Life, books, and lack of luck - An update

We haven’t written a blog post in a while, but I’d like to give you all some updates about us and our work. We were quite occupied with life lately, and that distracted us from writing and even more from marketing our books, which is clearly shows on our sales reports. :D But good things are happening so I guess once in a while it’s fine that we live more in the real world than in our fictional ones.  The first good news is that now we are officially married! It was a very sudden decision and we made everything work within a month. We had a very little ceremony in the office with our parents, Dar’s sisters and with two of our friends and their partners being best man and maid of honor, but my mother’s conviction is that one of the secrets of long marriage is to have a very little wedding. I don’t think that’s true, but we are not sad that we didn’t have a big celebration with 100+ people there.  We also found our new home! We live in the heart of Budapest in a little flat, and I loved

Destiny is all! - The origins of the chosen one and fated mates

  We recently watched The Last Kingdom series on Netflix, where Uhtred (son of Uhtred)’s catchphrase „Destiny is all” gave us the idea of today’s blogpost. I know everyone says the books are better, but I rarely (ok, I admit it, never) read historical fiction, so we came across the Netflix series first.  Let’s talk about destiny!  It’s a concept as old as humankind itself, and many still believe in it. It has its own philosophical concept, fatalism, which basically means that no matter what you do, you cannot change yours or someone else’s fate. Fate and destiny, although people may use it as interchangeable terms are not the same thing. Destiny—coming from the word destination—is the result, the purpose of one’s life, the future while fate is the present, the moment every past decisions led to. Both of them are inevitable no matter what you do.  But who decides what is our fate and destiny? Our ancestors believed that this is part of some kind of divine plan. In Indo-European religion

Beware of the fish... and the chicken... - New Year's Eve customs

First of all, happy new year to everyone reading this post! I hope you had enough booze, partying, and good wishes for 2022. Last year was an interesting one, with great and awful things happening. I would gladly avoid the latter in this new one, and keep only the good things going forward. We have a lot of plans I want to share with you at the end of the post, but first let’s get to the topic I brought you today! We have a lot of customs and beliefs surrounding the first day of the new year. I’m not saying I believe them, but for some reason I still try to follow these every year. I’m not sure if because everyone in my family does so, or if deep down I lean towards believeing, but they won’t do any harm, and at least there’s the illusion of a little control over what’s about to come. So let me share with you a few of the customs and beliefes we have for this day! Feel free to add yours in the comments, I’m really curious about them. 1. What you do on the first day shall determine your

Faeries done right - Mad kings and colonization

Hey there, traveler! It’s Darr here, with a crescendo to our fairy extravaganza. We’ve already mentioned some popular media featuring fae of all kind, but as a last note, I thought we should look at a couple of the ones we like best. Be aware, this one is super spoilery, so if you haven’t seen any of the series mentioned in the paragraph titles, proceed at your own risk! Ready? Let’s go! I. Mad Sweeney (American Gods) This one is special to me because of how perfectly it portrays the demystification of Irish mythology. Mad Sweeney is a character in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods , introduced as a leprechaun, a celtic fae creature similar to a dwarf associated with gold and luck. However, there are immediately a few bits somehow amiss. First, Sweeney is tall, like, really tall. Second, his magical pulling-coins-out-of-thin-air power is later revealed to work with basically anything he touches and stashes away in “the hoard of the sun”, something way cooler than a leprechaun can usually acc

The Fairy Courts - Shadow and light

We are nearing the end of the fairy topic, so to end on a high note, let’s look at a really popular trope we haven’t touched until now: the fairy courts, the kings, queens and nobles of fairyland. People love the idea of having fairy royalties, a good and a bad court and – like everything – it has mythological origins. Now, the last few tropes almost always had some pseudohistory behind the myths, but while researching the courts, I couldn’t find anything similar. So let’s just stick with folklore for now. The fairies of today’s Great Britain are classified in many different ways, but the one leaking into popular culture is the Scottish Seelie and Unseelie courts. They are so popular, in fact, that they even have their own TV tropes page. The Seelie court is associated with light, beauty and summer, while the Unseelie court is dark, it’s inhabitants are often ugly and goblin-like, and belongs to the season of winter. In most modern literary works the difference is usually aesthetic, or

Fairy Oddities - The Changelings

Today's topic isn't specifically a type of fairy (or a myth circle about fairies), rather a phenomenon linking us to this blog's origins (about myths founded on rare or misunderstood medical conditions) while still remaining in the court of these many-faced spirits. The fairies definitely have a bright side, as cute little winged creatures, or oversexualized sexy bad guys (I’m looking at you SJM), but there are some very dark tales and legends surrounding them. So today, let me introduce to you the strange occurence that was the Changelings. In Europe, people believed that fairies could (and most definitely would) kidnap babies from their cradle and replace them with either a young of their own, or a fairly old fairy to live his last days with a caring family. This fairy baby is the changeling. But how could someone think that their child was in fact a changeling? In old times, when fitting in with society was literally a matter of life and death, anything strange about a c

Origin of the fairy trope III. - Ireland and the Tuatha

To be honest, I was intimated by the amount of raw lore surrounding today’s topic, but it’s pretty much unavoidable when speaking about fairies. From Shakespear and Tolkien to Neil Gaiman and Sarah J. Maas, writers love drawing on the mysterious Celts (especially their Irish variant) when portraying fae creatures, because this was basically the culture that made them famous. It’s the first thing people think about hearing the word “fairy”, so let us not tally longer and plunge into this monster of a trope. In Irish-Celtic mythology, the Tuath Dé, or Tuatha dé Danann (“the tribe of the goddess Danu” or “the tribe of the gods”) are a supernatural race of people, making up most of the region’s pre-christian pantheon, filling every must-have god role  (like we talked about in here ). As belief holds, they dwelled in the Otherworld, a plane specifically for supernatural creatures accessible through ancient passage tombs (a type of underground burial mound with a narrow, mostly stone passa