The Last Sanctuary

The Last Sanctuary - PS Mokha

In all honesty, I struggled through the first chapter of this book. I made the mistake of checking the page count and when I saw the large number, I panicked. Typically with long books like this, the author has a difficult time holding my interest. There are usually some boring filler chapters that I feel aren't really needed. 

P.S. Mohka does not have this problem. 

Once I reached the second or third chapter, I faced a new problem -- knowing that I couldn't put the book down until I was finished reading it. Lily, Rose, and Olivia are fantastic characters who, though they are young, are strong, hilarious, and realistically written. 

I love the background to this book. The world is unique and well put together. I can honestly say that this is unlike any fantasy book I've ever read. 

P.S. Mokha also deserves a standing ovation, in my opinion, for his dialogue. The dialogue of three not-yet-teenage girls is difficult to tackle. But it's fantastic. I had no trouble following and no instances where I thought to myself, "well that's not what they'd say" or "ick, that was a bit dull." It flows smoothly and is easy to read. Fantastic job!


Some Bio Information

P S Mokha was born and raised in London. Like millions of others, he spent his early working life commuting into the city and reading books on trains. 

The books often transported him further and to more interesting places than the trains. 

The author is currently living in the timeless and rugged beauty of the New Zealand wilds. He is miles away from mains water, street lighting and other distractions so he can concentrate on completing book two of the series. 


Q&A

1. Can you tell us a little bit about how you created the world of Lily, Rose, and Olivia? 

The world stems from a desire to meld the landscape of traditional European mythology with today’s city life. I had to do so in a way that was plausible within a fantasy framework, hence the hints at a single world that became split into parallel realities, one filled with humans (our earth) and the other inhabited by magical folk (Ammasaya).
Lily, Rose and Olivia might seem like ordinary girls on the surface, but scratch a little deeper and they have all been moulded by their environments with their prophesised destinies in mind. 

2. Who is your favourite author? 

I like a wide range of authors but Ken Follett and C.S. Lewis really stand out for me. Although the former found success by weaving stories around historical events, while the latter found success through writing fantasy, both novelists think big and play out their epic stories on a grand stage, something I seek to emulate. 

3. Can you describe your writing process? 

Until recently I was getting up at 5am, then writing when the kids were in bed. I found the intervening period to be a perfect way for my unconscious to digest the content of the previous writing session, as well as forming thoughts on the best way to progress.

Once the first draft is completed, it gets re-written twice before going to close family for critiquing. It then goes to a hand-picked group of students (I’m an assistant principal at a girls’ high school) for feedback to ensure my target audience are hooked by what’s been created.

It then gets redrafted following their feedback. Next it gets passed through a group of writer friends as part of the Master Class I belong to. Finally, it goes to my mentor – a former president of the NZSA – before the copy editor gets hold of it. 

4. Who is your favourite character?

Well that’s tricky! I think at different times I enjoyed writing different elements of the characters’ stories, for example in book two, The Fall of Refuge, I thoroughly revelled in the creation of Jacques and Flaim’s adventures. 

5. What is your ultimate writing goal? 

For my work to be loved by more and more readers. For my writing to go from strength to strength and I guess to write full time one day, but for now, I am loving my role as an assistant principal.

6. If your book had a soundtrack, what would be on it? 

Brilliant question. No idea what the answer is though ;-)

7. Describe your favourite place. 

Other than home with my wife and daughters? Well somewhere warm and beautiful, not too unlike parts of Ammasaya. Either way, it would have to be somewhere my family could join me. I guess what I’m saying is that my favourite place is wherever my family are.