Taiwanese teen releases second book in young adult fantasy trilogy

Seventeen-year-old Taiwanese author Hermione Lee’s second book in the Otherworld trilogy was released on March 7th. It is a sequel to her debut novel, In the Name of the Otherworld, a young adult fantasy adventure book published last year by World Castle Publishing.

In the Name of the Otherworld has received many accolades in various international contests, placing first in two categories in the prestigious 2021 Critters Annual Readers Poll—namely Best Sci-fi and Fantasy Novel and Best Young Adult Book, and also took first place in the 2021 Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers’ Choice Award.

In Marvels of the Underworld, the newly-published sequel to its award-winning predecessor, Lee boldly attempts a mashup of eight genres, weaving fantasy, horror, action, adventure, sci-fi, romance, thriller, and mystery into a story full of twists and turns.

“It’s my favorite book among my six manuscripts,” said Lee. “I finished it in four months, and those four months were the happiest time in my life. As soon as it was through with editing, I started feeling inexplicably nostalgic. I truly loved and connected with the characters and enjoyed the plot.” Topics such as corruption, trust, betrayal, love, relationships, death, and the pains of growing up are explored in Marvels of the Underworld.

Once again, the protagonist of the series, Alexandria Richardson, must overcome a myriad of challenges with her Otherworldian companions to reach their goal, but this time with the implication of an unknown traitor dwelling among them.

The book is available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and hardcover format, and the paperback edition is also available on books.com.tw (博客來), the largest online bookstore in Taiwan.

Lee looks forward to the release of her third book, which is split into two volumes due to its length—War of the Chaotic Worlds I and II. She also has a standalone young adult fantasy comedy novel, titled Once Upon an Enchantress, under contract, and has completed both her fifth and sixth books, respectively a psychological horror prequel for the Otherworld trilogy and a young adult fantasy romance.

Lee derives great pleasure from experimenting with different genres. “Miracles occur only when you believe in them,” she said. “If you tell yourself you can’t do it before even trying, you’ll never break through your limits or reach new heights. I never thought I’d be capable of writing a psychological horror novel targeted at adults; neither have I assumed I’d be capable of penning a romance novel, since I’ve never fallen in love before. But in the end, I accomplished both.

Being humans, we have endless potential. All we need to do is to unlock it and have faith in our competence. Tell yourself nothing is impossible, and it will come true.” Apart from working on her novels, Lee also strives to help other authors promote their works. She founded a Facebook fan page “Writing & Writers” in February, featuring one author a week, creating promotional ads and interviewing them.

“My fellow authors at World Castle are all talented beyond words,” she said. “I wish more people would read their books and recognize their stunning potential. I don’t know if my promotion efforts will help with their sales, since I’m not considered famous yet and have very limited influence, but doing my best to help is better than doing nothing at all.”

To Hermione Lee, her writing journey is never over. She plans to start her seventh book soon, and has a few more novels’ outlines mapped out. “People have asked me when I’m going to stop writing. My answer is and always will be, ‘after a lifetime.’ I have many, many more ideas to keep me occupied happily ever after.”

See previous story: For Taiwan teen novelist English is an art, not a tool

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