Friday 28 February 2014

Blog Tour, Character Interview & Review - Banished!

Title: Banished
Author: Liz de Jager
Series: The Blackhart Legacy (book 1)
Release Date: 27 Feb 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1447247654

 Sworn to protect, honour and slay. Because chaos won’t banish itself…

Kit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s encountered her unorthodox cousins and their strange lives. And her home-schooling now includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons. But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies. As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or lose everyone she’s learnt to love.

Character Interview -



Two cars pull up. One is a red Mini Cooper. The other is a black SUV with tinted windows. The

doors open and close in unison. Two people get out. From the Mini Cooper, a pretty tall brunette,

dressed in dark grey form fitting combat trousers and black ankle boots. The black polo-neck she’s

wearing is partly covered by a military stab vest. She carries a sheathed sword in one hand. This is

KIT BLACKHART. She looks over at the youth who got out of the SUV and gives him a slow nod

of acknowledgement.

The youth - AIDEN GARRETT - returns the nod with one of his own and moves towards her.

Although Kit is tall (at least 6ft in her socks) Aiden is taller still with broad shoulders and a lean

physique. He’s dressed in dark jeans, boots and a v-neck Henley. Unlike Kit he carries no weapons.

You got the call too?


I did. Not happy about this though, you know? I was heading into town to hang out with Leo. We

had plans. Clubbing, kissing girls. And now this.


Sorry to cramp your social life. Let’s go see what she wants.


Ladies first.

(scowling at him as she unsheathes her sword)

Watch your six.


Are you ever not armed to the teeth? And convinced people are out to get you?

They walk towards the half-open doors of the warehouse. The whole area looks unsafe and

unsavory. A place where bad things happen. The shadows are thick near the door and both Kit

and Aiden go into tactical mode as they crouch low before entering the warehouse. They clear the

corners but there’s not sign of anyone.


Did you bring a gun?

I didn’t think I’d need it. You know, she said she just wanted to talk.


(mutters darkly)

Good, because you suck at shooting. I still have the scar where you hit me the last time.

Shut up. You weren’t even supposed to be there. It’s not my fault you’re allergic to silver, wolf

boy. Can you smell anything?

Aiden moves away from Kit, further into the dark and echoey warehouse, his head raised, drawing

the air into his lungs.


No, but someone’s been here. Check that out.

Kit walks up to him and follows the line of his arm as he points. She still couldn’t quite make it

out. Annoyance crosses her features as she closes her eyes. There’s a faint HUM and we suddenly

see the world from Kit’s perspective. The darkness in the warehouse has taken on a green sheen,

very much like you’d see through night vision goggles.

A table with a TV and camera has been set up, along with two chairs and a single light, like on a

photo shoot.

What the hell is this about?


I have no idea, let’s go check it out.

Keeping an eye on the shadows around them, they move swiftly to the table. There’s a NOTE on

the table, written in a neat hand.

She’s kidding, right?


No, she’s serious! (sighs)

Writers, they’re all off their heads on power or something. Lording it about. (mimics) If you don’t

toe the line I will kill you or torture you in my next book.

They look annoyed but eventually they get the camera working and linked to the TV screen. They

settle down on the chairs, shifting about uncomfortably.


She could’ve left a heater or something in here. I’m freezing.

God, you must be the whiniest werewolf I’ve ever come across. She didn’t say how long the

interview was supposed to be, did she? How about five questions each? That should cover it.

They high five to that before settling down and fiddling with the camera so that the red light shows

that it’s recording. They can see themselves on the TV screen. Kit reaches up to tidy her hair but

then shrugs and lets her hand drop. Instead she fiddles with her sword until Aiden nudges her.


You go first. You’re the star of the show.

Uh, hi. My name is Kit Blackhart and I’m the main character in Banished and this is just really

awkward and weird and I basically hate Liz right now. But uh, well, we got to do what she says.

So with me today is Aiden. He’s a secondary character in Banished. And he’s a friend. (she

narrows her eyes at him) Unless he annoys me then I may have to shoot him full of bullets or



So, as I’m the one starting this, my question to Aiden is about your werewolf shape: why do you

change into a wolf and not some half man-beast like in Wolfman?


Smooth, Blackhart, really smooth. Hi guys, nice to meet you. The reason I don’t look like a

Hollywood freak, is well, I’m a purebred werewolf. My shape is either human or wolf. It’s usually

the guys who get bit who turn into these rabid half-human beasties you hear about in the news. Oh,

hold on a second. (he leans closer to Kit to hear what she’s whispering) Oh right, those things you

hear about in the news? Not really real. Sorry.



My turn to ask a question now, to Kit. Uhm, Kit. (laughs) Sorry, everything I can think about is

really inappropriate. Okay, how about this: out of all your cousins and uncles and aunts, who’s your

favourite and why?

Crap question, wolf boy. Thanks for that. (thinks a bit) I think I will have to say my Uncle Jamie. I

mean, he’s the one who came to find me in hospital after my Nan died. He’s the one who told me

who I was. What the Blackharts did. He’s also the guy who’s been training me and my cousins. So

yeah, right now? Uncle Jamie is my favourite.


Are those tears, Blackhart?

Is this my fist in your face?


Is that my question? Then yes, it is your fist in my face. Put it away, Kit. Here’s a handkerchief.

You cry ugly; no one wants to see that.

Kit turns away from the screen after accepting the handkerchief to wipe her eyes before turning

Stupid allergies, sorry about that. (crappy smile) Okay, Aiden, I must know: if my cousin Megan

ever said yes to a date with you, where would you take her and what would you do? I mean,

basically I want to know what your idea of a romantic date would be?


