Today I would like to welcome urban fantasy author, Allison Pang, who is joining us today with her new release, A Sliver of Shadow, and a fab mythological themed guest post. Enjoy!
“I’m going to take a look around,” I said to Jimmy. “Maybe I can find someone to trade that blade to.”
“Dinna wander far, Absinthe. There’s slavers about as well, ye ken? If ye look like easy pickins, they’ll pluck ye right up. Of course, ye are taller than most,” he admitted.“Should not be too hard tae pick ye out o’ a crowd o’ crows.I’ll catch up with ye in a moment.”
“Lovely. I’ll stay in this main row, then.” Not that it was a row so much as a series of gutters, loosely linked by mud and horseshit, scattered tents and awnings perched in a multihued riot of colors. It was as though someone had vomited a bag of Skittles into a cow pie and then tossed a bouquet of roses on top of it to cover the smell.
Wary of what would surely be an excellent place for pickpockets, I gripped my backpack tightly and limped down the first row. Now that I’d gotten my bearings I could see that although there was quite the mishmash of OtherFolk here, they tended to cluster themselves by type. Jimmy and his fellow compatriots were squarely centered in what appeared to be bug central.
Bulbous eyes, chitinous shells, segmented antennae—everything from boy-size cockroach men to ladybug girls to pixies with butterfly wings. And Jimmy was right. I did pretty much tower over everyone. Of course, I also had to quash the urge to crush half of them underfoot. Humanoid or not, my first instinct was to stomp the unholy bejesus out of anything with more than two legs.
That or scream like a little girl.
Neither of which was going to get me anywhere. I browsed the various clothing vendors, watching with fascination as silkworm women spun their thread directly onto the looms. A maggot shyly held out a fragment of the silk so that I could touch it. I rubbed it between my fingers, strangely tempted. What would such a dress be like? Would Talivar like it?
I flushed as the thought crept through my mind. Foolishness, I thought. Plus silk is a bitch to get the wrinkles out of.
“If ye had the time and the money, ye could buy a bolt of it,” Jimmy observed from behind me. “And then we could take it up to where the high folks do their buyin’ and get them to make ye something nice. Seein as ye have neither, I’m afraid we’re stuck with something more practical.”
“Practical means boring.” I sighed, my hopes of a real princess dress dashed. “And I don’t really have time for this anyway.”
The pig-man squealed with laughter. “Practical means sturdy and well made, lass. Ye dinna need glass slippers to prance in shite.”
In a Sliver of Shadow, Abby and company delve a little deeper into the world of Faerie. Like traditional fairy tales, I’ve split the denizens up into the mythological counterparts of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Technically, most people would consider the Seelie Court as the “good faeries” and the Unseelie Court as the “bad ones”, though really a lot of good vs bad in the faery world is rather subjective. The Fae have their own moral code and there’s no reason it should fall in line with a mortal one.
For my purposes, I changed things up a little. For those of you familiar with A Brush of Darkness, you’ll remember Moira was the Faery Protectorate of Portsmyth. She and her family are what I consider to be “high elves” or Sidhe, if we want to get technical. Those are the beautiful sorts of humanoid Fae that we see in a lot of Celtic mythology. (Think more of the Lothlorien type of elf, if you’re more familiar with Lord of the Rings.)
In many cases, these high elves often have their own agenda, usually beyond mortal concerns, which sort of makes sense, given their longer life spans. They definitely can be selfish, and in some cases, pretty crazy.
The other side of the coin would be the UnSeelie Court – the darker Fae, who are often seen as having a more sinister edge to them. Some are certainly beautiful, but many are considered to be “lesser” in the eyes of the Sidhe – so beings like goblins or insect faeries, shape-shifters, boggles would all fit into that category.
When Abby runs into the UnSeelie Court on the CrossRoads she discovers they’ve been reduced to nothing more than a traveling market, forbidden from retaining their individual kingdom by the Queen of Faerie, due to a war over the fate of Talivar – Moria’s brother and Abby’s bodyguard.
Of course things are a bit more complicated than that. There’s a lot of politics involved, but as Abby comes to find out, most of the former UnSeelie Court just want a chance to head home and regain a life forbidden to them for nearly 200 years.
And some of them just might turn out to be the closest allies she’s got.
Just when her new life as a TouchStone — a mortal bound to help OtherFolk cross between Faery and human worlds — seems to be settling down, Abby Sinclair is left in charge when the Protectorate, Moira, leaves for the Faery Court. And when the Protectorate’s away…let’s just say things spiral out of control when a spell on Abby backfires and the Faery Queen declares the Doors between their worlds officially closed.
The results are disastrous for both sides: OtherFolk trapped in the mortal world are beginning to fade, while Faerie is on the brink of war with the daemons of Hell. Along with her brooding elven prince Talivar and sexy incubus Brystion, Abby ventures to the CrossRoads in an attempt to override the Queen’s magic. But nothing in this beautiful, dangerous realm will compare to the discoveries she’s making about her past, her destiny, and what she will sacrifice for those she loves.
Find out more about Allison and her books at
Allison is giving away 10 copies of A Sliver of Shadow, tour wide. (US Only) To enter, just fill out the RaffleCopter below!
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