In this New Adult urban fantasy, A.K. Morgen blends current shapeshifter and wolf tales with deep, apocalyptic Norse mythology.
When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.
When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don’t understand what’s happening to them or why, and they’re running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.
Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.
And without further ado, I turn it over to A.K. Thank you for being here!
The world is full of beautiful animals that awe and inspire us in turns, and the wolf certainly fits that category. The animal is one that we have come to revere over the years. Our love is proudly displayed in beautiful artwork, thought-provoking poetry, and even on the shelves of the average toy store. But there's another side to our relationship with this majestic animal, and it is one full of fear and disquiet.
For decades, wolves in the United States and elsewhere in the world were considered a prime hunting target. The animals were accused of brutal attacks on humans and livestock, causing those who lived side-by-side with the species a great amount of fear and anger. As a result, red wolves were hunted to extinction in the Southwest by the early 1980s, and gray wolves in northern states came very near following their brothers. This prompted a move to place the gray wolf on the Endangered Species List, which ended hunting of the animal in favor of replenishing the rapidly dwindling population.
Despite these protections, however, the odd relationship between man and wolf continued. Over the last decade, the species has been considered for delisting and a reintroduction of hunting in multiple states several times. Just this week, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the wolf would be removed from the list in Wyoming by the end of September, and regulated hunting would resume. This news has been met with mixed feelings across the board.
There are those who proclaim the animal the lowest of the low, worthy of being exterminated down to the last pup. And then there are those who see things differently. Those who view the wolf as that majestic, inspiring animal worthy of our respect, reverence, and protection.
How this extreme polarized relationship came about is one of great debate, but there is no doubt that mythology and folklore helped build the foundations of modern man's relationship with the animal. In nearly every culture, you run across mythology that paints wolves in very differing lights. Many even have their own stories to explain how our confusing, dichotic relationship with the animals came about.
The Cherokee people, for instance, tell of a time in which the wolf lived alongside man while dog lived in the wild. When winter set in, the dog came to the fires of man and chased the wolf away. This was no great loss to the wolf. He found that living in the wild suited him far better than living alongside man, so he remained in the mountains. Eventually, man forgot their bond with wolf, and when the wolf returned from the wild to hunt man's animals, man reacted with anger.
In Norse mythology, the wolf was also loved and hated in turns, even by Odin himself. His most beloved companions were a pair of wolves fed from his table. They followed him everywhere, hunting with him and providing him comfort. And when he created man, he sent his wolves to teach men how to love one another. But there was another wolf that caused Odin great concern. He was the giant Fenrir, who grew so massive, Odin feared what he might do left to his own devices. Odin and his brethren tricked Fenrir into a magical chain, and bound him in the bowels of the earth. Fenrir swore vengeance upon Odin, and the Northern people say that if Fenrir ever breaks free, he will kill Odin in revenge, thus ushering in the end of life as we know it.
In Fade, my new young adult novel, you'll be introduced to a pack of gray wolves who understand, perhaps better than anyone, how tenuous their acceptance in our world can be. They are tolerated. They are feared. And eventually, they are hated. But Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews realize what many of their neighbors do not: sometimes, the things that separate us from wolves are a whole lot smaller than we like to believe.
A.K. Morgen lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, and three crazy pets. Her debut young adult novel, Fade (The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book One) is available now from Curiosity Quills Press. You can learn more about Ayden and her writing at: http://akmorgen.com