Welcome to Day #6 of the Impyrium Blog Tour!To celebrate the release of Imyprium by Henry H. Neff (10/4/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Henry and 10 chances to win a SIGNED copy of Impyrium, as well as a Grand Prize Giveaway!
A Sprinkle of Old, a Dash of New: Creating IMPYRIUM’s Universe by Henry H. NeffAlthough my new series, IMPYRIUM, is set in the distant future, the world is rooted in mythologies and folklore going back thousands of years. The result is a cosmology with a fun mix of old and new. Anyone familiar with my first series, The Tapestry, knows that I like to blend different genres and traditions together. Within its five books, one finds Celtic gods, Egyptian artifacts, and a slew of creatures ranging from Assyrian shedu to Russian domovoi. At the story’s beginning, magic and mythological beings exist, but they exist at civilization’s fringes, hidden from the modern world. When the villain Astaroth attained the means to knock us back a century or three, supernatural beings no longer had to live in the shadows. Astaroth had created a brave new world and mankind would have to share it. 3,000 years later, mankind is still sharing the world with other groups and beings. The Faeregines may control Impyrium, but demons rule undersea kingdoms and few humans will set foot in the haunted Grislands beyond the empire’s borders. Impyrium is a fantastical place even before one gets to the Otherland Gates, magical portals to worlds beyond our own. One of these realms, the Sidh (pronounced “shee”), is the fabled fairyland from Irish mythology. Other realms, such as Nether (a ghostly crossroads) and Void are my own creations. One of the best examples of IMPYRIUM’s blended cosmology is the character, Sigga Fenn, and the ancient order to which she belongs. Sigga is exotic in several ways: she is a native of the dangerous Grislands, may possibly have non-human blood, and yet serves the Divine Empress as a member of the Red Branch. Anyone who has read Celtic mythology’s Ulster Cycle or tales of the hero, Cúchulain, is familiar with the Red Branch. They were Ireland’s greatest warriors, mystic knights held in the highest esteem. The Red Branch played an important role in The Tapestry and I wanted to include them in the new series. But their role and identity have changed. In IMPYRIUM, the Red Branch are not knights or champions of the realm. They are assassins; elite killers that do the empress’s dirty work with cold-blooded efficiency. Sigga Fenn doesn’t care if she eliminates a target with a blade to the heart or poison in a cup. All that matters is that the job is done. Sigga and the other Red Branch aren’t held in esteem so much as terror. And that’s just the way the Divine Empress wants it. My decision to twist the Red Branch’s character was deliberate. I wanted them to reflect the dynasty’s decline from something that began with good intentions into a regime willing to maintain power by any means necessary. Sigga Fenn isn’t simply a member of an ancient mythological order, she’s a symbol of a universe where old myths and traditions have evolved into something new. Want to learn more about Impyrium’s universe? Click here and dive into a tale where Old Magic meets new dangers.
Stop by Bookhounds tomorrow for day #7 of the tour!
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In the first book of Henry H. Neff’s new high-stakes middle grade fantasy series, two unlikely allies confront a conspiracy that will shake the world of Impyrium to its core. For over three thousand years, the Faeregine dynasty has ruled Impyrium. But the family’s magic has been fading, and with it their power over the empire. Whether it’s treachery from a rival house, the demon Lirlanders, or rebel forces, many believe the Faeregines are ripe to fall. Hazel, the youngest member of the royal family, is happy to leave ruling to her sisters so that she can study her magic. But the empress has other plans for her granddaughter, dark and dangerous plans to exploit Hazel’s talents and rekindle the Faeregine mystique. Hob, a commoner from the remote provinces, has been sent to the city to serve the Faeregines—and to spy on them. One wants to protect the dynasty. The other wants to destroy it. But when Hazel and Hob form an improbable friendship, their bond may save the realm as they know it…or end it for good.
About the Author: Henry H. Neff grew up outside Chicago before going off to Cornell University, Impyrium is his second series. The first, The Tapestry, is a five-volume epic that follows the life and adventures of Max McDaniels. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and two sons. You can also find him at www.henryhneff.com. where he majored in history. Before becoming a writer, he was a management consultant and also taught history at a San Francisco high school.
- One (1) winner will receive an Impyrium Prize Pack featuring a collector's box packed with a signed copy of Impyrium, bookmark, poster, Hob temporary tattoo, and a signed sketch by Henry H. Neff (not pictured: bookmark, tattoo, and sketch)
- Enter via the rafflecopter below
- US Only
- Ends 11/6 at midnight ET