Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten…Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to an existence below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire's ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained.
As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten.
Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, becoming a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown.
The Buried Symbol is the debut novel of Jeffrey L. Kohanek. It is a Young Adult high fantasy novel. Jeffrey Kohanek creates a world of wonder and magic in his new novel. The Buried Symbol is the first of three books in his new series The Runes of Issalia. The first book made its debut today in print version and will officially become available on ebook May 19!
The Buried Symbol is about a young man as he struggles to live as an Unchosen, the lowest class of society. The hero of the story is Brock. He is a young thief who strives to help others. Despite being an outcast he remains kind and brave. Brock unlike those around him never received a rune to determine his role in society. Due to this Brock is incapable of getting a job and is looked down upon by others.
I have come to really enjoy books that don’t rely purely on romance or magic to engage the reader. The Buried Symbols perfectly incorporates friendship, magic and a hint of romance. Readers will find themselves entranced in a world of fantasy and mystery. The majority of this book has a very light fun theme that revolves around self-discovery as well as bravery and triumph. Older reader will appreciate the darker elements to this story. Elements such as death, disease, drugs, and pain are things that everyone has experienced. Readers will find that they can easily relate to some of the challenges Brock faces. I was very impressed with the world building throughout this novel. It is creative and vivid. Fans of the high fantasy genre will love the first book in the The Runes of Isssalia series.
Keep reading for an interview with Jeffery. L. Kohanek!
Interview with Jeffery. L. Kohanek
1. What inspired you to write The Buried Symbol?
Whether creating my own comics as a child or building an entertainment center for my house as an adult, I have always loved to create. I loved my creative writing courses back in college, but didn’t really do anything with it since my professional career went in another direction. Finally, back in the summer of 2014, I decided that it was time to take the ideas bouncing within my head and put them onto paper. Here is a brief outline of the core concept that started my process:
• Words have power in our society, offering inspiration to perform great deeds or cutting to the bone as if they were a knife of another sort. One of the core tenants of my story revolves around symbols (or runes) having intrinsic meaning and power. Unlike words, they can affect people and the world even if you don’t know what they mean.
• Theocracies are inherently a bad idea. When a single body governs a people and guides people’s beliefs, it naturally leads to corruption and the abuse of power. This type of government would run the Empire within my story, with their doctrine highly influencing the caste society that they have defined.
• Having the spirit of an optimist and the heart of a romantic, I love stories that contain a protagonist who is an underdog and then goes on to succeed despite the obstacles placed before him. Driven by human spirit, he will reach beyond his pitiful society status to pursue his dreams.
• The protagonist discovers a magic that has been hidden for centuries and learns to harness this magic.
• The process of discovering a magic was another core theme of the book and largely drives the latter part of the book. In fact, the whole book would focus on the idea of discovery, continuously tantalizing and rewarding the reader with new information as the story unfolds.
2. Are you similar to Brock in any way? If so how?
To tell you the truth, I modeled Brock after myself, but a slightly better version of me. Like me, he is of small physical stature and needs to use his quickness, brains, and personality to compensate. Also like me, he tries his best to be a good person. While Brock has flaws, he always wants to do the right thing and if he must do the wrong thing, it is for the right reasons. For instance, when I play video games, I cannot be a bad guy. I can’t stomach it (I’m looking at you, GTA).
Fun note: The scene where Brock becomes a bit carried away at The Quiet Woman was modeled much after me. I’m known to occasionally lose my shirt and do a few acrobatics in public places, just to entertain my friends.
3. Who was your inspiration for Tipper?
Tipper wasn’t modeled after a specific person (though Benny and a few other characters were copies of real people). Instead, he is the classic unassuming friend who is happy with small personal victories and willing to support Brock, who has higher aspirations.
4. What surprised you most about the publishing process thus far?
Writing a novel is a lot of work (1,000s of hours). However, it is surprising just how much time and effort is required AFTER a publisher agrees to print your book. Preparing for print, working with a cover artist, working with a publicist, creating websites and interacting with fans via social media, planning and attending festivals and conventions, the list of activities seem endless.
5. Where did you write The Buried Symbol?
I write anywhere I go. Since I travel a lot, I have written chapters on planes, in airports, on a lanai in Maui, on a deck in the river country of Argentina, on a rooftop in Cartagena, and in numerous hotel rooms. I find that I write best when I feel inspired and energized by my environment, which often involves simply listening to alternative rock as I type in my own living room.
6. If you weren’t an author what work would you pursue?
With a background in engineering, marketing, and business, my day job is acting a product manager for a consumer electronics company. Since product managers are responsible for driving the creation of new products, along with all related marketing activities, it can be a decent creative outlet. However, it doesn’t allow the characters within me to grow and thrive and that is why writing fiction is my true passion. I hope to grow my writing career to into a full time job within a few years.
7. Without spoilers, is there anything you can tell us about what to expect from future books in this series?
Book two, The Emblem Throne, opens with Brock and Ashland experimenting with new runes, testing the limits of the magic that Brock discovered in the first book. While Brock remains the central character throughout the series, other characters gain a voice in the book two, exposing the reader to the background, depth, and aspirations that drive them. Brock and his friends return to the Academy to continue their training, but it doesn’t last because Brock’s false identity is discovered. After fleeing the school, the group becomes embroiled in a struggle between opposing forces with the fate of humanity in the balance. The result is a fast-paced and action-filled adventure of an epic scale that comes to a dramatic conclusion in the third book.
Author Site: https://jeffreylkohanek.com/products/the-buried-symbol
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