The Queen of Arèthane (The Elves of Arèthane Book Four)
by Kelly Riad
Paperback, 402 pages
Published January 23rd 2014 by CreateSpace
Published January 23rd 2014 by CreateSpace
It all ends here.War has come to Arèthane. The land is divided. Jabari's armies are on the move. The Royal Family is tortured by long-hidden secrets. And with Jarrad gone, Emily must learn how to cope on her own.Can Queen Karawyn keep her country and her people from falling into the clutches of the evil wizard? Will Dafne solve the mystery of her birth? As Emily faces new struggles and old foes, once again the fate of Arèthane rests in her small hands.And just like it began…It all ends with a Door.
Elves That Inspired Me
Writers find inspiration in the oddest of places.
Sometimes it’s an overheard conversation or an arbitrary commercial about taking advantage of an all-exclusive two days and two nights trip to the Bahamas. Or it’s a cult movie from the 80s.
My YA fantasy series The Elves of Arethane is about a teen girl that first finds herself caught up in the story of a pair of star-crossed elves who come from different sides of warring elven races. Though she becomes an important part of the story, the idea had originated in one of my favorite movies, Ladyhawke. For the unfamiliar (and shame on you, if you are), this 80s cult classic is about a knight and a young woman torn apart by an evil spell. Dark magic forces them to live together but apart, turning the knight into a wolf every evening and the lady into a hawk every dawn. At the brief moments of dusk and twilight do they share but a glimpse of each other and struggle every day to find a way to break the curse. I had always loved the stories that pitted lovers from opposing sides and had played around with the idea of lovers ripped apart by misunderstanding or outside forces. I loved the idea of one of them turned dark by their despair; the villain being not so bad after all.But I didn’t know how I wanted these lovers represented; I knew I wanted them to be more than human. I just didn’t know what.
And then I watched Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Enter Nuada and Nuala. Two elves that possessed speed, power and patience and the kind of cool calm that made these timeless creatures the perfect vehicle for my book.Though it may seem otherwise, there is very little in the lore concerning the history and mythology of elves, at least those not created and conjured by Tolkien or part of fan fiction. But what I managed to uncover in my research were two main races of elves: Liosalfa and Svartalfa, otherwise known as Light Elves and Dark Elves. One lived high in the mountains and were made of light, the other dwelled deep within the earth and could disappear in the dark. And the two were not known to get along--I had my Capulets and Montagues. From there it was a matter of weeding through the conflicting information on elves that painted them as anything from tall and graceful humanoids to small and sneaky imps. While Tolkien’s elves offered an image for mine, it was a matter of taking what mythology there was on the creatures and adapting it for my story. Some of the lore says elves were created by the god, Frey, from the light of the moon. They are magical immortal beings with supernatural beauty. Some possess the ability to heal and some have the power of enchantment, known among humans as an “elf spell.” Ambivalent towards humans, once among them they can possess an awkward approach to social settings--one of my elves is even accused of having Asperger’s and often refers to humans as “mouse” or “monkey.”
Hellboy’s Nuada and Nualla offered final inspiration for the brother-sister dynamic of the relationship of my three main elves. Using my own family situation as the mold, I wanted the three of them to be close and connected, a strong family structure.
Ultimately I think that mythology allows you to twist, mold and bend it in any way that creates a new and exciting story. Just like its origins in oral storytelling, it changes and transforms under the writer’s guidance and while fairies and witches have dominated our literature, elves are calmly waiting for their turn in the spotlight, but are too cool to ever admit it.
About The Author:
Kelly Riad is an American writer who graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas with a degree in journalism. Because she’s always been a lucky little brat, her life has taken her all over the world from the hot, humid streets of Hong Kong and the crowded markets of Cairo, to the cobbles of Vienna and the ruins of Rome from where she has shamelessly stolen ideas and material for her stories. She self-published her first young adult novel, Always Me, in September 2011. Other Novels include Prince of Arèthane and Queen of Arèthane. For more information on Kelly’s young adult fiction, visit http://kellyriad.blogspot.com/
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