UFI welcomes Lisa Llamrei Author of Reflection of the Gods. Thanks for Joining us!!
Top Five Settings in Reflection of the Gods
When writing Reflection of the Gods, I had to explore a number of different settings. These are my favorites:
Das’s birthplace, and mine, is North America’s fifth largest city. Das may have left it on an unhappy note, but the city has shaped both his world view and his art. One of the world’s most multicultural cities, there are over a hundred languages spoken, and a variety of cultural festivals each year. It is the third most popular city in the English speaking world for both theatre and movie production. It is the base for The National Ballet Company, The Canadian Opera Company, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. With over 1,600 parks, zoos, skylines, it’s a photographer’s dream.
Hill of Tara
The ancient seat of kingship in Ireland, it is the birthplace of Aislinn. The Lia Fàil, or Stone of Destiny, was said to sing when touched by the rightful High King of Ireland. According to legend, it was brought to Ireland by Aislinn’s immortal ancestors, the Tuatha Dé Dannan.
Kilkenny Castle – Kilkenny, Ireland
During Aislinn’s human incarnation as Alice Kyteler, Kilkenny Castle is a looming presence. After her arrest for witchcraft, the castle serves as her gaol.
Built in the early thirteenth century, it was continuously occupied for more than seven hundred years. Over the centuries, the building underwent several renovations and additions. But, the façade retains the original thirteenth century shape. From across the river, at the level of the town, it appears much as it did to Aislinn as she tried in vain to escape its shadow.
Kyteler’s Inn – Kilkenny, Ireland
While my account of Alice Kyteler’s life is highly fictionalized, it is based on a historical person, who really was a banker (aka usurer) in Kilkenny in the early fourteenth century. Known as the witch of Kilkenny, she really was the first woman ever sentenced to burn as a witch in the British Isles, and she really did escape her prison. The likelihood is that she accomplished this with the help of influential friends and thereafter lived out her life in England, but I prefer the version where she is spirited away by her demon lover. Her former home still stands in the medieval section of Kilkenny, where it now operates as Kyteler’s Inn. And yes, it is included on lists of haunted places in County Kilkenny.
Algonquin Park, Ontario
The site of the final conflict of the book, Algonquin Park is larger than Prince Edward Island, or about the size of the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. It’s located in the heart of the Canadian Shield, and offers stunning vistas of largely unspoiled wilderness. Much of it is remote, offering ample space for bands of immortals to wage a war unnoticed by surrounding human communities.
Reflection of the Gods
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"This is the story of how my third life began. And how my second life ended. They’re the same thing, you know—endings and beginnings. We’re taught to believe they’re different, but in order for one thing to begin, something else must end."
Newly divorced Das MacDermott longs for a fresh start. As he packs up and prepares to move out of the city, he spots a young woman being held at gunpoint by three men. Despite being outnumbered and unarmed, Das does his best to intervene. Once liberated, the victim seems oddly ungrateful, but on an apparent whim decides to join Das in his new life in rural Ontario. Aislinn, as she is called, returns the favour; with her encouragement and support, his start-up photography business takes off, and more importantly, Das is saved from loneliness and self-doubt.
Das, however, is never quite able to fully dismiss the contrary aspects of Aislinn’s nature, and is strictly forbidden from asking about Aislinn’s past. All seems too good to be true, and indeed it is. Aislinn’s unusual talents and odd behaviour, unbeknownst to Das, come from her demigod status. Aislinn is half-Sidhe, daughter of Fionvarra, Ireland’s fairy king, and a human woman. Sidhe wars have so disrupted the mortal world that Aislinn has joined with other immortals in an effort to permanently separate it from Tir N’a Nog, the fairy realm.
Born in ancient Ireland, Aislinn spends millennia as the plaything of the cruel and narcissistic gods. The pain of being neither human nor Sidhe is offset by her relationship to the Fir Bolg, another race of fair folk who take pity on her lonely state; and the refuge she takes in being Das’s lover and protector. As Das comes to accept the possibility that Aislinn belongs to a supernatural world, he discovers that the two worlds are set to collide in a way that may mean the destruction of all humanity.