Tales of the Exiles is Now Available!

Tales of the Exiles is Now Available!

Way back when I release Secrets of the Past – the third book in the Eternity’s Empire series – I was still releasing the series chapter by chapter. So each of the five main characters received a special blog post detailing their mythological origins.

It seems only fair that the secondary set of characters – Gaea’s Guardians – should receive similar treatment now that the book exploring their background is finally ready for release!

If you missed the first round of blog posts way back in the long ago, here’s where you can learn about Ganga, Amaterasu, Thora, Aphrodite and Aeternitas.

Like Aeternitas, Gaea has four guardians who have pledged to protect her while she learns how to rule the throne of Earth, the planet that gave birth to her and her power. I’ve written about Earth Goddesses before, and they’re pretty straight-forward. Gaea is the Earth Mother, the source from which all life on the planet springs. Even in the modern day, people sometimes refer to the Earth itself as “Gaea.” (Also spelled Gaia – but I have a different character who goes by that name.)

The name ‘Gaea’ comes from Greek mythology. It is the name given to the primordial goddess of creation, sometimes considered the ancestral mother. Though outside of giving birth to Uranus and the Titans, she doesn’t play a huge role in many mythological stories. Which made it easy to make the character my own.

Most of this blog post is going to focus on her first two guardians: Skadi and Nuit.

Meet Skadi, the Ice Queen

When I chose characters for Eternity’s Empire, I was careful not to choose too many figures from a singular mythology. I wanted to branch out and learn about myths I hadn’t encountered before. The easiest way to do that was to avoid leaning too heavily on the stories I already knew.

But I wanted some familiar territory to work with. And I knew it would be easier to create existing relationships if I drew from source myths. So I decided to treat the various aspects of Norse mythology as somewhat separate entities. There are nine branches of the world tree, after all. Why shouldn’t each get its own planet and, thus, its own inhabiting clan?

I allowed this minor cheat because, although I had already settled on writing Thora, I desperately wanted to include Skadi as well. Aside from Lady Freyja (who does also eventually make an appearance in the story), she is one of my all time favorite mythological figures.

Skadi is a jotunn (giant) and goddess associated with hunting, winter and the mountains. She features heavily in the Poetic and Prose Edda, which chronicle many of the original Norse myths. She is a formidable figure, daughter of the fire giant Thiazi, known for her skill and patience while hunting.

There are several Norse mythological stories involving Skadi. My favorite involves her trip to Asgard following the kidnapping of Idunn (and subsequent murder of Skadi’s father during her recovery). The gods of Asgard feared Skadi’s wrath, so they assigned Loki the task of making her laugh. Ever the mischief-maker, Loki accomplished this task by transforming into a goat. He bound one end of a rope to his beard tuft and the other to his testicles. Apparently Skadi found the resulting antics hilarious.

Meet Nuit, goddess of the sky

Perhaps the character I am most excited to share is Nuit, sometimes also known as “Nut,” the ancient Egyptian goddess of the sky. People often express interest in ancient Egyptian mythological stories, but it doesn’t get a lot of air time. Most movies that attempt to delve into Egyptian mythology seem to consider it too complicated and end up going the Greek route instead. (The Greeks eventually adopted a lot of ancient Egyptian myths and practices, and the area eventually became heavily influenced by Greek culture.)

But Ancient Egyptian mythology is one of the most interesting and unique mythologies out there. The Ancient Egyptians believed in life and death as two sides of the same coin, and thus spent much of their life building and preparing for the afterlife that waited for them. This afterlife was populated only by things that that were taken to the grave with the deceased – which is why the tombs of Pharaohs were so rich, complex and well-hidden. The Ancient Egyptians also believed that both your name and you soul must be preserved in order for you to reach the afterlife.

But I digress. Nuit is one of the oldest Egyptian deities, born from the cosmic egg after Tefnut (the goddess of moisture) spit into the primordial sea. She is the daughter of Tefnut and Shu (the god of air). She is also sister and wife of Geb (god of the Earth). Nuit is often depicted in an arc over the top of a scene while her husband, Geb, lines the lower half. In this way they represent the Earth and the sky. Often they are depicted as being separated by Shu, who holds up the sky. Nuit swallows the sun at night and it passes through her body to be reborn at dawn.

A few extra tidbits…

I don’t want to offer too many more mythological details about either Nuit or Skadi for fear of giving away too much. But I did want to take a moment to talk about their human counterparts, since I did the same for each of the other characters.

Skadi’s human name was Hilda Arnesen, chosen because “Hilda” means “battle.” She grew up in a remote town in northern Norway.

Nuit’s human name was Layla Safar, chosen because “Layla” means “born at night.” She was of Egyptian descent, but grew up in the UK. She was a rebel and never got on with her parents.

Layla and Hilda met shortly after they turned 18. They recovered the memory of their true past and set out to find the missing soul of Earth’s queen. They studied archeology and gathered a great deal of renown, which allowed them to spearhead the archeological dig at the beginning of the story, where they appeared as the indomitable Doctors Arnesen and Safar.

If you’d like to learn more about Nuit, Skadi and the charge they’ve devoted their lives to protecting, be sure to check out the latest installment of the Eternity’s Empire series – Tales of the Exiles. I’ve waited a long time to tell these stories (though I have tried to weave hints and elements into previous installments of the story), and I couldn’t be more excited that you finally get to read them.

Tales of the Exiles is Available Now

War has reached their doorstep.
Their chance at victory is slim.

On the eve of war, Aeternitas and her guardians hold council with their new allies one last time. They seek another key to the future buried in the past.

The time has come for Gaea and her guardians to share their secrets, though opening old wounds is never easy.

How did the conflict between Thora and Skadi’s clans lead to the ice queen’s exile? What mysteries lurk on the odd desert planet from which Nuit hails? How did Muerte come into possession of her deadly powers? And where did Chronos acquire the sand contained within her hourglass?

If the Earth queen’s guardians attracted the ire of another imperial daughter, their suffering might reveal an exploitable weakness. But can they unravel the truth in time to set their trap?

Fans of Sailor Moon and Stargate will enjoy this clever mythological mashup. Grab your copy today!

Bonus! The first book in the series – The Light of Eternity – is FREE this week only (August 23rd – 27th)! Grab it over here!

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