Blog tour: The Night River
The Night River: The Foxfires Trilogy, Book Three
GENRE: YA fantasy adventure
RELEASE DAY: SATURDAY DECEMBER 19TH 2020
Enter a frozen world of brutal beauty, where Spirits roam, nights last for months, and magic is wrought by the beat of a drum…
As the light returns, darkness will fall...
Spring is coming to the Northlands, but even as winter fades, an icy terror spreads. The three Worlds are on the brink of collapse, and ancient monsters rise from the earth, their wicked eyes set firmly on the mages.
Tuomas, still reeling from his defiance of the Great Bear Spirit, must finally face the reality of who he is. Mihka is furious with him, Elin refuses to speak to him, and the people do not trust him. As the villagers drive the reindeer back into the south to safety, he must set out with Lumi one final time to right his wrongs and keep the Worlds from falling apart.
But this quest shall bring the greatest test of all, for it will take him into the Deathlands: a place where no living person has ever stood...
Beginning December 19th (and including pre-orders of The Night River) 10% of royalties from the sale of each book in the Foxfires Trilogy will be donated to Adopt a Reindeer Foundation, to support the indigenous Arctic Sami people and help their traditional way of life to thrive.
RELEASE DAY GOODIES: Live Instagram reading, live YouTube Q&A and free Facebook party: http://echibbs.weebly.com/events.html
GUEST POST BY E.C. HIBBS
LEGENDS OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
A major element of the Foxfires Trilogy is the northern lights - in my story, they are a powerful entity who is known by several titles, most commonly Lumi. The main inspiration for her, as well as the series title, is the Finnish myth of the aurora which I discovered during my times living in Lapland: a magic fox that sweeps up the snow with its tail. However, I looked at a range of legends from all over the world, and learned some fascinating stories which explain nature’s most amazing light show. Here are some of my favourites.
1. The word aurora comes from Greek, and means “sunrise.” The Greeks said that it was the sister of the sun god Helios and moon goddess Selene, and she would ride across the sky in a colourful chariot to inform them of the new day’s arrival.
2. Various peoples of Aboriginal Australians referred to the aurora as being bushfires in the spirit world, fires from the land of the dead, or evil spirits creating fires. Those from southwest Queensland believed that the fires are made by Oola Pikka: spirits which can speak to the living through the lights.
3. For several Inuit peoples, the northern lights were the spirits of the dead playing ball with a walrus skull. Those in Nunivak Island believed something similar, except it was walrus spirits playing with a human skull. Other Inuit saw the aurora as the spirits of the animals they had hunted, while those in Hudson Bay and northernmost Alaska believed it was evil or the shine of demonic lanterns, and carried knives for protection from its light.
4. The Cree Native Americans believed that the lights were the spirits of their friends and family who had died, trying to communicate with the living left behind. Other Native Americans variously saw the lights as spirit guides holding flaming torches, the spirits of vengeful enemies and those who had died violently.
5. The Makah and Mandan people, from Washington State and North Dakota, respectively, each believed that the lights were fires used in cooking. These ranged from dwarves boiling whale blubber, to warriors boiling their enemies.
6. The Algonquin people said that the aurora was a fire which was lit by their creator, Nanahbozo, as a way of telling them that he was watching over them.
7. Some of the Sami people believed that the lights were made by water shot into the sky by breeching whales, while others thought the aurora to be dangerous, and would hide indoors whenever it appeared.
8. In Estonia, the aurora was believed to be the procession to a celestial wedding, carrying guests across the sky in colourful horse-drawn carriages.
9. In Norse mythology, there is a potential connection between the aurora and the rainbow colours of the Bifrost Bridge which connected the nine worlds. It has also been suggested that the lights are reflections from the armour of the Valkyries: female warriors who select those who may die in battle.
10. One of the legends from Sweden was that the lights were a reflection of large shoals of herring and other fish, so they were taken as a sign of good luck and a bountiful harvest to come.
Elements of several of these beliefs made their way into the Foxfires Trilogy, alongside the obvious Finnish tale. I often thought of them as I stood under the northern lights and tried to see through these peoples’ eyes. One thing is for sure, once you’ve watched the aurora, it stays with you forever.