Kersten Hamilton Guestpost and Tyger, Tyger Giveaway

Today Kersten Hamilton stops by to talk about the mythologies behind the Goblin Wars in her novels, Tyger, Tyger and In the Forest of the Night. If you've not read these books yet, I strongly recommend them.

Hi, Marcie! Thank you for letting me talk about the Irish—and other—mythologies behind the Goblin Wars, and why I chose them.

My Goblin Wars books fall into a subset of fantasy called mythopoeia, which incorporates mythological themes and archetypes into newly created worlds.

J.R.R. Tolkien first described the genre after he’d argued with C.S. Lewis about the value of myth. Lewis contended “myths were lies and therefore worthless, even though 'breathed through silver'.” Tolkien thought differently. He famously wrote a poem in response to Lewis:

C.S. Lewis was eventually convinced of the worth of myth—the connection with True Myth in the stories of all cultures—and went on to write mythopoeia of his own.

Authors such as Tolkien or Lewis create whole new mythologies—others, like Neil Gaiman, use a mash–up of existing mythologies.  My Goblin Wars series uses Celtic and Nordic myth as well as the concept of devolution—creatures becoming less than they were created to be— which was described by my favorite (and greatest ever) mythopoeia writer, George MacDonald.

I chose to use a base of Celtic myth because my own roots are Welsh/Irish and the stories resonate very deeply in me. I think that’s because the ancient Celts never built walls between the natural world and the supernatural, the secular and the sacred. The Green Man peeks out of carvings in Celtic churches right alongside the saints and Apostles. Early Irish Christians were not at all surprised at all to find angels working right along side them in their fields, running in footraces at fairs, or climbing in the windows of churches (and leaving muddy boot prints across the floor) as they went to light the altar candles.

The Christianity that found its way to the green isles was…different…to say the least. It was based on intimate fellowship with the Divine, and a celebration of the goodness of creation. It traced its roots not through Augustine and Rome to the authority St. Peter, but through Aidan of Lindisfarne and Iona to the love of St. John, the disciple who leaned his head against Jesus’ chest at the last supper. To the Celts this was an image of the believer listening for the heartbeat of God—and they had been listening for the heartbeat of the Creator of creation since before the dawn of time.

I added the Nordic elements because I love the Nordic tradition almost as much as I love the Celtic—I see the True Myth laced like silver and gold through them both.

Marla at Starting the Next Chapter ( did a great post about the Celtic creatures that wander through my books. They have changed in my story, of course—devolved, as George MacDonald would say. Marla did such an excellent job in her post that I think I’ll take this chance to talk about a couple of the Nordic elements here, and how they have changed.

Yggdrasil, a giant ash tree, also called the World Tree, links all of the worlds of creation.  The wells of wisdom and fate lie at Yggdrasil’s roots.

In the world of The Goblin Wars, ancient trees are watchers and keepers. Yggdrasil grows in Mag Mell, and when trees of other worlds—such as our own—grow old enough, their roots reach down to him and he wakes them. The deep pools of Mag Mell have elements of the wells of wisdom and fate, as well.

Skogkatt are Nordic forest and mountain–dwelling fairy cats. Skogkatt pulled the chariot of Freya, the goddess of love. I love the skogkatt!

But in the world of the Goblin Wars, Mab and Fear Doirich (the Dark Man) traveled through all the worlds of creation calling for creatures to follow them in war—and some of the skogkatt followed the evil creatures away. Those who never left the Dark Man have devolved into the truly horrible cat–sĂ­dhe who haunt the Irish Travelers and hunt the Mac Cumhaill.

I hope your readers pick up one of my books to see what other kinds of mythical creatures they might find!

Kersten Hamilton

Thank you Kersten Hamilton! I think the mythology behind these books is facinating. If you've not read Tyger, Tyger or In the Forest of the Night you need to. If you have a Kindle or a Nook you can purchase the book for $2.69/$2.99 right now. This price only lasts until Nov. 30. Also if you get a chance, stop by Marla at Starting the Next Chapter. She has an awesome blog.


Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems. 

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming

Thanks to Kersten Hamilton I'm giving away one paperback copy of Tyger, Tyger. All you need to do to enter is fill out the form below. If you have trouble viewing the form click here. This giveaway is open internationally. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. You don't have to be a follower to enter. It's appreciated but not necessary. This giveaway ends December 5, 2011. Good luck everyone! 


  1. Very beautiful post! Thank you for the giveaway.

  2. Your books sound wonderful :-)

  3. I can't wait to read Tiger Tiger. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  4. The book sounds interesting. Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. Thank you all for commenting! I just stopped by to say I *love* writing these books and to thank Marcie again for letting me post about them!

  6. I totally love your books. There has to be a third one, yes? I hope so. I have just one question that I might ask.... can the next book that you write, when it comes to the celtic or gailic wording, could you do some sort of pronunceation of the word so I can figure out how to pronounce it? Keep up the good work. I truly enjoy every page you have written.

  7. What a perfect giveaway! I love this series. Thanks so much for writing it, Ms. Hamilton. <3


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