Many fantasy books have some sort of religious belief structure and Griffons is no different. There are no shortage of gods or goddesses in fiction, and while many authors choose to leave it as a vague abstract that just subtly adds to the world building of a new planet: I wanted to be a bit more inclusive. The gods in Griffons don’t have a massive impact on the story as a whole, but they do exist and are referenced from time to time. In this blog post, I’d like to discuss how I came about creating the gods and what their stories mean as a whole.
Early mythology shows that gods were created to explain the unexplainable. Weather, chaos, and war reigned supreme as the various types of gods all across Earth. In Griffons, I chose to simplify the influences of a massive pantheon by having only three gods: Life, Time, and Death. As the three work together to create and shape the universe, there’s an inherently cyclical relationship between them all. Someone is born, they live their life for a set period of time, and then they die. Mixed with beliefs in both ghosts and reincarnation, the circle spins relatively consistently for every character.
On the Subject of Griffons deals with two mothers who are desperate for their children to stay alive. Their children are sick, and as the mothers make their prayers they’re doing it to all three gods: Life to ensure that their children live on, Time so that it delays the inevitable, and Death so that the children aren’t taken yet. But our character’s relationship with their gods can be just as contentious as our relationships are with our religion.
Questions like: why did my husband die? or why are my children sick now? run rampant throughout the story. The main protagonist, Kera, struggles to come to terms with these questions and their answers while still working through the maelstrom that is her son’s illness.
In addition to being a source of both happiness and strife to the people, though, the gods also provide fables for model living. Like Ovid’s Metamorphoses these myths would be considered fact to the people who believed in them, and they’d give general philosophical messages or codes to live by. Although Griffons doesn’t go into great detail on a much of these myths, Kera does tell the story of one in the book as a bedtime story to her children.
This scene wasn’t originally in the book to begin with, but was added in during final edits. One of the reasons I wanted it in the book, though, was because of how personal it helped the story feel. This was a mother telling tales to her children in hopes that they make it through a devastating illness, and she provides an opportunity for her to comfort not only them: but also, herself.
For many people, religion is a source of comfort and guidance, and so when I crafted the faith within Griffons I tried to make it something that showed its roots in their society. As you read their tale, I hope that you will be able to spot how some of those influences impacted the world as a greater whole. While it’s true this book is set in a fantasy version of the 18th century: religion and moral value codes have a way of changing things for all involved, and I hope you enjoy how this religion helped shaped the world in the book.
They’ll do anything to save their children’s lives, even if it means working together.
Kera Montgomery is still mourning the sudden death of her husband, Morpheus, when her youngest son falls victim to a mysterious plague. With no medicinal cure, Kera must travel to the Long Lakes, where magical griffons capable of healing any ailment reside.
As an heiress unused to grueling travel, Kera struggles with the immense emotional and physical strain of her journey—one made more complex when she crosses paths with her husband’s former mistress, Aurora. Aurora’s daughter is afflicted with the same plague as Kera’s son, so despite their incendiary history, the two women agree to set aside their differences and travel together.
The road is fraught with dangers, both living and dead. Each night, old battlegrounds reanimate with ghosts who don’t know they’ve died, and murderous wraiths hunt for stray travelers caught out after dark. If Kera, Aurora, and their children are going to survive, they’ll need to confront the past that’s been haunting them since their journey began. And perhaps in the process, discover that old friends may not be as trustworthy as they once thought—and old enemies may become so much more.
Now available from Riptide Publishing and where ebooks are sold.
About Lindsey Byrd
Lindsey Byrd was brought up in upstate, downstate, and western New York. She is a budding historian of law, medieval, and women’s studies and often includes historical anecdotes or references within her works. Lindsey enjoys writing about complex and convoluted issues where finding the moral high-ground can be hard to do. She has a particular love for heroic villains and villainous heroes, as well as inverting and subverting tropes.
To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 1, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!