This week I’m participating in the book tour for Hazel West’s new release: Scars of War, book #3 of the Modern Tales of the Na Fianna series. Which is an Urban Fantasy YA full with mythology and folklore. I’ve been reading the first book in the series and enjoying it so far! Hazel is here today to tell us a little about Ireland Mythology and how it plays a role in the Na Fianna series…
Hazel B. West
I have always love folklore and fairy tales for as long as I can remember, no matter where they come from. But I think some of my favorite tales come from Ireland, England and Scotland. Celtic folklore and mythology in particular has a really cool mixture of monsters and stories that fall more into the urban legend category like the folklore you’ll find in America, but also has a good dose of faerie lore and fantasy elements which makes it even cooler.
It was that sort of feel that I wanted to portray in my Modern Tales of Na Fianna series. At its core, the Fianna legends are very much like the stories of Arthur and his knights, they’re classic fantasy adventure stories with brave warriors, daring deeds, and all sorts of magic, quests, and mythic creatures that the warriors have to fight. I didn’t want to lose that feel when I transferred it to the modern day, but I think it was really fun to give the old stories kind of a more urban fantasy feel. There is still magic and quests and mythic creatures, it’s just put into a little more relatable setting, which a lot of times, I think actually translated almost tongue-in-cheek.
Then you also have the element with Faeries. Writing the faery courts was really fun because with them, I kind of kept them mostly traditional because they are more old fashioned and still live ‘beyond the veil’ in the faery realm, and though the faeries you see in the books aren’t as powerful as they once were, they still add a nice fantasy/magic element to the stories.
I have always found faery lore so fun to read and write about. There is just so much you can do with it. And you have such a wonderful cast of characters to play with. You have brownies, hobgoblins and pixies that are the kind of faeries that you can encounter in every day life, then you have the court faeries, the ones Tolkien based his elves off of. The rulers of the Seelie and Unseelie realms (the summer and winter Fae). They are elegant, sometimes pretentious and stuck up, and keep the rule of the lower faeries. Then of course you have the faeries who are actually dangerous, like the kelpie—waterhorses that will drown you if you ride them—and redcaps—the types of goblins who act as mercenaries for hire, and haunt the battlefields, dying their caps in the blood of the fallen.
In Scars of War I got to play with two really cool types of faeries that I haven’t before. First of all, I introduce a character who is a phooka. Phookas are tricksters, and often take joy in messing around with unsuspecting humans, but they can also be helpful too when they want to be. They can shift forms as well, most commonly to a dog, or even a donkey.
And then of course you have the changelings. Changelings are just faerie children, usually sickly or weak, who the faeries take and change out with healthy human children, leaving the parents with a bad-tempered baby on their hands. Sometimes the faeries simply use a glamoured piece of wood instead of actually changing out a child. But faeries seem to enjoy having humans in their courts, so they like to try and trick human parents into taking care of unwanted faerie children and keep the human babies to raise beyond the veil. Of course, you can prevent it by hanging iron (a horseshoe or scissors) over the baby’s cradle. BPAFF suggests iron filings around the crib as a safer option, however.
What are some of your favorite stories or creatures from folklore?
Thanks for stopping by, Hazel! I’ve read a few phookas in books, but they were never explained well enough for me to understand them. Now, they make a little more sense. And can I say how creepy the idea of changelings are? I guess parents in the old days needed a way to explain their child’s bad behavior. 😉
About the Author
Hazel West lives in Purgatory, er, Florida, with her books and her hedgehog Horatio. When she’s not writing, she’s reading other people’s books, studying folklore, or binge-watching something on Netflix—drinking coffee is also a given.
The Book Tour continues HERE, where there is currently a GIVEAWAY taking place!
Last year I had Hazel over here for an author interview, which you can find HERE, where we discussed more mythology and I pestered her with questions. 🙂
The other books in the series are currently on sale for the tour. Blood Ties (book 1) is free on Smashwords, if you use this code during checkout: EJ57R.
An Earthly King (book 2 ) is on sale for .99
Scars of War (book 3) is now available:
As part of the tour fun, Hazel has an Askbox open and running, where you can ask the series’ characters Eamon and Killian anything: https://hazelwest.blogspot.com/2017/09/ask-eamon-killian.html
Have fun following the tour, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! There’s a pretty four-leaf clover charm as well as Scars of War paperbacks up for win.
Remember to subscribe to this blog’s email list so you can get in on book sneak peeks, special giveaways when held, and more from me!
© 2017-present, author E.E. Rawls and RawlsE.wordpress.com
(ads are by WordPress, not me)