Author: Ilana C. Myer
Pub. Date: September 29, 2015
Formats: Hardcover & eBook
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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.
I love to sing, and I’ve certainly always envied people whose voices are powerful enough to be instruments in their own right.
Was it difficult to transition from Journalism writing style to writing a novel? Did you bring any of your experiences as a journalist into Last Song Before Night?
I started writing fiction long before I became a journalist. The journalism was, oddly enough, to pay the bills. (This had mixed results.) But journalism forced me out of my introvert-writer stance and out into the world, and this is not only valuable for writing fiction—it is for life as well.
What made you choose to write in the Fantasy genre?
I think no other genre gives us the ability to delve as fully and deeply into the human experience.
What did you do to celebrate the completion of your novel and getting it published?
I am embarrassed to say I am not sure what I did! The closest thing was going to Spain, probably. Right after I finished my book, my husband and I moved from Jerusalem to New York City, and stopped in Spain on the way. The move had been a tremendously stressful process, so there was certainly something celebratory in that five-day stopover.
Describe your book in 5 words
Magic. Betrayal. Art. Heartbreak. Discovery.
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.
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