Publisher: Alpha Wolf Publishing
In a world of perpetual darkness, a boy is born who wields remarkable power over fire. Amos is no more than seven when he kills a Shadow Wolf and becomes a legend in Shiloh. He would be destined for great things were it not for the stories his father tells about a world beyond the Shadow and a time before the Shadow. Only madmen hold to such tales, and in Shiloh, they have always come to bad ends.
Amos is fearless. He walks with easy confidence, certain that the Shadow cannot touch him. Even his family is in awe of him. His father marvels at his skill with the bow, his mother thanks the gods that he has all the courage she lacks, and his sister, Phebe, worships him for saving her from an attack of the Shadow Cats.
On a trip to the village of Emmerich, Amos rescues the Magistrate’s son, Simeon, from the village bullies. Simeon, fair-skinned and pale-eyed like other Dreamers in Shiloh’s history, becomes Amos’s constant companion and dearest friend. Simeon becomes a part of Amos’s family, listening to fireside stories told in a way he’s never heard them before and learning to wield a bow and arrow.
The year the boys turn twelve, they are itching to prove themselves. An impetuous plan to steal a beautiful lantern goes miserably awry, and the lantern’s owner prophecies that Amos will be devoured by the Shadow. For the first time, a seed of fear is planted in Amos’s mind, and when his father is killed by a Shadow Wolf on the last day of the Great Hunt, the fear takes hold. If so great and brave a man as his father could fall to the Shadow, what hope has he?
About the Author
It is only in recent years that Helena Sorensen discovered how deep her love is for epic fantasy. In preparation for writing Shiloh, and as part of her independent education in literature, Helena has read scores of books: books for children and young adults and adults, National Book Award Winners, and Newberry Honor Books. But she always comes back to the fantasy novels. Helena loves the idea that anything is possible in the world of fantasy. There is no limit to the imagination, and she can choose to embark on any kind of adventure.
1. What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired by just a scrap of a story that I started in college. My mom found it on an old computer at random one day and asked if it was mine. I laughed at it at first, but it wouldn't let me go. There's really nothing left of what I originally wrote, but those two pitiful chapters were a beginning.
2. What characters do you connect with most?
I connect with Phebe the most. It's difficult to explain, I suppose, because she's a very tortured character. She loses so much at such a young age, and she is faced with such loneliness, such shame. Her great strength is her ability to endure, to cling to hope when it seems there is none to be found. Plus, we're both singers, and we're both scarred.
3. What's your favorite book-turned movie?
Has to be LOTR. I'm watching the series again now, for the first time in years, and I'm struck anew by the power and beauty of the story. And Howard Shore's score. Holy Lord, it's gorgeous.
4. If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?
Isolde. She's a warrior, and she has a death-grip on her destiny. She's unwavering and, for the most part, unafraid. She's glorious.
5. Can you tell us about any other books you're writing?
I'm working on the prequel to Shiloh. It's called Seeker, and it tells the story of Evander and the Lost Clan. Of course, if you've read Shiloh, you know that the Lost Clan is doomed from the start. But there is still a gorgeous story to tell. There's love and loss, there's the Dance of the Lantern Light, there's the Fayrewood, and there are Dragons. :)
6. What do you do in your spare time?
I don't have much time I'd call "spare." If my kids are sleeping, I write. If there's no housework to do, I might squeeze in some reading or an occasional movie. If I'm really, ridiculously blessed, I'll travel.
7. Who's your inspiration?
As a writer, Robin McKinley is a major inspiration. She writes the best heroines! They are simultaneously strong and vulnerable. And her descriptive writing is just delicious. I still remember the way I felt when I read The Blue Sword for the first time. I could hear the desert wind blowing, feel the sand beneath my feet.
8. If you were stranded on a desert island which character do you want by your side?
I'd want Simeon, of course! While Amos is the central character of Shiloh, Simeon comes out from behind and assumes this huge role. He's a warrior, and a wildly-skilled craftsman. He can hunt; he's handy; and he is the most steady, faithful, unblinking-in-the-face-of-opposition man you ever met by the end of the novel.
9. Team Peeta or Gale?
10. What are you reading now?
I'm reading a heavy theological one that's blowing my mind...Telling the Truth, by Frederick Buechner.