Monday, April 1, 2019

Iron Circle by Justin Joschko

Iron Circle

Yellow Locust

Book Two

Justin Joschko

Genre: Science Fiction Dystopian

Publisher: Month9Books

Date of Publication: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-948671-35-4

Number of pages: 305
Word Count: 367

Cover Artist: Danielle Doolittle

Book Description:

The path west is long, but despite Selena’s progress, New Canaan is never far enough behind her. It was there that her parents were killed, forcing her and her little brother Simon to flee the tyrannical state. Now, New Canaan wants control over  every last inch of America-That-Was. Only the Republic of California can stand against it—but not without the data stick in Selena’s pocket, rumored to contain vital information about New Canaan’s deadly new weapon.

As winter closes in, Selena races south in search of an open passage to the coast. She must pass through Nuevo Juarez, where a ruthless leader named Thorin has seized power. Selena runs afoul of Thorin’s men and is separated from her brother, captured, and auctioned off at the city’s thriving slave market.

Her only way out is through the Iron Circle, a fighting ring where the city’s most fearsome warriors pit their skills against one another. As the populace and Thorin watch Selena rise through the ranks, Selena earns a reputation she doesn’t want and the attention of man with the power to destroy her and what’s left of America-That-Was.


Selena grabbed
her opponent’s left wrist. His skin was hot and clammy, its greasy expanse
flecked with patches of flaky, dry crust. Suppressing her revulsion, Selena
brought the man’s arm up behind his back and, with modest but steady pressure,
eased him to his knees. The man obeyed without struggling. Whatever spirit his
disease hadn’t eaten away had been beaten out of him by Thorin’s strongmen. He
was defeated before he’d even entered the Iron Circle. The least Selena could
do was signal this defeat gently.
She laid him on
the ground and pressed his shoulders into the dirt. He seemed to get the
message, for when she released him, he stood slowly, nodded at her in
uncomprehending thanks, and scuttled out of the circle. She imagined he
wouldn’t get far and would likely face his punishment in some other form. There
was nothing she could do about that, but at least she wouldn’t be the one
providing it. In recognition of this resolve, she stepped back and raised her
arms to the crowd, beckoning their ire.
The crowd
obliged, hurling incomprehensible epithets and pounding their fists on the railings.
Selena ignored them, summoning her inborne Seraphim’s hauteur. She set her eyes
instead on the clutch of fighters awaiting their own bouts, scanning for an
ideal target. There was no shortage of options, but Selena was choosey. It
would have to be someone who appeared unbeatable, and he would have to be among
Los Hermanos.
One presented
itself almost immediately. The Hermano who’d gestured obscenely at her before
the fight was now tapping his friend on the chest with the back of his hand,
signaling his derision at the spectacle before him. She scoped the topography
of his muscles, sized up his potential speed and power, noted points of
weakness: long hair and beard for easy grabbing, an offset knuckle that would
weaken his left jab, a peculiar slope to his jaw hinting at an old break. He
commanded respect from his peers, which meant he was good—but also meant he was
cocky. Selena was good, too, and no one here had seen her fight.

About the Author:

Justin Joschko is an author from Niagara Falls, Ontario. His writing has appeared in newspapers and literary journals across Canada. Yellow Locust is his first novel. He currently lives in Ottawa with his wife and two children.

Interview with Justin Joschko
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reins of the story?
I like to have the plot roughed out before I start writing, but the strokes are usually broad enough to allow for some spontaneity. As such, there are times when the characters surprise me, and I find myself being pulled in a direction I hadn’t considered.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
A young street brawler gets enslaved in a foreign city and has to fight her way to freedom. What’s not to like?
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Several. I wrote two novels in between YELLOW LOCUST and IRON CIRCLE: a horror novel about werewolves set in my hometown of Niagara Falls, and a fantasy novel about a girl who goes to the store and returns to find her house has vanished. Prior to all of these, I wrote a “literary” novel (though I dislike the pretension inherent in the term) while doing my masters. My first book was written when I was 18, but the less said about that one the better.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer. I wish I wrote by pen more—I like the idea of it—but my handwriting is terrible and I get cramps after a couple of pages.
Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Thanks for reading!

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1 comment:

  1. Your book sounds like a great read and thank you for sharing it with us.