(The Wraithwood Trilogy, #2)
Publication date: March 15th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
The bane of Mordred, the son of Mordizan, and a millennia-old prophecy—together they may provide what Brinnie needs to defeat the world of magic’s greatest threat.
More than a year has passed since Brinnie left Wraithwood, never expecting to see it again. But when Mordred captures her sister, she is thrust back into the world of magic. She flees to Wraithwood, where she learns of a prophecy located in the dark wizard capital of Mordizan that reveals the identity of “Mordred’s bane,” something that could destroy Mordred for good.
Brinnie agrees to a rendezvous with Mordred to exchange herself for her sister, going undercover at Mordizan as a spy to find the prophecy and Mordred’s bane. There, she weaves a complicated web of secrets, lies, and tenuous friendships. She makes an unexpected ally in Marcus Vorath, son of the Master of Mordizan, who fears the implications of Mordred’s growing power. But in Mordizan, friends and foes may be one and the same.
In the midst of court intrigue, battle, ominous new depths to her power, and searching for Mordred’s bane, Brinnie struggles to draw the lines. How far is she willing to go to destroy Mordred? And how much of herself is she willing to give up along the way?
***Top Ten Favorite Myths and Legends***
I love myths and legends, whether they date back to ancient Mesopotamia or stem from modern creepypastas. I guess it’s no surprise my latest book, Mordizan, is the second in a trilogy that features Arthurian legend. So let’s dive into ten of my favorite myths and legends.
- The Sword in the Stone: There are many versions of this classic Arthurian staple; in some, the sword is the legendary Excalibur, while in others, they are two different swords. In some versions, Arthur even pulls the sword from an anvil rather than a stone! In the legend, only the one true king can pull the sword from the stone, and by doing so, Arthur showcases his destiny to rule. Some elements from this can be found in The Wraithwood Trilogy.
- The Once and Future King: Like anything Arthurian, this tale has many versions. The common thread shared is that though King Arthur died (or disappeared to the Isle of Avalon), he will return when England is in her hour of greatest need. (And yes, this does feature in The Wraithwood Trilogy.)
- Hades and Persephone: This myth has many versions (sensing a theme?) but my favorite part is that Persephone, the goddess of spring, is married to Hades, the god of the underworld. A classic sunny and grumpy trope. Unlike most of the Greek pantheon, these two seem to enjoy a happy marriage, and I love variations on their love story. (In fact, these two will be included in an upcoming book slated for fall 2023.)
- Baba Yaga: A creepy old woman who is sometimes helpful, sometimes malevolent and lives in a hut with chicken feet? Yes please! Often depicted in Russian fairytales flying in a mortar while wielding a pestle, I haven’t been able to fit her into any books yet as a character, but in one of my romances, a hapless picture book author pitches Baba Yaga as a potential inspiration to her boss. (It does not go well.)
- The Llamhigyn y Dwr: Frog/bat creatures larger than a man who prey on Welsh fishermen? Yes, this is a thing! I found the creatures so strange and fascinating that I based a short story on them, “Shepherd of the Llams,” which will soon be releasing in the anthology Fantasea.
- Beowulf: I first read Beowulf in high school and fell in love with the drama of the storytelling. Epic, long-form poetry that told a dramatic and emotional adventure story spoke to my soul.
- Prometheus: We’re back to Greek mythology! There are wildly different accounts of Prometheus, but my favorite is that of the Titan who introduced mortals to fire and the arts and sciences, and for this was punished by Zeus, who had him nailed to a mountain and sent an eagle to eat his liver every day, which would of course regrow due to immortality to be eaten again. What can I say, I love a self-sacrificing god.
- Robin Hood: No surprise that we’re back in England. I’ve read so many variations of the tale of the hero outlaw who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. None have captured my heart as much as Stephen R. Lawhead’s King Raven Trilogy, which gives amazing historical depth. Lawhead is a major influence on my writing in the area of historical fantasy.
- Selkies: I love mermaids, but you know what’s cooler than mermaids? Ocean people who can live in the water and on land. Oh, and they’re seals. Tales of selkies tend to be romantic and tragic, and I live for that sort of angst.
- The Pied Piper: The tale seems simple —a piper is hired to lead the rats out of town, but when the town doesn’t pay up, he leads their children away instead, never to be seen again. But the tale of the pied piper plays to one of my favorite things—the intersection between myth and reality. Historical record seems to point to a real pied piper of sorts, and the real disappearance of a multitude of children. But where did they go? Was it an emigration? A Children’s Crusade? A case of dancing mania (a real medieval phenomenon you should look up!)? Researching the pied piper can lead to plenty of fascinating rabbit holes.
There are plenty more I could share, but the list is endless! What’s your favorite myth or legend?
Alyssa Roat grew up in Tucson, Arizona, but her heart is in Great Britain. She has worked in a wide variety of roles within the publishing industry as an agent, editor, writer, and publicist. With 250+ bylines and 9+ books under contract in genres ranging from YA chat fiction to fantasy to sweet adult romance, you could say she dabbles in a bit of everything. Her name is a pun, which means you can learn more about her at http://www.alyssawrote.com or on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as @alyssawrote.
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