Nyx In The House Of Night
Edited by P.C. Cast
Published 2011 219 pages
Reviewed by Georgia
Summary (from the press release)
The House of Night is not an ordinary school – and not just because it’s for vampyres. It’s a place where magic, religion, folklore, and mythology from multiple traditions merry meet and meld to create something incredible and new. In Nyx in the House of Night, some of your favourite YA authors, plus a few experts help you navigate the influences behind the House of Night Series in a guide that would get even Damien’s seal of approval.
Travel with P.C. Cast as she gets her first tattoo in Ireland, climbs the ruins of Sgiach’s castle, and discovers the lore that led to the Isle of Skye vampyres. Read Kristin Cast’s defense of women in history and mythology who, like Zoey, have made a practice of juggling multiple men. Sit in on a vampyre lecture by Bryan Lankford, the real-life basis for House of Night instructor Dragon Lankford, on the parallels between Wiccan and vampyre circle rituals. Tour Tulsa’s House of Night with local Amy H. Sturgis…
Nyx in the House of Night is a companion book to the House of Night series edited by P.C. Cast herself. Nevertheless it is not a companion book in the traditional form, as it does not offer any specifications, clarifications or information about characters and plot in the series. What it does is offer insight on the various myths and legends that form the spiritual foundation of the world created by P.C. Cast. In other words this book will help you understand the incentive in the story and many subtle messages that the authors try to convey to their readers. So much is implied in the preface written by P.C. Cast.
So what exactly are readers and HoN fans to expect? This book is a compilation of 13 essays, two written by P.C. and Kristin Cast respectively, and an appendix. These essays focus on the mythology, folklore and religion found in the HoN series, but not exclusively. There are essays on cats, tattoos and Tulsa. Furthermore, there are essays on Cherokee and Irish-Scottish Gaelic culture. It is a book for geeks who love to dig a little deeper in the story and want to reach its core. And this book succeeds beautifully in this endeavour.
If some of you are terrified by the thought that this may be some boring textbook, rest assured: its primary goal is to instruct, but this is done in an entertaining and lighthearted way. In layman’s language without pompous treatise or flamboyant scholasticism each contributor offers an explanation about the chosen subject. There is an essay about vampires and vampirism that will certainly intrigue anyone fond of vampire literature. You will find information on tattoos and their significance, on the Cherokee people and their traditions, on cats, and of course on Tulsa. As the HoN series have reached international acclaim it is nice to know a little more about the town where all primary action takes place. This will be welcome by anyone not native of Oklahoma. And of course the mythos surrounding Nyx and other forms of deities are well explained in this book. Also at the end of the book there is an appendix which provides the meaning of names given to the characters in the story.
In addition, I appreciated the authors’ respect for their readers. It is manifested by their concise writing. They present their case with well structured arguments and with all necessary information without making their essays tedious or overbearing. They also respect that most readers are novices to the various myths and legends so they try to explain their standing by using parallels from the HoN books. It is certainly to their merit that all of them had read the books before writing their essays. The book begins with and introductory note by P.C. Cast and ends with her own essay providing information on Scottish and Irish Gaelic tradition. It is written in a personal style addressing her readers directly which I found both charming and touching, as after all this is an effort on her part to make her world more coherent to her readers.
Granted that it is not the traditional companion book, I personally believe that it should be read by any HoN fan. Moreover, it will also interest anyone who likes fantasy/paranormal literature, as it offers basic information on material used by many authors of the genre to adorn their stories. It will give those who will read it food for further thought and/or research.
LoveVampires Review Rating:
You can find out more about the work of P.C. Cast at her website. Visit P.C. Cast’s website