarks on a dangerous mission into the heart of the Takhran’s fortress. Legend speaks of a mythical spring buried within and the Songkeeper who will one day unleash it to achieve victory. Everyone believes Birdie is the one, but the elusive nature of the Song and rumors of other gifted individuals lead her to doubt her role. Unleashing the spring could defeat the Takhran once and for all, but can she truly be the Songkeeper when the Song no longer answers her call?


  1. These Langorians sound dreadful, but I'm sure they added spice to the story. Pirates always add some pizzazz.
    (The pirates of pizzazz, heh.
    "For I am a Pirate King!
    And it is, it is a glorious thing
    To be a Pirate King!")

  2. One idea I've always wanted to write is good and bad pirates acting as foils to each other and to more conventionally good characters, who don't trust even the good pirates. I think that would be fun to explore :)

  3. I love how Gillian adds elements of all different sorts of stories in here- most fantasy books don't include pirates! As for me, I like a variety of pirate sorts. The blackhearted scum-of-the-sea variety make excellent villains, but the roguish scoundrel sort are almost always super fun. (I'm eventually hoping to get both in the series I'm writing, but we'll see.)

  4. I'm so excited to learn this story has PIRATES! *big grin*


Please share your comments. We love to interact!