Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Escapist Book Co. virtual book tour for J.D.L. Rosell’s Epic Fantasy/”Bow” & Sorcery novel The Last Ranger! Today, I am excited to help kickoff the tour by sharing an interview with the main character of the book, Leiyn “Firebrand”!
You can find our interview below, along with all of the info about the book, the author, links to purchase a copy of The Last Ranger for yourself, and a chance to win a copy in our giveaway! Also, be sure to take a look at the schedule here or at the top of the post and follow along to see the stops from our other awesome hosts!
The Last Ranger by J.D.L. Rosell
Series: Ranger of the Titan Wilds
Genre: Epic Fantasy/“Bow” & Sorcery
Intended Age Group: Adult
Published: December 27, 2022
Publisher: Rune & Requiem Press
Betrayed. Hunted. Left for dead. But not even death itself can keep the last ranger from vengeance.
Leiyn “Firebrand” is no stranger to a fight. A brash ranger of the Titan Wilds, she takes up her bow to ward against the colossal spirit creatures known as titans, ever a threat to the colonies she has sworn to protect.
But no amount of skill can guard against treachery.
When tragedy strikes the rangers’ lodge, Leiyn vows to avenge the fallen. But if she is to succeed, she must embrace a power within her she has long denied.
Power to move mountains and rivers.
Power over life and death.
She did not choose this path, but Leiyn knows her duty. For if she fails, the legacy of the rangers dies with her — and all the Titan Wilds will fall into shadow.
Shadow of the Colossus • Hamilton • “Never Gonna Give You Up”
Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
First and foremost, I’m a ranger. Folks not on the frontier might wonder what we do. Let’s put it this way: you sleep soundly in your bed because of the Wilds Lodge and me. We protect the border—from Gasts, from beasts, even from titans, as much as anyone can.
My fellow rangers are both my friends and family. Isla, Tadeo, and the rest—they’re the real reason I keep pushing each day to make the Titan Wilds as safe as they can be. After all, if a threat to Baltesia arises, it’s likely the Lodge will be the first thing to fall. And I couldn’t bear losing any of them.
What music do you listen to?
Whatever Ranger Yolant is likely to play, I suppose. I’m not one for dancing, but she strings a tune or two that gets even my feet tapping—“The Ballad of Ranger Alan” most of all.
What are 3 items you can’t live without?
I’ll keep my bow, my knife, and Tadeo’s fox figurine. The rest can be replaced, though it’d hurt to leave my sketchbook behind.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing you’d like to have with you?
Leave me a knife. I can handle the rest.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Making boasts you can’t keep. If you say a thing, mean it; otherwise, keep your mouth closed.
What do you do in your free time?
Being a ranger is my life, and it leaves little time for else. However, I do have a habit of sketching the stranger beasts and plants of the Titan Wilds. Ilberian scholars haven’t seen half of what appears here. My letters are too poor to fashion myself a naturalist, even if I wanted to, but part of me would be pleased to fill in the blank pages of their tomes.
Back at the Lodge, I’ll take any night with an ale shared with friends, and a tune or two, if Yolant is inclined.
What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?
Why stay in it? Nothing worth doing is comfortable. I’d take a ride through the forest over an hour’s sleep any day.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
As usual, it comes from my mentor, Lodgemaster Tadeo: “When we close our eyes to other perspectives, no matter where they come from, we become a little more blind to the truth.”
If only I’d heeded it sooner.
What do you carry in your bag?
Not sure that’s a right of yours to know, but it’s no secret—I carry what any ranger would: provisions, a bedroll, oats for my horse, feathers and arrowheads if I need to fletch on the fly. Perhaps a few other things tumbling about the bottom.
What’s your favorite animal?
I’ve a fondness for horses, even ones that give me nothing but trouble. But if pressed, I’ll admit the fox claims my heart, if only because of the one that saved me.
What do you think about Isla?
Should be obvious to anyone who’s spent two minutes with us. We’ve been inseparable for nigh a decade. She’s the only sister I’ve ever known. I’d do anything for her, and her for me. Nothing’s going to change that.