(he looks terrified)

Megan? Why are you even asking this? Do you think she’d go out with me if I asked her? Did she

say she liked me like that? Kit? Stop laughing. Ow, that hurts. Okay. Fine. I’d take her for dinner

at one of the really swanky places in Mayfair. Then I’d take her dancing at Milton’s. Then, when

she got bored of dancing, I’d take her to St Paul’s and we can sit on the roof and watch the sun rise.

Then, because I know you Blackharts have a thing about eating, I’d take her to Brick Lane and feed

her fresh bagels. Then I’ll get a taxi and we’ll head back to your place. Where I will leave her with

a chaste kiss on the cheek and then I will go home to my place.


What do you think of that? I’m a classy guy.

You’ve got it bad. (laughs) Okay, what’s your next question?


But seriously, feel free to tell Megan I’d like to take her out. Any time she’s in the mood, you

know? Man, she does things to my head. (sighs) Okay. Next question: if you never found out

about being a Blackhart and if your magic never manifested, what would you do with your life?

I’d be a set designer, working in movies or TV. Or a costume designer. Something creative like

that. How about you? What if you were Aiden Garrett bad ass werewolf, what would you be? What

would you do with your life?


I don’t know. I’ve not actually ever thought about it. I suppose it would be weird being just a

normal guy. With no pack to relate to. Maybe I’d be a doctor? I think I’d like to work with kids.

You know? Look after the kids who really have no one else to look after them.

You’re just a big old softie, aren’t you? Ouch! Okay, stop, I won’t laugh at you anymore. Sorry.

Your turn now. I’ve lost count how many we’ve done now. How about two more?


Each? Or me one and then you one?

Me one then you one. If Liz isn’t happy with this then she can just you know forget about screwing

with my life some more cos I’m done. Done. (determined stare to camera)


That’s fighting talk, crazy girl. Okay. My turn.

He narrows his eyes at her thoughtfully.


What is the thing you miss most about your normal life? Your life pre-Blackhart?

Seriously? Do you enjoy being an idiot? (heavy sigh) Okay, so...I really miss being honest with my

best friend, Karina. She lives in Germany. We had all these great plans to travel after school, doing

a gap year. Travel in Europe and then go on to America, you know? Now, that’s not possible. I’ve

not ever been able to tell her about what I do really. Can you imagine the postcard: Dear Karina,

just hung out in Prague for the weekend. Fought a gargoyle and went to dinner with a werewolf.

Wish you were here. All my love, Kit xo xo


(after a few seconds) So, on a scale of one to ten, how hot is Karina?

Oh my god, Aiden, seriously? Are you even for real?


What? Enquiring minds need to know, Kit. Come on. Is Karina hot?

Her brother is super hot. I’ve been half in love with him all my life it seems like. (stupid grin on

her face before she remembers herself and sits upright in her chair) Okay, forget about Karina for

now. Last question, then we’re outta here. My turn.


I can’t wait.

If you could change anything that happens in Banished, what would it be?


(huffs out a breath)

Wow. That’s not a loaded question at all. I think I’d change the whole thing with Scarlet. That

was really unpleasant and made me feel powerless and useless.

I know. Our lives are messed up.


Look, wanna get out of here? Leo’s waiting at Milton’s. We can party till dawn?

Sounds like a plan. Kyle’s not expecting me back at the house. Uncle Andrew’s calling from

New York in the morning though. Apparently there’s a rumour of faerie drugs doing the rounds in

nightclub. No doubt he expects me to investigate it.


Oh great. Faerie drugpushers. That’s all the human world needs.


Thanks so much for letting me hang out! This little Q&A takes place between Banished and the

second book Vowed out in November this year, if all goes well. Hopefully it’s given you an idea as

to who the characters are and the way I set the scene is fun and aimed to be read as if it’s a movie.

Oh my goodness that was awesome - thanks Liz (and of course thanks to Kit and Aiden!)

My Review

I got sent a copy of this from the publisher (THANK YOU!). I had  heard of Liz online from her blog and I believe met her at an author event in London once, so was excited to see a name I knew on a book. The blurb sounded awesome too, really my sort of read. I couldn't wait to get stuck in.
Meet Kit Blackhart, tough girl and monster killer. Until recently Kit was what you could call 'normal' she had no idea about her family past or her magic powers, but when her nan is killed in a house fire her Uncle Jamie comes for her and explains it all. With lots of training and sleepless nights she is now part of their team to track down dark fae and other creatures. This book really has all you could want - fae, trolls, dragons, magic, goblins, etc. An awesome blend of magic and myth brought to reality.
Then we are introduced to Thorn, a Fae Prince who is on the run and ends up being attacked outside Kit's house. She rushes to his rescue not knowing who he is, the pair then end up travelling together to stop a Fae war that could end all wars!
I loved Kit, she is uncertain at times and totally not perfect, she can be indecisive, makes some silly decisions and gets in no end of trouble, but she is also brave, loyal, feisty and a real tough girl, she won't give up no matter what. She is really relate-able and I felt myself routing for her almost right from the start.
Thorn is a bit more of a mystery, he seems to hide parts of his personality, he's a bit more guarded but this means that you get to know him gradually throughout the book and in a way I liked him more for it. He remained a bit elusive which intrigued me and I wanted to get to know him better.
The whole host of characters are well represented and enough is given about the side characters to keep you interested in them and wondering what is happening with them. 
This book is exciting and will keep you on the edge of your seat, with excellent settings and descriptions you will picture yourself running right alongside Kit and Thorn, totally immersed in the world. Trust me, you won't be able to put it down. A perfect mix of adventure, magic, fighting and romance presented for your enjoyment!
I am so excited for book 2 which comes out in November - a whole 9 months away!

My Rating

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