Author: Ilana C. Myer
Pub. Date: September 29, 2015
Formats: Hardcover & eBook
A high fantasy following a young woman’s defiance of her culture as she undertakes a dangerous quest to restore her world’s lost magic
Her name was Kimbralin Amaristoth: sister to a cruel brother, daughter of a hateful family. But that name she has forsworn, and now she is simply Lin, a musician and lyricist of uncommon ability in a land where women are forbidden to answer such callings—a fugitive who must conceal her identity or risk imprisonment and even death.
On the eve of a great festival, Lin learns that an ancient scourge has returned to the land of Eivar, a pandemic both deadly and unnatural. Its resurgence brings with it the memory of an apocalypse that transformed half a continent. Long ago, magic was everywhere, rising from artistic expression—from song, from verse, from stories. But in Eivar, where poets once wove enchantments from their words and harps, the power was lost. Forbidden experiments in blood divination unleashed the plague that is remembered as the Red Death, killing thousands before it was stopped, and Eivar’s connection to the Otherworld from which all enchantment flowed, broken.
The Red Death’s return can mean only one thing: someone is spilling innocent blood in order to master dark magic. Now poets who thought only to gain fame for their songs face a challenge much greater: galvanized by Valanir Ocune, greatest Seer of the age, Lin and several others set out to reclaim their legacy and reopen the way to the Otherworld—a quest that will test their deepest desires, imperil their lives, and decide the future.
About Ilana C. Myer
Ilana C. Myer has written for the Globe and Mail, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon, and the Huffington Post. Previously she was a freelance journalist in Jerusalem for the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Daily Forward, Time Out Israel and other publications. She lives in New York City.
Ilana was born in New York but grew up in Jerusalem, Israel, where she spent her teen years haunting secondhand bookstores in search of books written in English—especially fantasy. It was in one of these shops that she discovered David Eddings and realized that epic fantasy continued after Tolkien, and from there went on to make such marvelous discoveries as Tad Williams, Robin Hobb, and Guy Gavriel Kay.
Since learning to read, Ilana had decided she would write books, but during college in New York City was confronted with the reality of making rent, and worked as a receptionist, administrative assistant, and executive assistant where she on occasion picked up dry cleaning. She afterwards found more fulfillment as a journalist in Jerusalem where she covered social issues, the arts, and innovations in technology, and co-founded the Middle East environment blog, Green Prophet. It was during these years in Jerusalem, on stolen time, that Last Song Before Night took shape.
She writes as Ilana Teitelbaum for various outlets, but decided early on—since the days of haunting bookstores, in fact—that “Teitelbaum” was too long for a book cover. “Myer” is a variation on the maiden name of her grandmother, whose family was exterminated in Germany. It is a family with a long history of writers, so it seems appropriate to give credit—or blame—where it’s due.
High Fantasy Novels That Influenced Last Song
I’ve always loved reading fantasy, and probably everything I’ve ever read has influenced me in some way. Though it’s not exactly original, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings will always be a touchstone for me, for so many reasons. One thing I learned from Tolkien, as well as from authors like Guy Gavriel Kay and Ursula LeGuin, is the importance of language in fantasy. These authors don’t just create fantasy worlds—they breathe them into existence with every sentence, every word.
Another very important element of writing, for me, is character development. The complexities within people and between them, the relationships that shift and change—these intrigue me in writing, and fantasy offers so many character development opportunities. We take our characters to the most extreme situations—of life and death, of heartbreak and triumph—and this cannot help but make a mark. Robin Hobb’s Farseer series, beginning with Assassin’s Apprentice, showcases a beautiful and subtly drawn set of characters and relationships, and these continue to inspire me.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of LAST SONG BEFORE NIGHT. US Only.
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