Fantasy Book, Fantasy Novel, Return of the Starchild

A Question of Identity

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

In Return of the Starchild, Iliana, the main character, seeks closure to a part of her identity that has always alluded her – her biological family. What was a small yearning at the beginning of the novel becomes nearly an obsession towards the end. Her need to know where she comes from is very human, it can almost be said to apply to most of us. Origin is an intrinsic part of identity and can act as a hole in the tapestry of our life if it’s missing. The flip side to this of course, is that you are who you choose to become whether that’s reflected in your thoughts, emotions, behaviour or decisions. Your identity is more to do with how you live your life as opposed to where you come from by blood.

It seems to be a matter of life or death for Iliana in the novel if she doesn’t find out who her parents are, or if extended family still exist somewhere. Adopted children who are aware their family are not biologically related to them could feel similar, or have no regard nor interest in finding out where they physically come from. It’s a matter of choice, and boils down to personality and preferences, some which can be deeply personal to the individual.

Whatever identity means to you, whether it’s choice or blood (perhaps both), for Iliana, her blood origins link to her so dramatically that it is impossible for her not be affected by it. We see her hunted and to possess terrifying powers with all kinds of factions grappling to influence and control her.

A question of identity is not answered easily. It’s something to be explored, discovered and lost to be rediscovered later. Life has a way of knocking us down to the point where how we see ourselves is based solely on how others see us which one can argue, is really losing our identity altogether. If you feel all you are is how people see you, could you deep down feel happy and satisfied about that?

Beyond finding lost family or self-identifying with how the world sees you is the yearning notion of wanting to be seen. Truly seen. Perhaps Iliana wants this for herself, and to permanently shed the past in such as way that gives her space for her true self to come forward, and thrive. Isn’t that something worth fighting to have?

Catriona Murphy, Fantasy Novel, Return of the Starchild

Author Shots for Upcoming Release of Return of the Starchild

Leading up to the release of Return of the Starchild, book one of the Divine Inheritance series, a half day went into taking the ideal author shots for the book’s upcoming release! Taken on the grounds of Drimnagh Castle, an ancient building that dates back to the 13th century, images were taken within the interior of the castle as well as on the beautiful castle grounds.

The overall aim was to get a look that coincided with the aesthetic feel and genre of the book, without being cliche e.g. images of a suit of armour! With a huge thanks to Firechild Photography, some fantastic shots were created on the day that worked well for the book as well as the author profiles.

Take a sneak peak below!

Fantasy novel author image
Author Shot 1 (Castle Interior)
Author Shot 2 (Castle Interior)
Fantasy book - Return of the Starchild Author
Author Shot 3 (Castle Exterior)
Fantasy Novel, Return of the Starchild

Endurance – What is the Alternative?

Endurance is a huge theme in the book series, the Divine Inheritance, but it can also act as the background story in our lives. Who can really put their hand up and say that they’ve managed to get this far in life without endurance? I’d imagine very few. What Iliana, the main character, has to learn from the very beginning is that endurance is a quality she owns she needs acknowledge and respect but more importantly, realise eyes wide-open how far it can get her. For her to finally learn that she is stronger than she thinks and is capable of getting through even the worst of travesties.

Iliana is faced with a ‘sink or swim’ situation, she can either crest the waves crashing on her or go under. Thankfully in the story, she finds her courage to not just survive all that befalls her, but to even meet her fears head on like she must with the Xinger – the deadly, vile creature that chases her into the Otherworld.

Life comes with trails that can take ugly forms, from family emergencies to grief to financial collapse. These situations make or break us, and I think one of the key messages in Return of the Starchild can be summed up in the well-known phrase, ‘What Doesn’t Kill you, Makes you Stronger.’

Thanks for reading.

Best wishes,

Catriona Murphy

Fantasy Novel, Return of the Starchild

Return of the Starchild Trailer Release

So it’s time for the grand reveal of the trailer for book one of the Divine Inheritance series – Return of the Starchild. Please watch below and comment if you feel like it 🙂

The trailer lightly touches on the details of the book, leading up to the book’s final release at the end of August.

The Starchild Returns…

We see that Iliana, a young woman struggling to live with adoptive parents in an abusive home, is chased out of her home town in England by a creature who is hunting her. With a few surprises along the way, she is rushed through a border where she emerges into another world known simply as the ‘Otherworld’. Here, she finds herself navigating this world that may hold the answer to her burning question of who – and where – her real parents are,  and who she really is.

However, the world is inhabited by faeries that guard gates to other domains, wild bandits, a Mad Queen, people who can do terrible magick and worse besides.Iliana must learn to survive the world she has been thrown into and finds answers on her inheritance, and why she is being hunted.

When she finds her way back to her roots, will the truth she’s yearned for so long offer closure or unfold an existence paved with more strife? Discovering her inheritance may come with a price.