World of Arcas Origins
By: Ila Woolet
My husband and I grew up torn between two worlds. Outside, there were woods, frogs, dirt, and sunshine. Inside, there were video games, TVs, instant meals, and computers. In both worlds, we were surrounded by lights. While all the man-made lights could serve a noble purpose, they dimmed the most ancient and powerful lights in the evening sky. As the world became ever more distracted by screen lights, we found ourselves drawn back toward the natural night lights. We bought our first telescope, studied constellations for star hopping, then began exploring the night sky for deeper objects.
About the same time we began studying the stars, we became inspired to write a fantasy adventure story. During the day, we were creating a fantasy world. At night, we were gazing at the stars. As we searched the dark sky one night, the powerful figure of Orion—the hunter—almost demanded to enter the story. We knew there were already stories about Orion from various cultures throughout human history, but those stories seemed so removed from our world, so distant. It was time for the stars to come to life for a new generation. After all, the constellations do not just belong to the ancient world; they belong to those of us who are breathing, and seeing, and enjoying them right now. These wonderful heroes and terrible beasts needed a new story for a new age. Thus, The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister was born and now Arrows of Darkness.
Now, of course, we didn’t get rid of the old legends all together. We did what most people do while forming a creative work: borrowed, altered, and added. Otava (which comes from the Finnish name for the constellation) is the great bear Ursa Major. Many in American culture today think of it merely as the big dipper (which makes up the back half of the bear). So, we made our great bear into a culinary enthusiast who carries around his favorite “big dipper.” The end result is a loveable, powerful, and quirky character!
Creating own own story around the stars has forever changed our perspective. Now, when our family gazes at the night sky, we don’t just see Orion the constellation; we see our friend The Hunter. He’s a strong and fearless man who is quick to protect others but also quick to protect his heart. We see the Pleiades and hear Merope’s enchanting song echoing, “Mira, Mira, one name for two; the river Eridanus a playground for you.” It’s part of a song in our book about the constellation Cetus and the double star “Mira the Wonderful” that appears to ride upon his back.
There are many amazing star connections to be discovered as you journey to the World of Arcas. But don’t worry! Even if someone knows nothing about astronomy, he or she can enter the world and enjoy the ride of a great adventure. The backbone of Arcas may be the celestial universe, but the life of Arcas radiates through its memorable characters and never-ending action. It’s a fun story for the whole family, and just maybe, it can help inspire a new generation to explore the wonder and beauty of the ancient lights. These heroes still shine out of the expanse for us to enjoy. Join the adventure as we discover them anew!
Arrows of Darkness by B.I. Woolet(World of Arcas #2)
Publication date: October 2nd 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Jackson returns to Arcas expecting to find peace—a peace greatly lacking within his own home. But when a violent archer takes over as Lord of the White Palace, the future of the ancient kingdoms is shaken.
Frightening creatures have overtaken the beautiful Starling Forest, destroying everything in their path. Jackson and Nekkar narrowly escape the beasts together, but Nekkar blames the Son of Earth for releasing the present darkness in Arcas. The rocky, new friendship strengthens as they journey through dangerous lands toward the Free Realms. Can their loyalties survive when the beautifully gutsy Princess Andromeda interrupts their quest and the darkness of war batters their souls?
While Rigel, Otava, and Merope work together to rescue the six sisters trapped at the White Palace, Sephdar returns from shadowy crusades to find White Wings’ army leaderless. The new self-proclaimed ruler has a plan for the Seven Sisters and a plan for The Bridge to Earth. But when his ambitious arrows pierce the peaceful kingdoms, an unlikely force confronts the dark lord and the future of the crowns is changed forever.
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“Mark the door!” Scruuutch. “The queen’s not in this room!” Scruuutch. An axe scraped across a heavy wooden door each time a room was cleared. “Someone’s alive! Come quickly!” another shouted for help.
King Alderamin squeezed the handle of his axe until his knuckles blanched. He could no longer control the passion inside him. Water flowed to his eyes while anger fought like a dam to hold back the flood of sorrow. With no destination in mind, he began running, running, running through the glass and the blood and the toppled bricks. He had arrived too late to outrun the enemy, but perhaps he could outrun the guilt.
Suddenly, the scenery changed. Everything felt untouched as he reached the back hallway. Every mirror was still perfectly intact, every wall still standing. And there was his light brown face in image after image with blood-shot, yellow-brown eyes looking back at him.
“RAAAAAHHHH!” He viciously swung his axe right and left, shattering each image that now looked detestable and pathetic to him. Crash! Crash! Crash! Shards of glass blasted from the sharpened edge of his axe as it collided with the mirrors covering every wall. But the last unblemished mirror that he swung the heavy weapon into didn’t respond as the others. His axe didn’t just sink into the glass; it sunk into the wall itself. The king jerked and yanked, but the iron head stuck firmly. In anger and frustration, he kicked the mirrored wall.
Click-click. Alderamin froze as the wall sprang open. Grabbing the edge of the solid door that was hiding behind a reflective façade, memories fell upon him like rain saturating a thirsty ground. I know this place, he realized, peering into the dusky staircase. Entering the dim passage, he slowly exhaled and inhaled to tame the wild breath of emotions that exited his lungs moments ago. For a moment, the world behind faded. His fingers traced along the stones on the passageway, but what he felt was a hand interlocked in his, pulling him forward. Pulling him Down.
B. I. Woolet (Benji & Ila Woolet) is the author of the World of Arcas series. Their Arcas adventures began with The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister and now continue with Arrows of Darkness. When the Woolets aren’t working, writing, or chasing their four little girls around, they are active in their local community and church. The couple enjoys creating lyrical and literary arts, playing music together, and exploring nature. They are happily married and live in Indiana.