Fantasy and mythology have fascinated me for many years. Like JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, George MacDonald, and many others, I have high regard for myth. In it, we find truths wrapped in story. Fantasy, when it is done well (which is rare), fits into the role of modern mythology. Modern classics in the genre are well known by the authors whom I listed above.
My (at-that-time-subconscious) love for myth is part of what drew me into the Orthodox Church. The colors, the history, the fragrance, the ancient stories and beauty, the architecture: everything seemed so surreal. I found that the Orthodox Church had a unique ability to not necessarily transport me to another realm, but to elevate my mind to a dimension that was already present but to which I had been blind.
My love for myth blossomed around the time that I became Orthodox, and I began to understand mythology more deeply. Nowadays, when we use the word “myth,” it is often synonymous with “lie.” Most myths are not factual, but they are not lies either. The purpose is to elevate the reader to a deeper understanding of reality.
I am writing this blog because there is a new book released just this past week that I feel fits well into the genre of modern mythology. I am no good at writing a plot synopsis, so I will not try. Suffice it to say, the book is thrilling, imaginative, and inspiring. It is called Song of Sirin by Nicholas Kotar.
Nicholas lives in Jordanville, NY and is the conductor of music at the ROCOR seminary and monastery there (Holy Trinity Seminary and Monastery). He has worked on translating patristic literature from Russian into English and some of his works include My Life in Christ (St. John Krondstadt) and The Field (St. Ignatius Brianchaninov).
SONG OF SIRIN
Below is a plot synopsis of the book provided by Nicholas Kotar:
An evil omen clouds the sky. A song of lore returns. Can one man’s quest save the world?
Voran can’t help but believe the rumors. As blight ravages the countryside and darkness covers the sun, the young warrior of Vasyllia hears of an ancient spirit that devours souls. He feels powerless to fight the oncoming devastation until a mythical creature entrusts him with a long-forgotten song. Legend has it that such a song can heal the masses, overthrow kingdoms, and raise humans to divine beings…
Armed with the memory of the song, Voran must hunt down a dark spirit before it achieves its goal of immortality. His quest takes him through doorways to other worlds and puts him on a collision course with seductive nymphs and riddling giants. With each step of the journey, the strength of the villainous spirit grows, as does Voran’s fear that the only way to save his world… is to let it be destroyed.
The Song of the Sirin is an epic fantasy retelling of the Russian fairy tale Prince Ivan and the Grey Wolf. If you like the hero’s journey, creative twists on mythology, and classic fantasy, then you’ll love Nicholas Kotar’s sweeping tale.
Today is the last day that the epic novel ebook is on sale for $0.99. You may consider buying it at the discounted rate, even if you don’t have time to read it right now. It’s a very worthwhile read and I have found it to be quite inspiring.
More about Nicholas Kotar here:
Fantasy for our time: my writer’s manifesto
Nicholas also has an intriguing blog about Russia, Russian culture, mythology, and other topics, which you can read here.
Blog header image by my wife; other images are from Mr. Kotar’s website.
I was not asked to write a review for this book nor was I provided with a free copy of the book for review. I simply read it and thought it was worthy sharing.