If saying ‘I love you’ meant death, would you still say it? The Wilted Rose, of faery-tale and folklore, is a pirate ship filled with unfortunate souls-each forbidden to love. One such soul is Valencia ‘Lennie’ Roux. Raised in a brothel and an heir to a curse; Lennie never expected to pique the interest of any man. Yet with the arrival of vivid-eyed Nathaniel, she is torn between wanting to know him better and fearing what that knowledge would mean. With Nathaniel bringing the crew’s total to six, the Wilted Rose sets off in search of the remaining two heirs. They hope that in reuniting, they will convince the faery Sorceress responsible for the curse, to end it. However lurking beneath the water is a long standing enemy of the Wilted Rose; who is determined to thwart their quest and bring down its leaders. Together the eight heirs fight for survival, friendship and love.
Inherited by Freedom Matthews gripped me from the very start. I received my copy of Inherited in a Fairyloot box, and I was so excited when it came. Not only had I been wanting to read Inherited, but it was a personalized signed copy. I read this one in a single sitting, all 500+ pages of it, I enjoyed it that much.
One of the things I loved the most about Inherited was the characters; Matthews did a fantastic job of creating a colorful and fun cast of characters. The main character, Lennie, was strong, self-assured, and independent. Although Lennie was a very strong character she did have her moments of weakness, which definitely helped to keep her real and relatable. Nathaniel, the love interest, was another interesting character. He was kind, chivalrous, and really grew throughout the story.
But I have to say that my favorite character was Butch. He was the youngest of the crew aboard the Wilted Rose, and his personality was both sweet and funny. That’s not to say that the rest of the characters aboard the Wilted Rose weren’t great as well, Ned was another favorite of mine, and I loved the brotherly relationship between Davy, Rupert, and Lennie.
Hadnaloy, a sea witch, was the main antagonist of the novel. She was shallow, petty, and self-serving. Throughout the novel Hadnaloy was out for revenge against those aboard the Wilted Rose because of an incident that took place years before (I don’t want to say what it was and spoil anything). She reminded me of a less refined and disciplined Dolores Umbridge.
One of the main complaints about this book that I’ve heard is that the book dragged in places, but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. The plot wasn’t as fast paced as some YA novels out there, but I found that to be very refreshing as it gave Matthews a chance to really flesh out the world she had created and the characters within. There were a lot of “slower” moments in between big action scenes and plot driving scenes, but I personally enjoyed them and think that they were necessary to character development. As for the plot itself, Matthews did a very good job. There were no major plot holes and there were a few surprises and plot twists to keep things interesting.
I believe that this book is part of a series, but it stands alone very well. I really liked the way Matthews wrapped up all of the major plotlines by the end of the novel. One of my only issues with this book is that there were a lot of editing mistakes. Most of them were just simple things like quotations appearing in the middle of a sentence. It wasn’t a big deal, but they were things that definitely should have been caught during the editing process. Overall this book was a solid 4/5 stars for me, and I definitely recommend it!
Freedom Matthews was kind enough to do an interview with me, and I am excited to finally share it with you guys! My questions will be in bold, and the answers will be in regular text.
Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for me! Since Inherited is your first published novel, aside from the prequel novella Into The Forrest, I have to ask when did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
Thank you for asking! It’s great to be a part of your blog!
I’ve been writing consciously since I was 14 years old but have been making up stories and poems since before I can remember. I always thought, during my teens, that I’d like to be a lyricist; but, as the years progressed, seeing my word in print was something I wanted more than anything. So I’d say my mid/late teens was when I began to seriously work on making my little stories into more novel-sized adventures.
Who was your favorite character to write in Inherited, and why?
Ooh, that’s a hard one! I love Lennie’s drive, guts and insecurity, but I also love Ned’s wisdom. I also love Rupert’s wit and annoying nature. Those three were my favorites to write.
Are you more of a planner when it comes to your writing, or are you more of a “let it come to you” as you go writer?
I am what’s known as a ‘pantser’- I write by the seat of my pants. I would love to be able to sit down and have a plan and work from that, but as much as I’ve tried that method hasn’t worked so far. The book usually flows from my head to my fingers up until the middle of the book. I then need to take stock and see where I am headed and sort of loosely plan where I see the characters ending up. I try and get the entire novel on paper, and work on sculpting it through edits and rewriting. For me, the writing is in the re-writing.
I heard that the idea for Inherited came to you while you were at work and a letter from a mother to a child popped in to your head. Can you tell me a bit more about that?
Of course! I was just sat scanning when this heartfelt letter (which is found, almost untouched, within the pages of Inherited) fell into my head. I scribbled it down and somehow that evolved into Nathaniel’s search for his mother and this ship venturing forth. As this ship arrived, so did Lennie and her story just screamed louder than Nathaniel’s….and thus Inherited was born!
Can you tell us a bit about your experience trying to, and getting, published for the first time? I know lots of aspiring authors would love to know!
Gosh, I began crafting my submission in the latter part of 2013 and started to send them out in 2014…although I had my heart set on certain agents I didn’t have any luck. Some of the non-standard ‘no’s’ were lovely and kept me wanting to write and find a suitable home for Inherited. By Autumn 2015 there had been no response so I’d put Inherited aside and began to work on something else…well, a few something else’s to be honest. I sent out a few more queries but by then I thought I’d go back to working on something new and perhaps pick up the Curses of VIII series at another point. As I worked on the new project I began to watch random booktube videos and one popped up that changed my writing life forever: Benjaminoftomes appeared on my screen talking about his new publishing company. His vibrancy and passion for books had me thinking, ‘Well, why not.’ So I re-drafted my proposal and sent across the first 5 chapters of Inherited. I was utterly shocked when I was asked to send the full manuscript and even more shocked when Ben himself called to ask questions and talk about my book. It has been such a whirlwind and I wouldn’t have changed these past few months for the world. I have learned so much, gained a wonderful group of friends/family/readership, and have a book out in the world for folks to read. It’s been amazing. If anyone out there has heard ‘no’, and they feel disheartened, look at me, look what happened, perhaps put that project aside and work on something else…keep trying and one day you will see your books in print. I am so thankful I saw that video and that Ben liked my pirates enough to read more…Don’t ever give up! That is my advice – keep writing, keep reading, keep submitting!
Lennie is such a strong female lead; did you gain any inspiration for her character and personality from the women in your own life?
Thank you! I am very lucky to have some amazing females in my life. I have THE strongest, feistiest most giving and loving aunts imaginable, and the most dedicated, vocal and no-nonsense, supportive cousins (Claire, I’m looking at you). As well as inspiration from those around me, there are some kick-ass characters I’ve grown up with and have been inspired by. I feel parts of Lennie were created from every one of these women and I’m proud to say so. There may be a little bit of myself in there…but I’ll let those who know me well decide if there is any truth in that. 😉
Growing up which books and authors influenced you the most?
I think the most influential as a child would be Roald Dahl…his books shaped my reading life I feel. They always held a darker edge which I have clung to in my adult (and YA) reading. Another author I recall (but I can NEVER find his books) was Paul Jennings…another darker-edged children’s author. I remember my teacher reading to us from the books whose covers always held something of the macabre…if anyone finds these, please let me know!
And to finish off I have to ask, what, if anything, can you tell us about what you’re working on/writing now?
Ooh… I’ve got a few ‘irons in the fire.’ I have a companion novel to Inherited…which is in the same world…but with a new crew…though you may get a glimpse of a few familiar faces. 😉 I have a YA fairy tale which is something I’m really excited about and a few kernels of stories which I’m just messing with. So lots of things to look forward to…