The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn (Guest Post & Giveaway)

I'm thrilled to be welcoming Author Rebecca Hahn to my blog today to talk a little bit about her newest release, The Shadow Behind the Stars! I loved her debut, A Creature of Moonlight, that I read last year so I've been highly anticipating this one. I'll be reviewing it later today or tomorrow. Definitely check out her guest post and enter the giveaway below...

The Shadow Behind the Stars
The Shadow Behind the Stars
by Rebecca Hahn
Urban Fantasy, Mythology
Hardcover, 256 pages
September 1st 2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers


Summary

A girl’s dark destiny could cause the unraveling of the world in this spellbinding novel from the author of A Creature of Moonlight, which Kirkus Reviews called “cumulatively stunning” in a starred review.

Heed this warning, mortal: stay far away from the three sister Fates. For if they come to love you, they might bring about the end of the world…

Chloe is the youngest. Hers are the fingers that choose the wool, that shape the thread, that begin it. The sun smiles upon her. Men love her without knowing who she is. She has lived forever and will live forever more. She and her sisters have been on their isolated Greek island for centuries, longer than any mortal can remember. They spin, measure, and slice the countless golden threads of human life. They are the three Fates, and they have stayed separate for good reason: it is dangerous for them to become involved with the humans whose lives they shape.

So when a beautiful girl named Aglaia shows up on their doorstep, Chloe tries to make sure her sisters don’t become attached. But in seeking to protect them, Chloe discovers the dark power of Aglaia’s destiny. As her path unwinds, the three Fates find themselves pulled inextricably along—toward mortal pain, and mortal love, and a fate that could unravel the world.

  

Guest Post
Greek mythology and The Shadow Behind the Stars
Rebecca Hahn

The Shadow Behind the Stars centers around the three Fates of Greek mythology, who spin, measure, and cut the threads of all mortal life. The first seed of the story was an image in my mind of a girl standing by the side of the sea, the wind blowing through her dark hair. She was lonely but she was powerful. She was young, but she was also ancient: she was a goddess. I very soon realized that she was the youngest of the Fates, the one who would spin the threads of life for her sisters to measure and cut.

This narrator, whom I call Chloe, lives in a world inspired both by Greek mythology and by the daily lives of real ancient Greeks. She has conversations with the sun and considers aspects of nature such as the ocean and the wind to be alive. This story isn’t focused on the Greek pantheon, though, in the way that a Homeric epic or a Rick Riordan series would be. Chloe and her sisters live alone on an isolated island, and they do not come face-to-face with other gods in human form.

It made sense to me that the Fates would be separate from the rest. According to myths[1], the Fates not only determine the lives of mortals, but may determine the destinies of the ruling gods as well. Some say they are daughters of Nyx, goddess of the night, who was herself born of Chaos, the first being to ever exist. So the Fates are not far removed from the beginning of the universe, and they probably existed well before gods such as Hera and Zeus. Their work sets them apart from the other gods, as does their ancient origin.

The Fates in The Shadow Behind the Stars live far from humans as well, but their work inescapably connects them with the mortal realm. In the book’s first scene, a human girl shows up on the island of the Fates, distraught and desperate. She has lost everything she ever cared about, and she wants the goddesses to tell her what she has left to live for now.

Chloe starts out emotionally distant from such mortals, but through the course of the book she comes to identify with them more and more. In Greek tragedies such as Oedipus Rex, the unhappy endings are foretold and there is nothing the main characters can do to save themselves. In fact, the harder they try, the more they find themselves imprisoned by their fates. A main tension in my book is the Fates’ duty to their magic, which forms all human lives, and their growing recognition of the pain and sadness that come unavoidably wrapped up in the threads.

What does a powerful goddess do when she no longer believes in the rightness of her own calling? And what happens if such a goddess decides to rebel against her work? The Greek gods’ tasks are necessary to the running of the universe. Helios and his horses literally pull the sun into the sky, and when the underworld god Hades kidnaps the goddess Persephone, her mother withers the earth’s crops and there is a famine until the girl is released. So there are real consequences to Chloe and her sisters realizing the cruelty of mortal fates. Everybody rages against the unfairness of life sometimes, but what can we do to change it? When these goddesses rage, the future of the world is at stake.



[1] Because ancient myths change and evolve through time and across cultures, and because written sagas such as those of Homer and Virgil all have their own takes on the gods, there is no absolute standard of facts in Greek mythology. Gods change names; goddesses are single or triple; Chaos or Nyx or Oceanus is the first deity, depending on the source.

About the Author


Rebecca Hahn grew up in Iowa, attended college in Minnesota, and soon afterward moved to New York City, where she worked as an editorial assistant and wrote A Creature of Moonlight on the side. She now lives in Minneapolis, with the winter cold, the wide sky, and many whispering trees.
Giveaway

One print copy of The Shadow Behind the Stars (US only - provided by the publisher)
Ends September 21st

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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