Goddess Fish book tour banner for Shadow and Sword

Featuring an interview with N.K. Carlson, author of YA fantasy Shadow and Sword

cover of Shadow and Sword by N.K. Carlson

The word was just below a whisper, yet in sixteen-year-old Reith’s ears, it rang louder than he could have ever imagined. Reith had his life in order: apprentice under his mentor, Master Chronicler Vereinen, and follow in his footsteps. Until a shadowy figure appeared in his village, burning everything to the ground, including Reith’s future. Now Reith’s mentor is missing and Reith is on the run from the mysterious Shadow.

Reith adventures through magical forests, ancient ruins, and the lands of prejudiced elves to find his mentor, learn the secret of his sword, and unravel the mystery of the Shadow. Will Reith discover the truth of will the Shadow continue to fall over all of Terrashonen?

Excerpt from Shadow and Sword

“Run,” the word was almost a whisper, yet it rang out, louder than Reith could have thought possible. It beat against his ear drum as if someone had rung a bell by his ear. “Run. If you look back, we will shoot over your head. The next arrow will be right behind it, aimed true at your back. If you come back, we will kill you. I am a man of my word. If you come back, I will give you a name we can mark on your tomb.”

Reith hesitated for just a moment, but then the Gray Man screamed, “RUN!”

The word hung in the air like the smoke from the smoldering town and Reith bolted. He pushed past the archers and rushed out of town, running in a headlong sprint, running for his life.

At the town’s edge, just before he reached the forest, he chanced a look back and an arrow whizzed past his head, sending a short breeze across his face. He jumped behind a tree and heard the thud of an arrow hit the other side of the trunk.

Reith fled from the horror behind him, running faster than he ever thought he was capable of running. The Gray Man yelled after him, “If you see Vereinen, tell him I’m looking for him! Run!” 

An Interview with N.K. Carlson

-What inspired you to become a writer?

Books! I have always loved reading. I remember many nights in childhood and adolescence of staying up late reading the latest book.

When I was in elementary school, each year we would do a project where each student would create a book. We would write it (fiction or non-fiction), workshop it with our teacher, and then we would be given a blank white book and we would handwrite and illustrate it. My mom still has my books. My books then were mostly about sports or were Hardy Boys fan fiction.

But as I moved on into middle school and high school, I hated writing. We never got to do any creative writing, it was always boring essays about dumb topics and long research papers. But then I got into college and gave blogging a try and I found out it wasn’t writing that I hated, it was writing about things I did not care about that I hated. But I loved writing when I got to write about things I liked and was interested in.  

About halfway through college, during one winter break, I decided that I wanted to be an author. I was reading a dystopian series whose author was just a few years older than me, and I read her work and I read about her journey toward writing a book and publishing and I decided I wanted to do that too.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

I think I would go to Galismoor, the capital city of the humans in Terrasohnen. I would visit the library, walk through the streets, and dip my feet in the large lake on whose shores the city was built.

-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)

Luckily for you, my protagonist, Reith, has a lot of two in the morning conversations with carious characters in Shadow and Sword, as well as in the rest of the series. Reith is very introspective, and he is at his most vulnerable at night, and he is very honest. I don’t want to give anything away, but you are in for lots of wonderful fireside conversations with Reith and his friends!

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

That’s an easy one: the chronicler Vereinen. He knows all of the history of Terrasohnen and he is a master storyteller. I would enjoy an evening at a tavern with him and listen to his stories.

-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?

I would be very surprised, because I think I get along quite nicely with dwarves. If my attempts to diffuse the situation were unsuccessful, I acquiesce to the duel only on the condition that the dwarf in question answer a riddle, and I would give him an impossible riddle, indeed.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

I could never write romance. That’s not to say that there will be no romance in The Chronicles of Terrasohnen (there’s loads in books 2-3), but I find romance for romance’s sake in fiction to be boring. Romance and love are good parts of the world, but there are other forms of goodness and wholeness too, and I like exploring those.

About N.K. Carlson

author N.K. Carlson

N. K. Carlson is an author living in Texas. Originally from the Chicago area, he graduated from the University of Illinois before studying at Logsdon Seminary, where he graduated with a master of divinity degree. He has published two books.

The Things that Charm Us and the Smelly Gospel (which was co-written with Drew Doss) both came out in 2020.

His love of writing began in elementary school when each student was given a blank white book to fill with a story. In college, he took an interest in blogging and writing novels.

Find him online:


N. K. Carlson will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join Writelight, the writing newsletter that’s a light in the dark

    Yes, I want a little writing light in my inbox

    Your privacy is important. You can unsubscribe anytime.

    16 thoughts on “Interview+Giveaway: Shadow and Sword by N.K. Carlson

    1. I like the cover, synopsis and excerpt, this sounds like an awesome story that my teen-aged grandchildren will enjoy reading as well. Thank you for sharing your interview and book details and for offering a giveaway, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading your book

      1. Thanks for checking out this stop on the blog tour! I hope you and your grandchildren love it!

    2. Thanks for hosting!

      I will be popping back in periodically to read and respond to comments, so if you have any questions for me, let me know!


      1. Thanks Diane! Our designer out did herself on this one.

        I hope you like the book! Let me know what you think after you’ve read it.

    Join the Conversation

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.