Song Magick by ElisabethTitle: Song Magick
Author: Elisabeth Hamill
Publisher: Fire and Ice Young Adult
Number of pages: 304
In a realm where magic was thought to be lost, young bard Telyn Songmaker is able to cast powerful spells with her music. Exiled from home in the violent aftermath of her song magic gone awry, Telyn endures a solitary freedom…unaware of the price on her head.
Bound to the Wood by blood and by oath, Mithrais is dispatched to protect her by the dying sylvan gods he serves. Only Telyn can perform the dangerous counterspell that may save them. But love may be the most unpredictable magic of all…
Excerpt“Vuldur wants me dead, not another warden,” Telyn shouted, her voice hoarse and broken. She drew her sword. “If you desire a trophy, you’ll have to work for it.”
The lightning ripped open the sky once more, and The Dragon saw her then, a slow smile crossing his lips, the emotionless grey eyes showing nothing behind them but death.
He straightened, replacing the blade he had drawn, and Telyn saw that Mithrais’ arrow had found its mark. The broken end protruded from The Dragon’s ribs, the leather jerkin dark and stained with blood. He extracted the shaft with his free hand without a sound or grimace of pain, and dropped it to the earth at his feet. He moved away from Mithrais even as Telyn advanced, drawing her dagger in her left hand and dropping into a fighting stance within a blade’s reach of the bounty hunter.
“You have led me on a merry chase,” The Dragon said, his voice surprisingly soft and gentle. He continued to move sideways with catlike indifference, his startling white hair lifted on the wind that whipped through the trees. He regarded the forest giants with that odd, flat gaze before turning it to Telyn. “I never thought a bard would be so difficult to catch.”
“You’ll find them hard to kill, as well,” Telyn said fiercely.
“I think not. You are only human.” He coughed suddenly, bright blood staining his lips, and touched his fingers to his mouth, regarding the crimson smear with interest. “I have enjoyed this hunt, but it seems it will be my last.” The bounty hunter raised his eyes to hers. “I have never taken apart a woman before-–at least, not for money. Perhaps we will die at the same time.”
Guest Post/InterviewA. What are you working on?
I am currently working on the next book in Telyn Songmaker’s tale, called Truthsong. My second full-length novel, Nectar and Ambrosia, is in the editing phase. It’s more of a new adult urban fantasy set in a bar where the former gods and goddesses hang out—it’s something I hope will appeal to adult readers who love Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, like I do!My YA fantasy novel Song Magick, Telyn’s first adventure, was published in April.
B. How does your work differ from others in the young adult genre?
I write in third person omnicient. It’s probably considered old-fashioned, but I love it when an author’s words paint pictures in my head, and it’s still my favorite style to read and write. I think books like The Hunger Games and Divergentwere fantastically written,but I have yet to write novel-length story in first person.
C. Why do you write what you do?
I am a lifelong reader. I found my niche as a fifth and sixth grader in fantasy when I read Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles and Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea books. My dad gave me a copy of The Hobbit when I was twelve, and that was it. I was hooked. As a teenager, I learned to love science fiction. I wanted to live in those worlds. By writing, I was able to create my own worlds to walk, to interact with the inhabitants, and see how they live. As an adult, I devoured Harry Potter books and of course, Percy Jackson, and fortunately, my kids love them too!
D. How does your writing process work?
Fragmentally! LOL. Song Magickwas written in bite sized chunks and then revised over time. Nectar and Ambrosia came from a dream I had, where I met one of the main characters. I found him fascinating and had to write a little to find out who he was! I have lots of scene fragments of other ideas that I want to go back and expand for future books. I’ve started pre-plotting a little more, but I’m really a spontaneous writer—I have a basic idea of my plot, and then take off writing. I love the surprises and twists that come when I work like this.
PlaylistA Playlist for Song Magick
By necessity, the majority of the music I listened to while writing this book was folk instrumental. The Irish band Kíla provided a lot of background music with their album Luna Park as I wrote, and I founda little bit of a love theme for Telyn and Mithrais. The scene in the bluff outpost fits perfectly with the first three minutes of the song Baroki. Listen here: BarokiFun fact!Their singer/woodwind player Colm found his way into my book as the Northwarden, and his brother Ronan, singer/percussionist, is the Southwarden. Their fiddle player, Dee, may or may not be Deirdre, the Eastwarden. I’m not telling Colm also plays a large part in the second book about Telyn I’m now writing, called Truthsong. Their other brother and their uilleann pipe player might be making cameos too. You never know.
The most important piece for me was Caoineadh cu Chulainn as played by the amazing piper Davey Spillane. This piece of music inspired the lament Telyn plays at the life celebration of a fallen warden. It’s a piece of music that is so beautiful and heartbreaking that it moves me to tears every time I hear it. You can listen to it here: Caoineadh cu Chulainn Telyn’s ‘small pipes’ are based on this instrument.
Another song that inspired me was Loreena McKennitt’s The Mummer’s Dance, which is about the celebration of May Eve, or Beltane, when the book takes place. The Mummer's Dance
Last but not least, the song that spoke to me of the bond of souls that Telyn and Mithrais share is the song Samhain Night, also by Loreena McKennit. You can find it here: Samhain Night. The harp is Telyn’s favorite instrument, and the one which offers her the best control of her song magic.