Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.
Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.
Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.
A pulsating romance of epic proportions, Bree Despain’s The Shadow Prince will leave her fans breathless for the next book in the Into The Dark series.
Author Guest Post
Incorporating Mythology into THE SHADOW PRINCE, Part Two
Yesterday, I presented Part One of this post over on Jenna Does Books (http://jennadoesbooks.com/) in which I discussed the mythology that inspired the character of Daphne Raines from THE SHADOW PRINCE. Today, I want to share with you the mythological inspirations behind her counterpart (and co-narrator) Haden Lord.
While Daphne is the embodiment of someone who believes in free will, choices, and goals, Haden is the embodiment of somebody who believes whole-heartedly in fate and destiny. So much so that if someone suggests that they have a choice in their own path in life, he considers this to be a blasphemous statement. Obviously, this puts him at odds with Daphne from their very first meeting.
Haden is based loosely on the Greek god Hades, but his inspiration comes from two very different places. The first inspiration for this book came from the song, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Deathcab for Cutie. This song got me thinking about the idea of someone choosing to follow someone else “into the dark” (or the unknown, as I like to think of it) for the sake of love. But then I started thinking about what it would be like to be the person who had to ask their beloved to follow him into the dark. What if this person believed this was their destiny—and that the fate of the world depended on it? But what if it also meant that the person they loved would be put in grave danger, and may even die? The conflicted emotions this conjured inside of me were what I created the character of Haden around.
The second inspiration for Haden came from the concept of the “Hero’s Journey” or the Monomyth as Joseph Campbell calls this idea in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Campbell postures that there is a basic pattern that thousands of stories from the most ancient to the modern day follow.
The pattern goes like this:
“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” – Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949. p.23.
This pattern can be found in many Greek myths such as Hercules and Perseus, and is definitely the basis of more modern stories such as THE LORD OF THE RINGS, STAR WARS, and HARRY POTTER. In researching mythology and story telling in preparation for writing THE SHADOW PRINCE, I encountered stories that followed the hero’s journey over and over again, and became interested in the idea of using this pattern—but also turning it on its head in the process. Instead of taking a character from the “common” world and thrusting him into a supernatural one, I decided to do the opposite. I took Haden out of the mystical Underrealm and plopped him into our modern human world.
Typically in the hero’s journey, the hero is presented with supernatural tools such as a magic wand or an elfin sword—but Haden has his sword and armor taken away from him and instead given an iPhone, credit card, and Youtube in order to navigate the human world. While some of the challenges Haden faces would be called “fabulous forces” some of his biggest trials come from ordinary, everyday things like surviving the school cafeteria, learning how to sing, and figuring out how to get a girl to like you without causing her to punch you in the face instead. And the “boon” Haden is supposed to bring back to his realm (Daphne herself) has no interest in participating in Haden’s quest—which puts the idea of decisive victory pretty much out of the question.
So what is a hero, who believes whole-heartedly in destiny, supposed to do when his fated quest gets completely messed up? THE SHADOW PRINCE is my exploration of this question.
About the Author
Bree Despain is the author of The Dark Divine trilogy: The Dark Divine, The Lost Saint, and The Savage Grace. She rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off from college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo. You can visit her online at www.breedespain.com.