Yesterday I reviewed Dani Harper’s STORM WARNED, her latest book in the Grim Series. (see below Dani’s post for more info). This continues the Grim Series in which a three Welsh people of different times are turned into Grims, or legendary dogs one sees when one is dying.
This exciting series is full of action, romance and very scary faeries. These are not Walt Disney fae. On the outside their glamour makes them appealing, irresistible even, but on the inside, they have dark hearts and lack emotion. If you are lucky enough to have had a canny Granny they might have been the scary things in the stories she told you….
ABOUT FAERIES by author Dani Harper
My new Grim Series – Storm Warrior, Storm Bound, and Storm Warned – is bringing ancient faery legends into modern-day America. But what IS a faery? Maybe not what you think….
Throughout history, the term “faery” has been a multi-purpose word. It has often been applied to almost any supernatural being with magical powers. “Faery” can refer to a very specific creature – or a huge variety of them! Elves, sprites, boggarts, wulvers, pixies, banshees, brownies, hobgoblins, pookas, elementals, trolls, even werewolves, and countless other fantastical beings, from tiny to gigantic, can all be lumped under the general heading of “faeries” or “the Fae”.
Just to be confusing, “Faery” has also meant the land or realm where faeries live, as in “He was kidnapped and taken to Faery.” And if that’s not enough, the word was often used to describe someone or something which has been enchanted or bewitched – eg, the faery blacksmith, the faery bridge.
Where did this odd word come from? Middle English and Old French both used “faery” to describe an ethereal being or spirit. The word is also related to the Latin “fata”, or fate, referring to one of the Greek goddesses of human destiny. There have been LOTS of spellings to choose from over the centuries – faierie, fayerye, feirie, fairie – but in modern times, it’s usually fairy or faery.
Defining a faery is just as confusing. Many historians think they were nature spirits, or even pagan gods and goddesses, which were supplanted by Christianity. Early churches condemned faeries as being demons or fallen angels. The ancient Celts thought the Fae to be a conquered people living in hiding. Others theorized that faeries were an ancient predecessor of humans, or perhaps even spirits of the dead. Still others believed faeries to be a non-human species that was so long-lived, it could be considered immortal.
Stories of these mythical beings are interwoven with human history. They can be found throughout European folklore as far back as the ancient Greeks – we’re talking almost 3000 years ago! The Romans and the Norsemen wrote about faery beings too. The Celts told many stories of the Fae which have been handed down through the ages, and as a result, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland have a rich heritage of faery myth and legend.
According to the old stories, some faeries were so beautiful that mortals were unable to resist them, while others were so hideous that the strongest man might perish from fear. The Fae could often change their appearance at will, using a “glamor”, and many changed their size as well. In many tales, the faeries loved to mimic humans and mingle with them. Some took human lovers – often literally, by kidnapping them.
There were “light” fae who were mostly good and “dark” fae who were mostly evil. Still others were both friendly and hostile, helpful and mischievous, kind and cruel, gentle and violent. This amoral unpredictability made most fairies very dangerous creatures – especially since they were quick to take offense!
Small wonder that most people throughout the ages have referred to the fairies in only the most flattering terms out of pure fear – and that’s if they had to talk about them at all! In Ireland, they call them “the Gentry, the Blessed Folk, the Good Neighbors”. In Wales, it’s “the Fair Folk, the Fair Ones”. In truth, they were anything but. Saucers of milk, a slice of bread, or perhaps a handful of berries, were frequently left on the porch at night as an offering for the faeries, so they wouldn’t play pranks on the household or the farm. (Some people still maintain this practice.)
Victorian England adopted the notion of faeries whole-heartedly, but gave them an extreme makeover. There was an explosion of pretty stories for children that depicted faeries as very tiny and sweet-natured, human in appearance but luminous and beautiful beyond imagining. Some spiritualists espoused belief in fairies, and the subject of their possible existence was discussed in the scientific circles of the day. The lovely artwork of the time even “improved” on faeries, giving them wings, something that was extremely rare in the authentic legends. In 1904, J.M. Barrie created Tinkerbell, further reinforcing the idea that fairies could fly. She was beautiful, pocket-sized, and for the most part, good. And, thanks to Disney Studios, we’ve believed it ever since.
Which brings me back to my Grim Series. The Fae in Storm Warrior, Storm Bound, and Storm Warned, are not cute and little. And they’re definitely NOT nice! These are the faeries of old Welsh legends: unpredictable creatures to be avoided or appeased! They are powerful beings of many shapes and sizes, living on a different plane than humans, yet able to cross into our world at will.
And some of them may try to take it.
Thanks so much for the great post Dani! Those Tylwyth Teg are more like nightmares than Tinkerbelle!
Passionate musicians Caris and Liam grew up centuries apart. When their fates collide, they must learn to trust each other and work together to stop a dark force from seizing both Fae and human worlds.
When Caris’s unearthly musical talent attracts the attention of the Wild Hunt, the Welsh farm girl is stolen away to serve as a faery grim, a herald of death. Two centuries later, she’s finally escaped back to the human world—and into the present-day life of a reclusive and heartbroken American musician.
Music was Liam’s whole life—until a crushing betrayal left him desperate to flee the public eye. Yet long-dormant passions awaken within him after a powerful storm strands a beautiful, strong-willed woman on his isolated farm. When a fae prince bent on ruling both human and faery realms threatens Caris’s life, Liam must decide if he can finally believe in love again, not just for her sake—but for the sake of two worlds.
From the bestselling author of Changeling Moon, this sweeping and passionate story of paranormal romance follows two souls from different centuries who lost everything…and found that only love can save them.
Rafflecopter Giveaway exclusive to Fangs, Wands, and Faery Dust. Runs April 10 to midnight April 16. This generous giveaway is offered, administered and fulfilled by Dani Harper! Thanks for the lovely giveaway Dani!
Please note this is a third-party giveaway and neither this blog nor this blogger is responsible for its administration or fulfillment.
ABOUT DANI HARPERDani Harper is a former newspaper editor whose passion for all things supernatural led her to a second career writing paranormal fiction. There isn’t anything she likes better than exploring myths and legends from many cultures, which serve to inspire her sizzling and suspenseful stories.A longtime resident of the Canadian north and southeastern Alaska, Dani now lives in rural Washington with her retired mountain-man husband. Together they do battle with runaway gardens, rampant fruit trees, and a roving herd of chickens, with the assistance of three dogs and several grandchildren.Dani is the author of Changeling Moon (2012 RITA finalist), Changeling Dream, and Changeling Dawn; plus First Bite, a Dark Wolf story. Recent works include the Grim Series (Storm Warrior, Storm Bound, and the upcoming Storm Warned).