Character interview: Isra from City of Spires by Claudie Arseneault (no spoilers)

It’s time for another interview, this time with Isra, who is one of my favourite characters of the City of Spires series! The interview takes place after the events of the second book of the series but there are no spoilers in this interview! Isra is a minor character in City of Strife and has a larger role in City of Betrayal. She’s intriguing, quite annoying at times, and there is still so much that I would like to know about her. Thus, without further ado, let’s start with the interview!

Hi Isra! It’s so exciting to finally meet you! How are you doing?

I’m great! In more than one sense of the term, haha. I’m really thrilled too! I never get to leave the enclave and meet new people, so this is super cool.

What kind of hobbies do you have?

I like to read–not big magic treatises like Nevian does. Romance books with lovely heroines swooning over each other. Those are so great, and so much easier to find here than in Myria. When I was home I liked to take care of the garden’s pretty flowers, too. I think an Isbari does it, here.

What is your greatest fear?

I… I don’t want to be hated. People are so judgemental and I just know the moment they get to see the real me, they’ll abandon me. So I guess I hide a lot. People never dig below the surface. Skin-deep is all they know, and father taught me quickly you could trick them even on that. But some days I’m afraid they’ll discover I’m giving them what they want to see.

Where would you most like to live?

Father has a beautiful mansion, with wide rooms and immense paintings and it’s just–everything is so gorgeous? Way better than this stony and dull enclave. I wish I could go back, or have my own one day. One with enormous gardens and flowers even inside, so that it could smell good all year.

Who do you look up to?

Jilssan. Jilssan is so brilliant, I can’t even describe. She’s sly and witty and pragmatic, she mastered her magic long ago, she always knows what’s what, who matters most, what to say in a given situation. I mean, she can be a little harsh, and she kinda prefers the more boring kind of transmutations, but she’s a good teacher. And-and did you hear her flirt stories? She’s so daring. I can’t believe she found so many other girls like us in Myria. She really needs to teach me more of that, too.

I love my dad, too. He’s not like the other Myrians. I mean, I don’t want to spill his secrets, but he’s really not! And he’s a super powerful mage and can become a huge tiger. I used to ride on his back as a child, it was so much fun! I wish people loved me the way they do him, too.

Oh, and don’t tell him, but Nevian’s kinda cool. He’s rude and stubborn, but I could never work that hard. He probably shouldn’t either.

You’re a shape-shifter right? Which animal do you most like shifting into and why?

I am a shapeshifter–when Jilssan lets me be, anyway. I like birds the best. It’s the flying and freedom, you know? There’s nothing quite like soaring over a city or forest and knowing nothing can stop you. Honestly, I can’t do many other forms than eagle. Magic is so difficult, and shapeshifting is intense, but I love it so much! I want to learn to do big cats like my dad, or something small and beautiful like butterflies. I hear some transmuters can do trees and flowers, but most people in Myria seems to think it’s a waste. I wonder what it feels like.

Author profile

Claudie_ScarfClaudie Arseneault is an asexual and aromantic-spectrum writer hailing from the very-French Québec City. Her long studies in biochemistry and immunology often sneak back into her science-fiction, and her love for sprawling casts invariably turns her novels into multi-storylined wonders. The most recent, City of Strife, came out on February 22, 2017! Claudie is a founding member of The Kraken Collective and is well-known for her involvement in solarpunk, her database of aro and ace characters in speculative fiction, and her unending love of squids. Find out more on her website!

Isra is from the series City of Spires. If you’re interested in reading the series, you can find it on Goodreads here. The first book has already been released and the second book will be released on the 22nd of October. You can find my review for City of Strife (City of Spires #1) here and my review for City of Betrayal (City of Spires #2) will be published in a few weeks.

You can get the books at Gumroad (this is an affiliate link).

12 thoughts on “Character interview: Isra from City of Spires by Claudie Arseneault (no spoilers)

  1. Isra sounds lovely; what brought her to be one of your favourite characters? ♡

    Your review on City of Strife made me buy it pretty much immediately by the way, I look forward to reading it lol


    1. Oh my! That’s one of the nicest things to hear as a book character. I’m a huge fan of shapeshifters in stories and she can shapeshift! Also, she’s kind of a villian, a bit because that’s how she had to be to survive in society and a bit because she doesn’t know better. It’s interesting to read about people who don’t realise how their actions might affect other people. Also there are several instances where I identified with her in the second book, but I don’t want to spoil the book.


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