Guest Posts

Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene Blog Tour +Giveaway

While you haven’t read my review for Amber & Dusk yet, just know that I absolutely loved it. Everything from the magic to the main character, it was all stunning. And what I was the most blown away by, was the world building. So I had the opportunity to talk to Lyra about the world building process for this fantastic novel. Also make sure to scroll to the bottom for the giveaway.

Summary

Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies.

So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.

But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot.

Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to assume what should be her rightful place, she’ll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.

Guest Post

The Prompt: I love the stories, folk tales, and myths within the story, within the larger world building. Can you talk a little bit about your process for creating these? Do you think of the larger groups of people and then work from there, or are they inspired by a story?

I have always been fascinated with world mythology and folklore, to the point of near obsession. I grew up on Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, Malory’s Morte d’Arthur, and the Mahabharata—soaring epics from around the world that shaped my love for stories and my love for narrative.

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: November 27, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

I think that the stories we tell ourselves are a way of mapping humanity’s relationship with its world and its place within it, both physical and metaphysical. Stories—whether they are ancient myths of gods and monsters, humorous folk stories featuring mischievous animals, or even religious parables—exist as an offshoot of what I like to call the generative imagination of a time, a place, and a people. They explain the things we cannot understand, they define our deeply held desires, and they give faces and names to all the things we fear.

Nearly every culture and religion in the world has a creation myth. From the moment I dreamed up this impossible fantasy world where the sun never sets, I knew I wanted there to be a widely-told myth that explained the origin of this ancient dichotomy between light and dark. I really loved the idea of personifying the Sun and the Moon as deities—it reminded me of some of my favorite stories, like the myth of Helios and his son Phaeton, and Keats’ poem Endymion, about a shepherd who can only be with his beloved moon goddess when he is dreaming. But I also wanted there to be a cataclysmic event that explained both the sun standing still in the sky and the rich veins of various minerals running through the Amber Empire. And so, I invented Meridian, a god-king of yore who existed at the crossroads of history, legend, and religion—a man and a myth who changed the face of the world forever.

As you mention, there are other folktales scattered throughout the book, told within the cultures of other peoples within the story. While the main creation myth was something I thought up well before writing the narrative, these legends sprang up more organically during the process of writing. For example, Luca’s people—known as the Tavendel—are nomadic horse breeders and warrior-poets who traverse a vast plain. I knew they would have myths and folktales that would be slightly different than the citizens of the Amber Empire or Belsyre, but I wanted these stories to tell the reader something about their unique culture; their desires and anxieties. And so I imagined a mulo, a demon of wind and dust, haunting their camps and wailing for blood. Perhaps what they were really hearing was just a high wind sweeping the grasslands, but such a terrifying bedtime story both explains those eerie sounds and keeps willful children in their beds.

And—although it may not be as obvious—the book also explores smaller kinds of myths: the kinds of private stories we tell ourselves to keep our eyes up and our hearts singing. Myths about radiant cities and glittering palaces; myths about bloodlines and family and the places we belong. Because, when history’s myths have faded into the oblivion of the distant past, these are the stories humanity will always tell—stories about fear, and longing, and ultimately, hope.

About the Author

Lyra Selene was born under a full moon and has never quite managed to wipe the moonlight out of her eyes. When she isn’t dreaming up fantastical cities and brooding landscapes, Lyra enjoys hiking, rainstorms, autumn, and pretending she’s any good at painting.

She lives in New England with her husband, in an antique farmhouse that’s probably not haunted. AMBER & DUSK is her debut novel.

Giveaway

 AMBER & DUSK by Lyra Selene

  • US Only
  • Starts: 11/12
  • Ends: 11/30

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

November 12th

Pink Polka Dot Books– Welcome Post
Vicky Who Reads– Review

November 13th

Kat’s Books– Review & Favorite Quotes
book briefs– Review
A Backwards Story– Guest Post

November 14th

Book Slaying– Review
Utopia State of Mind– Guest Post
Book-Keeping– Review

November 15th

KookBookery– Spotlight

November 16th

808bookdr– Review & Favorite Quotes
My Lovely Secret– Book Aesthetic
Jrsbookreviews– Review

Discussion

What is your favorite fictional world?


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