Do you have favorite saying?
Tadeo sure has a favorite one for me: “Don’t be rash.” Much as I resent it, it’s one I repeat to myself most often. Maybe because I need it.
What is your favorite holiday?
Holy day, you mean? It’d have to be San Luciana’s Luminance, the darkest day of the year, when you might glimpse green and blue spirits in the sky. Though I prefer warmer weather, it’s a sight to see, and there’s something comforting about huddling into the Wilds Lodge on a cold night, warm mug in hand.
If you could go anywhere in Unera, where would you go and why?
I guess I’d like to see the Stormhold of the Ofean skystriders. Always wondered how they built a citadel off the side of a mountain. And Isla’s always said Ore-Ofe is beautiful, though I suppose she only knows that secondhand from her parents.
If only Ofeans weren’t so hostile to Baltesians, I might ask for leave to see it.
What do you do to relax?
Sketching, mostly. Target practice. A drink at the Lodge with my fellow rangers isn’t amiss, either. Though a ride through the wilderness is most likely to ease my mind.
What is your favorite food?
I try not to fuss over food most times, but I’ll always take a honeyed casadielle if it’s offered.
What is your favorite season?
Spring or early summer. When the world returns to life. The scents that arise… I could wander the hills for hours just smelling them.
How would you define happiness?
Not something I think of often. Happy—what does it mean to be happy? Maybe someone who hasn’t seen anything of life can manage it. For me, it’s enough to be content.
What are you passionate about?
Promise not to laugh? In truth, I’m near giddy whenever I stumble upon something in this wilderness I haven’t seen before, that’s not covered in any naturalist book I’ve seen. I wonder if I’m the first person to ever lay eyes on it. There’s joy in discovery.
How do you feel about your government?
The governorship of Baltesia is alright, as far as Tadeo and Isla tell me; I don’t heed it much myself. But I could do without the Ilberian Union’s overreach. Between boarding soldiers and taxing goods, I can’t see why we need them lording over us. We get by on our own.
If you could change one thing about Unera, what would it be?
Simple: I’d be rid of Gast magic. All our ills stemmed from there, and we’d better off without it.
What’s your biggest secret?
Not likely to tell you, am I? Secrets are best kept to yourself.
All I’ll say is life hasn’t been easy. And there’s a reason I cannot return to my hometown, no matter how I might wish otherwise.
What do you hate?
I’d rather not get into it. Tadeo and Isla don’t like when I bring up my feelings on Gasts. But if they knew them as I do, knew how they’ve ruined my life from my very birth, how could they not feel the same?
What’s your biggest fear?
Simple: losing the Lodge and the people in it. This is my home; the rangers, my family. I’m ready to die for duty; it’s what we all signed up for. But I’m not ready to lose any of them.
What do you think your best quality is?
The best quality for any ranger, I suppose: I’ll do anything to protect the Lodge and my fellows, paired with the will and skills to survive. I’m damned good at both, and I don’t mind saying it.
How would you describe the world you live in?
The Veiled Lands is a hard place to call home, and the Titan Wilds toughest of all. With titans possibly rising anywhere at any moment, and Gasts liable to send war parties across the mountains, the colonists need us rangers if they’re to stick around for long.
About the Author
Josiah, aka J.D.L. Rosell, is the author of the Legend of Tal series, the Ranger of the Titan Wilds series, The Runewar Saga, The Famine Cycle series, and the Godslayer Rising trilogy. He has earned an MA in creative writing and has previously worked as a ghostwriter.
Always drawn to the outdoors, Josiah ventures out into nature whenever he can to indulge in his hobbies of archery, hiking, and photography. Most of the time, he can be found playing video games or curled up with a good book at home with his wife and two cats, Zelda and Abenthy.
Amazon profile: https://author.to/jdlrosell
Audible profile: https://www.audible.com/author/JDL-Rosell/B072316FK4
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorjdlrosell
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