The Girl Who Never Was is published in June by Sourcebooks Fire and is a brilliant book about faeries! As part of the street team I'll be posting weekly updates with new and exclusive content that will later be available on author Skylar Dorset's own blog.
Here's what The Girl Who Never Was is all about:
This is not your average trip to Fairyland.
In Selkie's family, you don't celebrate birthdays. You don't talk about birthdays. And you never, ever reveal your birth date.
On her seventeenth birthday, Selkie finally understands why. All she wanted was a simple "Happy Birthday" from her secret crush, Ben. But the instant she blurts out the truth to him in the middle of Boston Common, her whole world shatters. Because the Boston that Selkie knows is only an elaborate enchantment constructed to conceal the truth: Selkie is a half-faerie princess. And her mother wants her dead. The faerie court believes Selkie is a child of prophecy-fated to destroy the court's powerful grip on the supernatural world. And the only way for Selkie to survive...is to prove them right.
This week's exciting content is a bit of background information on The Unseelie Court and Wizards from Skylar herself. Thanks to Sourcebooks and Skylar for this!
The Unseelie Court
In Scottish folklore, the Unseelie Court was the “evil” court set up in opposition to the Seelie Court. I really liked the idea of there being no such clear dichotomy any longer: Both courts had become corrupted and dangerous to the Otherworld.
Because the Seelie Court was traditionally considered the court of light, I placed it in bright sunlight. By contrast, the Unseelie Court was traditionally considered the court of darkness, so I placed it underground, accessible to our world by going below. This is not to imply that the Seelie Court is accessible by going above, but I wanted to keep the dichotomy between the two. In my head, they almost exist on the same sheet of paper, but one is on top and one is on the bottom.
The Seelie Court rules the Otherworld and its tendrils are everywhere. I wanted the Unseelie Court to be its own little fiefdom within that kingdom, tolerated by the Seelie Court only because the Unseelies had assembled enough power of their own to resist them. The Unseelies do not mind being creatures of the darkness, and they are happy to stay in their self-contained world. Their border control measures are intense, and they seldom interact with the rest of the Otherworld. The Seelie Court would tell you this is because they do not wish the Unseelies to have access to the Otherworld, but the Unseelie Court has no desire to branch out into the rest of the Otherworld. They have no interest in political power, they only seek to be left alone to their dark magic.
The Unseelies will grant asylum on occasion to those who need it. Because it is the only independent place in the Otherworld, it is the only place to hide from Seelies. Also, because it is so inaccessible, all sorts of amazing legends have grown up about it in the Otherworld. Otherworld creatures are taught that everyone and everything could be living in the Unseelie Court, every terrifying creature that could be imagined, because none of the Otherworld creatures really know what happens there.
In the days when the borders between the Thisworld and the Otherworld were open, wizards (the female counterparts were known as witches) were quite common and it was considered a well-respected calling. It was favored, in the beginning, by families that already had great wealth, because there was little money to be made off of it. Magic, however, was a dangerous thing to practice, exhausting and potentially deadly if abused, so it was mostly favored for second sons as an alternative to the clergy.
Witches and wizards attended universities of magic in order to learn their craft. Each developed talents for a particular type of magic that acted as their specialty. They tended to be naturally self-confident and arrogant, as belief and intent were two necessary ingredients to magic, which resulted in many clashes and feuds. Every witch and wizard consider themselves to be the best, and every other witch and wizard to be a pretender to their throne. Magical alliances were frequently fraught with tensions between overbearing personalities, and, as such, wizards and witches tended to be loners when it came to each other, even if some did develop friendships outside of the field. (William Blaxton had a reputation for being an especially gregarious wizard when it came to interspecies relationships, which was how he ended up forging the New World path.)
When magic began to fall out of favor in the onslaught of science, it began to be seen as a haven for eccentrics. Most of the last of the wizards and witches were adventurous souls, drawn to the unpredictability of the practice of magic, and many of them ended up in the New World, which they thought at the time might be more accepting of the idea of the continued existence of everyday magic. Will Blaxton settled Boston. His fellow wizard Roger Williams settled Rhode Island, slightly farther south, together with help from their fellow witch Anne Hutchinson. Meanwhile, another wizard, self-styled Lord Timothy Dexter, settled north of Boston in Newburyport.
In the early days, the witches and wizards thrived and were well-respected members of the community, but eventually they began to clash more and more with the humans who arrived and who were not interested in continuing on the practice of magic. Most of the witches and wizards went underground and rewrote the history books to take the power of their magic out of the words. The Salem Witch Trials were an effort to ferret out all of the remaining magic in the New World, but it was sadly entirely ineffective and managed merely to kill a great many innocent people, as the witches and wizards had already gone into hiding by that time.
As a little extra, Skylar also asked us to post our favourite wizards, and mine is... GANDALF!
And here's the official trailer!
I hope you're all excited for this book, and enjoyed reading about The Unseelie Court and the Wizards.
Check back next week for more content from The Girl Who Never Was!