Monday, May 19, 2014

Mythical Monday (50)

It seems there are many books based on or influenced by Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are so many different Mythology and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.

This week we have:
Urban Fantasy author 
Amanda Bonilla
Talking the Shaede and Lyhtan races.

The Mythology of the Shaede Assassin World

Thanks so much to Melissa and My World in Words and Pages for having me as a guest for Mythical Monday! When I started writing SHAEDES OF GRAY I realized that in order to fully understand the world I was building I’d need a history, an origin of the Shaede and Lyhtan races. As opposite sides of the same coin, I couldn’t justify their animosity against each other until I knew where they came from, what their history was, and what spurred their feud to begin with. Though Lyhtans don’t have much time on the page, I had to know their origins. I found the word in some on-line ancient words dictionary. Lyhtan—a verb—literally means, “to make light.” What better word to name my creatures that were so different from my shadow-loving Shaedes. And since I couldn’t find a creature in mythology that fit my vision of the Lyhtan, I made them up from scratch.

Though Shaedes and Lyhtans are technically fae creatures, I decided to make them uncommon among the fae. They are a unique species in that they are a product not only of their biology, but of magic. As the legend goes, Kreighton, high king of the Dark Fae forbade his sons from leaving the borders of his kingdom. But as young men are prone both to curiosity and disobeying their fathers, they set out to see the world beyond their kingdom. Artis, eldest son and favored by his father, fell in love with a beautiful Sylph princess, while Rannan, the more rebellious of the two, took a powerful Sidhe sorceress as his bride. When Kreighton learned of his sons’ betrayal, he flew into a rage. Using up every ounce of his magic, he marked their offspring as something other and unnatural, so that the fae would know they were creatures never meant to be. However, since the king had favored Artis before his rebellion, Kreighton took pity on him and rather than exact the harsh punishment he’d planned, he gifted Artis’s children with fae beauty and cloaked them with the protection of the shadows at night.

But Rannan’s children felt the brunt of Kreighton’s curse. They are the Lyhtans. Banished to the light to hide their grotesque forms in the light of day and forced to remain corporeal at night. Unlike Shaedes, Lyhtans are able to assume the form of a glittering beetle-like insect during the daylight hours, a small concession given by Kreighton so that Rannan’s children would know some measure of beauty. Whereas Shaedes can blend with humans, Lyhtans look more like praying mantises. They hunt like animals, feed upon their prey by injecting them with a venom that liquefies their victim’s insides for easy consumption, and they live solitary lives often in caves of high up in trees where they can remain unnoticed.

Since the Lyhtans obviously got the crappy end of the deal, their hatred and animosity toward Shaedes was easily justified. The creation myth allowed for a built-in feud. An attack on site policy that would need no other justification other than a centuries-old grudge. By interweaving their heritage, I could incorporate Lyhtans easily into the Shaede world. It also gave me the opportunity to create balance. I also wanted to offer readers an atypical representation of light and dark which is usually associated with good and evil, ugliness and beauty. In the Shaede Assassin world, the good guys don’t always wear white, don’t always have sunshine on their shoulder.

Do you prefer to read stories where the world building has been connected to historical mythology? Or do you enjoy new worlds/alternate universes with their own unique origins? What are some of your favorite fantasy worlds?

Against the Dawn
By:  Amanda Bonilla
Six months can feel like just a couple of weeks when you’ve been away in another realm. Literally.

Now that Darian is back in Seattle, she’s ready to face the life—and the man—she left behind. But it’s not going to be easy when a ghost from her past shows up looking to wreak havoc on Seattle’s supernatural crime scene.

Darian isn’t as careless as she used to be, though. She and Tyler, her sexy Jinn protector, have come a long way in the trust department. And it’s a good thing too—because when Ty contracts her to assassinate a wickedly powerful supernatural who goes by the name of Mithras, it will take all her faith in Ty, and herself, to get the job done.

While Darian does whatever it takes to get to her mark, Xander, the Shaede King is busy making plans of his own. With Darian’s attention divided between Lorik’s secrets and her mission she might not be able to stop Xander from doing anything in his power to separate Darian from her sworn protector and in the process, destroy his own kingdom…

Amanda has graciously offered a Giveaway!
ONE Digital ARC of Against the Dawn.
Giveaway runs: May 19, 2014 through May 27, 2014.
This giveaway is only for a digital copy.
Please fill out the Rafflecopter to enter:

About Amanda:
Amanda Bonilla lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler, a full-time sun worshipper, and only goes out into the cold when coerced. She loves the outdoors, black clothes, pink appliances and thinks junk food should be a recognized food group. In the summer, she can be found sitting by the lake, enjoying the view from her dock.

Purchase the series: (click the image)


  1. I like both types of worlds. But I think the unique and created ones are those I have enjoyed more. Let's see I like the Ilona Andrews - Kate Daniels world, the Devon Monk - Allie Beckstrom world, the Anne Bishop - Meg world, the ML Brennan - Fort world to name a few which are their own creations.

    1. Oh Northwoman, you have mentioned some great series there! I've read Kate Daniels but need to get to the others. They are on my list. :) Thank you!

  2. Anything goes. If they author makes it good then I am there

  3. I enjoy both kinds of worlds. I love it when it is totally new and also when it is a retelling of the old. I just love to see what the author's imagination comes up with! I think that is why I like a lot of UF... the world is usually unique in some way.

    1. Melissa (B&T) I'm pretty easy with both worlds too. It's all in the author's take and sharing of it. :) Thank you!

  4. I like both, but I'm partial to the worlds connected to historical mythology.

    1. Steve Bochenek, it's neat when a historical myth or happening is turned around and used in stories. :) Thank you!

  5. What a wonderful post! I love knowing more about the mythology behind the books ad it's one of my fave series and it's so interesting! Thank you for sharing!

  6. I can't wait to read Against the Dawn and I loved learning about the mythology surrounding the books.

    1. Aliyah Esmail, so glad you are enjoying the series. :)

  7. I'm always interested in learning about how authors go about their craft -- in this case, inventing the mythology and back story. Fascinating!

    1. Lark @ The bookwyrm's hoard, I love how authors create their story, whether on their own or off a history. :) Thank you!

  8. I enjoy both types of worlds. If the world is based on historical mythology, I really love it when the author adds their own spin on things in some way or another. The Lyhtans sound beyond interesting. So much to them! Thanks very much for sharing :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

    1. Jaclyn Canada, I loved reading about the races in this post too. Thank you for visiting and enjoying! :)


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