In School of Deaths, we first meet the ‘Mentals, or Elementals, one of the three races in the World of Deaths. Suzie’s appearance at the College of Deaths coincides with extremely high tensions between the Deaths and the ‘Mentals. In the second novel, a new ‘Mental, named Michi, is introduced. Michi is also a girl, which changes the dynamics at the all-male College. Michi sat down with her author to discuss her role in the upcoming novel
CM: You were involved in the revolt at the College, weren’t you?
MICHI: Yes, I was present at the beginning, but became trapped. For months, I took the form of a fly, eating the droppings I found in the Armory.
CM: How could you become a fly?
MICHI: I am an arthromorph. I have a special.. bond.. if you will, to the insect world. If I need to become an insect for a time, I can. I also use insects in other ways if I need to, but I don’t like doing so unless I have to.
CM: Why don’t you like using insects. They’re just bugs.
MICHI: They’re more than that. I sense what they sense, I feel close to them. To use an insect often costs part of their essence, and it’s not fair to them to use that.
CM: I’ve heard a rumor that you and Frank used to be in a relationship. Is it true?
MICHI: No comment.
CM: Anything else you’d like to tell us about your role in the upcoming book?
MICHI: Sword of Deaths really does a better job of spotlighting the ‘Mentals, who are of course the most important race in the World of Deaths. I felt like we were given a minor role in the first book, and I didn’t like that. However, things aren’t going that well for us, as I’m sure you’ll see.
Susan Sarnio made a choice, and will spend the rest of her life as the only female Death. Last year she was bullied and ostracized. Now, to her complete bewilderment, four Deaths vie for her affection. Yet, something is terribly wrong at the College of Deaths. When a ship carrying scythe metal is attacked, many blame the newly-freed Elementals, but Susan knows the Elementals are innocent.
Shadows from the distant past come to light. Dragons circle the horizon, blood spills, and nothing is what it seems. Susan and her friends struggle to stop a war. They search for the fabled First Scythe, hoping to sway the balance, but who is the true enemy?
Book 1 is Available On:
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Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death?
Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.
Scythes hungry for souls, Deaths who enslave a race of mysterious magicians, and echoes of an ancient war with Dragons.
As her year progresses, Suzie suspects her presence isn’t an accident. She uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must also discover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.
Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance/production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.